News from the Fields…

There is a buzz of excitement in the fields as we get ready to build our own walk-in cooler. We’ve sourced the materials and will start construction next week. As we grow more and more crops the cooler will be stacked to the brim with tasty food. Coming up at next week’s market we’ll see a fresh crop of gorgeous head lettuce; with variety names like Vulcan, Buttercrunch and Drunken Woman you know they are going to be as fun to eat as they are to say. Our peas have reached their trellis and are climbing to the sun. Soon we’ll be tasting the true flavour of spring, snap peas!

Farmer Scott

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Urban Farm Volunteers needed!

The season is well under way and we need help in the schoolyard market gardens! Check out this awesome volunteer opportunity:

Role Description:
Urban farm volunteers help fulfill Fresh Roots’ mission by contributing their time and effort in a diversity of farm tasks including seeding, weeding, transplanting, harvesting and processing produce, pest management, and maintaining soil fertility.

Requirements:
Trustworthy, sense of humor, flexibility and patience highly valued
Excellent communication skills; ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
Comfortable working autonomously and as part of a team
Able to spend at least half a day outside, doing repetitive physical work, in all types of weather
Must be able to pass a criminal record check
Experience working on a mixed vegetable market farm an asset

Benefits
Gain experience and knowledge in operating an urban organic farm
Network with like-minded people
Letter of reference after completing the 3 months required commitment

Time Commitment:
Urban farm volunteers must be available to work at least two 4-hours shifts a week, between Monday and Thursday, for a minimum of 3 months. Schedule will be made 2 weeks in advance, and there will be some on-call opportunities.

Training:
Volunteers need to attend an orientation session in late May.

Please apply here before May 15th, 2014.

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Volunteers Needed – Work party on April 26

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the great weather we’ve had recently!  It’s been quite busy in Fresh Roots gardens. We’ve been working hard on the outdoor classroom at the David Thompson garden, and we will continue to do so in the coming weeks. We need your help to make it happens. Please join us on April 26th at David Thompson schoolyard market garden for a great day of work on the outdoor classroom. Here are the details:

Where:  David Thompson Secondary School – at the corner of Argyle and 55th avenue
When:   Saturday, April 26th, 10 – 3 pm
Details: Please remember to bring a water bottle, closed toed shoes, clothes you can get dirty in, and a lunch.
RSVP:    Click here to RSVP
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Fresh Roots Team is Growing

Meet our new Community Coordinator, Marilou Bourdages

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Bonjour!

My name is Marilou Bourdages and I am thrilled to join Fresh Roots’ team as the new Community Coordinator! I have been passionate about urban agriculture and food for many years. Being able to work at engaging the community in the Schoolyard Market Gardens is a dream come true!

Let me tell you a bit about me. My education background is in environmental sciences, biodiversity and conservation more specifically. No matter what I’ve done, my professional life path always brings me back to environmental education. Before joining Fresh Roots, I was the Community Education Coordinator at the UBC Botanical Garden and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum for three years. Before that, I led youth through gardening lessons at the Montreal Botanical Garden. My curiosity about organic gardening has grown through various experiences: as farm staff on an organic farm, as an intern for an NGO organizing CSAs in Québec and as an urban gardening intern in Cuba.

I am looking forward to developing the Schoolyard Market Gardens as outdoor classrooms for both the schools and the neighbourhood community. I am also excited about creating meaningful volunteer opportunities and participating in growing the Fresh Roots community.

When not working, you will find me sowing arugula in my community garden plot, baking bread at home or running along the trails on the north shore.

Feel free to contact me if you have great suggestions to share!
I am looking forward to meeting all of you.

Marilou

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Come and Volunteer

Spring’s blossoms peek out
earlier in the morning
Sun is coming soon

I hope that you’re doing well and enjoying the day!  Things here are beginning to heat up – and ze season has begun!  Which is why I wanted to email you. We are going to have a season starter volunteer party and we’d love for you to join us!  We know that it’s a bit short notice, but we’re hoping that you can come to help out.  Here are the details:

WhereVan Tech Secondary – Right by the tennis Courts
When:   Thursday, March 27th, 10 – 3 pm
Details: Please remember to bring a water bottle, closed toed shoes, clothes you can get dirty in, and a lunch.
RSVP:    Click here to RSVP
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We are Hiring! Help Us Spread the Word!

Hello Friends of Fresh Roots!

As we enter into 2014 we are excited to be hiring for two new positions with Fresh Roots, Distribution Coordinator and Community Coordinator. Both positions work with our farm team, with community members, and with partner organizations we collaborate with in the Good Food Movement here in Vancouver, BC.

