My path to joining the Petaluma Bounty Advisory Board started on a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr day of service at the Bounty Farm several years ago. My partner and I had just moved to the area and were looking for a way to get involved in the community, make some contributions, and meet people that shared our values. After volunteering at the Bounty farm on that day in 2014, I knew I had found a special place populated by amazing people doing good work. I kept coming back to volunteer on Saturday mornings and I learned a lot about farming – sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting – and the work that the Bounty does in our community.
After volunteering for a few years, I saw an opportunity to help the Bounty by taking over the flower farming with the help of a few other volunteers. This would allow the farm staff to focus on food production and would allow our team to grow a lucrative crop of flowers to help support the farm operations and Bounty programming. Just like locally grown food, local flowers have benefits to farms, customers, and the environment. Local flowers support pollinators such as butterflies and bees and can be a profitable product for a small scale local farm. Traditionally grown flowers are often flown in from afar with a high carbon cost, while our flowers at the Bounty beautify our local landscape and are grown with low environmental impact. Starting each year in July, we have beautiful bouquets at the Saturday farmers’ market.
By 2017, I had been volunteering on the farm regularly for a few years, getting more connected to the operations through the flower farming, and had attended Bounty fundraising events and plant sales, but I wanted to see if I could help the Bounty more. I had met some of the board members and was so impressed with the dedication and contributions. When I heard that they needed new board members I decided to apply and felt fortunate to be invited to join the ranks. It has been a privilege to work behind the scenes supporting the organization through strategic planning, fundraising, and events, or whatever Bounty needs of the Advisory Board.
There are so many other ways to support Petaluma Bounty such as through donations, shopping at the farmers’ market, or volunteering on the farm. I hope that others in our community will consider helping out by supporting Petaluma Bounty in whatever way you can. Come to the farm and be part of our team!