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CSA employment opportunity in Salt Lake City

Hanley Kale-Grinder
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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BUG Farms Employment Opportunities for 2014



General Description: Backyard Urban Garden (B.U.G) Farms is an urban farm following the innovative and practical SPIN farming model that utilizes multiple backyard plots totaling in about 1 acre of space around Salt Lake City. We aim to provide our Salt Lake Area CSA members and several local restaurants with the freshest, tastiest, chemical free, sustainably grown vegetables as well as a variety of other CSA share options including a Raw Juice Share and Fresh Soup Share. 2014 will be our 5th season as an urban farm, and our 4th season with a CSA program.

Our farm is spread over several backyards centering around the Glendale neighborhood on the West side of Salt Lake City.

Employment Duration: April 1, 2014- October 31, 2014

Hours Per Week: 30-50 hrs/week. See Employment Details for more info

Wages: Base pay of $10/hr before taxes paid twice monthly, and then a percentage split bonus at the end of the season based on our profit, your past farming experience, and commitment. Could make your total average hourly pay anywhere from $12-$18/hr depending on how our season goes, how much you work, and the experience you bring to our farm, and longer term commitment. We are hoping to find someone willing to stay more than just one season with us, possibly a long term farm partner if it works out well.

Housing: We have a unique operating situation since the farm is on leased land and the farmers live in rented houses. There is opportunity for affordable housing at one of the rented houses that either Sharon or Hanley (B.U.G. Farmers) live in if housing is needed. Rent, depending on what is available, would be $150-$300/month. Otherwise you can find your own housing somewhere else in town, although living near the farm is convenient, and still fairly close to downtown with a more rural feel. Sharon lives at Wasatch Commons, which is a Cohousing community, and there is possibility in renting a room/loft in her unit.

Meals: On our harvest days, we have a shared farm lunch for those who work that morning. You would also be free to take whatever vegetables we have growing to make your own meals.

Skills Desired: An ideal candidate is responsible, a quick learner, fast worker, not easily distracted, good at remembering details, follows through on tasks given, self motivated, open minded, willing to work until all the work gets done, uses non-violent communication, is lighthearted and likes to have fun and enjoy life in general. Previous experience working on a (organic, sustainable, small scale, CSA, etc) farm is necessary. A willingness and quickness to learn our methods/techniques and/or to share any quicker/more efficient techniques you may know for small scale, multi-plot, intensive vegetable farming is also very important. Must get along well with the other farmers at BUG Farms! .We are very interested in hiring someone who is interested in staying and working with us for longer than just one season. A truck or vehicle not necessary but sometimes helpful, will be reimbursed if used for farm purposes.

Educational Opportunities: Gain experience in intensive, small scale, highly productive annual vegetable production. Learn about running a small farm business. Learn skills including volunteer management, leadership, seasonal cooking, non-violent communication, problem solving.

Employment Details: Employment begins on April 1st, 2014 and runs until October 31st 2014. We expect you to be flexible with your time, and available as much as possible when we need help. On average we budget 40 hrs/week, but some weeks it may be less, and some more depending on the intensity of work based on the time of year. Generally in the first several weeks you will work less, with the busiest time during the summer months, then trailing off again in the fall. This is especially important at the beginning of the season, when most of our work is getting fields prepped, planted, and setting up irrigations systems. This work is weather dependent and we don’t hold regular hours, but work when the timing is best. We need you to be able to be flexible to work when the work needs to be done, which is often known last minute. A flexible attitude and schedule if very important for the first several weeks of the season.

Our CSA harvest season will begin between the 2nd-4th Week of May, and will depend on the spring weather on how quickly our first crops are ready for harvest. Once the harvest season begins, we will get into a fairly regular routine of harvest, package, organizing of our CSA shares. We expect you to be available Monday-Friday to work, but each day may not be a standard set of hours. Generally our big harvest days will be Tuesday and Wednesdays, with CSA deliveries on Thursdays during our 23-25 week harvest season. We will try to always take Saturday& Sunday off, but in the spring we may have to work on the weekends if that is our only chance to get something in due to the weather. Again, flexibility is key.

Your tasks/responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: Working the tiller to prep veggie beds. Working the rotary plow to prepare new garden plots(mostly in the spring). Seeding beds (by hand or with seeder). Ensuring proper crop germination with watering. Weed management in crop beds (using tools and hand weeding). Weed management on plot perimeters (weed whacking, field burning, etc). Setting up, configuring, and fixing new and existing drip irrigation systems. Spreading amendments on soil, fertilizing crops. Watching for pests/diseases on crops, and creatively and practically coming up with solutions for dealing with them. Managing/teaching/leading work trade members and volunteers on harvest days effectively and efficiently. Harvesting, transporting crops. Organizing the veggies in the walk-in cooler. Weighing, recording harvest amounts, and packaging veggies. Organizing CSA shares, harvesting/washing/packaging restaurant orders. Loading up deliveries. Occasional CSA deliveries. Helping to move chicken fencing, filling up feed/water, checking eggs. Potentially building some farm structure or equipment. Fixing broken equipment if necessary. Occasionally cooking lunches, and possibly helping with the Prepared Food CSA Shares if interested.

To Apply: Please send a resume, with a cover letter explaining your interest in working with us, and what you specifically have to offer to our email address bugfarms@gmail.com by October 11th, 2013. We will be carefully considering all applicants, and may ask you for an interview in person (if you live nearby) or over the phone/skype. We will be conducting interviews between October 11th-October 20th, 2013, and making a decision by October 25th, 2013.
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