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URBAN AGRICULTURE AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Sole Food Street Farms 2019 Seasonal Volunteer Program

Positions: Seasonal Volunteer
Terms: season-long volunteers with $400/month stipend plus 50% discount produce (see below)
Organization: Sole Food Farms
Location: Vancouver, BC (in and around Downtown Eastside)

A season-long volunteer position at Sole Food Street Farms is for individuals with a serious interest in urban agriculture and social enterprise. The program provides each participant with the opportunity to spend a season working on an urban farming operation. Most of the education will be through hands-on experience and the skills learned will be focused on agriculture and social sustainability in an urban context.

About Sole Food Street Farms

Sole Food is a Vancouver, B.C.-based social enterprise that transforms vacant urban land into street farms that grow artisan quality fruits and vegetables. Our mission is to empower individuals with limited resources by providing jobs, agricultural training and inclusion in a supportive community of farmers and food lovers.

Sole Food Street Farms is in its tenth year of operation with two and a half acres of land in production, 25 employees, and over 40,000 lbs. of food produced annually. We have four farm sites in and around the Downtown Eastside, including a privately owned parking lot and three city-owned brownfields. We are modelling innovative ways of growing food in vacant urban spaces and in abandoned lots with contaminated soils. Our approach is reenvisioning and repurposing vacant lands to improve the food security of our local communities, while providing meaningful employment for people who face systemic barriers to accessing and maintaining traditional employment.

What does being a seasonal volunteer at Sole Food mean?

We have a diverse and innovative urban farming operation, which requires a wide range of skills: greenhouse seedling production, field planting, weeding, harvesting, post-harvest processing, preparing restaurant orders, serving our CSA shareholders and building and repairing infrastructure. You don’t need to have any background in farming or gardening but you should be prepared for physically demanding work performed in all types of weather.

We aim to provide you with a well-rounded training in urban bio-intensive agriculture, farm operations and expect you to pursue this learning. Besides the informal training that happens each day we will provide monthly seminars on various topics and opportunities for further learning off the farm.

Work Schedule

  • The program begins Monday, April 29, 2019 and ends Friday, October 4, 2019. Your time commitment is approx. 24 hours/week, Monday through Friday with Fridays being mandatory.
  • One volunteer will be asked to work Trout Lake Farmers’ Market and their work days will be Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • One volunteer will be asked to be the Processing Assistant/CSA Assistant and will work Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • There will be weeks at the start of the season where days are very short and weeks in the middle of the season when days are very long.
  • The midseason work schedule starts at 6:30am with a half-hour lunch break and we aim to end by 3:00 pm every day. The exception may be on harvest days or for special projects when we can start as early as 6:30am and work as late as 5 pm.
  • We will go over the duties, classes, and chore schedule at the beginning of the season.
  • Be punctual; be prepared to work at the designated time, with the necessary tools, and proper clothing. Closed toed shoes are required at all time on the farm and at the farmers’ market.
  • A note about the seasonal volunteer program: five months is a short time to learn about urban farming. Please make the most of this time and consider it a serious commitment of your time. You may request up to three days off during the season. In excess of those three days, we expect that you make up the time that you miss. Two weeks advance notice is required for time off requests.
  • You will need rain gear, rubber boots, a sun hat, and a water bottle.

Compensation

The volunteer stipend is $400/month and we offer a 50% discount off of produce at any of our farmers’ market stands. Stipends are distributed the last Friday of the month.

Our ideal candidate has:

  • Physical ability to carry out farm tasks (must be able to lift 50 lbs)
  • Lots of energy, highly motivated, and a mind for efficiency
  • Open and positive communication skills and attitude
  • Interest in both the social and farming aspects of Sole Food’s mission
  • Flexibility and a sense of humour!

To Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter that includes answers to the following questions:

How does an agricultural experience such as this fit in with your future plans?

What physical limitations might you have in performing farm tasks (bending over for long stretches, lifting, pushing heavy wheelbarrows)?

Can you commit to five months?

What other relevant skills do you have?

If you are interested in being the Processing Assistant/CSA Assistant or working the Trout Lake Farmers’ Market, please specify that in your cover letter.

Please email a completed application and resume to:
andrea@solefoodfarms.com

Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview.

When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at FoodWork.ca.
 

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Note: This posting is provided on an "As Is" basis and for general informational purposes only. People and Planet (also known as "FoodWork") is not responsible for the content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, legality, reliability, quality or suitability of this posting. We do not screen or endorse the organizations or individuals involved. If you decide to accept an offer of employment, volunteering or any other arrangement, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against injury, abuse, non-payment or any other loss. Please read our full Terms & Conditions.

Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jan 13 2019    ID: 50344