What: Grow Whidbey School Farm and Garden Curriculum Apprentice
When: March – mid-November 2017
Where: Langley, Washington
Grow Whidbey is a collaboration between the South Whidbey School District Farm and Garden Program and the Good Cheer Food Bank Fresh Food on the Table Program, offering apprenticeships in community food production and garden-based education. Our goal is to train the next generation of growers and teachers in the field of sustainable community agriculture.
The SWSD Farm and Garden program presents a unique blend of farm production and education. At our primary half-acre site behind the elementary school, at two middle school gardens, and at a new full acre site located near the local food bank, we grow an increasing quantity of produce for elementary, middle, and high school cafeterias. We also provide a hands-on garden-based learning environment to all 550 K-5 students, to Middle School science classes, to a 7th grade Health and Wellness elective, to a number of special education students, after school programs, and the local elementary alternative school program. Beginning in early 2017, we will be launching a culinary arts arm of the program for 3rd-5th graders.
Students of all ages learn the core skills of growing fruits and vegetables through active participation in tending a farm/garden through the seasons. Garden staff prepare lessons based around ‘big ideas’ specific to each grade level with the overall goal of cultivating a sense of community by encouraging students’ working relationship to the soil, to the food being grown, and to each other. Garden teachers communicate directly and often with classroom teachers in order to keep garden lessons relevant to classroom curriculum. Lessons are fast paced and active; planning, preparation, and keeping a big picture of our mission are all critical to their success. In addition to weekly or bi-weekly classes, students also participate in culinary classes as well as food preparation for several all-school ‘tasting’ events at the elementary and middle school.
The apprentices will learn how to manage a farm garden and teach engaged garden-based curriculum. They will assist the farm manager in cultivating healthy productive farms and gardens as well as assist the curriculum coordinator in guiding students in farm and curriculum activities, preparing lessons and developing curriculum. The apprentices will take on a leadership role as the season progresses, taking increasing responsibility for planning, teaching, and nurturing relationships with students and teachers in garden and/or culinary arts classes as well as managing garden sites. The apprentices will also participate in Grow Whidbey community and educational opportunities. The apprentices will:
- Work collaboratively with the farm team to cultivate and manage the Grow Whidbey farms and gardens
- Work to balance production needs with curriculum and involve students directly in farm tasks
- Work collaboratively with the school garden and culinary arts teaching team
- Attend curriculum meetings and farm walks
- Take initiative to prepare for classes and coordinate with lead teacher
- Encourage and guide students
- Take the lead on lessons when appropriate
- Provide clear guidelines for students-garden safety
- Communicate openly and effectively with farm and teaching staff
- Participate in community outreach and fundraising
- Experience with farming and farm/garden/environmental-based 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 the many details inherent in a complex program
- Keen sense of observation
- Comfortable working in a group setting as well as independently
- 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 communication, follow-through and collaboration.
- Ability to lift 50 lb.
- Hours and duration: The training runs from March through mid-November. 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 plus housing in a homestay. Apprentices also have full access to the Good Cheer Food Bank. 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 assist with the transport and delivery of produce and other farm tasks.
- Interview process: Final applicants will be interviewed in person or by Skype.
Applications on a rolling basis. Open until filled.
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:
Nadean Curtiss, School Farm and Garden Curriculum Coordinator
(206) 747 7062