Position: PACT Grow to Learn Program, Urban Farm Manager @ TCI
Organization: The PACT Urban Peace Program
Posting Date: March 2nd, 2020
Employment Type/Term: Seasonal contract position, 40 hours per week for 25 weeks from May 4th 2020 – October 23rd 2020
Reports to: PACT Director of Operations
Compensation: Flat rate of $17.50 / hour, 40 hours per week working Mon-Fri
Contract Type: Sub-Contractor Position
PACT Urban Peace Program Organization Overview:
The PACT Urban Peace Program is an award-winning registered Canadian charity dedicated to working with, supporting and empowering underserved and at-risk young people as well as other vulnerable populations. PACT does this through the development and delivery of high quality innovative and youth focused and community programming including life and job skills projects, schoolyard urban farms and life coaching, supported by partnerships with the youth justice system, schools, as well as other community partners and funders. PACT values and embraces diversity and equal opportunity in a serious way. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, gender identities, perspectives, and skills. We encourage applications from qualified candidates who reflect the diversity of our communities. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.
PACT Grow to Learn Urban Farm Overview:
The PACT Grow-to-Learn (GTL) Urban Farm and Food Initiative teaches about and connects schools and communities to organic food, agriculture and the environment while also providing thousands of pounds of fresh organic produce to food banks and other under-resourced school and community based programs and individuals each year. The program creates safe inclusive experiential learning environments and delivers curriculum linked workshops in outdoor living classrooms that also serve as community engagement and feeding hubs in low income neighbourhoods. While addressing some of the immediate and local needs, the program also acts as a catalyst in raising awareness of important issues related to environmental sustainability, healthy eating/nutrition, food insecurity, and hunger. GTL also actively supports meaningful volunteer, practicum, co op placement and entry-level employment opportunities for local students as well as at-risk young people referred from other related agencies and schools, opening doors to a career path in the growing environmental / urban agriculture and sustainable food sector.
Reporting to the PACT Admin Team, the GTL Garden Manager will provide a key leadership role in the overall planning, purchasing, production, distribution, maintenance, promotion/outreach and reporting activities across PACT’s urban farm at Thistletown C.I during the 2020 growing season. PACT Grow-to-Learn has been running a one acre garden at Thistletown C.I for the past 7 years. In 2019-2020, in partnership with the TDSB, and due to construction plans, the gardens are in the process of being moved to another plot on the school property. The GTL Urban Farm Manager, with the assistance of the PACT Grow-to-Learn Team, will be overseeing setting up the new 1.2 acre garden plot at Thistletown C.I.. Building soil, planting, harvesting, etc. Managing an assigned budget, they will be responsible for purchasing, tracking, preparing, storing and applying all required materials and equipment to support the end to end production activities of the TCI farm. The GTL Garden Manager is responsible for overseeing all the growing operations and related activities as outlined below.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
Planning, Purchasing, Production, Maintenance and Reporting Activities:
- Manage all direct growing operations including: crop plans and rotation, planting, watering, sowing, harvesting, weeding, mulching, cover cropping, plant care, tree care, compost maintenance, garden infrastructure, and producing a record of crop rotations.
- Monitor, coordinate and oversee all required landscaping tasks and maintenance garden sheds, fences, trellises, pathways, signage and all other related farm infrastructure.
- Prepare (weigh, record etc.) manage and distribute all harvested food to PACT’s weekly community markets, food banks and other culinary and related programs and agencies within the schools and community.
- Responsible for maintaining a clean, inviting, safe and organized space at all times, as well as maintenance of all tools/materials, storage sheds and all other garden assets and infrastructure.
- Responsible for tracking and recording daily and weekly in-garden (non education related) production stats in an online spreadsheet including: harvest logs, compost rotation and compost collection logs.
- Responsible for providing monthly reports of all garden, production and distribution related stats and data to the GTL Program Manager.
- Responsible for managing assigned garden budget, carrying out all required purchases to support all growing and maintenance activities and updating online tracking spreadsheet of all weekly purchases and receipts.