You can find the postings below as well as the following links. Please do help us spread the word, we are excited to grow our team, our capacity, and the opportunity to best service our community and partners.

Wishing all of you an enlivening and replenishing 2014!

The Fresh Roots Farm Team
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Position Title – Distribution Coordinator
Application Deadline: January 31, 2014

About Fresh Roots
Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society grows resilient, engaging, education-based food systems accessible to Vancouver’s diverse communities.  Our neighbourhood market gardens are designed as commercially productive agriculture fields that serve two main functions: educational opportunities and food production.  Produce from our neighbourhood market gardens is distributed through our Community Shared Agriculture program (CSA), sold to local school cafeterias, our new Community Food Markets, and various neighbourhood house food security bulk buying programs.  Our fields are used as outdoor, hands-on learning classrooms; engaging school communities and residents of Vancouver in addressing food sovereignty, community health, and vocational skills development.
 
Fresh Roots currently grows at Queen Alexandra Elementary, Vancouver Technical Secondary, and David Thompson Secondary Schools in Vancouver.

Fresh Roots aims to transform how Canadian (and North American) communities address food literacy by building sustainable urban food systems that provide affordable and healthy food back into the neighbourhood that grows it.

Specific Responsibilities of Distribution Coordinator
The Distribution Coordinator (DC) will be the first point of contact for people interested in purchasing Fresh Roots school-grown vegetables. The DC works with our Farm Manager to oversee our Community Food Markets, school cafeteria sales, neighbourhood house bulk buying programs, other sales outlets, and coordinates our CSA program. The DC is responsible for the efficient marketing of our produce.  The DC will steward current sales relationships while developing new sales relationships. The DC acts as produce “traffic director” ensuring that all products find the right home.  They are responsible for consolidation of orders, preparation, delivery, and billing of all orders.  The Distribution Coordinator will work collaboratively with Fresh Roots Farm Manager for approximately 12 hours/week, to develop, coordinate and promote produce sales in line with our mission, prioritizing selling our vegetables directly back into the neighbourhood where it’s grown.

In managing the Fresh Roots Community Food Markets, the Distribution Coordinator will:

  • Coordinate 1 weekly on-site produce stand (with Farm Manager)
    • Oversee market set-up, tear down, sales, and market volunteers
    • Maintain records of all produce sold as directed by Farm Manager and Fresh Roots Director
  • Coordinate and track Community Food Market student and community volunteers
  • Participate in the design and execution of all advertising and social media as related to the promotion of the Community Food Markets.
  • Promote a sustainable local food system
  • Act as a public face of the organization

In managing all Fresh Roots produce sales, the Distribution Coordinator will:

  • Manage the weekly sales of produce to school cafeterias, bulk buying clubs, mobile food markets, restaurants, and others.
    • Receive and record orders in a timely fashion, distribute, maintain relations with all buyers including requesting feedback and providing suggestions, and ensure all delivery orders meet delivery standards
  • Participate in the record keeping of all produce harvested from Schoolyard Market Gardens
  • Maintain quality standards for produce set by Farm Manager
  • Seek out and cultivate new sales relationships, act as a public face of the organization
  • Maintain all required produce sales record keeping as directed by Farm Manager and Fresh Roots Director

In managing the Fresh Roots CSA program, the Distribution Coordinator will:

  • Oversee distribution of weekly CSA
  • Write and distribute weekly CSA Newsletter
  • Maintain all required CSA record keeping as directed by Farm Manager and Fresh Roots Director

Preferred Skills

  • Demonstrated high level of self-motivation, responsibility and organization
  • Possess strong sales and project management skills, 3+ years in retail an asset
  • Experience and creativity in community engagement/ community organizing an asset
  • Demonstrated supervisory and training skills – able to comfortably provide hands-on group and individual instruction to volunteers of diverse ages and backgrounds
  • Excellent communication skills: ability to represent Fresh Roots to the public and work with people from diverse backgrounds; able to identify learning opportunities in a dynamic field environment
  • Physically fit and enjoys hard work outdoors; able to work quickly and efficiently for long hours in any weather
  • Spoken and written fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese and/or Punjabi an asset
  • Familiarity with and commitment to the vision and mission of Fresh Roots an asset
  • Good basic computer skills, comfortable with email, word processing, and spreadsheet data entry, adobe illustrator
  • Familiarity with twitter, facebook, wordpress, and mailchimp an asset
  • Strong practical organic farming and gardening experience an asset

Position Details

  • Estimated Start Date: March 1
  • March-December 2014: 10 month contract, with opportunity to renew.
  • Estimated 12 hrs/week.
  • Scheduling flexibility required. Must be able to work some evenings and weekends — hours may fluctuate week to week
  • Must be able to pass a criminal record check
  • Valid drivers license required
  • $14.23-$20/hr, salary commensurate upon experience
  • plus veggies!

