Volunteer needs: February 18, 2021
Deep Roots Food Hub is seeking volunteers with skills and experience in:
1. Grant seeking and writing proposals,
2. Fundraising, and
3. Communications (including Social media and Stakeholder Relations).
If you are interested please contact:
janet_helmer @hotmail.com (volunteer coordinator, DRFH, BoD)
Prepared by Phil Reilly
Much has been accomplished in 2020 by Deep Roots Food Hub members at the unique Davidson’s Side Road root vegetable storage cellar (near Shirley’s Bay).
Thanks to over 3000 hours of volunteer labor, contributed by about 18 members of Deep Roots Food Hub (DRFH), the root cellar is structurally completed. A few local farmers are currently using the root cellar for storing about 4500 pounds of carrots, potatoes, rutabagas, beets, Daikon radishes, and other vegetables for distribution to their CSA customers. We are pleased to have BeetBox Farm, Our Farm CSA, Heartbeet Farm, ExerFarm, Gaia Organic Seeds, and 100 Mile Wine Inc. using the root cellar.
The various vegetables are being stored in a variety of containers (boxes, totes, or burlap bags appropriate to the vegetable), and stacked in their containers, or placed on provided shelving, such that they have ready access to their produce for distribution to their clients.
This root cellar is not of the historic hole-in-a-hill or home basement variety (see photos). It is a super-insulated, above-ground, metal Quonset building which is 24 feet wide X 40 feet long. Three 100watt solar panels, which charge four 12-volt truck batteries, provide the electrical power needs of the root cellar.
The humid and just-above freezing (+ 2 to +4 degrees C.) conditions of the storage chamber are regulated by monitoring sensors and fans. The plywood floor of the vegetable storage chamber has 2” of Styrofoam sheets on its underside and sits on 8” concrete building blocks. This is designed to isolate the building’s warm gravel base, which continuously radiates heat upwards from the earth’s core’s, from the stored vegetables which require constantly cool temperatures. Also, this raised floor allows fans to circulate always-available heat into the storage chamber during very cold periods. Cold air can also be brought directly into the produce chamber at night when daytime temperatures are warmish.
2020 welcomed funding and material donations from supportive community members, either directly or via DRFH’s charitable partner (the Carp Health Access Foundation).
Deep Roots Food Hub is pleased to acknowledge significant recent funding contributions resulting from ‘in memorium’ donations from family and friends of Kinburn-area’s Brent Schwieg. Also, we are thankful for the donation, by Big Steel Box, of a 20’ foot shipping container for storage of various materials used throughout the year. In the past, DRFH has received significant grants from the Ottawa Community Foundation, the Greenbelt Fund, and the City of Ottawa.
In the coming months the Deep Roots Food Hub’s board of directors will be looking to recruit people with a variety of practical skills. Postings for volunteers will appear on our web site as needs arise.
We believe that this community project, when scaled up to full capacity, will improve food security and the health of many of our local community members.