Common Roots Farm
September 2019
Become a Partner Farmer
Jenny works with her partner in a flower Jenny Hernandez
Inclusion Specialist

Experience the rush of connecting with someone new. Deepen your ability to communicate, collaborate, garden, listen, and empathize. Build skills related to teaching; social skills; special education; occupational, physical, horticultural, and speech therapy; farming and gardening; and eco-education in a community of people who care about each other.

Common Roots Farm is looking for gentle, curious, and kind volunteers who are inspired by the opportunity to care for the earth and all it’s beings. Partner Farmers are interested in and responsible for farming and gardening in partnership with a differently-abled farmers. As a Partner Farmer, you will lead small groups or farm one-to-one with a partner. Partner Farmers work together to make both plants and friendships flourish. We build connections with new people and with the earth.

To volunteer, contact me at
Our Shared Garden
Sylvia demonstrates for Shared Adventures Sylvia Grape

Our Shared Garden is a weekly program offered by Shared Adventures, the outdoor disability organization founded by Foster Andersen, a Santa Cruz local. Every Thursday, individuals from the New Perspectives and Hope Services day programs come to the farm and work in our raised bed area with Jenny Hernandez and me, stewards of the raised bed area. Many of these people would be otherwise attending day programs indoors, so the opportunity to work outside is a blessing.

I recently took the position of lead for Shared Adventure’s Our Shared Garden and since then, I’ve been facilitating activities spanning from general garden maintenance to more intricate tasks, such as trellising tomatoes and making bouquets. My background in music lends itself to integrating jam sessions with the program, inviting individuals to be brave and spontaneous as they come up with songs. Jenny, our farm’s inclusion specialist, concentrates on creative solutions to make the space more inclusive and accessible.

With the summer wrapping up, Our Shared Garden will be making bed number signs, harvesting vegetables, and preparing the beds for a fresh round of planting and cover cropping. As more infrastructure is established, Our Shared Garden looks forward to having an additional day of programs each week at Common Roots Farm.
Two Posies at the farm
Tomoko and Norie holding cut flowers that they will use in bouquets, table arrangements, or craft Norie Ishiro

Common Roots Farm grows beautiful flowers sustainably and with a social mission. Any flower has the power to make people smile, and we believe the flowers grown at the farm and cared for by volunteers who contribute their energy to make others happy can touch people’s hearts and bring them happiness.

Tomoko and I want to become a vehicle to connect the farm and the farm’s flowers to people. By adding extra value to the flowers, such as turning them into bouquets, table arrangements, and craft items, we think that the flowers grown at Common Roots Farm become more meaningful and have a better chance of reaching a wider range of people.

Through our activities, we hope to become a positive example of a successful microenterprise at the farm, working with people with disabilities to grow, tend, harvest, and prepare cut flowers and flower products. On Tuesdays and Fridays, you will find us at the farm, helping harvest focal and filler flowers for our market bouquets. The farm’s CSA customers receive ultra-fresh seasonal flowers, grown entirely without pesticides.

We look forward to having flower arranging, wreath making, and other workshops for our volunteers in the coming winter months.
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