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TRANSITION TO ORGANIC

Position: Glenora Farm Field Hand
Employer: Glenora Farm
Location: Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC
Eligibility: 30 or younger (see below)

Position details: Full time, paid Field Hand (8 weeks + possibility of extension until December 2021 pending funding approval)

The Farm:

Glenora Farm is a 97 acre mixed transitioning-to-organic/Biodynamic farm on mostly sandy loam soils, consisting of 35 acres of pasture and hay fields, a flock of East Friesen dairy sheep, some Dexter beef cattle, chickens, rabbits, a 2 acre intensive mixed annual vegetable and perennial garden, 2 hoophouses, large compost facility, herb garden, and an onsite workshop program (weavery, beeswax candles, herb processing, cooking, woodwork etc.) which adds value to the garden produce through processing for sale as crafts, health products, and food products.

The Farm is owned and operated by the Ita Wegman Association of British Columbia for Curative Education and Social Therapy and is one of two Camphill Communities in Western Canada, where adults with Special Needs (Companions) live, work and learn together with their caregivers (Coworkers). The Farm and Gardens primarily serve the food needs of this onsite community of ~50 people. We market our products at the local farmers’ market, though a local online farmers’ marketing cooperative (Cow-op.ca), and to various local grocery stores, restaurants and food carts.

The Neighbourhood:

We’re located on relatively flat land, surrounded by trees, gentle hills, and small acreages. Within walking distance (2km) is a swimming lake (Keating Lake), hiking trails, a trailhead to the Trans Canada trail for endless walking/biking, and a corner store and cafe. In 6km you’ll be in downtown Duncan with great food, entertainment, shopping, daily needs such as post office, drug stores, public library etc., and other amenities (all subject to COVID restrictions). All around Duncan are river swimming holes, beaches, trails, wineries, micro breweries, and striking natural beauty. We're 65 Km from Victoria to the south, and 57 km to Nanaimo in the North.

Duties:

You will primarily work and learn alongside the Garden Manager, who brings 13 years experience in organic vegetable production. You will also work with a Garden Crew of 4-8 Coworkers and Companions, and the livestock Farmer. Main duties include:

  • Field prep, amendment application, seedling care, transplanting, irrigation, weed/pest/disease/fertility management, pruning and training greenhouse crops, mulching, cover cropping, harvest, post-harvest
  • Compost turning and spreading
  • Applying Biodynamic Preparations
  • Small equipment and hand tool operation (including use of a walk-behind tractor).
  • Infrastructure and tool maintenance, repair and improvements
  • Design/build projects as needed
  • Field and sales record keeping and data entry,
  • Staffing the market stand, delivering produce to restaurants and wholesale customers
  • Helping support Companions,Coworkers and Volunteers in their field work
  • ”After hours” tasks such as shutting off irrigation, opening/closing facilities, frost and snow management in hoophouses , troubleshooting and monitoring garden predator activity
  • Maintaining a clean and aesthetically pleasing garden/farm appearance,
  • Supply runs, and other farm tasks as needed

Qualifications:

  • Prior farm/garden-related experience and/or keen interest in farming as a career
  • University or college degree or diploma preferred
  • Must be very physically fit and deeply enjoy hard physical work outdoors in all weather (frost, rain, wind, heat) for long hours, including extended bending and lifting heavy loads
  • Basic experience with mechanics, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work an asset
  • Excellent oral communication skills and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to balance efficiency and thoroughness in all tasks and to maintain a fast work pace.
  • Attention to detail, cleanliness, and good aesthetic sense
  • Highly self-motivated, positive attitude, adaptable, organized
  • Ability to work calmly, prioritize tasks, and complete them under tight deadlines
  • Ability to work well alone for long periods of time and in a team
  • Ability to troubleshoot problems with sometimes limited supervision
  • Basic familiarity with Microsoft Excel and Word
  • Willing and able to live respectfully and intensively with 50 other people on site including adults with special needs, and families with children.
  • Valid Drivers’ licence
  • Must submit to and obtain a clear Criminal Record Check
  • Tractor operation skills and experience an asset but not required

Terms:

Hours: 7 hours/day plus one hour unpaid lunch, 5 days/week, includes some “off-hours” work as needed. Early mornings required in July/August. One week unpaid vacation.

Term: 8 weeks full time (35 paid hours/week) guaranteed, with possibility of extension of full time hours until mid-December (pending funding approval). Preferred start: ASAP. Preferred end date between November 19-December 17, 2021. Some flexibility on end dates.
Wage: BC Minimum wage + $1/hour ($15.60 hour, goes up to $16.20/hour June 1) plus employer-paid contributions (EI, CPP, Worksafe BC, 4% vacation)

Accommodation:

Private, 10’ x 10’ timber frame cabin on site with electricity, gas cooktop, bar fridge, loft bed, aux. heat. Full kitchen shared with livestock farmer in nearby house. Shared bathroom, laundry, kitchen, and wifi in nearby “Big house”. $250/month rent, incl. utilities.

Food:

Option to either buy all your own groceries or share food costs and/or cooking with our livestock farmer. You have access to free garden produce, some farm meat and eggs for purchase, and the other houses will occasionally invite you for meals.

COVID-19: We are a licensed care facility working with a vulnerable population. You must be willing and able to adhere to all health orders as mandated by the BC Health Authorities. While in the role of Field Hand, Glenora Farm will be your “bubble” and you will need to limit trips off site to fulfil essential needs until such time as restrictions are lifted. While employed by the Ita Wegman Association the Field Hand will be required to adhere to our organizational Covid Safety Plan. PPE will be available to you on site at no charge.
Other:. Bring your own vehicle or share a ride to town with another person in the Glenora farm ‘bubble’ . Bikes are available for use as well.

Who can apply: We are a family-friendly, all abilities-friendly farm. The first 8 weeks of this position is partially funded by a Canada Summer Jobs grant. Funder stipulations require that candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • between 15 and 30 years old (inclusive) at start of employment
  • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or have been granted official refugee status
  • must be legally entitled to work in Canada

How to Apply:

Applications are welcomed until 9:00am May 10, 2021. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. Send a resume and cover letter and confirmation that you meet the 3 funding eligibility criteria listed above to gardener@glenorafarm.org

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Apr 28 2021    ID: 59649