VINES is looking to stretch its reach this Wednesday with its third annual Farm Share yoga event.
The class is open to the public with a pay-what-you-can structure and all proceeds will directly support the VINES Farm Share program, which provides local produce to community members at a discount.
Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, Inc. (VINES) is a volunteer-led nonprofit organization that builds community gardens in the Binghamton area. VINES has expanded from one to 12 community gardens over the past 11 years, according to its website.
The organization, which began in 2007, runs its Farm Share program, a weekly subscription service that local residents can use to purchase a box of fresh vegetables from five local farms all within 60 miles of Binghamton. The group began its annual Farm Share yoga event to support this effort two years ago.
Kate Miller-Corcoran joined the VINES team in 2015 as the Farm Share program coordinator, but she also works closely with volunteers. According to Miller-Corcoran, the yoga event is designed to build community when it’s too cold to work on the gardens.
“We wanted to give our Farm Share members and members of the community a chance to come together during the winter,” she wrote in an email.
VINES hosts various events throughout the rest of the year, including a farm-to-table dinner in the spring that features locally grown produce. The Farm Share yoga event also allows the community members to meet and connect with each other, while supporting VINES and its programs.
“It seemed like it would be a great opportunity for some winter exercise and could also raise some funds for our Farm Share program as well as bring awareness to the program for people who have never heard of it,” Miller-Corcoran wrote.
Since its birth over a decade ago, VINES has become involved with the Binghamton community in many ways. The group now manages other programs such as the Binghamton Urban Farm, a summer youth employment program called Grow Binghamton and the Green Thumb Workshop series. Grow Binghamton is a six-week program that teaches anyone from the ages of 14 to 21 skills like how to maintain a farm and how to get involved in community service. The Green Thumb Workshops instruct on a variety of culinary and gardening topics through interactive activities taught by horticulture and nutrition experts from around the Binghamton area.
VINES gives members who are facing economic hardship a 25 to 50 percent discount off of their produce, partially supported by the proceeds from the yoga event, and the program also accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
The yoga class this Wednesday is an hour long and is taught by Tina Fetten, a yoga and stand-up paddleboard instructor and adjunct lecturer of health and wellness studies at Binghamton University. She also teaches at the Binghamton Zen Den on Chenango Street. This will be her third year teaching the Farm Share yoga event, which is designed for people of all levels of yoga experience.
Miller-Corcoran said that those who own their own yoga mats should bring them, as the event will have a limited number of provided mats. The event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 42 Chenango Street in the Library Lounge of The United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton. The snow date is Feb. 28.