School Farm/Garden Production Apprentice

What: Grow Whidbey: South Farm and Garden Production Apprentice
When: April 1 – November 17, 2017
Where: Langley, Washington

Program Description:

Grow Whidbey is a collaboration between the Good Cheer Food Bank Fresh Food on the Table Program and the South Whidbey School District Farm and Garden Program, offering apprenticeships in community food production and garden-based education. Our goal is to train the next generation of growers and teachers of sustainable community agriculture.

The School District Farm and Garden Program was started in 2013 and now teaches garden-based curriculum to over 750 students in the Elementary and Middle Schools. We are now expanding to the High School. The program grows organic produce in four locations for delivery to school cafeterias, school events, and local non-profits. Students also pick and eat fresh veggies during garden classes.

Position description:

The SWSD Farm and Garden Production Apprentice will assist the farm manager in all aspects of growing including planning, planting, harvest, soil fertility, composting and vermiculture, hoophouses, irrigation, season extension, creative problem-solving and innovation, infrastructure, working with small groups of students in specific projects, and volunteer coordination. The apprentice will work with the curriculum team to integrate the classes with the farm activities, as well as work with the students during these farm activities. 

Production and harvest is coordinated between the School Farm, the Big ACRE and the Middle School gardens. The apprentice will learn big-picture management of a school district growing system geared to production and education, and move into a farm/garden manager role as the season progresses. The apprentice will also assist at the Big ACRE, a one-acre collaborative farm with the Good Cheer Food Bank, and participate in food fank gleaning activities. 

The South Whidbey School District contracts with Chartwells, a corporate food service provider, for the school lunch program. The apprentice will learn food and garden safety protocols and other skills needed to deliver school farm/garden grown food to a corporate-managed food service, as well as to any district-managed lunch program.


  • Experience with farming and farm/garden/outdoor education
  • Enthusiasm for growing and sharing food
  • Strong interest in working with students K-12 and volunteers in a variety of farm/garden settings and activities
  • Hard working, practical, innovative and creative
  • Eagerness to learn how to juggle many details combined with keen sense of observation
  • Able to balance a social work environment with times of working alone
  • Able to work in a collaborative team setting, while also taking direction as needed
  • Flexible and responsive to changing circumstances due to weather, class schedules, unexpected events
  • Willing to maintain high standards of accuracy, completeness, and efficiency
  • Ability to lift 50lb
  • School district requires background check and fingerprinting upon hiring

Position specifics:

  • Hours and duration: The training runs from mid-January through October 31st. The apprentice should expect to work a flexible 35 hr week, seasonally variable, with some weekend work including sharing the responsibility of gleaning produce from the farmer’s market (next door to the food bank) on some Saturdays May-October.
  • Compensation: We offer a stipend of $600 per month, as well as room and board. Workmen’s compensation is also provided 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.
  • Interview process: Final applicants will be interviewed in person or by Skype.

Applications requested by March 31, 2017

Download application HERE
Download this Job Description HERE

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.

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For more information contact:

SWSD Farm and Garden Program Coordinator: Cary Peterson