HIRING – FARMER & VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR (PART-TIME)

FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

Title: Farmer & Volunteer Coordinator (Part-Time)

Job Status: Seasonal

Reports to: Farm Managers

Supervises: Volunteers

Start Date: March 2022

Location: Chicago, IL (City Farm Chicago)

 

Company Description:

City Farm Chicago is one of three urban farms stewarded by the Chicago Patchwork Farms growers collective. Chicago Patchwork Farms is a collective of three full-time farmers who steward three farm sites (Patchwork Farms, City Farm and The Plant Chicago) with a mission to grow nutritionally dense produce for Chicago residents at low to no cost to customers. Patchwork employs regenerative practices with an emphasis on building soil ecosystems and local communities. The Patchwork Farms collective also partners with mutual aid organizations to distribute food to marginalized communities on Chicago’s south and west sides.

 

Job Description:

The part-time Urban Farmer & Volunteer Coordinator will report directly to the Farm Manager and will work alongside the Chicago Patchwork Farms collective of urban farmers to maintain City Farm Chicago and develop the farm’s pipeline of volunteers. This role primarily includes assisting in farm work but will also include correspondence with prospective volunteers, creating and distributing marketing material for volunteer events and leading weekly volunteer workdays.

 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Work alongside farm manager to assist with planting, preparation and general maintenance including but not limited to: cultivation, bed preparation, soil building, weeding, seeding/planting, IPM, trellising, composting, etc.

Contact and provide prompt responses to volunteers and general volunteer inquiries providing clear information/details

Practice regenerative and sustainable farming techniques with focus on building soils

Work collaboratively and problem solve to grow nutritionally dense produce

Lead weekly Saturday morning volunteer events 

Responsible for creating and distributing marketing materials for weekly volunteer events via social media, email and Slack 

Create communications to volunteers for public volunteer opportunities and events

Develop professional and positive working relationships with colleagues and volunteers

Ensure equipment is secured and well-maintained

Other duties as determined by farm manager

 

*This job description is not an exclusive or exhaustive list of all job functions. The employee in this position may be asked to perform other responsibilities (within reason) from time to time.

 

Qualifications Requirements:

Respects others’ identities, cultures and beliefs

Experience working with and recruiting volunteers

No prior farm experience required

Strong verbal and written communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills; bilingual preferred

Professionalism in all work related interactions

Attention to details and strong work ethic

Excellent organizational skills and disciplined in the thorough completion of  tasks

Able to perform farm labor for ~10-15 hours weekly in most weather conditions

Experience creating engaging online marketing material 

Able to identify problems, constructively problem solve and ask questions

Available to work Saturday morning volunteer events

Follows safety guidelines to guarantee a safe work environment

Preferred skills/qualifications:

Bilingual in Spanish and English

1-2 years experience in commercial urban agriculture

Associate/Bachelor of Science or Arts (completed or in progress)

Experience with photoshop and/or other photo editing software

 

Desired competencies and behaviors:

Passionate about food sovereignty and building community around food and art culture

Curious about restorative urban agriculture and sustainable farming practices

Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses.

Embodies a growth mindset and is open to both positive and negative feedback as growth opportunity

Communicates openly and in a manner that builds and maintains trust among peers

Demonstrates compassion and kindness in all interactions

Thrives in collaborative environments and enthusiastically builds alliances

Optimistic and can-do attitude with willingness to creatively problem solve

Enjoys physical labor and working outdoors in all weather conditions

Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility

Pursuing a career within urban regenerative agriculture

 

Benefits:

Above average pay in urban agriculture industry

Flexible work schedule

All the vegetables you can eat!

Learning opportunity within regenerative farming

Fulfilling work within urban farming, community building and mutual aid organizing

Access to cultural and community events

Some remote work

 

**Chicago Patchwork Farms is an Equal Opportunity Employer that exhibits values aligned with a diverse and inclusive work environment.

 

Compensation:

This position is hourly and pays $15-$20/hr

 

Application Instructions:

To apply, send an email to chicagopatchworkfarms@gmail.com with the subject “Volunteer Coordinator Application – YOUR NAME”. Attach your resume and cover letter to the email as PDF files. Additionally, please create and submit a JPEG or PDF image of an example social media post, e.g., Instagram, Facebook, email, etc., for a volunteer work day at City Farm Chicago. For this exercise, imagine that you are the Volunteer Coordinator creating marketing materials that will be used to engage viewers and provide details that encourage and enable volunteer participation. Be creative!

