Crop Production Assistant

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Position: Homeless Garden Project Crop Production Assistant

Hours: 40 hrs/ week; Monday- Friday

Benefits: Health benefits, pro-rated vacation and sick time; accrual max applies

Reports to: Crop Production Manager

Area of Focus: Organic/ Regenerative Agriculture; Mixed Vegetable, Herb, and Flower production

Description:

The Homeless Garden Project (HGP), a 501c3 nonprofit based in Santa Cruz, CA, provides job training, transitional employment and support services to people who are experiencing homelessness. In complement, HGP operates a vibrant community volunteer and education program. The training, employment, education and volunteer programs take place at a 3.5 acre organic farm and related enterprises.

Products produced in the training program are sold through Farm and Value-added Enterprises. The farm enterprises include a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, a farm stand, wholesale/ restaurant accounts and flowers. The farm provides the raw materials for the Value-added Enterprise which consists of a retail store, an online store, and wholesale to other retailers. Production provides for a real work environment and is also a meaningful revenue source for the Project.

Position Description

The Homeless Garden Project Crop Production Assistant is responsible for assisting in all aspects of crop production from propagation to harvest for all crops including vegetable, flower, herbs, and strawberry cultivation at our Natural Bridges Farm. Under the general supervision of the Crop Production Manager, the Crop Production Assistant works to increase on-farm productivity and meet the farm growth market and enterprise goals. This position is involved in farm production and supports the whole farm team in management and oversight of agricultural and enterprise related priorities.

Production

  • Collaborate with Crop Production Manager to manage all production and sales goals for the farm’s outlets: CSA, Feed 2 Birds, Farm Stand, Value Added, Wholesale, and more as markets expand.
  • Coordinate with Crop Production Manager, Farm Manager, and Farm/ Program staff in overall farm maintenance, including but not limited to: soil health management, fertilization management, irrigation management, greenhouse operations, weed management, crop production, pest management, harvest (farm and value added), and sales.
  • Coordinate with Crop Production Manager and Farm Manager to identify and acquire supply needs.
  • Assist to maintain farm productivity and ability to meet enterprise demands given programmatic priorities.
  • Assist in all aspects of day to day operation of the NBF with a focus on maintaining a productive and efficient farm enterprise including but not limited to: field maintenance, bed preparation, greenhouse management, irrigation, CSA/value added harvesting, packing harvest, Farm Stand management, animal care, etc.
  • Assist with oversight of greenhouse operations and transplant crops through harvest and distribution.
  • Assist in maintenance of farm supplies, equipment, and structures.
  • Assist in development and provide feedback for yearly crop plan prior and through implementation.
  • Assist to maintain on farm records for our personal and Organic certification uses.
  • Support record keeping generation and maintenance of numbers for wholesale fresh sheet, CSAs, and Farm Stand.
  • Support farm stand sales, CSA support, and general customer orientation to the farm.
  • Support Crop Production Manager around crop plan and farm best practices to ensure soil health.
  • Support and work in alignment with overall HGP goals and strategic framework.
  • Provide support for HGP events.
  • Incorporate crew input and practice meaningful participation when involving crew in all aspects of the farm and its enterprises.
  • In conjunction with Farm and Program Staff, address weekly priorities and work tasks.
  • Explain and enforce safety regulations.
  • Be a strong ambassador of the Homeless Garden Project and inform public about our programs, enterprises, and ways of getting involved.
  • Serve as a positive role model.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills:

  • Minimum of 1 year of agriculture/ garden experience.
  • Strong physical labor skills (e.g. sit, stand, bend, lift, walk, carry).
  • Knowledge of organic gardening methods.
  • Demonstrated ability to both follow and give directions, seek assistance, when needed.
  • Requires ability to work morning hours and weekends; in all weather conditions.
  • Demonstrated ability or willing to learn to operate and maintain farm equipment such as: walk behind tractor and related implements.
  • Knowledge and experience working, maintaining, and installing irrigation systems.

Requirements

  • Understand HGP’s mission, programs and operations; be able to work with a diverse community of visitors.
  • Knowledge of Organic market garden/ farming practices.
  • Understand the HGP policies on record keeping at the farm and ensure records are properly kept.
  • Ability to support and facilitate all farm tasks and practices.
  • Adherence to Homeless Garden Project rules and policies.
  • Initiative, high level of accountability, ability to manage time and work with little direct supervision, and to give regular, timely, complete updates to Crop Production Manager.
  • Strong communication skills; positive, solution oriented approach.

Application Instructions:

Send cover letter, resume, and three references to the Director of Operations, Brian Sweeney at brians@homelessgardenproject.org, and the Executive Director, Darrie Ganzhorn, at darrieg@homelessgardenproject.org. Please include the title of the job in the subject line.

State/Province
City
Santa Cruz
Name
Brian Sweeney
Email
brians@homelessgardenproject.org
Phone
(831) 426-3609
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