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ORGANIC FARMING

Contract Position Fall 2019

Position: Farm Worker/CSA Coordinator
Organization: Bluegrass Farm
Location: Jasper, south of Ottawa / near Smiths Falls/Merrickville, Ontario

Bluegrass Farm is a certified organic, mixed vegetable farm in Jasper, Ontario (15 minutes from Merrickville or Smiths Falls; 75 min from downtown Ottawa). We are a small family farm, now in our ninth year of organic vegetable production, and our sixth year farming on this property.

Our goal is to extend the season that local produce is available in our region. We operate an innovative system of 5 heated greenhouses to grow greens nearly year-round. We have offered CSA programs through the fall, winter and spring. We also deliver produce weekly from March - November to restaurant and retail customers in Ottawa and the surrounding area.

Our approach to farming is informed by our backgrounds in environmental studies; we are committed to soil and ecosystem health. Our business model is driven by continuous research and learning; we are always experimenting with new crops, growing techniques and methods for season extension. Our farm’s innovation and leadership has been recognized by the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, as well as grants from the Ontario Local Food Fund and the Eastern Ontario Development Program.

In 2019 we are focused mainly on greens production in our 1/4 acre of heated greenhouse space, plus about one acre of field crops. Our produce is marketed through our CSA, to food stores and restaurants, and at a farmers' market.

We are looking for someone to join our team this fall to help with general farm operations, to manage our Fall CSA pick-ups, and also to help develop new marketing outlets.

Main Duties:

  • Greenhouse and field production: seeding, transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding. Greenhouse operations and maintenance (row cover, ventilation, heating).

  • Harvest and prep orders: harvest, wash and pack produce for weekly CSA boxes, wholesale orders and farmers' market.

  • CSA Management: deliver Fall CSA boxes weekly to Ottawa and/or other locations (Oct-Dec); oversee CSA pick-ups; responsible for weekly newsletters and routine communications with members.

  • Market research and development: Conduct customer survey on new marketing options; research existing local food options in Ottawa and other areas; case studies of collaborative marketing outlets for local food (eg. Food Hubs, multi-farm CSA programs, buying clubs). Use input to propose new marketing options for our farm, and possibly collaborative options.

What we offer:

  • A great opportunity for someone wanting to learn more about small organic vegetable/greenhouse operations, as you will be exposed to all aspects of the business over the course of the season. We like our staff to understand not only the production side of the farm, but also the management and financial aspects.

  • A close working relationship with the farm managers offers the chance to participate in farm planning and decision-making. A small team means everyone is given responsibility, takes ownership of certain aspects, and plays a key role in the farm's success.

  • We care about your learning and will work with you to set goals for your time here. We are also open to staff starting their own on-farm project, which could include beekeeping, chickens, value-adding, or more. We will do our best to support projects that are in line with our farm goals.

  • The farm house is open for lunches and breaks, as well as access to our extensive resource library.

  • Salary will start at $14-15/hr depending on experience. The position is covered by WSIB and includes 4% vacation pay. Unpaid vacation can be taken, but must be arranged in advance so that it doesn't conflict with peak periods.

What we’re looking for:

  • At least one season of experience on a vegetable farm, or equivalent experience. Construction or tractor experience are also assets;

  • Ability to perform full days of physical labour outdoors in all weather conditions;

  • Someone with their own vehicle who is willing to make weekly deliveries to Ottawa and other local destinations (Kemptville, Almonte, Smiths Falls, Merrickville). We pay for your time and mileage expenses;

  • Willingness to take on a range of tasks, adaptable to changing circumstances, creativity and problem-solving skills;

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to keep detailed, organized records

  • Comfortable working as part of a team and independently; able to represent our business professionally with customers and the public;

  • Commitment to local food systems and sustainable food production;

  • Experience in marketing, market research, or project management is an asset;

  • Funding towards this position requires us to hire someone 30 or under, who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

The contract will start in August 2019 (start date flexible) and continue until December 20 2019. There is the possibility of extending the position into 2020. Work days are Monday to Friday, typically 8-4 but hours will shift slightly over the year with weather and daylight.

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to Leela Ramachandran at leela@bluegrassfarm.ca .

To learn more about our farm, please visit our website and blog at http://www.bluegrassfarm.ca.

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jul 15 2019    ID: 54183