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Author's profile photo Frank Neumann

A day volunteering at a sustainable, local farm


As part of SAP’s Month of Service, a group of 15 of us volunteered at Full Circle Farm. This is the Urban Education Farm project of Sustainable Community Gardens, a community-based nonprofit corporation dedicated to the renewal of local, sustainable food systems. –

It’s safe to say that prior to our arrival at the farm, none of the volunteers knew that there is a farm so close to the center of Silicon Valley and approximately just 6 miles away from our Sunnyvale, CA office.

We arrived at the farm at 10 a.m. The colleagues from the San Francisco, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale offices were joined by Alex Atzberger (President, Ariba) who was here from New York on a business trip and squeezed in a set of garden work clothes in his carry-on bag.


Our job for the day was to extend the farm by transforming a fallow area into an additional field to grow produce. This required a variety of activities like mulching the path among the planting beds, planting, and building protection against the malicious squirrels that love to dig in the planting beds.

The farm operations are, in part, financed by selling produce to neighbors and Bay Area restaurants that prefer to use local organic ingredients.


It was rewarding to see our work help transform a plain area of sand to a planting field. It was also a nice change to be out on a sunny day doing physical work, instead of being in the office where everything happens virtually on the computer screen.


At the start, I felt I could work outdoors all day, but after three hours all of us were ready to go back to our virtual work (to get some rest!). However, some of us will be back on weekends at the farm to share the experience with their family and friends.

I would like to thank my colleagues for joining me on this endeavor. Thanks also to Alex Atzberger for making time to join the team on the project. It was very encouraging for all volunteers to see that the entire company, at all levels, is getting involved hands-on with Month of Service to make a difference.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice write up Frank, thank you! The job of protecting pea plants and getting our hands dirty (literally) was fun, and sharing the moments with our colleagues all the more rewarding.