How to Apply

E-mail a cover letter and resume clearly detailing your experiences and qualifications for this position to Ilana Labow at ilana@freshroots.ca:

  • Attach to the email a single PDF document that contains your cover letter and resume.
  • Ensure your name is included in the file name.
  • Ensure your e-mail subject line clearly refers to the position title for which you are applying.
  • Include a copy of the cover letter in the body of your application email.

Position Title – Community Coordinator
Application Deadline: January 31, 2014
About Fresh Roots
Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society grows resilient, engaging, education-based food systems accessible to Vancouver’s diverse communities.  Our neighbourhood market gardens are designed as commercially productive agriculture fields that serve two main functions: educational opportunities and food production.  Produce from our neighbourhood market gardens is distributed through our Community Shared Agriculture program (CSA), sold to local school cafeterias, our new Community Food Markets, and various neighbourhood house food security bulk buying programs.  Our fields are used as outdoor, hands-on learning classrooms; engaging school communities and residents of Vancouver in addressing food sovereignty, community health, and vocational skills development. 

Fresh Roots currently grows at Queen Alexandra Elementary, Vancouver Technical Secondary, and David Thompson Secondary Schools in Vancouver.

Fresh Roots aims to transform how Canadian (and North American) communities address food literacy by building sustainable urban food systems that provide affordable and healthy food back into the neighbourhood that grows it.

Specific Responsibilities of Community Coordinator
The Community Coordinator will be the first point of contact for people interested in getting involved in Fresh Roots. The Community Coordinator will work collaboratively with the Fresh Roots co-directors and farm staff to develop, coordinate, supervise, and promote farm engagement events and opportunities.

In coordinating Volunteers, the Community Coordinator will:

  • Mobilize and supervise volunteers to complete garden and event tasks
  • Recruit and train volunteers as required
  • Develop volunteer engagement program and facilitate meaningful volunteer opportunities
  • Keep accurate records of volunteer hours and tasks completed; generate program statistics
  • Organize volunteer appreciation events
  • Act as the public face of the organization and coordinate community outreach opportunities

In events and project promotion the Community Coordinator will:

  • Organize, host and promote community-wide harvest festivals
  • Organize, host, and promote monthly events at each schoolyard market garden for the school community and surrounding neighbourhood
  • Promote a sustainable local food system
  • Consult with and support other community initiatives that feed into the mission and mandate of Fresh Roots

In educational and engagement programming on the Schoolyard Market Gardens the Community Coordinator will:

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with teachers and staff at all partner schools
  • Oversee the development and facilitation of engaging curriculum-based learning opportunities in an experiential, outdoor format
  • Keep accurate records of curriculum-based activities hosted in the market gardens; generate program statistics
  • Oversee coordination of university programs engaging with the schoolyard market gardens
  • Collaborate with community organizations and neighbourhood houses to utilize the market gardens as places to host their current ongoing programming
  • Lead Schoolyard Market Garden farm tours
  • Lead Schoolyard Market Garden team building activities for partner organizations, local businesses, etc

In external communications the Community Coordinator will:

  • Assemble and write content for Fresh Roots newsletters
  • Become primary person running Fresh Roots social media campaign

Preferred Skills

  • Demonstrated high level of self-motivation, responsibility, and organization
  • Experience and creativity around community engagement, events coordination, and community organizing an asset
  • Demonstrated supervisory and training skills – able to comfortably provide hands-on group and individual instructions to volunteers of diverse ages and backgrounds
  • Excellent communication skills: ability to represent Fresh Roots to the public, and work with people from diverse backgrounds; able to identify learning opportunities in a dynamic field environment
  • Physically fit and enjoys hard work outdoors; able to work quickly and efficiently for long hours in any weather
  • Spoken and written fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese and/or Punjabi an asset
  • Familiarity with and commitment to the vision and mission of Fresh Roots an asset
  • Professional teaching, outdoor education, camp counselor or other leadership experience
  • Good basic computer skills, comfortable with email, word processing, and data entry
  • Experienced and enjoys working with twitter, facebook, wordpress, and mailchimp
  • Gardening experience an asset

Position Details:

  • Estimated Start Date: March 1, 2014
  • Estimated 30 hrs/week.
  • Scheduling flexibility will be required/must be able to work some evenings and weekends — hours may fluctuate week to week
  • Must be able to pass a criminal record check
  • Valid drivers license required
  • $15-$22/hr, salary commensurate upon experience
  • Plus veggies!

