Who We Are
Youth. Food. Community. Three important issues that intersect in one place: The Food Project. Here, we believe that food is a unique vehicle for creating personal and social change. Nothing else ties us so intimately to each other and the planet we share, affecting our health, the climate, culture, and poverty and privilege around the globe. If we — young and old from all walks of life — can unite to change the food system, we can change the world. From our urban and suburban farms to our community education programs, we aim to do just that by bringing together youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build local and sustainable food systems.

Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, we work with more than 120 teenagers and nearly 2,000 volunteers to farm on 70 acres in eastern Massachusetts in the towns and cities of Wenham, Lincoln, Boston, and Lynn. We consider our hallmark to be our focus on identifying and transforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in unusually responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work. In addition, we help others grow their own food and provide training resources based on all we have learned.

What We Seek
The Food Project is seeking a full-time Grower’s Assistant to work on our Lynn  farm for the 2022 season. The Grower’s Assistant will partner with the Lynn Farm Manager, youth, and community members in all aspects of production at our Lynn site, which includes a 1-acre urban farm, a 1,200 square foot greenhouse, and  ¼-acre farm/community garden plot. The farm is intensively managed to produce 20,000 pounds of produce each year, and the Grower’s Assistant will support distribution through our SNAP-accessible farmers’ market, mobile markets, wholesale accounts, and donations to hunger relief organizations. This position is a mix of production, distribution, community and youth engagement. 

Core Responsibility: 

Farm and Community Gardens Work

  • Partner with Lynn Farm Manager to accomplish and/or delegate all manner of farm tasks, with quality and efficiency, including composting, bed preparation, mulching, planting, cultivation, and harvest–all by hand. 
  • Partner with Lynn Farm  Manager to implement and troubleshoot new farm practices, such as increased mulching and reduced soil disturbance,  as we increasingly move toward a no-till farming model. 
  • Take point on managing our Lynn Vocational Technical Institute farm site.  Work with youth interns, community members, and Lynn Farm Manager to launch our brand-new community garden site at Lynn Vocational Tech. This will include orienting and providing support to new community gardeners throughout the season, setting up some basic farm infrastructure, and troubleshooting new systems as we go. 
  • Assist in all aspects of greenhouse production and distribution related to our spring seedling sale.  Cover weekend greenhouse watering, on a schedule TBD with the Lynn Farm Manager (probably one weekend per month.)
  • Survey all farm sites on a weekly basis to determine the next course of action in regards to farming operations. 

Volunteer & Youth Engagement

  • Lead small groups of dedicated Work-for-Share volunteers in farm tasks for one to two mornings per week throughout the spring and fall. Potentially lead larger groups of corporate volunteers in the fall. (TBD as we constantly evaluate our COVID protocols as an organization.)
  • Partner with youth development staff to lead farm work with youth in The Food Project’s Seed Crew- an intensive six-week summer job for teenagers.
    • Root Crew (Summer): During July and August, partner with youth development staff and with Root Crew, our more experienced youth, to run market harvest, washup, and complete more advanced farm tasks.
    • Dirt Crew (Academic):  During the spring and fall, support Dirt Crew in managing farms on Saturdays with volunteers.  
    • Root Crew (Academic):  During the spring and fall, support Dirt Crew in managing farms on Saturdays with volunteers.  

Market & Distribution

  • Work with Community Programs Manager and Lynn Farm Manager to staff weekly markets, as needed. The level of leadership and involvement is TBD pending COVID protocols. The Lynn Assistant Grower should feel comfortable going to market, at a minimum, and may direct The Food Project market stand on a weekly basis.
  • Support weekly harvest and deliveries to our wholesale accounts. 

Organizational Health

  • Participate in Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Trainings, affinity group space, dialogue space, etc.  
  • Feedback Participation: Real Talk, circle process, etc.  
  • Active Organizational Team Member: Department/team intersectional collaboration in respective work/communication as needed and requested
  • All Staff Meetings: Team building, trainings, activities as determined
  • Support Recruitment, Onboarding, Orientation, Training: Tap into various networks, participate in screenings, interviews, etc. for all organizational positions.

Qualifications

This position is ideal for an individual who is interested in both sustainable agriculture and community engagement. It is well-suited for someone with at least one full season of experience working on a production farm, who is ready to take on a leadership role as part of an urban agriculture team. Our farms are run in partnership with youth and community members, therefore a candidate must have a passion for teaching and leading others, particularly young people.

Our youth and neighbors reflect the tremendous cultural, racial, and socio-economic diversity of the city of Lynn and surrounding neighborhoods. Candidates with experience working in diverse settings are strongly preferred. 

  • At least one full-time season of field experience on a production farm (preferred) 
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and energy for engaging with other people 
  • Dependable, responsible, flexible and open to learning 
  • Ability to work a flexible 40-hour schedule: Tuesday-Saturday in the spring and fall, Monday-Friday in July and August. (Daily start and end times will be more varied in the summer).  
  • 21+ years of age with a valid driver’s license and clean driving record (required for use of TFP vehicles) 
  • Enthusiasm for working with teenagers; prior experience teaching or leading youth in outdoor settings preferred. 
  • Experience leading groups safely and productively 
  • Experience working in multicultural community settings
  • Team-oriented with a good sense of humor; able to work independently.
  • Knowledge of the Lynn community is a plus. Bilingual in Spanish, Russian, or another language is also a plus. 
  • CPR and First Aid certified or willingness to be trained
  • Able to pass a CORI/SORI background check

    Location & Schedule

    This is a full-time, seasonal position from April 4– November 7th, 2022, with a fluctuating Tuesday through Saturday/ Monday through Friday work week. 

    • The Lynn Assistant Grower  has 5 Personal days which can be taken on the day of a holiday, or amassed in order to take a weeklong vacation over the course of the season. 

    Compensation 
    The rate of pay is a range of  $20.00 – $21.00 per hour based on experience. 

    Application Process
    Please send resume and cover letter via email to:  [email protected]. In the subject line, write your name and the position for which you are applying with the region, eg: “Jordan Smith – Lynn Grower’s Assistant.” 

    We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates, and contact ONLY those individuals selected to continue in the application process (phone screening, interview with staff, interview with youth).  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 15th, 2022 and decisions will be made on a rolling basis until mid April 2022.   

    The Food Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to creating an inclusive organization. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates for this position.