FARM JOB: VICTORIA, BC – Serenity Farm, Garden Manager

Posted by Michalina Hunter on January 31, 2019

serenity farm

Feeding Ourselves and Others at Serenity Farm in Victoria, BC is hiring a Garden Manager for the 2019 season! 

About Feeding Ourselves and Others at Serenity Farm

Feeding Ourselves and Others at Serenity Farm is a project, sponsored by the John Howard Society of Victoria that provides a therapeutic experience in organic gardening techniques for participants who are adults with challenges related to mental health and substance abuse and, in some cases, involvement with the criminal justice system. All participants are under the supervision of Assertive Community Treatment Teams (PACT, DACT and VICOT) and Seven Oaks Tertiary Care Center. You can find more information about the garden project at

serenity farm


Desired Qualities

The garden manager is a part-time position with responsibilities for overseeing and managing the garden operation, managing the project’s finances in conjunction with the John Howard Society, overseeing the recruitment and maintenance of project volunteers, working with the participants and their supervisors in a therapeutic relationship, and liaising with the broader community. The garden season generally runs from April to October with two three-hour garden sessions per week. There is also work required in April getting the garden going, and in November and December winding things down for the year.

The applicant must have knowledge and experience in organic farming techniques on Vancouver Island. Management of agricultural operations, some administrative experience, and an interest in or experience with therapeutic horticulture is strongly recommended. Experience with community non-profit organizations and working with volunteers would be advantageous.

serenity farm

Job Tasks

Garden operation:

  1. Oversee the day-to-day operation of the garden, including planning, planting, maintenance and harvesting.
  2. Design garden map to ensure that planting conforms to market needs as well as crop rotation requirements.
  3. Identify materials needed and procure as required (seeds, starts, compost, fertilizer, wood chips, etc).
  4. Identify equipment needs and procure as required (tools, gloves, etc).
  5. Organize work activities at the beginning of each work session with volunteers and participants.
  6. Provide onsite advice on garden tasks to volunteers and participants as required at each garden session.

Project management:

  1. Provide overall project coordination and representation at management meetings such as the Project Steering Committee and Operational Group.
  2. Oversee and coordinate fundraising including writing / co-writing of proposals as required.
  3. In cooperation with the John Howard Society, develop and administer project budget and approve financial expenditures.
  4. Oversee collection and analysis of project statistics and evaluations.
  5. Serve as lead contact for the project, with responsibility for reports, phone calls, emails and other communications related to the project.
  6. When necessary meet with or give presentations to potential funders, new partners and community groups or coordinate volunteers to take on these tasks.

Working with Volunteers

  1. Oversee and coordinate the recruitment, screening, support and retention of volunteers for the project.
  2. When possible, provide volunteers with development opportunities, such as specialized garden responsibilities.
  3. Where appropriate, assist and facilitate teams of volunteers taking on core project responsibilities such as planning for production, marketing, fundraising, and analysis of project statistics.

Working with Participants and support teams

  1. Liaise with ACT, VICOT and Seven Oaks staff to recruit and support participants.
  2. Arrange transportation and lunch for participants attending work sessions.
  3. Assist in tracking attendance and work of participants to ensure that they receive appropriate stipends.
  4. Work with participants to ensure that their task assignments are appropriate to their abilities and that their experience in the garden is beneficial to them and the project.
  5. Assist in enhancing the health and skills of participants by arranging gardening workshops, encouraging participants to take on specialized tasks and providing or arranging demonstrations of how to use the food grown in the garden.

During the garden season (April – October), the Garden Manager can expect to allocate their time as follows: 55% working in the garden with participants and volunteers, 25% on garden management offsite, and 20% working on project administrative activities.

serenity farm


Job Details

Term: April 1 – December 31, 2019

Wage: Total contract value: $15,000 ($30/hour).

Hours: Total Number of Hours: 500

April 1 – Oct 25 an average of 15 hours per week.

November and December an average of 5 hours per week.

Other: As a contractor you will need to have your own Worksafe coverage.

You will need to have reliable transportation as the garden location (4575 Blenkinsop Road) is not on any public transportation routes.

You will need to be able to obtain a criminal record check through the BC Ministry of Justice.

To Apply

Send or email resume with cover letter and two references to:

John Howard Society of Victoria

2675 Bridge Street

Victoria, BC V8T 4Y4


Closing date: February 8, 2019

View other farm jobs and apprenticeships here.