December 2018 Staff Spotlight - Dave Chappell

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What’s your favorite thing about working at SFBFS? Primarily, I like working with a dedicated team of co-workers who are really like family in many ways. Additionally, I love the interaction I have with the public while I am in the garden teaching classes or distributing produce. The feeling of doing something real and tangible in sharing food is a sacred.

What does a typical workday at SFBFS look like for you?

When maintaining a garden, or any living landscape, it’s critical that you pay attention to what’s happening in the environment you are managing. So, every day starts off with touring the garden and looking to see what kind of activity is taking place. That includes plant, insect, vertebrate, sunlight and water inspections. Often, what I see dictates what I might do next. It could be weeding, fertilizing, pruning, watering, planting or anything to support any of those things. I have to be flexible.

I also have responsibilities that tie me to my desk, as all of us do. That typically comes about later in the morning or on rainy days. I spend time researching websites from agricultural companies or organizations. It’s good to keep up if you can!


I often spend some time during the day being an ambassador of sorts for people who might walk into the garden. Some want information or tips, and others just to yak about their grandfather’s garden or their own. Many people just need someone to talk to, so that’s part of it too. It’s never a dull moment, really

What inspires you in supporting the SFBFS mission and culture?

Again, the culture of service to the community in this company drives my inspiration. Being Big Hearted, All-in and Solution focused requires lots of cooperation amongst our team and our agencies. The notion of helping people out, as well as up, takes dedication. I see it all around, and the community sees it too. That is a good thing to be part of.

What is your favorite pastime?

I spend a lot of my off time seeking out good live music! I also keep an eye out for inspiration in landscaping, design and innovation. That is true while on my bike, out hiking or on a road trip where we get to see so much! I am always taking photos of plants, bugs and people. My wife and I are blessed with lots of friends and acquaintances, so we are always on the go.

What is your favorite fruit or veggie and why?

My favorite fruits are pears and tomatoes! I absolutely love a fresh, cool, ripe pear! There is nothing like them!

I also love slicing into a big ol’ ripe tomato for a sandwich, burger or a killer chef salad. Everyone loves Sungold mini-toms that are just so sweet you can’t even believe they are tomatoes!

As for vegetables, broccoli comes in first, although there are many I like. I’d never had fresh broccoli until ninth grade when I started hanging out with other (hippie) gardeners, and watching my grandmother grow it. It’s a staple at our house because it’s so tasty, but also is packed with nutritional value!