LandPaths Partners with Sutter Family Medicine Residency

Category: Bayer Farm, Blog, branching out conservation for everyone, Community Garden, Community Resilience, Covid-19, Equity, Food Justice, Food Security, Stewardship, Volunteer

By LandPaths Staff

April 19, 2021

On a warm Friday afternoon at LandPaths’ Bayer Farm, a half a dozen residents from Sutter Family Medicine Residency program are weeding garden beds in preparation for new plantings. The workday is one of many events that have happened over the course of a multi-year partnership with LandPaths at Bayer Farm. Over the last five years, residents have done stewardship in the garden, offered free health information sessions in Spanish for anyone who wants it, and led workshops for youth that have them making smoothies using bike power, and learning about careers in medicine.  

Building reciprocal relationships, like this one with Sutter Family Medicine Residency, is key to our mission to foster a love of the land in Sonoma County. With our partners, and with integrity and honesty, we do what’s best for the community in a way that’s beneficial for all. Everyone belongs!

“There can be distrust between the community and the medical establishment” says Dr. Mariah Hansen from Sutter Family Medicine Residency, who leads the partnership and the program. “Bayer Farm is a place where people from the community feel safe and this is a way to connect with patients outside of the exam room.”  

Hansen also has praise for LandPaths’ Bilingual Garden Specialist Jonathan Bravo, who has been “an amazing bridge between the community and the doctors.” According to Dr. Hansen, the partnership is a chance for residents to learn from the wisdom of their patients, which helps shape how the doctors show up for people from BIPOC communities where there is a historical distrust and trauma around the medical establishment.  

During the Friday session, residents are also conducting “charlas” at the picnic tables under the oak trees, chatting with families and individuals to answer any questions they have about Covid and/or mental health. There is someone available to book Covid vaccine appointments right there on the spot for anyone interested.  

LandPaths’ Bilingual Garden Specialist Jonathan Bravo at Bayer Farm with Dr. Mariah Hansen from Sutter Family Medicine Residency.
Sutter Family Medicine 2nd Year Resident Desi Carmen works in the garden at Bayer Farm.

Desi Carmen, a second-year resident at Sutter, is out digging in the soil for the afternoon work session in the garden. She’s pulling up a wheelbarrow’s worth of weeds, and helps to prep the soil for plantings of tomatoes and three sisters (squash, beans, corn). Her day at Bayer has provided a sense of normalcy after a morning at the hospital, where she’d discharged two patients with Covid-19.  

“Every time we come out here it’s grounding literally and figuratively,” says Carmen. “The space, the neighborhood, being connected to the earth, feels like coming back home.”

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