Some things in life are inevitable like compost, weeds, and change. This month, we say a fond farewell to two powerhouse women who have been central to the growth and success of our programs.
The Bounty staff is a small team of change-makers, facilitators, data crunchers, content creators, capacity builders, and farmers. The intent of this blog is to appreciate Sarah and Kaleigh’s contributions to the Bounty and express gratitude.
Sarah has been with the Bounty for over three years. She started out as a volunteer Bounty Hunters Coordinator. She then took over the Farmers’ Market LIFE Coordinator position and the back end of our sliding-scale farm stand and CSA program.
Sarah likes creating structure, protocols, and spreadsheets. She has an ethic of excellence that carries through all aspects of her work. Often a stickler for details, everyone was relieved to hand over initiatives to Sarah expert hands. She formalized tasks and left a paper trail that would make any auditor proud. Sarah will still be working with us remotely from Iowa where she is moving with her family. She will also be finishing her Master’s thesis in Environmental Policy.
Kaleigh started collaborating with the Bounty while completing her AmeriCorps commitment at the Forestville Health Center. She implemented the start-up of their sliding scale farm stand also known as the Farmacy. Kaleigh was hired on as the Education and Engagement Coordinator and brought enthusiasm, positivity and excellence to that role for the past two seasons.
If you’ve been to the farm, you’ve likely been greeted by Kaleigh as she wanted everyone to feel welcome and invested in our community farm. Kaleigh coordinated field trips and the ALIVE program alongside several interns and dedicated volunteers, and she created beautiful content for Bounty social media, website, newsletters and our amazing annual report. Kaleigh met challenges with gusto and would often respond to vague requests/ideas with, “Let me try something and get back to you.” She would then deliver a beautiful piece of work.
Kaleigh had been commuting from Oakland and is now consolidating her life in Oakland with her partner and new pup. She promises to visit regularly but first looks forward to having a few free weekends.
In her own words, “I will try to sum up two seasons of Petaluma Bounty, but anyone who has found themselves entirely wrapped up in the love of their work knows they could never truly articulate what can only be described as the “it” that attracted them and kept them captivated. Maybe “it” is the farm, the wholly alive core central to building up our local food system. Or the conversations around critical questions of justice and stewardship, collective action, listening and responding to one another.”
“It’s in the face of a worn-out volunteer who found solace while pulling mallow. In the way the light hits Sonoma Mountain, and how it hit during rainstorms, fires, and fog. Even in the midst of what we have fondly called “Kindergarten Mania” — when 45+ kindergarten students descend upon the farm for an experiential, exploratory, educational farm adventure (read: field trip). It’s in hugs and tears, in the pozole we ate around the table and the quiet meditation of a learning session that sprawled and unwound itself into an evening spent weeding our carrot and lettuce beds under a Petaluma golden hour. It’s always in those golden hours. Someone once told me “nobody leaves the Bounty family,” and that’s true for me and for so many others. Thank you to all who have been part of the magic and the work. I look forward to seeing everyone — volunteers, past interns, ALIVE members, and Bounty Bag CSA members — on the farm for events in months and years to come.”
Both these people have left lasting impacts on our programs, community, and team. The fruit of their efforts will be harvested for seasons to come and hopefully their experiences with the Bounty community have planted seeds in their hearts to continue the important work of community building and systems change where ever they may go.
Good luck and Kaleigh and Sarah and don’t forget to write or visit!