“I made new connections in this part of Sonoma County that kept me motivated and passionate,” she says.
By Elizabeth, Education & Engagement Coordinator
As the year comes to an end, so will my time on the farm. I have enjoyed being part of Petaluma Bounty, starting out as the Farm Assistant and then as the Education and Engagement Coordinator.
As the farm assistant, I got to take a closer look at agriculture and learn about everything it takes to keep this farm running. During my first winter, I saw week by week, well-seasoned volunteers join in farm projects that would help us prepare for a strong spring. We dove into the jungle of weeds in the strawberry beds to make sure they brought us loads of sweet strawberries to enjoy. That special attention is what helped us identify when crops needed extra protection from pests and weeds.
Later on, as the Education and Engagement Coordinator, I went on to share with students what they could do with Petaluma Bounty through volunteering or participating in service-learning projects. It was amazing to hear what students were learning in the classroom and how this experience will be woven into their work.
Using my background and professional expertise, I found ways to thread in restorative justice work at the farm as well. That meant holding space where our community felt safe and able to have important conversations. Oftentimes, these discussions revolved around the work we do at the farm to improve food insecurity and the role we have in our local food system. From the moment we prepare the soil in our fields and in the potting shed, we’re able to experience the beginnings that will nurture our body and community in the weeks and months to come. Unconsciously, we begin to connect to our fellow community members and watch how interconnected we are with one another.
It’s wild to look back at the past year and to reflect on all the events we held with such a positive and ambitious team. The glory in all of it has been watching seeds grow, enjoying the sweet smell of plant sale success, and laughing at the many puns made around farm produce. It was awe-inspiring to hear community members’ stories about what brought them to Petaluma Bounty and why they continue to support us. I made new connections in this part of Sonoma County that kept me motivated and passionate about working with the community.
I know the Bounty will be leaving its mark on me as I continue my own personal journey.
Elizabeth joined Petaluma Bounty as a farm assistant and became Education and Engagement Coordinator in mid-2021. She coordinated volunteers, staffed the Farmstand and the Bounty’s Walnut Park Farmers’ Market stand, posted on social media, and worked with the team on outreach events.