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Position: Organic Gardens Assistant
Type: summer job / summer student position
Organization: rare Charitable Research Reserve
Location: Springbank Farm, Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo Region, Ontario

Organic Gardens Assistant

Are you looking for a rewarding summer job that supports food security and benefits the local community? As the Organic Gardens Assistant at rare’s Springbank Farm you will work on an organic agriculture project that does just that! While working outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, you will learn valuable skills, contribute to an important community project and meet a wide array of interesting people.

Supervised by and reporting to the Property, Facility and Garden Coordinator, you will be responsible for assisting with the management of a large organic vegetable garden and orchard, providing guidance to groups of volunteers of varying ages and skills, leading a weekly garden program for children attending rare’s Every Child Outdoors summer camp, general lawn care and maintenance of other gardens on the property, and other related duties as required.

Founded in 2001, the rare Charitable Research Reserve is a community-driven urban land trust, nature reserve and environmental institute with its headquarters and first three locations comprising over 900 acres within the Haldimand Tract that spans six miles on either side of the Grand River from source to mouth, land granted to Indigenous Peoples in 1784 to recognise their support for the British in the American Revolution. In Wellington County, rare is creating an Eramosa River Conservation Corridor to protect forever the river and its adjacent forests and uplands –– lands of the highest ecological significance and which are so far largely unaffected by direct human impact –– ensuring connectivity of spaces and survival of species in an increasingly and rapidly developing area. For all its properties, rare acknowledges and is grateful to all of the original stewards of the land. Understanding that this land has been rich in diverse Indigenous presence since time immemorial rare would like to honour and respect the sovereignty of both First Nations in the area: the Onkwehon:we Peoples of Six Nations of the Grand River and the Anishinaabe Peoples of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. In addition, rare acknowledges the Neutral people and earlier peoples for whom there is archaeological evidence on the property dating back 10,500 years, and also those Indigenous Peoples who currently live, work, play and learn in the urban landscape around the properties, such other self-identified and status First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • Physically demanding work in organic gardens including planting, pest management, weeding, mulching, watering, harvesting
  • Plant propagation in greenhouse
  • Successfully growing, harvesting and delivering thousands of pounds of organic produce to local food banks
  • Supervision and leadership of garden volunteers from corporate groups, schools, non-profits, and individual members of the community
  • Providing leadership to Food Bank clients and staff who assist in the 1 acre Springbank Food Bank gardens and orchard
  • Lawn and garden maintenance within the community gardens and at various rare facilities
  • Organization and maintenance of tools and equipment
  • Helping teach children attending rare’s Every Child Outdoors program about organic gardening with a hands on approach including plant care, fun facts, harvesting and tasting
  • Promoting rare’s vision at local events and on-site workshops

Required Qualifications:

  • Gardening experience
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions, including rain, intense heat and tolerate exposure to biting and crawling insects
  • Physically fit, able to lift 50lbs
  • Ability to use manual tools such as shovels, rakes, hoes, garden forks, wheelbarrows and powered equipment such as lawnmowers and weed trimmers
  • Demonstrated ability for team work and ability to work responsibly while unsupervised
  • Pleasant and approachable demeanor
  • Observant, specifically in relation to noticing gardens pests and problems and while monitoring garden volunteers
  • Valid G class driver’s license with a clean driver’s abstract and access to own vehicle for transporting self around rare’s property
  • Available Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm with an occasional Saturday or evening shift to staff special events

Eligibility Requirements set forth by funder, UN Green Spaces:

  • Registered as a full-time student in the previous academic year and intend to return to school full-time in the upcoming academic year
  • Between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at the time of intake/selection
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada;
  • Be legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations;

How to Apply

This is a 16 week contract starting on May 6th, 2019. Deadline to apply is Friday, March 22, 2019 at 4pm.

Please submit one (1) PDF document that includes a cover letter, résumé, 3 references and confirmation that you meet the eligibility requirements (references will not be contacted until you have been short-listed and informed) to Taryn Jarvis - Property, Facility and Gardens Coordinator


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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Feb 21 2019    ID: 51490