Root Radical CSA in Kingston, Ontario is hiring a Team Leader!
ABOUT ROOT RADICAL CSA
Root Radical Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) is a successful organic farm growing a diversity of vegetables. Entering our 14th season, we sell our vegetables through the CSA model to about 250 households in Kingston and on Howe Island. We are known for our high-quality and great-tasting vegetables, our friendly, organized, and accommodating customer service, and the environmental education opportunities offered to our community.
In the garden, most work is done by hand or with human-powered tools. We use tractors for moving compost and soil mix, preparing the gardens for planting, and for other heavy lifting. We use drip irrigation and season extension techniques in our fields. We also produce tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, and transplants in our 2300 sq. ft. greenhouse.
On harvest days (twice a week), the main tasks include harvesting, washing, and packing vegetables. The rest of the week we do seeding, greenhouse management, making soil mix, planting, hoeing, and hand weeding. In the shoulder seasons we work on infrastructure projects, garden preparation, and clean up.
Root Radical CSA is located on Howe Island between Kingston and Gananoque. The CSA garden is about 2 acres on Doublejay Farm, an organic grass-fed beef farm. Doublejay Farm is about 400 acres, including hayfields, permanent pastures, gardens, riverfront and wooded areas. Root Radical CSA is a woman-led farm and Emily Dowling is the main CSA farmer. We are an organic farm but we are not third party certified organic.
There are a lot of problems with the mainstream food system:
- Produce from the grocery store can be low-quality, boring and tasteless or it spoils easily. That’s not very enticing and can leave us feeling ripped off.
- We know about the threat of climate change and we are aware of the greenhouse gas emissions that come with shipping produce from all over the continent and the world.
- We know that synthetic fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides are not good for wildlife, farmers, or eaters.
- We’ve seen plenty of small businesses close because they can’t compete with the big corporations and we know that’s not good for our community.
Organic and CSA farming is an alternative. Healthy eating is about more than what we put into our bodies. It should include the health of farmers and farm workers, farms, lakes and rivers and the countless living creatures who share the Earth with us. Organic farming shows that you can have delicious food and act with care and respect for the soil, water, air, and living communities.
This role is for someone with 3+ growing seasons of experience working on organic or ecological vegetable farms. We are seeking someone with a commitment to making a career in organic or ecological vegetable farming and who is looking for farm to commit to working on for several growing seasons.
The successful candidate will work collaboratively with Emily to manage the production of a diverse mix of vegetables for the CSA, while also working on the production crew and being a leader and role model for the rest of the crew.
- Three or more growing seasons of vegetable farming experience.
- Ability to create and maintain good working relationships, communicate clearly, give quality feedback and be a motivating, positive role model for the rest of the farm crew.
- Be ready to dig in, get dirty and work hard. Applicants must be committed reliable people who will show up on time, always strive to do their best at work and be prepared and willing to work in all sorts of weather conditions.
- Physical strength, flexibility, dexterity and endurance are required. Must be able to lift and carry heavy bins.
- Having a G or G2 driver’s licence is a must. However, having your own transportation to the farm is negotiable for this position. A commuting vehicle and ferry pass may be provided for a staff person that is able to commit to the use agreement and to providing transportation to fellow staff. Please indicate in your application whether you have your own vehicle to get to work or if you would need to have a commuting vehicle provided for you.
- Communicating and working with Emily and the rest of the CSA team to produce over 40 crops for our vegetable CSA.
- Being a team leader and helping with training, mentoring and motivating farm crew members to work together collaboratively and efficiently to meet time goals.
- From mid-March to late April, working independently to set up the greenhouse, make soil blocks and seed all early season transplants.
- Starting in late April, helping to train and lead the vegetable production crew while working alongside the crew to:
- make soil mixes, seed and block up late season transplants from late April to September,
- spread soil amendments, prepare beds, direct seed and transplant in the gardens,
- set up crop productions aides (e.g. irrigation, row cover and ground cover),
- weed and hoe crops,
- set up trellises for various crops and prune tomatoes,
- cut grass and weeds near gardens, buildings and electric fences, and
- any other tasks required to support vegetable production.
- Harvesting, washing and packing vegetables as a member of the harvest crew 2 days per week.
- Staffing 1 out of every 3 CSA pick-ups between mid-June and end of October.
- Assisting with irrigation, tractor work, cleaning, maintenance and infrastructure projects as required.
- End of season clean up including:
- Planting cover crops
- Spreading soil amendments
- Putting away tools and crop production aides
- Taking soil samples
- Tidying and cleaning tools and buildings
Position is 40 hr/week for about 19 weeks from early May to mid-Sept. For about 9 weeks from mid-March to early May it is about 24 hr/week. For about 9 weeks from mid-Sept to mid-Nov its about 32 hr/week.
Hours of Work: Typically, we start work at 6:45 or 7:30 AM and finish between 3:00 and 4:30 PM depending on the day. Lunch is unpaid and is usually a half hour in length. Whenever possible two 15 minute breaks are incorporated into our day.
Weather: On harvest days, we work rain or shine. However, our other work (planting, weeding, etc.) can be weather-dependent. There may be some days when we would not work because of heavy rain that day or the day before. In exceptional weather circumstances, during our busiest times in the season, staff may be asked to work weekends to make up for days missed during the week due to inclement weather.
Wage: $18 per hour. (This works out to approximately $22,000 for the whole season and the successful candidate may be eligible for E.I. in the off-season.)
Farming is hard work, but working at Root Radical CSA also has benefits including…
- Lots of high quality, organic vegetables to eat. Staff receive CSA shares and have access to seconds and leftovers.
- Benefits package. Access to a staff commuter car, ferry pass, some reimbursements for health and dental, specialty work clothing and strength training.
- Work-life balance. Weekend work is not required and farm staff finish between 3:30 and 4:30 PM most days. Additionally, we are a farm that structures breaks into our daily schedule and we are a team that co-ordinates and plans ahead so that days off for staff to recharge are an option.
- Diversity of work. Working on a small acreage with a diverse set of crops means less monotony and doing a lot of different kinds of tasks throughout the week and as the seasons shift.
- Teamwork. Being a part of a team of self-motivated, hardworking, caring people who are nice to be around. We have structured team building activities and make a point of celebrating together throughout the season.
- Responsibility. Building on your prior farm experience and keeping the work interesting and challenging by moving into a leadership role.
- Clear expectations. As part of the hiring process, an extensive document is provided explaining how to succeed at Root Radical. Throughout the season, we meet regularly as a team to share weekly work goals.
- Outdoor work. Being out in beautiful weather (most of the time), and not sitting or standing in one spot all day long.
- Pride in your work. Doing important work, raising great organic vegetables for local people who really appreciate good food and their farmers.
- Challenges. Becoming stronger both physically and mentally by challenging yourself.
- Building a better world. Contributing in a very real way to environmental and social justice. Helping a local family farm succeed.
- Ecological connection. Learning about ecology first hand and deepening your relationship with the land that feeds you.
To see the full job posting on our website please visit: https://rootradicalrows.com/wordpress1/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/2020-team-leader-role.pdf
To apply please email your resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or post your resume and cover letter to: Emily Dowling, 3 Lower Side Rd., RR#4, Gananoque, ON, K7G 2V6
There is no deadline for this position. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.
When applying, please indicate you saw this posting at youngagrarians.org.