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Ecology Action Job Opportunities in Biointensive Gardening

 

Current Ecology Action Job Opportunities

Ecology Action's Research Mini-Farm

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  • Seed Germination
    Tester at Bountiful
    Gardens in Willits, CA
  • Garden Farmer
    Common Ground
    Garden in Palo Alto, CA

Help Wanted: Seed Germination Tester

Location: Bountiful Gardens Store, Willits, CA
Start Date: Immediate


Bountiful Gardens, (www.bountifulgardens.org) is an heirloom seed company that has sold seeds and garden supplies by catalog and website for almost 30 years and operates a retail store in Willits, CA. We are a project of Ecology Action, a non-profit which teaches sustainable gardening worldwide. We have an opening in our seed dept for a quality-control person. This position would do all of our germination testing as well as other seed-handling tasks.

Skills Needed: The job of the Germination Tester will be to keep track of our seed inventory and to make sure that inventory is up to California legal standards and in-house standards for acceptable germination rates. Daily tasks will change seasonally, so this position requires some flexibility.

• This position involves keeping track of over 600 varieties of seed, and recording test results accurately. Good organizational skills are a must.

• Keeping a clean working environment is essential to proper germination testing.

• Must have knowledge of plant life cycles, and the willingness/ability to look up the germination requirements of different species

• Must know how to read the results of a germination test, or be willing to learn how to read test results.

• Computer Skills: Familiarity with Microsoft Office, and basic website use. Spreadsheet expertise would be very helpful.

• Fluency in English required. A second language would be a plus, particularly Spanish.

Daily Responsibilities

• Organize inventory to be tested.

• Receive bulk seeds

• Lay out test trays.

• Read test tray results.

• Sanitize work equipment.

• Record seed germination test results.

This position will be year-round. The responsibilities outlined above will primarily take place June through December. Routine testing should be accomplished by fall. If all testing is complete by October, the tester has the option of a month-long break, if desired.

During the busy mail-order season (January through May), daily tasks will shift. During the mail-order season, the primary task will be to assist the Seed Dept manager in filling seed packets. Testing will be done on an as-needed basis, about an hour per day.

Those daily responsibilities January-May will be:

• Receive bulk seed

• Fill seed packets

• Conduct germination tests as needed

Salary and Benefits: This is a permanent position that is full-time at an hourly rate of $13 per hour.

Holidays: Full-time employees have the following nine days off: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving (2 days), and Christmas (2 days).

Medical Reimbursement/Vacation/Sick Time/Family Emergency Leave: After completing one year of employment, full-time employees will receive up to $600 reimbursement per year for dental, vision and medical, plus a $200/month stipend to be used towards medical insurance, preventative care, etc., and up to two weeks of paid sick days and/or family emergency leave. Exceptions can be made by the Director.

Vacations: Full-time staff receive 5 days (40 hours) paid vacation after one year of service and 10 days (80 hours) after two years and annually thereafter, and 15 days (120 hours) after 10 years. If the vacation benefit is not used within the year, it is paid to the staff person at the end of the year. Vacation benefits are earned on the basis of how many hours were worked the previous year.


______________________

Timeline and Application Procedure:

We are hoping to fill this position soon. Please send cover letter and resume to::
Ecology Action, 5798 Ridgewood Rd., Willits, CA 95490 or email: contact[at]growbiointensive.org 

Applications will be accepted until we find the right candidate. Thank you for your interest in Ecology Action, GROW BIOINTENSIVE and Bountiful Gardens!

______________________

Ecology Action is one of the oldest long-term sustainable agriculture research projects in the world and has spent over 40 years developing and teaching the GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming Method. This low-tech (but sophisticated) farming method, based on universal scientific principles, helps small farmers maximize agricultural yields, build soil fertility, and minimize inputs of water, energy, and off-farm nutrients. Our work has demonstrated results in helping successfully helping communities in the U.S. and globally in 151 countries in virtually all climates and soils where food is grown to grow plentiful and nutritious food without depleting precious natural resources and while growing fertile soil. Our programs are centered at The Jeavons Center Research and Demonstration Garden/Mini-Farm located in Willits, CA.

Help Wanted: Part-time Garden Farmer

Location: Common Ground Garden, Palo Alto, CA
Start Date: Immediate


Common Ground Garden (commongroundgarden.org), a project of Ecology Action, is seeking a part-time (starting at 30 hours/week) Garden Farmer (Gardener) to manage our sustainable education and demonstration garden using the GROW BIOINTENSIVE® (GB) system. The Gardener will coordinate maintenance of the garden, the volunteer program, and will share responsibilities with the Education Program Manager for the adult education program, yearly events, fundraising activities, and other items as needed. GB produces high yields, while using a fraction of the water, nutrient and energy resources per pound of food produced per area, compared with standard food-growing practices—and grows soil at the same time—in an increasingly resource-scarce world that is rapidly losing farmable soil. Find out more about GB here.

