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Food Bank Garden Apprentice

Good Cheer Food Bank & Thrift Stores | |

Posted on: 04/10/2019 6:03 pm

Dates: April 16, 2019 through November 3, 2019 (dates are flexible)

About the Food Bank:
Good Cheer Food Bank has been serving the South Whidbey community since 1962 and is funded chiefly through the revenues of two thrift stores. We are a choice-based food bank open 6 days a week, and focus on providing whole foods and fresh produce as much as possible. In 2009 we installed a garden in front of the food bank to increase the amount of fresh produce available to shoppers. In 2016 we added the Big ACRE (Abundant Community Resources for Everyone) in collaboration with the South Whidbey School District. The one-acre space allows us to supply the food bank and school cafeterias with fresh produce year round when there are few other options available.

About the Apprenticeship:
The Apprentice will join the Garden Manager and one other existing apprentice for the season. A farm is a complex organism and apprentices will be included in all matters of farm management in order to fully understand the flexibility and forethought a full season requires. There will be opportunities to practice these skills through independently managing a small garden. The Garden Manager will provide guidance and labor as time allows, but the apprentices will be responsible for most of the work on this site. As we are a nonprofit, we rely heavily on volunteers and apprentices will develop leadership and communication skills for the many different types of volunteer coordination, from large service-learning groups to individuals.

All apprentices will participate in once-monthly seminars to allow for deeper discussions into the important issues surrounding agriculture, our food system, and the specifics of farming/gardening (i.e. soil science, fertility, pest and disease management, etc.). Additionally, field trips and community events will expose you to a greater variety of growing practices, farm/garden/business models, and mentors.

Scope of Duties:

  1. Participate in all aspects of managing a collective 1.25 acres of growing space
  2. Assist in coordinating and leading volunteers every Wednesday and Saturday, and as they drop in.
  3. Assist the Produce Manager in the food bank to process excess produce for storage (canning, freezing, drying, etc.), sort donations, and keep the store refrigerator stocked.
  4. Participate in fundraising, event planning, and outreach–writing newsletters and blog posts, posting to social media, and recruiting volunteers.
  5. Manage an ⅛ acre garden site using skills learned through the course of the apprenticeship.

Time commitment:

  • Position start flexible and as soon as possible.
  • Position ends October or early November, as work and interest allows. There is also the possibility of doing a second year apprenticeship.
  • An average of 35 hours per week, Tuesday through Saturday. Apprentices and the Garden Manager will rotate weekend responsibilities hand watering, opening and closing greenhouses, leading/assisting with volunteer days and special events. Apprentices will receive one weekday off in rotation to compensate for weekend work;
  • Once a month evening potlucks combined with classes and discussions of farming and our food systems, plus time on own reading, listening to podcasts, and watching short videos.


  • a stipend of $400/month; worker’s compensation is also provided as part of the Washington State Farm Internship Project;
  • housing, typically in the form of a homestay;
  • unlimited food from the gardens and the food bank.

Skills and Experience desired:

  • some experience growing food;
  • enjoy working with and being around people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities;
  • eagerness to learn and ask questions;
  • good communication, time management, and organizational skills;
  • in good physical condition: able to stand, kneel, and squat for long periods of time; use manual garden tools; push, pull, and lift/carry minimum of 50 pounds;

To be considered for this position, please email the following materials to

  1. a cover letter addressing your experience with gardening or farming, why you are interested in farming for a food bank, how you meet the desired qualifications, when you are available to start, and how long you can commit to the program;
  2. a current resume;
  3. three references that can speak to your personal character, work ethic, or experience growing food.

Number of interns needed: 1

Kids Okay: No.

Pets Okay: No.

Car Required: No.

Experience Required: Helpful.

Work Hours: Full Time.

Learning Opportunities: Set Aside Time.

Meals: Share With Family.

Housing: Yes.

Paid: Yes.