Volunteer at the Patagonia Park’s Organic Garden

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Organic garden volunteers, 2015-2016 season. Photo: Francisco Vio

Surrounded by dry Patagonian steppe and hours from the nearest town, Patagonia Park’s remote location and rugged landscape seems an unlikely place to find cherry tomatoes, kale, and fresh mint. Yet when visitors peak their heads into our greenhouses or sit down at the park restaurant, they are met with a bounty of fresh, local and organic vegetables.

From mustard greens to carrots to sage to peonies, the park greenhouses are as productive as ever under the skilled leadership of head gardener, Francisco Vio. With the support of our organic garden volunteers, Francisco’s greenhouses play host to over 35 varieties of plants over the course of the year. With a detailed planting and harvesting schedule and a double-dig approach in order to ensure maximum root growth, Francisco’s system ensures healthy, sustainable soil beds and a steady stream of produce for the lodge restaurant.

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Francisco plants the first seeds of the season inside the greenhouses. Photo: Maria Jesus May

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The Patagonia Park organic garden produces vegetables for both guests and staff. Photo: Francisco Vio

Throughout the season, the volunteer greenhouse team helps Francisco by prepping the soil, weeding, composting, planting, transplanting and performing any additional odd jobs necessary to keep the garden running smoothly. During their stay, volunteers sleep at the beautiful West Winds Campground and, in their spare time, can be found adventuring around the park’s trails, spotting huemuls and Darwin’s rhea.

The 2016-2017 season is arriving quickly and we are actively searching for our next crew of enthusiastic volunteers to assist in the maintenance and growth of the park’s garden. No garden experience is required, but we do recommend doing some research and reading up on organic farming before arriving. In exchange for their hard work, our goal is to provide volunteers with the knowledge and skill to start their own organic garden.

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Volunteers pick flowers for the park Lodge. Photo: Francisco Vio

We will have two session lengths for this coming season, one is 22 days and the other is 42 days long.

22-Day Program Dates:

  • September 9 – October 1, 2016
  • September 30 – October 22, 2016
  • October 21 – November 12, 2016
  • November 11 – December 3, 2016
  • December 23, 2016 – January 14, 2017
  • January 13 – February 4, 2017
  • February 3 – February 25, 2017
  • February 24 – March 18, 2017
  • March 17 – April 8, 2017

42-Day Program:

For the 2016-2017 season, we are introducing an extended volunteer program that is intended for those who wish to have a more in-depth gardening experience. We will have 5 sessions of 42 days.

  • September 9 – October 22, 2016
  • October 21 – December 3, 2016
  • December 2, 2016 – January 14, 2017
  • January 13 – February 25, 2017
  • February 34 – April 8, 2017

Volunteers will camp at the West Winds Campground at night and work in the garden during the day. For more information on how to apply, please see our website.

For reminders and updates, please follow us on Facebook.

Applications are due June 1, 2016. We will not be accepting any applications after the due date.

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