Work Teams

Experience ECHO's Impact First Hand

Want to be involved, but live too far away to come on a regular basis?
Organize a work team!

If you have experience with farming, heavy machinery, event planning, facilities maintenance, or other specialized skills, we can use your help.

Short-term work teams pack the biggest bang for your buck. When you organize a crew to bring to ECHO, you are providing us with a focused, committed team who is able to accomplish a staggering amount of work in a very short time.

Bring a team of 6-20+ people for a week or two and experience sustainable agriculture like never before! 

How It Works

  1. Fill out the work team request form
  2. The Volunteer Coordinator will reach out for more details, and to discuss particulars like housing
  3. Your request will be submitted to the Work Team Committee for review
  4. The Volunteer Coordinator will communicate the Committee’s decision and planned projects
  5. You and the members of your team will need to register as ECHO volunteers and sign the necessary waivers
  6. The Volunteer Coordinator will reach out 3-4 weeks prior to your scheduled trip to confirm and communicate logistics

Annual ECHO Calendar

Here are some of the things happening throughout the year around which you may want to schedule your work team’s visit.



Board Meeting


Global Food & Farm Festival

Volunteer Appreciation



Hurricane Preparedness


Intern Cohort Transition




Tropical Agriculture Development Course


Get Into Gardening Event


Annual International Agriculture Conference


Use our work team manual to plan your trip

Frequently Asked Questions

Work on the farm varies by season; but in the past, work teams have helped us:

    • Build small structures or replace/renovate facilities
    • Prepare the farm for different seasons, such as planting in the fall/winter, laying down cover crops and doing hurricane prep in the summer, and harvesting produce 
    • Prep for big events, such as the Global Food and Farm Festival in March and the International Agricultural Conference in November
    • Provide necessary labor for intensive improvement projects, such as maintaining the man-made mountain, cleaning out the ponds, laying down cover cloth for propagation’s shade house, etc
    • Disaster/clean up efforts - especially after big hurricanes like Irma in 2017 and Ian in 2022.

We do not require any specific skill base, but we are always looking for people who have experience with:

    • Building, carpentry, construction, electrical, plumbing, and mechanics (including small machines like golf carts and chainsaws, and diesel tractor mechanics)
    • Master gardening, small-scale farming, subsistence farming, mission work, etc
    • Event planning, marketing, social media, video production, graphic design, journalism

Expect to work outside in full to partial sun, doing medium to hard manual labor. 

    • Typical tasks include raking, pruning, mulching, weeding, harvesting, and cleaning. 
    • These tasks require the ability to walk/stand for long periods (8 hours a day), kneel, bend at the waist, and lift up to 25 lbs. 
    • You may be asked to use equipment such as pruners, handsaws, machetes, rakes, shovels, pitchforks, t-post pounders, sickles, hammers, leaf-blowers, or wire cutters. Instruction will be provided on all equipment.

While work teams typically help with big projects on the farm, it is possible to coordinate inside work for a team with enough advance notice. This type of work may be more clerical/administrative work, such as cleaning, filing, sorting, media/marketing work, folding newsletters/stuffing envelopes, cooking or preserving produce, providing set-up/tear-down for events, etc. Make sure to request inside work in the notes/comments section of the form, and state how many people will need lighter job options.

We do not require anything, but it is a good idea to have your tetanus shot up to date.

Find a full recommended packing list in the Work Team Manual

    • Personal items/Clothes: Bring work clothes that you don’t mind getting stained or ripped. Closed-toed shoes are required on the farm (tennis shoes or boots are recommended). Long pants, long shorts, t-shirts, long-sleeved overshirts, jacket, hat, sunglasses, bug spray, sunscreen, etc.
    • Tools/Equipment: If you have your own, you are welcome to bring: Gloves, pruners, handsaw, machete, chainsaws (and accompanying safety gear such as chaps, hard hat, eye protection, ear protection, etc). Some local teams have brought their own skid steers, tractors, and backhoes

Housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis (so put your requests in ASAP!). It is currently very limited and is definitely a deciding factor in whether or not we can accept your offer.

For volunteer teams, housing is $15 per person, per night plus tax. You will receive an invoice with your logistics email and will be able to settle it in the bookstore during your stay. If your organization holds tax exempt status, please provide your certificate to the Volunteer Coordinator during the planning phase.

Housing is located on ECHO’s campus and includes bedrooms/dormitories, full baths, fully functioning kitchen (with cooking utensils, coffee maker, toaster, stove, oven, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher), fully functioning laundry (full-sized washer / dryer and iron), and a shared living and dining space.

No, ECHO does not provide meals for volunteer work teams. We do stock tea and coffee, but you would be responsible for planning and providing meals for your team. There is a list of recommended close-by restaurants and grocery stores in our Work Team Manual

No, you are responsible for transportation for you and your team the entire time you are here.

Yes! You do not have to stay on campus to volunteer, but it does add another element of logistics to consider. You would be responsible for transportation back and forth from your accommodations to ECHO. (We are in a rural part of N Ft Myers, so you shouldn’t count on Ubering or walking to ECHO. We are off of a dangerous, two-lane highway with no sidewalks nearby.) Recommended close-by lodging options (including campgrounds) are in our Work Team Manual

  • No, unfortunately, we are not able to allow camping (RV or tents) on our property for legal reasons. There are several close-by campgrounds we recommend in the Work Team Manual, but remember you will also need to arrange for transportation back and forth from any campsite.

No, not at all! Being a local team is more streamlined and easier to schedule 🙂 Simply submit your work team request through the form above and mark “No” for “ECHO housing required?”

Just put in the date range you’re considering and make a note of that in the comments/notes section.

ECHO’s guest housing is not currently accessible by wheelchair, and there are not any pull bars in the showers/bathrooms. Working on the farm requires a certain level of physical strength and stamina for your safety. If you have someone with special accommodation needs, please reach out to the volunteer coordinator at with the particulars of your request.

Want to see lives changed?