Volunteers of the Month: Natalie Lazard and Steebalis Ramirez

October 26, 2017

CUESA’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. CUESA relies on volunteers to help with education programs, special events, public outreach, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to cultivate a sustainable food system. Learn more about volunteering and sign up here. Our next volunteer orientation is on January 10, 2018, at the Ferry Building.

CUESA’s Food Shed brings fun, interactive learning to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, with help from our education interns and volunteers. Since the start of summer on Saturdays, Food Shed interns Steebalis “Steebie” Ramirez (left) and Natalie Lazard (right) have helped teach hundreds of curious shoppers about sustainable agriculture.

Natalie came to CUESA interested in “talking with people about sustainable agricultural practices and environmental issues” and has “learned a lot about farmers markets and how nonprofits can help small farmers succeed.” Steebie was drawn to CUESA for the “atmosphere and energy that it has cultivated at the markets.”

They have educated visitors about the crucial role pollinators play in our food system (at times in a bee outfit!) and the importance of biodiversity in sustainable agriculture. “They have been instrumental in helping to develop our new exhibit about food waste, ‘Love Food? Stop Waste,’” says Education Programs Coordinator Tessa Kappe. “We are grateful for their dedication to the Food Shed and for the ripple effect of their many passionate conversations in the market.” Meet Natalie and Steebie.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Natalie: My interest in food stems from my love of cooking and experimenting with new ingredients and recipes.

Steebie: Food is sustenance. I think that it is important to have a deeper relationship to food and to appreciate everything that comes with enjoying a meal. My love for food started when I was younger and would help my mother prepare meals for our family.

CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t interning for CUESA?

Natalie: I am currently working on my undergraduate degree at SFSU in environmental studies while working at a small pie shop, Mission Pie. When I am not interning for CUESA, I enjoy hiking, traveling, and cooking.

Steebie: I am currently finishing the last semester of my undergrad degree. When I’m not at the market or at school, you can find me bartending at Cellarmaker Brewing.

CUESA: What is your favorite part about interning with CUESA?

Natalie: My favorite part about interning with CUESA has been getting to know the vendors at the farmers market and learning about new and diverse produce each week.

Steebie: I love getting to know the producers and being surrounding by beautiful produce and flowers at the market. I also love speaking to the many visitors about sustainable agriculture.

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?

Natalie: My favorite produce item at the market right now is pomegranates!

Steebie: I love the chilaquiles from Primavera! Insider tip: they sell half portions!