Rootdown Organic Farm in Pemberton, BC is seeking Field Crew with Optional Leadership Roles!
ABOUT Rootdown Organic Farm
We are a certified organic farm located in the beautiful Pemberton Valley. Established in 2009, we grow over 25 varieties of field and greenhouse vegetables and are committed to providing the finest local produce to the communities of Pemberton and Whistler through a weekly CSA Harvest Box program, restaurants, and grocery retailers. The farm is a fast-paced environment with objectives and deadlines requiring work to be done efficiently. We use small tractors, with various implements, as well as various hand tools (hoes, bed prep rakes, broadforks, etc) for our work. We enjoy working hard and the satisfaction of a job well done. We celebrate that many of our prior staff have gone on to start their own successful farming endeavours.
Our farm team is responsible for seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, harvesting and processing over 25 varieties of vegetables. Staff should display a fine balance of task efficiency with detail-oriented product quality in farm operation and customer service. Staff are required to work outside in variable and challenging environmental conditions (rain and mud, sun and heat, bugs, etc.) doing sweaty or cold repetitive tasks. Start times in the morning vary from 6:00-8:00AM depending on the available daylight and anticipated temperatures. Weekly work requirements fulfill 35-50 hours/week depending on the demands of the season. The farm’s Operation Handbook provides instructions and consistent product standards to guide farm tasks. Field crew provide occasional supervision of weekly volunteers on basic farm tasks.
***For folks with farming experience who are interested in full time, full season positions, we also have three different leadership positions within the general field crew framework – Field Lead, Greenhouse Lead, and Harvest/Pack Lead (specific details of position noted below).*** These positions are a great chance to have some responsibility of your own, and to deepen your existing farm skills and knowledge through hands on experience. Please read on for details on each of these positions, and if you’re interested in any of them, please indicate this in your application. Keep in mind, there will be some overlap in duties depending on the seasonal needs of the farm (and to keep things interesting!).
For our entire farm team, we are looking for the following qualities:
- We expect honesty in communication, acceptance of diversity, tolerance of adversity and uncertainty, and prudence in judgement
- Experience with physical labour
- Healthy in body (good back and knees are especially important) and mind
- Experience with a fast paced work environment
- Desire to learn new skills, and improve at them
- The ability to communicate and work as part of a team to accomplish common goals
- Previous farming, tree-planting or landscaping experience is desired, but not necessary
FARM CREW DUTIES
- Seeding, transplanting and weeding vegetable crops
- Harvesting, cleaning and packing vegetables (must be able to lift 20kg/50lbs)
- Following farm Operation Handbook for tasks instructions and quality consistency.
- Being accountable for harvest orders and packing details
- Displaying a task-focused and detail-oriented approach to daily duties
- Providing instruction and coaching to a crew of volunteers on basic farm tasks
- Able to problem solve and improvise in uncertain conditions
- Maintaining a strong work ethic, always seeking ways to improve on tasks (i.e. If last week it took 30 minutes to do a task, how can you do it in 27 minutes this week?)
- Effectively communicating, being open and honest and displaying a commitment to resolving conflict in a productive and mature way
- Arriving punctual and prepared to work and displaying good self-care and a positive attitude
- Contribute to ownership of a clean and tidy work place
- For any designated on-farm focus areas or leadership positions: learn and execute specific tasks following the Operation Handbook and oversee the season management for your focus area (transplant seeding, harvest/packing, greenhouse crops, etc.)
ADDITIONAL LEAD POSITION DUTIES
- Manage a small crew of novice staff/volunteers on various basic farm tasks (weeding, hoeing, transplanting, etc.), with a focus on your focus area (Field, Greenhouse, or Harvest/Pack)
- Create, by example, a positive, co-operative and energetic work environment in which productivity and work quality are emphasized
- Be comfortable offering feedback to peers in a constructive manner
- Provide ideas and feedback to management for improved systems for increased efficiency and greater organization, within your focus area
- In collaboration with the Farm Manager, and Assistant Farm Manager, design and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for farm management throughout the season, within your focus area
- Assist in harvesting and washing of field vegetables on Harvest Days, including coaching novice staff/volunteers
- Tray seeding in greenhouse of various vegetable crops with efficiency and the ability to oversee novice crew to do the same
FIELD LEAD DUTIES
This position will be a Farm Crew role with additional responsibility for the management of various field tasks. This will be done with the support and oversight of the Farm Manager and Assistant Farm Manager. This includes the following:
- All Farm Crew and Lead Position Duties, plus…
- Bed preparation for seeding/planting using various small tractor implements (tiller, harrow, brush mower) and hand tools (broadforks and rakes)
- Assist and manage soil amendment applications for various different crop requirements
- Scout for pest or disease problems in the field, and apply the appropriate organic control when needed
- Transplanting of crops in the field, and demonstrating proper and efficient transplanting techniques to novice staff/volunteers
- Direct seeding of various crops using a single row and 5 row Jang seeder
- Maintain records of field amendment applications, seeding/transplanting, variety types, and field/crop observations in crop binder
- Bed and field stale seedbed management using flame weeder and silage tarps
- Create and manage a field weeding plan and schedule
- Role model efficiency, technique, and maintenance for a variety of weeding tools, including various hoes and wheel-hoes for novice crew/volunteers
- Assist in setting up and managing irrigation of both drip and sprinkler systems in the field
- Prior experience driving a tractor and use of mechanical weeding is beneficial, but not mandatory.
