All ages with the right attitude can volunteer at Winterpast Farm.  However, after many years of experience Farmer Mary suggests one child per family volunteer  at a time and moms with toddlers probably need to either come while their child is in preschool or wait a few years. Occasionally a very young child is very helpful so this does not mean everyone.

Local high schoolers can earn Community Service hours. If you come with a friend please don’t expect it to just be free time with the animals and with your friend. You can pay for a farm visit and hold and feed the animals. That is different from volunteering to help.

What is helpful is a volunteer who checks posted open dates and texts to arrange timing of volunteering, arrives on time, after initial instruction gets right to work, doesn’t mind being directed by Farmer Mary, doesn’t spend the majority of their time on the hammocks or snacking or wanting to hold animals.  Volunteers are expected to put their personal stuff (lunch, coat, waterbottle) somewhere sensible (up high, not on a chair or picnic table a paying customer may want to use) , eat their snack or lunch when they are hungry and to put their trash in the trashcan and to take their stuff when they leave. If you bring food along and plan to feed the animals at some point, check with Farmer Mary. It will probably be toward the end of your time here.

Some recent volunteer activities: Cage cleaning, feeding, watering, setting up maternity pens, helping move pens, reorganizing the feed room, harness training new baby goats and sheep, bottle feeding babies, snuggling babies of all sorts, filling water jugs, putting new fleece in guinea pig cages, putting out treats or salt blocks in cages, helping assist farm visitors with opening the gate, helping farm visitors put their animal feed into a bucket or helping those who are buying animal food at the farm, washing out feed bowls, helping visitors with finding the bathroom, helping get rental bunnies or Guinea pigs from or to cars, brushing the Angora bunnies, brushing the donkeys, holding newly donated animals, clipping nails (after instruction and only if  interested)…..we have also had volunteers stuff hay into toilet paper tubes, bring toilet paper tubes, bring animal treats to give out, make signs for cages or other informational signs, help spread mulch, rake leaves, put out or take down tablecloths….

Farmer Mary has worked with parents of very large families to allow them to volunteer with raking pinestraw, moving firewood, picking up branches, fixing cages, general handyman type work to earn a farm visit for the large family.

Regular volunteers get animals named for them and are in on newborn baby holding and all the special things going on at Winterpast. They can also occasionally take animals home for no fee.

Volunteers usually have come on a farm visit or two and already know Farmer Mary and the set up here.  Volunteers usually start with a few hours and some go on to being at the farm all day on open days. However, please note that  the farm is NOT a free babysitter for ANY age.  Genuine rapport with Farmer Mary and a willingness to mostly stay busy helping is important. Volunteering at Winterpast Farm is not for everyone.  There is plenty of time for fun too with babies and other favorite animals when we aren’t too busy.

TEXT Farmer Mary if interested. 919-244-1800

Please suggest a date and time for coming (please look at the open dates and hours and suggest one of those!)

Please do not leave a FB message. Please do not call. Please do not leave a voicemail or try all the million other ways to get in touch. TEXT. That is the first test of a good volunteer-if you want to get in touch with Farmer Mary text her.