As of January, Backyard Bounty will not be hosting interns for 2013…
things may change in the future, so we will leave this description of our program up.
If you’ve read the goodwork posting already, the application can be found here.
This year (2012), Backyard Bounty would like to again invite interns to join us for the growing season. It is our fourth year in operation and we are looking to share what we have learned with interns who are excited to learn about our project and help it to grow further! This year’s interns will have the benefit of being involved in our second year of involvement in C.R.A.F.T., as well as an improved internal education program.
Backyard Bounty is Guelph’s Urban Agriculture Project. Our aim is to convert lawns into productive vegetable gardens and in doing so provide natural, fresh and nutritious vegetables to the local community. To date we have converted about 2.5 acres or 25 resource dependent lawns to gardens through partnering with members of the community. We also desire to increase awareness about urban food production while improving the biodiversity and reducing pollution in Guelph. By being involved with Backyard Bounty, you are supporting a local, sustainable food system for Guelph and the potential for a working model for other cities to adopt.
We are seeking individuals who have a keen desire to learn about growing food organically, who are interested in building friendships and community, who are enthusiastic, curious, and open to new ideas and are prepared to work hard!
Intern Program Goals
We aim to provide a fantastic learning opportunity for the four inters who will join us in our urban agriculture setting. Here they will have opportunities to learn the principals and practices of organic agriculture in a nurturing and dynamic team environment while contributing to the success and development of Backyard Bounty.
Educational opportunities at Backyard Bounty are unlimited but based heavily on the motivation of the individual. The Senior Farmers, as well as the Project Manager (Tom) and Owner (Robert) have many resources for learning about the various aspects to organic and urban farming. The University of Guelph is a fantastic resource with many related programs and the libraries in Guelph have resources too. In addition, Tom will be putting together a list of resources for your perusal!
The work/position/opportunity for interns:
Interns will learn skills in starting seeds, transplanting, soil preparation, compost, greenhouse management, small and large-scale production methods, harvesting, weed control, fertility management, irrigation, mulching, distribution, planning, and working together with the CSA members, restaurants, at markets and with others in the community. Interns will learn through day to day work activities through either working with the CSA farmer or the Market/Restaurant farmer, through discussions and sessions with the senior farmers and with the project coordinator, as well as through visits to other farms.
The garden farmed by Lisa is one parcel of land that lies just outside of town on Arkell Road. We will have ~2 acres there which we are trying to use productively before they are slated for development and the topsoil is lost. Thus work in this garden will be more typical to organic field farming. However, there are also lots of exciting opportunities there. Another collaborator will be farming chickens, there will be research demonstration/innovation projects being conducted by the University of Guelph, while the Salvation Army has a location next door with a usable kitchen for value adding. Other Backyard Bounty gardens are nearby, so you will be working in those as well.
The other two interns will be working with Andrew in gardens right in the city of Guelph that are in residential yards. It is very important that you are respectful when working in these areas! This will often include riding on your bike or driving the Backyard Bounty truck between properties to do work in the different gardens. Both interns will be very involved with the Backyard Bounty Box (CSA) program that will have two pick-ups during the week.
All four interns will have opportunities to help with the coordination, promotion and marketing of Backyard Bounty. This may include: website and facebook updates, newsletter development, contact with restaurants, CSA coordination and set up, customer communication, postering, emailing CSA members, etc. This will depend on your interest, but if you decide to take something on, we will ask for you to be dedicated to doing it all season. This is a great opportunity to learn about the business side of Backyard Bounty. The senior farmers are interested in letting the interns trade farmers for a couple weeks at a time as long as work can be kept up!
Things you will need:
- Wide brimmed hat
- Steel-toed boots (for the roto-tiller)
- Work gloves
- Working watch
- Clothes for all weather
- Cell phone
- Driver’s licence is beneficial
- Up-to-date tetanus shot
This farming internship is different than most because we are in an urban environment. Thus, you will be responsible for your own living arrangements in Guelph.
The internships will run from the beginning of May to the end of October. We work 40 hours a week, with some days (harvest) are longer than others, starting very early and ending late, while on other days you will be able to end early.
The internship positions include enough for rent and a small stipend which will increase over the course of the season and receive WSIB coverage. You will also have access to the vegetables growing in the gardens.
Who we are looking for:
Successful applicants should be willing to work hard in a cooperative, team environment and be ready to learn about urban and organic farming. You need to be very respectful and responsible as you are farming on other people’s properties and must always be conscious of upholding Backyard Bounty’s values. Applicants should have a strong work ethic, a keen interest in organic and urban farming, be able to lift heavy objects and able to work hard in all kinds of weather, sometimes completing lengthy, monotonous tasks.
Please submit the following information to the address provided below:
- Completed application
- Current resumé and cover letter outlining your interests in organic and urban agriculture
- References with related contact information (2 for (related) working experience and 1 other).
8 Islington Avenue
Application deadline is February 28, 2012. Once you have been chosen and everyone is comfortable with the arrangement, a contract will be signed by both parties.