January Volunteer of the Month - Chad Sumen

You need to be able to juggle a lot of different tasks when you volunteer at Veggielution. Juggling is not the only type of skills that volunteers bring with them to the farm. Chad Sumen who is January's volunteer of the month is originally from Los Angeles and trained to be in the circus. Chad is currently a freshman at San Jose State University majoring in industrial design. He loves to do ceramics and go hiking when he’s not studying for school or at the farm. 

Chad came to the farm looking for a place to help grow vegetables in his freetime. His friend introduced him to Veggielution while chatting about what where he could find a place to get his hands dirty. He has helped on the farm doing various tasks. Chad started with transplanting gypsy broccoli and curly kale and then moved up to harvesting tomatoes and eggplants, as well as mulching the walkways.

Ever since his first visit transplanting brassicas during a Saturday workday, he’s been hooked. When asked what Veggielution meant to him he replied, “it means growing the future, and it’s more than a farm.” He loves coming here to socialize with such a diverse community of individuals. “It’s a place I come to so I relieve some stress. There is always something new and exciting to do on the farm. Overall, it is just a really awesome and fun place to hang out.”

When asked what his favorite crop was he said he like almost all of them but, “definitely not kale, but I’d have to say I love spending time with the habanero crop.”

Tadashi Oguchi, our star farmhand at Veggielution states: “Chad has been such a dedicated volunteer! It’s a pleasure having him here because he’s so hardworking and inquisitive. It’s always fun talking to him about his hobbies of pottery and acrobatics, as well as learning about his family back in southern California who also have their own little backyard garden! I’m very happy he’s interested in our upcoming workday leader classes, because he’s going to be such a great addition to the team!”

Workday Leaders help Veggielution facilitate other volunteers during our weekly workdays and work on all sorts of other projects around the farm. We encourage leadership in all volunteers, but Workday Leaders are asked to commit to an ongoing role and become a more experienced member of the farm team. Workday Leaders participate in ongoing trainings to build their leadership and agricultural skills. Bilingual language ability is strongly desired, as we are part of a large immigrant community that are reaching out to for more farm involvement. Check out more about being a workday leader here.

Thanks Chad for all your hard work, and maybe you’ll begin to love the kale crop in 2015.