- Responsible for ordering and overseeing transport of all required garden materials (compost, soil, seeds, seedlings, woodchips, mulch, tools & equipment) as needed (always researching best most cost effective options and clearing large purchases with PACT Director of Operations).
- Responsible for providing monthly budget/purchasing status report to Director of Operations
- Accept compost from community members (during specific days and times each week) and provide them with GTL market bucks to exchange for produce at weekly CCE markets.
- Responsible for referring all educational and workshop related inquiries to the GTL Lead Educator for follow-up in a timely fashion.
- Communicate and coordinate with Lead Educator as needed to ensure smooth operations of workshops and educational activities.
- Maintain the GTL Elmbank Orchard as required.
- Working closely with the Director of Operations responsible for compiling all garden and production related statistics, testimonials, case studies, and highlights to produce detailed end of year GTL production report.
- Access Zipcars as required in support of program and to transport materials and produce.
School, Community and Stakeholder Outreach and Relations:
- Continue to raise awareness about PACT and the GTL program within the local community to recruit volunteers and build/foster positive long-term relationships/partnerships with local food banks/feeding programs, community members and other related partner agencies and stakeholders.
- Working together with all the other core GTL staff, ensure that all volunteers, student and work placements are being fully vetted, registered, supported, trained, supervised and leveraged productively with assigned tasks in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.
- Working together with all the other core GTL staff, ensure that all student participants, school staff, guests and community members are fully supported and supervised in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.
- Involve school in decision making and garden planning whenever reasonable and wherever possible.
- Represent and communicate PACT/GTL’s values, vision and mandate in a professional and courteous manner at all related activities, events, meetings and in all interactions with participants, school staff, students, volunteers, guests, community members, funders, the general public and all other community partners and stakeholders.
- Promote an anti-oppressive, inclusive, safe and equitable environment that respects diversity.
- Takes all reasonable care and necessary precautions to protect his or her own health and safety, that of co-workers and all others under their supervision, by complying with, communicating and demonstrating knowledge of all policies, procedures and safe practises established by PACT and the GTL program.
- Attend periodic GTL and PACT meetings, trainings and professional development activities as required and requested.
- Help plan, facilitate and attend PACT fundraisers/events and other community based events throughout the year representing GTL as schedule permits.
- Collect and provide periodic case studies, testimonials, photographs, success stories, garden stats etc. to support PACT website, blogs, annual reports, newsletters and funding proposals.
- Create and conduct questionnaires and evaluation surveys to assess and document overall positive impact of GTL program including the Community Compost Exchange (CCE) program and weekly markets.
- Minimum two years experience managing a medium to large sized production garden or farm including staff and volunteers
- Significant experience with school / community based organic gardening and all the required tasks, responsibilities and relationships this involves
- Experience managing a budget and purchasing required materials to support growing operations across a medium sized production farm or garden
- Experience collecting, tracking and reporting on required statistics and other important program data
- Demonstrated capacity and sensitivity working with at-risk and underserved individuals and communities experiencing food-insecurity, marginalization, mental health issues and poverty
- Knowledge of perennials and pollinator plants as well as native plants and medicinal plants an asset.
- Knowledge of soil building. and starting new garden plots an asset.
- Knowledge of and experience with food in-security issues and programming an asset
- Experience managing a produce stall and/or working at farmer markets an asset
- Knowledge and experience working with young people who have various special needs an asset
- Demonstrated ability working effectively in both a self-directed and team environment
- Demonstrated initiative, leadership, flexibility and creativity
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Strong administrative and organizational skills and attention to detail
- Demonstrated proficiency in the Google Suite of cloud based applications: Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Drive etc.
- Demonstrated ability and discretion in protecting the privacy of others and dealing with sometimes delicate and confidential information
- Must complete full vulnerable sector police criminal reference check
- Valid driver’s license and access to car an asset
- First Aid and CPR training an asset
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