Farming is demanding but rewarding. Whether you’re a student or a community member, join us to learn more about sustainable agriculture, food systems and our role in the community! 

women harvesting

UW Botanic Gardens grounds are open to visitors and the general public.

As of June 1, 2021, the UW Farm is now able to accept volunteers, following health and safety protocols. See the required guidelines and sign-up process below.

UW Botanic Gardens continues to follow all advice and directives set forth by the University of Washington, which are detailed at length on the UW Novel Coronavirus Information Page.

Our work day revolves around the seasons, planting and harvests for most of the year. The UW Farm has three growing sites

Locations: Mercer CourtMcMahon Hall, Center for Urban Horticulture

We host volunteers at all three sites.

You may find yourself involved in any one of the following activities when you arrive for a shift:

  • Picking, washing, packing produce for campus dining, CSA program, or the food pantry
  • Starting seeds and making soil blocks
  • Preparing beds for planting, including moving compost, tilling, making raised beds
  • Weeding by hand using various farm tools
  • Direct seeding and transplanting crop “starts” in the greenhouse, in farm plots
  • Working with organic fertilizers
  • Pruning, dividing and caring for perennial flowers, fruit trees and shrubs
  • Removing invasive plants
  • Installing Drip Irrigation
  • Making flower bouquets or caring for the farm’s flowers
  • Other tasks related to maintaining the farm’s produce production and management of perennial plants

Have a large group? Please contact us at for scheduling, at least two weeks in advance of when you would like to visit the farm. Though all our volunteer activities are outside, group size is limited to 30 individuals total and COVID-19 safety precautions must be followed.

Guidelines and Safety Practices for Volunteering at the UW Farm

Following University protocols, limited in-person academic, co-curricular activities, and growing food/food security activities are permitted at the UW Farm. These activities include:

o Small group informal instruction (meeting with interns, capstone)

o Small group academic-related meetings.

o Work parties limited to five persons per plot with one supervisor

o Maximum capacity on the outdoor UW Farm field areas is limited to 30 persons.

o Meetings of registered student organizations


These in-person activities must meet the following requirements:

o Participation is voluntary

o Attendance and/or participation in these activities cannot be factored into grades

o Equity must be considered. If students are unable to attend an in-person activity an alternative remote option must be offered.

o The total number of attendees are within space capacity limitations as dictated by health guidelines (distancing, masking, cleaning).

o Indoors – Participants must wear masks and maintain six feet of physical distancing indoors

o Outdoors – Masks/face coverings must be worn if physical distancing cannot be maintained

o Volunteers  are strongly encouraged to sign up for Husky Coronavirus Testing and the WANotify exposure notification app

o Volunteers are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated if possible.

• Anyone who is sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, must stay home. Instructors, students or staff with COVID-19 symptoms should also get tested and are required to notify the UW Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 Response and Prevention team ( if they test positive.

For more information:

Who may volunteer, updated June 1

UW Students, staff, faculty, employees

UW Students who are volunteering for a class, internship, research or project

Community Members and Groups not affiliated with UW, the general public


o All volunteers will be asked to sign in at the beginning of each shift to record date, time and length of shift

o All volunteers will be asked to sign an attestation upon arrival

o All volunteers must wear a mask and gloves. If you do not possess these, they will be provided for you when you arrive

o All volunteers must receive a confirmation email before reporting for the first shift

o All volunteers must complete the Three-Step Process below

Signing up is a Three-step Process:

Step 1– All volunteers, even if you have visited before, please begin by signing up to be a volunteer via the UWBG website. This helps us track volunteers and insures you in case of injury. This is a ONE TIME application no matter how frequently you volunteer.

Sign Up with UWBG

Step 2 – Complete the seasonal questionnaire if this is your first time, or even if you are a returning volunteer. This step allows the UW Farm to collect information on user-ship for the farm for each quarter and adds you to our sign-in sheets that we use on a daily basis.

Complete Questionnaire Here.

Step 3 – ALSO REQUIRED: view the COVID-19 Prevention video or pdf file. You will be asked if you have viewed these upon arrival of your first shift.

If you have a UW NetID – Watch the video. Click on the link below and select, “Launch course” for COVID-19 Safety Training Video. View this video before arriving at the farm. The UW farm manager will receive a link once you have completed viewing the video, taking this short “course”.

Watch Video 

If you do not have a UW NetID – Read the pdf version of the COVID-19 Prevention Plan here:


Active growing locations summer 2021 are Mercer Court on Adams Lane and the Center for Urban Horticulture, or CUH

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday*
Mercer Court 8-11 CUH 8-11 NONE Mercer Court 8-11 CUH 8-11 9-1
CUH 12-2 CUH 12-2 NONE Mercer Court 12-2 CUH 12-2

Saturdays change locations:  June 5 is CUH, June 12 is CUH, June 19 is at Mercer Court, June 26 is at CUH

Details for Service-Learners via the UW Community Engagement and Leadership Center, or CELE*

During COVID-19 restrictions, Service-Learners may be approved for on-site learning

  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, attending an orientation for Service-Learning is not required at this time.
  • Service-Learning for the Summer 2021 quarter is limited to certain courses – contact faculty and the CELE for a Listing to learn about opportunities each quarter
  • All students MUST sign up for positions in EXPO before arriving for the first shift
  • It is expected that students complete at least one shift per week
  • Volunteer shifts are listed in Step 2, above in the sign-up process, “all Volunteers.”
  • All Service Learners MUST complete steps 1, 2 and 3 above BEFORE arriving for a shift in order to schedule everyone for health and safety reasons.
  • Arrive for your first shift prepared to work on the farm, in all sorts of weather.
  • You must wear a masks and gloves, which are provided by the farm at the farm sites if you do not have these items.
  • You will work physically. If possible bring something to drink and a snack.

*Previously referred to as the Carlson Center for Leadership and Community Service

Please note: Due to the high volume of volunteer sign-ups we cannot always send a confirmation email. We also request that you do not contact the UW farm via gmail or phone before reporting for a shift.



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