Veggielution Alumni: William Chen

William Chen, Farm Manager of Full Circle Farm Sunnyvale

William Chen, Farm Manager of Full Circle Farm Sunnyvale

Who are you?

My name is William Chen and I’m the farm manager at Full Circle Farm, Sunnyvale. This is a CSA non-profit. We try to show the community organic farming and urban farming, showing everybody what the food system should be – instead of what it is right now. And, provide organic, healthy food to the community.

I was an intern [at Veggielution]. First, I was a volunteer and then I became an intern. This was back in 2010. That was when I first started learning about growing organic food. Before I was just interested in farming and not knowing why I even liked it.

What was your biggest take-away from the experience at Veggielution?

The community aspect that the urban farming brings. That was best thing I took away from it. How Mark can lead a group of people and show them what they’re capable of and empowering them by like providing them with a workday leader position and that training. When you know that stuff, you end up training people the week after and you just become a better teacher and become a better community member. People know you because you’re a workday leader.

What's the top reason you'd give someone to come out?

Growing your own food and being able to teach people how to grow their own food. It’s a big deal. It’s really empowering. A lot of people forget that it takes this kind of effort to provide this stuff at the supermarket – they take it for granted and they lose that connection. Now you just become a hamster on a wheel and someone else is feeding you.

It’s so fulfilling. The community you find out there at Veggielution, the support, and the desire to be a team to improve and to the make the farm work – that’s what drew me to the farm. Growing vegetables? You can learn to grow vegetables by reading the back of a seed packet. How do you make that experience worthy of having people coming back? That’s why, that aspect is what drew me there and is what I’d tell people to go there for.

It helped me discover myself and a passion in life.