Farm and Grounds Assistant
at Smokey House Center
Smokey House Center encompasses more than 5,000 acres of mostly conserved forest and farmland in Southern Vermont. In addition to managing conserved forest and farmland, Smokey House Center’s fundamental purpose is to maintain a working landscape that promotes sustainable agricultural and forestry practices while engaging people in meaningful ways. This includes providing educational programming that enables people to develop the skills needed to be productive and self-sufficient members of their communities. The Smokey House Community Farm project grows food with local youth, visitors, and volunteers for donation to food security and other community food programs.
Smokey House Center is located in the rural town of Danby, Vermont. Since the launch of the Community Farm project in 2016, Smokey House Center has distributed over seventeen tons of fresh vegetables throughout Rutland and Bennington counties for hunger relief and community food programs. The Community Farm grows nutrient dense fall harvest storage crops and we work with local youth, visiting groups, and volunteers to grow this food. In 2020, we are looking for a team member to lead field work, maintain the grounds of our main campus, and support volunteer engagement in Community Farm activities.
This seasonal position is responsible for Community Farm vegetable production, maintenance of farm blueberries, Christmas trees, and main campus grounds beautification. The Farm and Grounds Assistant will support and often lead the work of volunteers and visitors on the Community Farm program. This position is supervised by the Farmer/Program Coordinator with additional support from a contracted “Mentor Farmer.”
Essential Functions/Tasks include:
- Seeding, watering, transplanting, cultivation, harvesting, processing and distribution of Community Farm root crops,
- Tending to blueberry/raspberry production including mulching, pruning, mowing, pick-your-own sales and operations,
- Farm site and grounds maintenance including mowing, string-trimming, Christmas tree care, and fencing repair,
- Light maintenance activities and repairs to Community Farm equipment, facilities, and tools,
- Leading weekly public volunteer sessions, assisting with farm education workshops, school visits and Community Farm events in conjunction with Program Coordinator,
- Support management and use of education garden plots at SHC for use by camp program, visiting school groups and others as determined with Program Coordinator,
- Crop planning, field prep and soil fertility management with Farmer/Program Coordinator,
- Additional responsibilities as directed by supervisor.
- Experience in farming with a basic understanding of food production systems, though it is not required.
- A passion for food, education, and collaboration is key.
- Must have a positive attitude and interest in working with individuals of all ages.
- Applicant should be able to work well in a variety of settings and to work well both in groups and independently.
- Applicant should be mature, responsible, self-motivated, possess good communications skills and attention to detail.
- Must have a valid driver’s license.
Physical requirements of the position:
- This position requires working outside in physically demanding environments, including climate fluctuations, extreme hot and cold weather and possibly snow.
- This position requires the ability to bend and lift 50 (+) pounds regularly.
- Capacity for physical work 6-8 hours a day is necessary.
- This is a seasonal employment opportunity beginning in May and ending in November, 2020. $13/hr., housing and utilities, healthcare reimbursement, educational stipend and mentorship opportunities included.
- This position requires weekend and periodic evening work.
- This position will report to Farmer/Program Coordinator and is supported by the Mentor Farmer.