GREENHOUSE LEAD DUTIES
This position will be a Farm Crew role with the additional responsibility and management of various greenhouse tasks, both in the propagation greenhouse and in the production greenhouse. This will be done with the support and oversight of the Farm Manager and Assistant Farm Manager. This includes the following:
- All Farm Crew and Lead Position Duties, plus…
- Manage the watering schedule of the plants in the propagation greenhouse, germination area, and hardening off areas
- Opening and closing greenhouses as needed and managing temperatures for crops under row cover
- Manage moving seedling trays when required due to germination, sun/shade requirements and temperatures; Using limited space as efficiently as possible
- Bed preparation in the greenhouse for seeding/planting using various small hand tools (broadforks and rakes).
- Assist and manage soil amendment application for various different greenhouse crop requirements
- Scout for pest or disease problems in the greenhouse, and apply the appropriate organic control when needed
- Manage the transplanting and care of greenhouse specific crops: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, basil, etc.
- Maintain records of amendment applications, seeding dates, varieties and documenting any observations in crop binder
- Manage row covers for various crops in the propagation area and in the greenhouse
- Set up support/trellis systems for determinate and indeterminate tomato crops, cucumbers and peppers
- Prioritize and manage a pruning/trellising schedule for the tomato, cucumber and pepper crops
- Assist in setting up and managing irrigation of both drip and sprinkler systems in the greenhouse
HARVEST/PACK LEAD DUTIES
This position will be a Farm Crew role with the additional responsibility of managing tasks related to harvest/pack days, the pack shed, and the wash station. This will be done with the support and oversight of the Farm Manager and Assistant Farm Manager. This includes the following:
- All Farm Crew and Lead Position Duties, plus…
- Harvesting vegetables on a twice weekly delivery schedule (3-5 harvest days/week)
- Teaching, coaching and providing feedback on basic harvest techniques to novice field crew and volunteers
- Packing orders for 15-20 grocery store and restaurant accounts, as well as a 130 member CSA
- Keeping wash and pack area and walk-in coolers, clean and organized
- Ensuring orders are in appropriate containers and labeled clearly for deliveries
- Creating and using systems for missing inventory and storage of over harvested items
- Weighing/bagging vegetables for orders
- Helping to wash vegetables as needed
- On packing days, offering structure and leadership and assessing priorities so that orders are washed and packed on time for deliveries
- Being able to delegate tasks in wash and pack areas for smooth operations and in order to meet deadlines
- Helping with set-up, running and take down of market-style CSA Pick-Up in Whistler
- Providing ideas and feedback to management and peers for improved packing shed and wash station efficiency and organization
Term: April/May-October 15th, 2021 (3 positions available)
May 1st-September 1st, 2021 (1 summer student position available)
Hours per week: 35-50 hours/week, depending on the demands of the season.
Start times varying between 6 am and 8 am depending on available daylight and anticipated temperatures.
Wage: The initial wage for Field Crew is $15.20-$16/hour and for Leadership Roles $16.50-$18 depending on experience. Wage increases during the season are possible with demonstration of improved skill and performance.
Staff will also have access to free vegetables for their own consumption.
Basic, seasonal housing may be available nearby, please ask for more details if interested.
A Health and Wellness stipend is available for full time/full season staff – we want you to treat yourself to some self care on us!
An “End-of-Season” bonus of $0.25/hr for total hours worked is given to all full-time/full season staff (April/May-October).
Interested folk should send a resume and cover letter to Simone at email@example.com, indicating if they are interested in one of the available Lead roles. We look forward to hearing from you!
Qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview.
COVID-19 Note: We are asking all of the staff at Rootdown in 2022 to be fully vaccinated and up to date on their Covid-19 vaccines. This is because our crew is small and tight knit, and we are working with food which gets sold to the public. We want everyone on the crew (staff and volunteers) to feel safe while at work; and want to feel confident we are doing all that we can to deliver safe food to our customers. We thank you for your understanding.
When applying, please mention you saw this posting at youngagrarians.org
LEARN MORE ABOUT Rootdown Organic Farm