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Farm Co-Coordinator

Spring is nearly upon us, and we’re looking for an experienced, self-motivated farmer with market garden experience to co-manage our annual food and flower crop production.

The Salt Spring Centre of Yoga is one of the oldest yoga retreat centres in British Columbia. Aside from hosting retreats, we also operate an organic farm that provides food for our guests and residents. After four decades of ecologically sound agriculture, we’re breathing new life into the Centre’s historic farmland with water harvesting earthworks and perennial crop systems. Come get your hands dirty with us and help lead a team of committed workers in tending the land and producing nutrient dense food for 25+ residents and many more guests.

If your idea of spirituality means working hard to serve the earth and one another—in addition to just practicing on the mat or meditation cushion—then life on the farm team at this unique little sanctuary might be for you.

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Responsibilities & Qualifications

 

Responsibilities

In collaboration with the Farm Coordinator you’ll be responsible for the daily operations of our 1.5 acre “market garden” with the primary aim of producing nutrient dense crops for 25+ residents and guests. The position requires a minimum commitment of 31 hours of work per week. The person who will be happiest here (or on any farm), however, loves working and learning in the field, and doesn’t mind giving a little extra when the rhythms of the land require it. We’re early to rise and to work, but we’re typically done by noon! Farm work is physically demanding and can be strenuous, and we work in the field, rain or shine. From your start date in February until October 31st, you’ll assume co-management of the following duties including, but not limited to:
  • Crop planning. What, when, where.
  • Daily direction, training, and support of the farm team, as well as occasional larger groups on our community work days.
  • Weekly task planning and worker scheduling.
  • Seeding, planting, thinning, and weeding.
  • Harvesting & washing produce for daily kitchen use.
  • Compost creation & fertility management.
  • Irrigation management and upkeep.
  • Maintenance of tools and equipment.
  • Processing and storing produce for winter.
  • Collecting and cleaning seed for future planting.
 

Qualifications

  • Minimum of 3 years farming experience.
  • An interest in the many traditional paths of yoga.
  • Strong knowledge-base in annual and perennial production on ½+ acre. Experience with farm-to-table initiatives and/or collaboration with restaurant kitchens is a definite bonus.
  • Comfortable and experienced with tractor operation. Or at least a good driver ;)
  • Practical knowledge of and experience with farm tools including hand tools, irrigation systems.
  • Physical ability to manipulate heavy equipment such as rototillers and other tractor implements.
  • Experience or interest in permaculture and restoration agriculture practices.
  • Supportive and approachable leadership style. Non-violent communicator.
  • Must be able to tend to multiple tasks and prioritize. Strong organizational skills.
  • Good sense of humour.

Working Conditions

We’re definitely not your average workplace. Many of the people who’ve lived and worked here count it among the most unique and transformative experiences of their lives. If you’re just interested in punching the clock and getting a paycheck, then this place probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re open to exploring community life and spiritual practice, all while working hard to be of service to others, then there’s a good chance you’ll have a great time with us.

 

Compensation

  • Private indoor accommodation with shared bath.
  • Two hot vegetarian meals a day, continental breakfast, and access to a shared staff kitchen.
  • Monthly stipend for living expenses  
  • Access to ongoing yoga classes and other special events at SSCY.
  • All the lessons that come along with living amongst 15-25+ people.
 

Teaching & Learning

We hope to invigorate and support your passion for regenerative agriculture into the future. We are all teachers AND students.  Here are some lessons you can expect to pick up here:
  • Passive water management and design (irrigation, swales, ponds and paddies).
  • Perennial plant propagation (hardwood/greenwood cuttings).
  • Food forest design, establishment and management techniques.
  • Access to Geoff Lawton’s 2017 PDC course (videos).
  • Cold climate rice production! (This will be our first attempt).
  • Occasional farm days alongside Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds.
 

Yoga & Community

As an added bonus, when you first join our vibrant community, you’ll take part in the offerings provided for our Residential Karma Yoga Program for the first 10 weeks of your time here. You’ll learn and practice alongside other folks who come to work in our kitchen, maintenance, and housekeeping teams. This allows new residents to gain a thorough introduction to the teachings and practices of yoga that inspire SSCY. Participants in the program normally pay $875 for the 10-week period, but we include it as part of the co-coordinator’s compensation. In addition to work on our farm, the ten-week program includes:
  • Two 75-minute classes per week on yoga philosophy, practice, and community life.
  • Two 60-minute classes per week on traditional yogic breathing and meditation.
  • One 90-minute community circle per week for group discussions on matters relevant to community life.
  • Access to ongoing yoga classes and other special events at SSCY