Student Farm Alumni Profile
Our Student Farm alumni go on to build careers in a variety of fields. We'll use this newsletter to share what they're up to! Nick Tamayo (History '19) was a volunteer, intern and Lead Student Farmer in the Ecological Garden during his time at UC Davis.
What are you doing now?
Currently the Garden Coordinator of the Robb Garden at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. The Robb Garden is a 1/3 acre educational garden and outdoor classroom, and third space for the students at UOP. As the coordinator for this garden, I work closely with several students community members to manage 35 annual beds and a small orchard of stone fruit varieties and citrus. Because there is no Agricultural program or degree at UOP, all of the students that I work with come from different educational backgrounds and come to the garden for different reasons. Students learn the basics of gardening: composting, soil and bed prep, seed propagation, fruit tree management, transplanting, harvesting to name just a few. We donate the majority of our produce to the campus pantry and hold a small market for the community around us, but students who work in the garden can harvest what they need from it at the end of each shift.
What kinds of lessons are you reflecting on now that you learned from the Student Farm?
I frequently reflect on lessons that I learned during my time at the Student Farm. I tried my best to channel Carol’s voice while I taught my student gardeners how to prune fruit trees and after we finished our last tree, I felt so grateful to have been a part of the Winter Pruning internship in the EG. Beside the many different gardening skills that I cultivated as an intern and as a Lead Student Farmer, the most important skill I learned at the Student Farm was trust in myself to try new things. I think the EG is a great space for people to learn how to take risks; for me, it was a risk simply to be in that space since I was a History major and was not supporting my experiences in the garden with any course load. When I got hired as a Lead, I felt like a fish out of water and everything I tried was to me, a leap of faith. Now I find myself trying to offer to the students that I work with, the same levels of support that I was given when I was in their place. Ag education was not a field that I expected to find myself in when I transferred to UC Davis, but it definitely is one that I was prepared to go into when I left it.
How can we stay connected with you and what you’re working on?
You can follow our garden progress and the work of our Sustainability office in addressing food insecurity and waste on the UOP campus by following us on Instagram at Sustaining Pacific