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Farm Coordinator – 2019 season

Spring is nearly upon us, and we are looking for an experienced, self-motivated farmer with market garden experience to 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 are 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 dens 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:

You will be responsible for the daily operation 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 28 hours of work per week.  The person who will be happiest here 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 are early to rise and to work, but we are 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 mid to end March until November 30, you will assume management of the following duties, 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 work scheduling
  • Seeding, planting, thinning and weeding
  • Harvesting and washing produce for daily kitchen use
  • Compost creation and 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 1/2+acre. Experience with farm-to-table initiatives and/or collaboration with restaurant kitchens is a definite bonus.
  • Comfortable and experience 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

Working conditions:

We are definitely not your average workplace.  Many of the people who have 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 is probably not for you.  However, if you are open to exploring community life and spiritual practice, all while working hard to be of service to others, then there is a good chance you will 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 the centre
  • All lessons that come along with living amongst 15-25+ people
Teaching and learning - here are some lessons you can expect to pick up here:
  • Passive water management and design (irrigation, swales, ponds)
  • Perennial plant propagation (hardwood/greenwood cuttings)

Yoga and Community:

As an added bonus, when you first join our vibrant community, you'll take part in the offering provided for our Residential Karma Yoga Program for the first 10 weeks of your time here.  You will 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 the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga.  Participants in the program normally pay $1,155 for the 10-week period, but we include it as part of the coordinator's compensation.  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 the centre
To apply: Please email us a cover letter demonstrating your interest in this position and a resume to: info@saltspringcentre.com