2020 Urban Farming Volunteer Learning Program – Apply Now!

The Farmers on 57th market garden is seeking Learning Program volunteers for the 2020 season! This full season learning experience will immerse you into the world of ecological farming. It is a practical hands-on experience where you exchange your labour and commitment for our instruction, supervision and mutual commitment.

Farmers on 57th is an urban farm on Vancouver Coastal Health land, 57th Avenue near Cambie Street, in Vancouver, BC. The 1/2 acre market garden grows beautiful organic flowers and veggies for distribution through a CSA program. We operate on the grounds of George Pearson Centre, home to 100+ people living with disabilities. There are a number of community related projects run on site that volunteers will have exposure to.

Volunteers commit to work with us in the market garden 6-12 hours each week, from March until the end of October, with time off for vacation. The more time you spend working with us in the garden the more you get out of the learning experience. Our field days are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9am-3pm. You must be available for at least one 6 hour shift per week to participate in the urban farming learning program.

We are looking for several more people to join our core team of part-time staff and perennial volunteers. You have strong self initiative, enjoy a mix of team and independent work and also understand that you play a pivotal role in building community in the garden. You must be physically fit (or ready to get fit!) and comfortable with manual work in all kinds of weather. We work rain or shine. You will receive a weekly portion of the “farmer’s take” of seasonal vegetables as well as the satisfaction of learning to farm every step of the season from bed preparation, seeding, crop maintenance and harvest all the way to distribution via our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Harvest Box program.

Duties include:

  • Tilling
  • Composting
  • Amending with compost
  • Irrigating
  • Prepping beds
  • Weeding
  • Mulching
  • Transplanting
  • Direct seeding
  • Potting
  • Hanging mesh and adding trellis
  • Harvesting
  • Preparing CSA boxes
  • Interacting with Pearson Residents, CSA members & general public

Skills and Requirements: 

  • Interest and willingness to learn about organic gardening
  • Commitment to work through growing season in all weather
  • Physical ability to perform manual labour
  • Ability to learn skills and work independently
  • Understanding of the relationship between community gardening and advancement of community connection

Skills and experience you will gain from volunteering with us this summer:

  • soil health: nutrient balancing, composting, preventing soil erosion, cover crops
  • crop rotation
  • irrigation systems
  • beneficial organisms
  • organic pest control
  • how to prepare beds, seed, transplant
  • harvesting
  • ability to prepare own garden and trouble shoot problems as they arise
  • connect gardening with community health: in terms of healthy food and community development

For more information about our urban farm visit www.farmerson57th.ca

Application deadline: February 14th, 2020
To apply: Please fill out the online application form (preferred), or submit your application to Karen at karen@farmerson57th.ca with answers to the following questions, your name & phone number:

  1. What is your motivation for wanting to be a season long volunteer with Farmers on 57th?
  2. How does this volunteer opportunity fit into your future plans?
  3. What would be your top 3 learning objectives while taking part in the Urban Farming Learning Program?
  4. Our field days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. What day(s) are you available to volunteer? Starting June, volunteer shifts on Wednesdays and weekends may become available.
  5. We know our volunteers go on vacation too! But, are you able to commit for the entire growing season March 2-October 30, give or take a couple of weeks? Do you foresee any obstacles to fulfilling this commitment? Please indicate any known vacation time.
  6. What is your gardening and/or food growing background?
  7. Do you have any particular skills you think would come in handy at the market garden that you would be happy to employ in your volunteer time with us?
  8. How did you hear about this volunteer opportunity with Farmers on 57th?

Only applicants that provide all the above requested information will be considered. Successful applicants will be contacted to discuss the program and our mutual fit. All volunteers must attend an orientation session when we begin working the field in March. People of all backgrounds encouraged to apply.

Many thanks!

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