Harvest Ninja Starter Kit
This page is the official Harvest Ninja starter kit. On this page you will find all of the information you need to start your very own Harvest Ninja group, in your local community.
8 Easy Steps to start your very own Harvest Ninja group in your local community
1 – How Harvest Ninja feeds your community in more that one way –
2 – Find who will benefit from your Harvest Ninja group –
Harvest Ninja is a great outlet for un-picked fruits and other produce, but it’s no use if it goes to waste. Before starting up your group, it’s important to find an outlet for this community service. In our local group our produce goes to the Monroe Loaves & Fishes, an amazing community meal. It’s likely your town doesn’t have Loaves & Fishes, but there are a variety of outlets you can utilize to feed your community; food pantries, soup kitchens and even directly to individuals.
- A valuable thought is the amount of produce you expect the group to collect and make sure that your organization or group that will be processing your harvest are able to keep up with your supply (something we’ve learned to the hard way).
3 – Locate your local Ninjas –
Now you’ve located a processing location but you do not yet have a group or produce, youth Harvest Ninjas are vital to empowering your harvests.
There are lots of local groups of kids that you can reach out to recruit for your group, such as; Boy Scouts, library events and other local youth organizations. Harvest Ninja is designed to be fun for everyone, once kids understood this they wanted in. It’s very important to convey this during your recruitment.
Once you have some local ninjas reach out to Liam Kivirst (Liamkivirist (at) rocketmail (dot) com) with a request for Harvest Ninja tee shirts for your volunteers.
4 – Find the fruit –
So you have a group and a place willing to take the harvest. But it’s pointless if you don’t have anything to collect. It’s very important to reach out into the community and find produce to harvest. Spreading the word and reaching out to expand your list of produce for harvest, is vital to your output.
- There are a variety of different locations and groups that you can speak at or put up posters at for no cost. The more locations the better, but make sure the location are relevant to your goal. Ideal locations could be; the local library, market, gym or other local hubs.
- Whatever locations you choose for advertising, you need something to get people interested in helping in a single glance. Whether it’s posters, presentations or fliers, you want to convey Harvest Ninjas goal and get them interested in helping out.
5 – Prepare to strike –
You have your ninjas, produce ready to harvest and a kitchen willing to take it, but before you launch your group harvest, they’re a couple of elements to keep in mind.
- Keep it fun: Harvest Ninja was created to be fun and enjoyable service project. When you organize and during the event, make sure to keep this in mind. That’s why we call our fruit harvests “fruit attacks.” During our local harvests we like to play music, and set challenges and goals to keep the group energized and positive.
- It’s always great to see how much of an impact you were able to create with your group. That is the value of recording and tallying up your collection totals. Remember to bring a scale to every harvest, or alternatively measure afterwards.
- Produce comes in all shapes and sizes and most likely so do your groups volunteers, it’s going to be important to have the correct tools and ladders to satisfy your group’s needs.
It’s vital to bring a set of tools for the harvest at hand, for example: if you’re harvesting potatoes, bring a pitchfork or shovel, an apple picker or ladder for fruit trees and so on.
- Harvest Ninja is a group of kids: they can get very excited and distracted. How focused you keep it is up to you, as long as it gets picked in the end.
6 – Harvest and Drop off –
Once you have your produce, the sooner you drop it off the better. Depending on the size of the harvest and local group that is processing, it may take a significant amount of time to process.
- Different produce lasts for different amounts of time, and has to be stored in different conditions. After a harvest, some things you are able to hold onto for a lengthy period of time before needing to drop it off. Sometimes the best option is to just drop it off and forget about it.
- When dropping it off it’s important to make sure that it’s communicated that you’re dropping it off. So that the group or organization that is accepting the produce can leave there kitchen open or available for you to drop the produce off.
- Once you have the produce at the set drop off zone, it’s important to mark it as Harvest Ninja. We recommend printing out the Harvest Ninja printout to fill out and deposit alongside the produce.
7 – Celebrate and give thanks –
Your first years harvest, was powered by volunteering ninjas. Once the years harvest is over, its time to give them your gratitude. In the past we’ve hosted a party at our house, to celebrate the group’s success. It’s a great way to give our gratitude and have a fun time.
- Although you can change it around to your personal order, I like to kick it off with a little thank you speech once the group arrives. Anytime will work but it’s an important element. I would recommend writing out a list of things you want to cover for your speech, not a script necessarily, but maybe just an outline.
- It’s meant to be a celebration and fun. Keep this in mind, here we host Ga Ga ball matches and afterwards conduct a potluck. Anything will work, but activities that your whole age range of Harvest Ninja kids can enjoy is important.
8 – Tell us your story –
Contact Liam Kivirist (Organizer) at liamkivirist (at) rocketmail (dot) com and tell us about your Harvest Ninja group’s first year. It would be awesome to hear first hand how this starter kit helped your group.