South Whidbey School Farm apprenticeship


South Whidbey School Farms is seeking two apprentices for our dynamic K-12 school farm program. Apprentices will be involved in the organic food production side of the farm program, as well as in delivering farm-based and culinary curriculum to the students. As part of the Grow Whidbey apprenticeship program in partnership with the Good Cheer Food Bank and South Whidbey Tilth, apprentices will be participating in classes, workshops and field trips specifically designed to support their practical, hands-on learning.

South Whidbey School Farms, started in 2013, is a rapidly developing integrated K-12 program growing food and teaching farm-based and culinary education in a child-centered, inquiry-based curriculum. The organic produce grown is eaten by the children during farm and culinary classes, in school lunches, at events and school functions, and is also shared with local non-profits. Seasonally, we sell the majority of the produce served in the school lunch program to Chartwells, the school district’s corporate food service provider.

There are six growing locations in the district, and over 2500 student visits to these gardens each month during the growing season. The classes are designed around learning how to cultivate healthy soil and grow food, and the work needed to accomplish that, with the intent of also meeting Next Generation Science Standards. All students K-7 participate in weekly or bi-weekly farm-based classes, grades 3 – 8 have bi-weekly culinary classes, and there is a daily High School Agriculture class, and middle school farm team. The farms are managed to create learning opportunities for students, and to maximize their participation in growing the produce they love to eat.

The School Farm Apprentices will

  • work with the farm managers and students in all aspects of growing including: planning, planting, harvesting, soil fertility, composting, vermiculture, hoophouses, irrigation, season extension, infrastructure improvements, and managing volunteers and work parties.
  • assist with the curriculum team in teaching farm-based classes, and culinary classes, to grades K-12, and participate in curriculum development.
    collaborate with the farm managers and curriculum team to generate innovative ideas and solutions to problems.
  • learn food and garden safety protocols and other skills needed to deliver school farm-grown produce to a corporate food service provider, as well as to any district-managed lunch program.
  • assist at a one-acre collaborative farm with the Good Cheer Food Bank
  • participate during the summer months in volunteer work parties at the Good Cheer Garden, and at South Whidbey Tilth.
  • occasionally help on weekends with watering starts, opening and closing hoop houses, special events, and gleaning produce from the Saturday Farmer’s Market.

Apprentices will learn big-picture management of a school district growing system geared toward both production and education. As part of our comprehensive training, he/she will move into a managerial role in an appropriate garden as the season progresses, as well as move into a teaching role as appropriate. Apprentices need to be flexible and able to move between farm and curriculum work, as well as have the initiative to move into a leadership role.


  • Experience growing food
  • Experience with farm/garden/outdoor education preferred
  • Enthusiasm for growing and sharing food
  • Enjoys working with students and volunteers
  • Hard working, practical and creative
  • Flexible and responsive to changing circumstances due to weather, class schedules, unexpected events
  • Willing to maintain high standards of communication, follow-through and collaboration.
  • Ability to lift 50lb
  • School district requires background check and fingerprinting upon hiring

Position specifics:
Hours and duration: One position will be available for mid-January – October. The second position will be from March – October. The apprentices work a 35 hr week, seasonally variable, with some weekend work.

Compensation: We offer a stipend of $400 per month, as well as housing in home-stays. Food is provided by the Food Bank and the gardens. Workers compensation is included as part of the Washington State Farm Internship Project.

Transportation: A bicycle is sufficient but a car is really useful. We make every effort to support apprentices who choose low-carbon bicycle transportation. The ability to drive a stick shift truck will enable the apprentice to fully participate in the transport and delivery of produce.

To apply:
Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references to the School Farm Coordinator, Cary Peterson at In your cover letter, please explain a little bit of your background in agriculture and farm-based/outdoor education, your motivation for applying, why you are a good candidate for this position, and how this apprenticeship fits into your future goals. Final applicants will be interviewed in person or by Skype.

Applications requested by November 20, 2017

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Visit us at:

For more information contact:
Cary Peterson