Education is one of the foundational priorities of Petaluma Bounty. Since 2008, schools, youth groups, service clubs, and individuals have come out to the Bounty Community Farm to learn where their food comes from and how to grow it themselves.
The Bounty Educational Initiative has 3 priorities: 1) Improve participants’ relationship to food through hands-on experiences; 2) Increase individuals’ skills of food cultivation and preparation through workshops, volunteering, partnerships with job training agencies, schools, community organizers and community groups; and 3) Increase awareness of the true cost of food and foster engagement in community solutions.
In 2014, 8 Sonoma County Eco-Youth Corps had their first summer job experience on the farm, 2 youth were trained on the farm and 1 is now working on another local farm, 6 college students completed interships; 24 groups visited the farm including 2 Alternative Spring Break Trips, 5 schools, various service learning clubs, and 8 P.L.A.Y sessions. It is crucial to note that these participants are receiving education and experience, but they are providing their energy, enthusiasm and critical thinking skills.
The Bounty Community Farm offers weekly volunteer shifts for participants to work alongside our farm staff while growing food for their community. Also, we coordinate 6-10 interns and 8 trainees per year on sustainable farming. Monthly during the farming season, participants of P.L.A.Y., an obesity prevention partnership with Petaluma Health Center, comes out to the Bounty Community Farm to learn first-hand where their food comes from and how it is cultivated. Interns identify their own goals to ensure their experience is relevant to their interests. School groups are given a tour and provided an activity for hands-on learning.
With a flourishing internship program, innovative collaborations and more requests for school visits than we can accommodate, Petaluma Bounty seeks funding to expand educational initiatives, increase food literacy and motivate action toward community solutions. Specifically, by hiring an educator, Petaluma Bounty will increase field trips and service projects, the number of gleaning events that involve youth, bring more clinic patients out to Bounty Community Farm, the number of workshops, and expand content for key outreach initiatives.
For a more in-depth description of the various educational initiatives, please click on the links below.