Sara Schmunk found her way to Bounty Farm through a path of farmer-focused restaurants and environmental planning studies at SSU – and we couldn’t feel more fortunate. As one of our fall Farm Production interns, she has supported Katherine, Bounty Farm Manager, in planting, weeding, field maintenance, and a bevy of other farm-related projects. She also makes an amazing hummus (complete with miso and tahini, ask her for the recipe if you ever work with her at Bounty Farm). We sat down with Sara to talk farm-to-table restaurants, ways to stay comfortable while weeding, and her spirit crop (a hard choice).
Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from? What do you do now?
“Born and raised in Sacramento, currently a student at SSU in the Geography, Environment, and Planning department.”
What are your goals and where are you headed?
“My immediate goal is to finish my degree, and then find a job that I’m passionate about. As for my career, I want to do something that I enjoy but that also enables me to “give back” in some way – whether that be to individuals, the community, or the environment. So far, I’ve narrowed down my interests to geospatial technology (mapping – think Google maps) and/or something relating to the Earth’s natural environment – like climate change or studying volcanoes.”
How did you become interested in sustainable agriculture or community farming and why did you choose to intern us?
“I became interested through a couple of ways. One was through the restaurant world, specifically farm-to-table. I’m used to working in places where we get produce from local growers. I was surrounded by this in Sacramento, a “farm-to-fork” kind of city. I was also inspired by a few books focused on sustainable agriculture. These authors made me think about where my food is coming from, think more closely about how many weeks passed between when my food was harvested and when it made its way to my plate.
As for the internship, I was really drawn to the mission of Petaluma Bounty, that the first concern is with the community, that the farm is community-focused and caters to people who are low-income. I like the concept, mission, and how it’s executed.”
What does community farming mean to you?
“Farming that sustains and benefits the community.”
What are your favorite parts to your time at the Bounty? Anything that is the most challenging?
“I love being on the farm when it’s nice out, being able to work with my hands outside. The most challenging part is trying to find a comfortable position while planting or weeding (side note: we agreed that alternating between squatting and bending over seems to be the only way).”
Ok, last question. What is your “spirit crop?”
“Probably an onion. It has many layers.”
Thank you, Sara, for all of your hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication!