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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Folk benefit concert to support FARM Davis


Farm tour, dinner and live music at Watermelon Music

A folk benefit concert held at Watermelon Music on June 3 enabled the Davis community to learn about FARM Davis, an organization that actively works to help homeless people in the local community. The event featured live music from singer-songwriter Dave Nachmanoff, who is also passionate about helping others and sending a positive message through his music. Nachmanoff wanted to find a nonprofit in Davis to support as a way of motivating Davis residents to get involved and help change the world.

Robyn Waxman, the executive director of FARM Davis, has ideas and goals that align with Nachmanoff’s. Growing food and feeding homeless people is Waxman’s form of protest, a word that traditionally is associated with yelling and aggressive behavior.

“I was very interested in learning how to use my skill in design to bring people together, especially this next generation who is a much more quiet and subtle generation,” Waxman said. “I was always fascinated by ‘protest,’ and Wikipedia defines ‘protest’ as a public and forceful way to make change. I felt like, after the research, the word ‘forcefully’ was not really in the lexicon of how this generation of millennials operated, so we changed the definition to ‘productively.’”

Waxman continued to explain her definition of the word “protest” as a productive way to make change in the world rather than a forceful one. This definition enabled her to characterize her work as a form of protest — being active in a society that needs help. After deciding to donate her front yard to the cause, Waxman’s journey as part of the food justice cause was ignited; she grew 1,000 pounds of food during the first year and had an increasing number of organizations who needed food reach out to her.

“We’re trying to solve the problems of the larger Davis community, but at the same time we’re trying to balance it with the needs of our community to connect,” Waxman said. “What is key is to have the right person who understands what a community needs.”

Orhan Orgun, a professor of linguistics at UC Davis, began volunteering for FARM Davis in 2009 and eventually decided to become farm manager due to his passion for the movement.

For me personally, the food is what it’s really about. I do admire the political and community aspects, but feeding people is what motivates me. The number of people who depend on us for an essential component of their nutrition — for many, we are their only reliable source of fruit and vegetables — number in the hundreds,” Orgun said.

The enthusiasm for this cause is shared by Dave Nachmanoff, who strives to send similar messages through his music. He also hopes to encourage a more optimistic view of the world that will spark activism.

“There’s a general message that pervades in a lot of my songs that has to do with the importance of kindness and helping one another,” Nachmanoff said. “And that’s what they’re doing in FARM Davis. They’re not just talking about it; they’re actually doing it and I think that’s really inspiring.”

Tickets for the event included a tour of Waxman’s farm, a dinner and an inspiring musical performance. Jared Ingersol, the communications director for Nachmanoff, explained that those who attended supported an important cause and felt the effects of Nachmanoff’s music, which will hopefully inspire more community involvement.

Dave’s music reaches people across all backgrounds — he is eloquently able to cut through the noise, promoting compassion, celebrating the human condition and bringing people together through audience participation,” Ingersol said. “His music can make you think and tap your foot at the same time. His philosophy of life aligns perfectly with the mission of FARM Davis.”


Written By: Hadya Amin — city@theaggie.org


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