Calaveras County’s farm to school community is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and connecting our youth and community to fresh, local, organic, seasonal food. We strive to teach our youth about sustainable food systems by providing experience-based education, improving neighborhood access to healthy food, and developing an economically viable, environmentally responsible farm at the high school. Calaveras High School is also a pioneer in the farm to cafeteria movement by supplying farm-fresh meals to students. We have a thriving Ag Department with classes teaching students about farming, construction, animal husbandry, and floral design. Our county has a close-knit group of garden educators who meet regularly and work hard to keep our farm to school movement thriving. Our mission statement is to promote and support healthy and sustainable lifestyles, youth development, community involvement, and self-reliance in schools and communities by teaching children and adults how to grow and prepare healthy food.
Calaveras High School’s farm is located right on campus, on a half acre of beautiful south facing slope. On this land we raise goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, steer, pigs, rabbits, turkeys, and honeybees. We grow organic annual fruit and veggies, perennial edibles, flowers, and medicinal and culinary herbs. Our farm is committed to organic, sustainable farming practices, and we use a no-till approach. We have one greenhouse (a second greenhouse to be built in 2019) to extend our growing season to produce enough food for sales to a local grocery store, farmers’ markets, and a CSA. The farm also contributes food to our on-site outdoor kitchen, where students from the crop production class cook farm-fresh meals every morning for their fellow students. We are very passionate about the power of regenerative agriculture to help heal our soils and our communities, and we hope to bring in a farmer who would like to practice regenerative farming or permaculture.
As garden manager and educator, this position requires a farmer who possesses a passion for educating young farmers and devotion to helping the earth and people heal by sustainably growing high-quality organic fruit and vegetables. The ideal candidate must be able to clearly exhibit a growth mindset, manage their time well, self-motivate, and understand the pace and work ethic required for successful production farming. Alongside the existing ag teacher, the farm educator will plan and facilitate crop production classes, maintain educational growing spaces, and assist with field trips or other events visiting the farm. If you have any questions, the ag teacher will be there to help you. We’re looking for an educator who is great at both working with youth and is knowledgeable about sustainable food systems.
This is a great opportunity for someone coming out of an internship or apprenticeship program, who would like to gain hands-on experience in farming. As the sole farmer, you will have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in all aspects of farming. You will be able to learn and hone your skills through hands-on practice, demonstration with students, and guidance from the ag teacher. This is a rare and exceptional opportunity to have access to free land, water, seeds, tools, fertilizer, and anything you may need, all while having free reign to experiment and grow what you want on the farm. You will grow as an organic farmer and gain experience in management. You have the opportunity to earn 100% of the profits that you make from selling produce or starts at the school, farmers’ markets, CSA, events, or local health food store. You will be able to earn as much as the work you put into the position. The baseline duties are that you maintain a fully productive farm and teach during class hours. During the summer when school is out, your sole responsibilities will be to maintain the farm so that it is fully producing when school starts back up in the fall. Any extra business ventures that you undertake are for your own earnings.
**This is a full-time position.
**All of your farming needs are financially provided for, and you determine your income based on your business endeavors.
**You may also receive a stipend from the hours you spend with students.
- Vegetable and fruit production: Individual execution and/or with the help of students to complete farming tasks. Tasks include greenhouse seeding and watering, crop rotation, planting, irrigation, pest and weed management, seed saving, composting, bed preparation, perennial crop maintenance, harvesting, and processing (cleaning and packing) the diverse crops we grow in the garden
- Orchard Care: Maintain the orchard. Tasks include pruning, harvesting, irrigation, new orchard planting, and pest and disease management.
- Meets regularly with the ag teacher to go over any questions, concerns, implementation ideas, etc.
- Gathers data on crop rotation, variety productivity, and sales
- Coordinates and communicates with local schools, farmers, parents, teachers, and principals to share produce, improve garden education, etc.
- Evaluates farm’s needs (seeds, fertilizer, tools, supplies, etc.) and coordinates with the ag teacher
- Ensures adherence to food safety practices
- Ensures the best possible crop success and product quality in the garden, and meets the production demands from the classroom kitchen as well as any value-add business plans
- During class hours (3-6h per week), creates engaging agriculture related educational activities to share with students including having them experience farming tasks
- Be present for events such as Field Trip Days at the Farm, FFA events, etc.
- Helps prepare and cleanup education spaces before and after each class
- Keep the farm a learning space - beautiful, clean, hazard-free, functional, engaging, and diverse
- CSA: The CSA has been running for a year. The farm could support up to 20 CSA members. This involves weekly communication with CSA members, recruiting new members, harvesting, packing boxes, and weekly delivery.
- Local health food store sales: The farm has been supplying our local health food store with produce and plant starts for a year. This involves communication with the store, harvesting, packing, and weekly delivery.
- Farmers’ Market: Our farm was very successful at our local farmers’ markets this past year. Our markets are May-Oct, one Thursday per month and one Saturday per week. This involves harvesting, packing, and booth setup and breakdown.
- Produce sales at CHS: You may set up a self-serve produce booth in the school office. Prices are labeled, and teachers leave money in the cash box.
- Spring and Fall plant sales at the high school
- Cooking or farming workshops for adults
- Maintain the farm’s website and facebook page to promote the CSA, sales, events, volunteer activities, etc.
- 2+ years of experience in sustainable agricultural systems
- A high school diploma or GED
- Valid driver’s license
- Ability to work long hours and lift items weighing up to 50 pounds
- Dependable, self-motivated, reliable, and organized
- Ability to work quickly, multi-task, collaborate, and be flexible on a daily basis
- General knowledge, interest, and experience in organic agriculture, food justice, nutrition, cooking, and youth development
- Ability to work well with minimal supervision
- Ability to communicate efficiently and effectively, verbally and written
- Ability to give and receive constructive feedback
- Small engine equipment operation
- Bachelor’s degree in related field
- Experience managing people
- Experience with sales or working with a CSA
- Experience educating children about the benefits of access, production, and consumption of local food
- Ability to relate, interact with, and empower people of all ages from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds
- Experience working with and forming positive relationships with youth
- Basic computer skills (internet, word processing, spreadsheets)
To apply, please send the following to CalaverasSchoolGardens@gmail.com :
- A cover letter that includes a couple of paragraphs about why you farm, what you have farmed, your interest in this position, and how you think this may help your future endeavors.
- Your resume.
- Your earliest available start date.
Application deadline: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Interviews will be held the second week of February.
Position begins on April 1, 2019, but this date is negotiable.