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Garden Education Coordinator Church Community Services

  • Date Posted August 12, 2022
  • Location Elkhart, IN
  • Category Agriculture / Nonprofit
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description

Our Mission: To establish food security in Elkhart County, Indiana by providing fresh, local produce and protein to those in need.

Seed to Feed, a program of Church Community Services, works alongside the organization’s food pantry to address food insecurity in Elkhart County.  Seed to Feed started in 2011 with two gardens and two cash crop fields, with the goal of providing fresh, local produce to food pantries in the area.  In 2017 Seed to Feed shared 138,314 pounds of fresh produce with our pantry guests through our gardens and donations from local farmers.

Job description

Organization Overview:

Seed to Feed (STF) is a program of Church Community Services (CCS) and works in collaboration with the CCS onsite food pantry.  The program began in 2011 to provide fresh, local produce and protein to food pantries throughout Elkhart County.  Currently the program is comprised of 22 offsite gardens, an onsite community garden, a Teen Grower production garden, and a variety of educational initiatives including community classes and the Teen Growers internship offered to local high school students.  The internship consists of 2 distinct 12-week sessions for local teens (ages 15-18).  Topics include sustainable agriculture and community gardening.  The Teen Growers plan, plant, cultivate, and harvest produce in Seed to Feed gardens and may work off-site.

Position Summary:
The Garden Education Coordinator will be responsible for organizing, recruiting, and supervising the Teen Growers internship and free community gardening/cooking classes led by Seed to Feed.  This position will help plan and aid in maintaining Seed to Feed's onsite greenhouse and community growing spaces with the STF Director.  This includes the coordination of the Teen Grower Interns.  The Education Coordinator will help community members look critically at our current food system while envisioning a more equitable and sustainable local food system.  This position entails maintaining and building relationships with the local schools and youth programs in Elkhart, Indiana.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate gardening classes as well as food classes for the community.
  • Develop with the STF director, a seasonal growing and maintenance plan for our greenhouse and community growing spaces.  Tasks may include, seeding, bed prep, transplanting, harvesting, trellising, weeding, irrigation application, operating farm machinery and tools, applying natural amendments and organic pest prevention practices.
  • Supervise and coordinate Teen Growers working in community gardens, the greenhouse, and potential Teen Grower Supervisors and future interns.
  • Foster a safe, fun, educational outdoor working and learning environment for all participants and plan work sessions for students.
  • Plan and teach a curriculum involving sustainable farming/gardening, community gardening, food justice, sustainability, food systems, climate change and nutrition/cooking while utilizing social/emotional learning frameworks.
  • Build a network of partnerships in the community for Teen Growers.  Recruit and promote teen growers within said network.
  • Schedule guest speakers and field trips related to the curriculum.
  • Plan for the future educational growth of Seed to Feed and Teen Growers.
  • Process produce properly to administer to the community, this includes: washing, bagging and storing food appropriately.

Requirements:
  • High School graduate, must be 18 or older.
  • Effective working with youth ages 15-18 years old.
  • Some knowledge and experience with sustainable farm/garden systems including plant propagation, garden planning and garden maintenance.
  • Able to work well as a team member and independently.
  • Flexibility, can switch directions well, even in stressful situations.
  • Able to plan and lead interactive educational lessons.
  • Passion for the justice implications of farming/gardening.
  • Effective communication and relational skills, especially with youth.
  • Valid driver's license.
  • Background check.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects at once.
  • Must be available in the evenings during spring and must be available in the mornings during summer.
  • Must be able to lift 50 lbs and stand for long periods of time.
  • Must be willing to work in unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Ability to properly address issues that community members or Teen Growers convey.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • BA/BS in a related field-including but not limited to: sustainability, peace and justice, horticulture, environmental science, agronomy or other agricultural management degree, education, communication, social work.
  • Cooking or nutrition experience.
  • Trained in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR).
  • A member of the Elkhart Community.
  • Food handling experience.
Disclaimer:  This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee in this position.  Employees may be required to follow any other job related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give assignments.  This position description excludes the marginal functions of the position that are incidental to performance of fundamental job duties.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Equal opportunity Employer: Church Community Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability.  However, commitment to the mission, purpose, and programing of Church Community Services is critical. Compensation this position is : hourly, $15-20/hr Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
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