Red wigglers squirm between brown leaves and green vegetable parts as Matt Giese lifts the lid of a wooden box on stilts.
The worm composting bin's surface is alive with beings turning discarded organic material into nutrient-rich food for the rows at Templeton Hills Community Farm. Castings fall out of the bottom of the bin, ready to become the compost tea that Farm Manager Giese swears by.
Although he used to get it from his neighbor, who owns Red Frog Compost Teas, Giese is learning and attempting to make his own, thanks to some tips from that very same neighbor. Coming up on its one-year anniversary in February, the farm between Templeton Hills Adventist School and the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Templeton Hills Road has been an educational experience for Giese, Pastor Zac Page, and all of the community and church volunteers who've made it a reality.
"We hear parents saying, 'Yeah I got my kids to eat vegetables for the first time because they knew where it came from,'" Page said. "It gives them some excitedness about vegetables and food and where it came from. ... That's what it's really about for us here. The goal is just to contribute to people's lives."
Children pick peppers during a volunteer day at Templeton Hills Community Farm, which is open every Sunday to volunteers. The farm gets volunteers of all skill sets every Sunday and is willing to teach people what they'd like to learn. Eventually, Giese said he'd like to have volunteers more often and be able to teach classes to children and families about growing a garden.