Welcome to our second Volunteer Spotlight! Coastal Roots Farm relies on a stellar team of volunteers to keep operations running smoothly both on the field and in the office. Our volunteers support a range of activities, from weeding to harvesting to event prep to administrative support. Along with regular volunteer hours each week we offer Volunteer Corps, a program that connects volunteers with three-month-long positions in areas like animal husbandry, communications, and food forestry. In this blog series we’ll feature one of our regular volunteers and share different ways to get your hands dirty with Coastal Roots Farm. Today, meet Garit Imhoff!
Not only is Garit an integral member of our Rise-and-Shine crew, he’s also a beloved fixture at Farm events, where he provides face painting and humor as Sugar Bear the Clown. Garit first visited the Farm more than four years ago, and has been a regular Rise-and-Shine volunteer for a year and a half. One of our most consistent early morning risers on Tuesday mornings, Garit has picked countless strawberries, sow dozens of beds, harvest bags of beans, feed the chickens, and so much more. When he’s not volunteering at Coastal Roots Farm, Garit works as a professional clown and musician at local farmer’s markets and festivals—kids will tell you that he’s got a special knack for balloon animals. Whether it’s at Rise and Shine, Farm & Hangout, or other community events, we can always count on Garit to educate, inspire, and bring smiles. He adds humor, humility, and a friendly face to the Farm, and we’re grateful to know him.
1. How and when did you get involved with the Farm?
About four-and-a-half years ago, I saw a listing for volunteering in the Encinitas events calendar. I came to a session [at the property] and got hooked.
2. What is your current role as a volunteer?
I come on Tuesday mornings to help on the Farm and have done some face painting for family events.
3. What do you find compelling about our work and mission?
The sense of community and fellowship. I love watching the organizations grow.
4. Why do you enjoy volunteering on the Farm?
I have met so many interesting people and I like learning more about cultivation. It’s a good vibe.
5. What is your favorite volunteer activity?
Trimming the beets and carrots and weeding the beds.
6. Tell us more!
– Where are you originally from?
Born in Chicago, but came to California when I was 2.
– How do you like to spend a weekend?
I do face painting and balloons at farmer’s markets.
– Favorite city you’ve visited/lived?
– Any interesting facts about yourself?
I am a world music teacher and play in an African and Indonesian music ensemble.
*Header photo by Tomoko Matsybayashi