Harvest Leader Manual

  Harvest: assistants 1

Harvest Leaders work closely with the Harvest Director to be clear about which of the tasks are their responsibility. Gather everything that is needed to successfully lead the harvest. Check-in with the Harvest Director to determine if there is anything unusual about the property. Typically, an aerial map created by the Harvest Director showing location, parking areas, harvesting areas and paths of travel, will be shared with Harvest Leaders and other volunteers needing this information. Familiarize yourself with the types and varieties of fruit and review all location information to ensure you are ready for the harvest. Ask if something is not clear.

When roster slots for the harvest are filled, download a copy of the Harvest Roster Packet from the website. The information typically needed is the harvest information (owner’s name & address), roster, wait list, assistants list, donation form, and ladder scores if necessary. Do not print the volunteer roster until the harvest is closed since the roster could change after you print it. Harvest Leaders are expected to print and bring the packet and a couple of liability release waivers for harvests that they are leading.

Harvest Assistants

The list of volunteers who have signed up as harvest assistants is included on the roster. You will instruct them to arrive early and check in with you. Email addresses are on the roster so please contact harvest assistants before the harvest with instructions and let them know when to arrive. A template for this email can be found linked on the Leaders Resources page and the Documents page. Assistants are not expected to spend more than 30 minutes assisting so they have ample time to also pick. On rare occasions, volunteers may spend all of their time assisting and, when this is the case, they may get produce directly from the donation boxes at the end of the harvest. The assistants’ jobs are designed to be specific and well-defined so that they can be assigned and explained at the harvest. Typically, all harvest assistants should arrive 20-30 minutes early. The following list includes the instructions to give to assistants. Not all of these may be needed, depending on the size of the harvest and the crop.

Parking: Assistants direct cars to the parking area and ensure orderly parking. This may mean asking volunteers to reposition their cars. Explain the parking plan. Explain any special considerations or concerns.

Check-in and roster: Assistants mark off volunteers on the roster as they check in. This is the most complicated of the assignments. There are several details that are necessary to having a good record of the attendance:

  • Greet the volunteer and ask for the last name. Notice that the second column of the roster lists the number of previous harvests for that volunteer. Those volunteers that have ‘First Harvest’ may need more explanation about the procedure.
  • For volunteers that are listed on the roster, put a check mark in the 'Checked in' space on the row with the volunteer's name. Add a number for minors that are accompanying the volunteer. If the volunteer’s row says [no email] ask them if they want us to add an email address to the database.
  • If volunteers arrive who are not on the roster tell them that registration and sign up for the harvest are required. Have them leave the line to get a temporary volunteer registration form to fill out and then return to the line to hand in the form. If they say they are already registered volunteers, but are not on the roster, they still must fill out the volunteer registration form and hand it in. This is also a liability release waiver. Mark on the form that they say they are already registered.
  • Direct the volunteer to the waiting area for harvest orientation.
  • If questions arise about eligibility to take food home, tell the volunteer that it is self-declaration. Volunteers may take home food to feed children or homeless, unemployed, elderly or low-income individuals. There are no forms to fill out. If the volunteer feels they fit one or more of those categories, they may take home up to half of what they harvest.



The harvest roster:
Can be printed any time before the harvest.
May have changes even after the harvest is closed.
Does not distinguish those that have signed up to assist.
Harvest assistants:
Cannot be contacted before the harvest.
Are generally given instructions about when to arrive by the harvest leader if they need to be there early.
Can arrive late if they are assigned to the donation station.
Parking assistants:
Must have a current Oregon drivers license.
Are usually assigned in shifts for the entire harvest.
May have to be assertive in directing volunteers.
Check in assistants:
Fill out forms for pickers who have not signed up for the harvest online.
Verify that pickers have brought the correct containers.
Greet pickers and mark off who attends the harvest.