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Garden Apprentice at Good Cheer Food Bank and Thrift - 17613

Job Title: 
Garden Apprentice
Good Cheer Food Bank and Thrift
2812 Grimm Rd
98260 Langley , WA ,
US
Job Type: 
Internship
Employment Type: 
Full-Time
Job Description: 

Good Cheer Food Bank serves the South end of Whidbey Island. We are a choice-based food bank and focus on providing whole foods and fresh produce. Our programs are funded primarily by the revenues from two thrift stores. We are located in a rural community, approximately 1.5 hours from Seattle. Our garden program focuses on growing produce for the fall, winter and spring when produce donations are at their lowest.

We cultivate 1.25 acres on 2 sites, following organic practices and low- to no-till principles. We are not mechanized and everything is done by hand: silage tarps and a mower allow us to manage cover crops and other organic matter, materials are moved with wheelbarrows, and beds are broadforked and shaped with rakes.

The garden team is composed of 4 individuals: the garden coordinator (Stephanie), garden team lead (Carlee), and two seasonal team members. We are currently hiring the 2023 Garden/Farm Apprentices. Previous experience on a farm is not necessary, but applicants must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in our food system and a strong understanding of the physical nature of farming.

Even though this apprenticeship is at a food bank, this is a farm/garden position. Work days will be spent in the field, not working directly with people in the food bank.

Apprenticeship Term and Time Commitment:
-Full Season Apprenticeship: Flexible March or April, through October
-Summer Apprenticeship: Flexible May/ early June, through September
-40 hours per week, Monday-Friday with weekend responsibilities one weekend per month

Education:
In accordance with the Washington State Farm Internship Project, the program will include lessons and supplemental experiences to explore the social aspects of farming. You will be offered approximately 1 class per month, led by the Garden Coordinator or partnering community organization. We try to schedule one field trip every other month. You will be given time during the work week to pursue areas of interest, complete an independent project, and plan/plant a designated growing space. A curriculum list will be provided upon a hiring decision, or upon request.

Compensation:
-Expected to be $1,800 per month, but the 2023 budget hasn’t been officially approved yet.
-Off-site housing, (typically in the form of a homestay: at a minimum, apprentices will have a private room in a shared house with access to shared living spaces.)
-Food from the gardens and the food bank
-7 paid vacation/ personal days and paid sick days, as needed

Questions can be directed to garden@goodcheer.org or by leaving a message at 360-221-0130. See also: goodcheer.org; goodcheergarden.wordpress.com (this site is a little out of date…)

Duties & Responsibilities: 

You will be included in all aspects of farm management in order to fully understand the flexibility, forethought, and stamina a full season requires. We are a small crew, so tasks are often performed as a team but you can expect to occasionally work independently. Primary responsibilities include:
-Field Work: Seeding, transplanting, irrigation, plant and soil care
-Harvesting, washing, and packing
-Record keeping
-Farm maintenance - weeding, mowing, composting, and keeping a clean workplace
-Volunteer coordination and community outreach

As a nonprofit, we rely on volunteers so expect to be around people more than on a typical farm. You will also have an opportunity to work in the food bank and donation center to better understand how our organization functions and to get to know the community, but this is not the main focus of this position.

Education & Experience: 

-Physical and mental strength to perform hard, manual labor outdoors in all weather conditions
-Ability to lift, carry, and drag at least 50 lbs
-Strong initiative and strong, self-motivated work ethic
-Positive attitude, and ability to function as a supportive team member
-Interest in connecting with and supporting the community
-Previous farm or garden experience is preferred, but not required

Application Instructions: 

Please email the following materials to Stephanie and Carlee at garden@goodcheer.org:
a brief personal summary;
a current resume, or outline of work experience and education;
answers to the supplemental questions outlined below;
three references that can speak to your personal character, work ethic, or agricultural experience.
We will begin reviewing applications January 2nd 2023, and begin the interview process the week of January 9th. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but priority will be given to applications received by 1/2/2023.

Supplemental Questions:
1.) Why do you want to farm, and what has led you to apply for this apprenticeship? What do you hope to gain from this experience?
1a.) If you do not have one full season of farming experience, please also describe the experiences and skills that will help you learn and excel during the apprenticeship.

2.) What is something related to agriculture that you are interested in learning more about?

3.) Farming is physically hard mentally hard, and involves performing repetitive tasks in all kinds of weather. Describe how you will remain engaged and keep boredom or frustration at bay during the season.

Job Categories: 
Farming/Agriculture