How to Apply

E-mail a cover letter and resume clearly detailing your experiences and qualifications for this position to Ilana Labow at ilana@freshroots.ca:

  • Attach to the email a single PDF document that contains your cover letter and resume.
  • Ensure your name is included in the file name.
  • Ensure your e-mail subject line clearly refers to the position title for which you are applying.
  • Include a copy of the cover letter in the body of your application email.
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Immediate Job Opening: FarmWorker FreshRoots

Hello Friends!
Fresh Roots has had some unexpected injuries this season (non farming related, all dance floor related) and we are looking for an experienced farm worker to join us ASAP in our fields. It’ll be part-time, working under the guidance (and awesomeness) of Scott.
Please see posting below and forward along widely. We will review applications as they come in so the sooner the better!
If you are connected to young farmers – apprentice programs – etc please send this to their alumni listserves as well.
With gratitude and a fistful of sunshine,
The Fresh Roots Farm Team
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Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society
Position Title – Contract Farm Worker
Application Deadline: Aug 16, 2013

About Fresh Roots
Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society grows resilient, engaging, education-based food systems accessible to Vancouver’s diverse communities.  Our neighbourhood market gardens are designed as commercially productive agriculture fields that serve two main functions: educational opportunities and food production.  Produce from our neighbourhood market gardens is distributed through our Schoolyard Harvest Box program, sold to local school cafeterias, and our new neighbourhood market stands.  Our fields are used as outdoor, hands-on learning classrooms; engaging school communities and residents of Vancouver in addressing food sovereignty, community health, and vocational skills development.

Fresh Roots currently grows at Queen Alexandra Elementary, Vancouver Technical Secondary, and David Thompson Secondary Schools in Vancouver.

Fresh Roots is dedicated to building the farming skills of a new generation of farmers.  We do this primarily through our young-farmer training program that offers people interested in agriculture an opportunity to learn and work on inner-city farmland.  It also provides participants the opportunity to learn about farm business planning and community-engaged neighbourhood farming.

Fresh Roots aims to transform how Canadian (and North American) communities address food literacy by building sustainable urban food systems that provide affordable and healthy food back into the neighbourhood that grows it.

Position Description
The part-time Farm Worker will assist in the daily farming operations of community-engaged schoolyard farms.  This will be done through the execution of the Fresh Roots Farm Plan, maintaining our farms as aesthetically pleasing, community-engaged spaces, and working with our farm team including staff, interns, and volunteers.

The part-time contract Farm Worker will carry out tasks under the direction of the Fresh Roots Neighborhood Farmer to execute farming operations on multiple farm sites.

Specific Responsibilities of Farm Worker

  • Assist with seeding, transplanting, harvest, weeding, soil amendment, composting, site beautification and other farming tasks
  • Lead intern crew when Neighborhood Farmer is not on-site
  • Manage farm-team to execute farm plan according to timelines
  • Carry out non-farming tasks (e.g. building projects, supply pickup) as needed

Preferred Skills

  • Minimum one season (two seasons preference) of mixed vegetable market farming experience
  • Experience harvesting a variety of produce
  • Weed identification skills required
  • Ability to perform repetitive physical jobs while working alone and in a team environment
  • Experience working with a variety of farming and building tools
  • Excellent communication skills: ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Strong leadership skills:
    • Ability to supervise but also allow others to lead when appropriate
    • Enthusiastic approach to team management an asset
    • Time management skills are highly valued
  • Professional teaching, outdoor education, camp counselor or other leadership experience an asset
  • Must be a quick learner, able bodied and in good physical shape
  • Able to work efficiently for long hours in all weather conditions
  • Valid driver’s license required
  • Must be able to pass a criminal record check
  • Trustworthy, sense of humor, flexibility and patience highly valued

Position Details

  • Estimated Start Date: Immediately
  • Monthly contract for ~24hr/week
  • This is a 2 months contract with potential for extension

How to Apply

E-mail a cover letter and resume clearly detailing your experiences and qualifications for this position to Gray Oron at gray@freshroots.ca:

  • Attach to the email a single PDF document that contains your cover letter and resume
  • Ensure your name is included in the file name of your cover letter and resume
  • Ensure your e-mail subject line clearly refers to the position title for which you are applying
  • Include a copy of the cover letter in the body of your application email
  • Applications must be received no later than August 16th, but review of applications and interviews will begin immediately upon reception
  • We regret that due to the high volume of applicants only those selected for interviews will be contacted

Fresh Roots hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. We encourage all qualified persons to apply. However, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

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