Desired Skills, Experiences, and Qualities:

  • Experience in organic and/or GB food growing desired. Training in the GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming method will be provided.
  • Experience managing volunteers desired.
  • Experience working at a small non-profit desired (including fundraising, event planning, interacting with/supporting the community).
  • Having a desire to improve one's GB gardening skills and teach others to grow sustainably.
  • Works well both under supervision and independently.
  • Ecology Action is growing the organizational and food-growing GB "memory" for its 44-year-old GB program which is a key resource for gardeners locally, in California, nationwide, and internationally. Applicants with a long-term interest and commitment to sustainable food growing will be given extra consideration.

Duties Include:

Garden Coordination (60%)

  • Assemble and oversee execution of 52-week GROW BIOINTENSIVE garden crop plan (considering the needs of volunteer, youth education, and research programs): starting seeds, pricking out, double digging, compost building, turning & sifting, transplanting, harvesting, watering, crop rotations, companion planting, succession planting, seed saving, crop maintenance etc. • Ensure garden tasks are achieved in a timely manner.
  • Utilize volunteers to accomplish many of the tasks and perform the remainder personally, with support from the Education Program Manager.
  • Perform soil fertility (including a yearly soil test) /pest & disease management.
  • Track & document crop planting dates and growth patterns.
  • Order seeds & manage inventory. • Work to further develop and improve the garden.
  • Assist the Education Program Manager to run student garden classes (as needed),
  • Help organize/maintain sheds and garden grounds

Program Management / Fundraising (30%)

  • Coordinate, run, and further develop the volunteer program to train and work with volunteers on GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming practices.
  • Co-coordinating and co-hosting the Saturday adult gardening class program
  • Co-planning the Edible Garden Tour and other events
  • Coordinating plant and seed sale program
  • Assisting with grant writing

Media (10%)

  • Marketing/publicity for periodic events and ~bi-monthly Saturday gardening (adult) classes
  • Assisting with the monthly newsletter (writing short pieces as needed)
  • Acting as a community-facing contact point for the garden

Salary and Benefits: The position is a long-term, part-time staff position (initially ~30 hours per week, with an hourly rate $18 per hour.) Benefits are pro-rated for part time to 75% of the following:

Holidays: Holidays: Full-time employees have the following nine days off: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving (2 days), and Christmas (2 days).

Medical Reimbursement/Vacation/Sick Time/Family Emergency Leave: Medical Reimbursement/Vacation/Sick Time/Family Emergency Leave: After completing one year of employment, full-time employees will receive up to $600 reimbursement per year for dental, vision and medical, plus a $200/month stipend to be used towards medical insurance, preventative care, etc., plus four weeks of paid vacation annually, and up to two weeks of paid sick days and/or family emergency leave. Exceptions can be made by the Ecology Action Director.

Vacations: Pro-rated Vacation time received is 120 hours, and pro-rated Sick time is 7.5 hours annually.


______________________

How to Apply:

Please send the following to education@commongroundgarden.org :

  • A current resume
  • Three reference contacts (include name, title, email address, phone number)
  • Answer to the 5 following questions in ~150 words each:

    1. What drew you to this position and what do you hope to gain from it?

    2. What is your long-term goal (i.e. What do you envision doing in five years time)?

    3. Share an example of when you were expected to manage a task/project with little oversight and structure; what was your response?

    4. Share an example of a time when you had to manage a group of volunteers to accomplish a task (if you have never dealt with volunteers, use any group of people); what was your response?

    5. What are your professional values in working independently and also in working as a team?

______________________

Ecology Action is one of the oldest long-term sustainable agriculture research projects in the world and has spent over 40 years developing and teaching the GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming Method. This low-tech (but sophisticated) farming method, based on universal scientific principles, helps small farmers maximize agricultural yields, build soil fertility, and minimize inputs of water, energy, and off-farm nutrients. Our work has demonstrated results in helping successfully helping communities in the U.S. and globally in 151 countries in virtually all climates and soils where food is grown to grow plentiful and nutritious food without depleting precious natural resources and while growing fertile soil. Our programs are centered at The Jeavons Center Research and Demonstration Garden/Mini-Farm located in Willits, CA.


Ecology Action of the Mid-Peninsula has been a small 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization since 1971.

©2006 Ecology Action.

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