 

Deadline:

To receive full consideration, submit a completed application with requested materials to chicagopatchworkfarms@gmail.comAccepting applications until position is filled.

Chicago Patchwork Farms

Welcome to our new website. We hope for this to become a resource for our fans and customers to learn more about our farm, the vegetables we are growing, and how to participate.

The First (2013)

 

Welcome to the spring CSA!  As most of you know already, our spring shares are generally composed of different types of greens (arugula, lettuce, mustard mix, spinach), herbs, radishes, scallions, peas, and then the beginnings of the summer treats toward the end.  This week is no different.  You received:

A choice between greens
Chives
Sage
Spring Onions
Radishes
Eggs or Spinach
The Eggs you received came from the 16 hens that live on the farm.  Most of them are a breed called White Leghorn.  Leghorns are the standard commercial breed in the United States.  They are extremely efficient egg layers–they lay 25% more eggs a year than many heritage breeds, and are light eaters.  We didn’t choose this breed, we received them for free from a 5th grade science class that had hatched eggs as part of a lesson.  We were happy to get free chickens, but were worried that they wouldn’t be a good fit for our farm because of their reputation as a factory breed.  At first they did give us some trouble–they used to love to fly over the fence, and sleep in trees–both habits put them in higher danger of predation and being annoying.  We worried that all of their survival sense had been bred out of them.  As winter set in, though, they joined the others in the coop, and more than just surviving, they continued to lay eggs all winter long.  The experience reinforced my opinions about the amazingness of chickens–they turn all of our kitchen scraps and weeds into delicious breakfast, and they can survive a Chicago winter without any supplemental energy!
You may not have noticed, but we don’t have electricity at the farm, so the chicken coops are heated and cooled passively.  The tall coop has three inch thick insulated walls that help keep in the birds heat during the winter, and the heat out in the summer.  Both coops have lots of windows, and we put them under a large deciduous tree so that the Sun would shine on them in the winter, but they would be shaded in the summer.  The tall coop is also draft free except from bellow.  Because much of the gas given off by the chicken poop and bedding is heavier than air, it settles low in the coop and can be drafted out the bottom, while the heat the chickens generate will rise to the top where the chickens roost to sleep.  Also because we don’t have electricity at the farm, we have been brooding the next flock of chickens at my house where we can warm them with a lamp an a space heater if needed.  This is a flock of 25 chickens of many different heritage breeds.  The new chickens were born in early March and have recently gotten big enough to start to live outside (if the forecast cooperates).  We’re going to start expanding the chicken area at the farm to accommodate them this week, and will move them in as soon as the forecast seems warm enough.  We’re hoping that they will start to lay eggs in August, so that we can expand the egg CSA by September.  If you are interested in being added to the egg CSA, let us know and we’ll put you on the waiting list.
Recipe:
Okay, so Katie is writing this email, and Katie rarely uses recipes, BUT I found this recipe online that you all might want to try this week.  It will use the radishes, the onions, and possibly even the eggs!
If you try it, let me know how it goes.
See you next week
Katie and Molly

Oh, the Internets

We are not very good at this “blogging” thing over here at Patchwork Farms.  But here’s a brief wazup:

1. Seeds ordered and started!

2. 40 baby chickens brooding in my basement.  They’re moving to the garage tomorrow.

3.  CSA is full for this year, but you can email us if you want to be added to the waiting list.  Put “CSA Waiting List” in the subject please.

4.  Market stand and volunteer days will start on May 8.  They will be every Sunday and Wednesday from Noon – 5.

5.  We applied to a farmer’s market… we’ll try to internet about it if we get in.

6.  We, also, wish it was warmer.

3rd Week – August 8

Hi friends,

The last week brought us some great melon and tomato weather, with a good amount of rain and heat. We hope to be able to give you guys some of the exciting stuff (i.e. tomatoes) really soon! I’ve been thieving the first little sungolds off of the vines and they are truly delicious. Anyhow, I hope you’ve been able to keep up with all of the greens we’ve been giving you. I know it’s a lot so we’re giving you a break this week. The 5 people who received tomatillos last week will be getting summer squash this week and the summer squash people will get tomatillos. Everyone will be getting cilantro, onions, and jalapenos for salsa making. In addition to that there will be arugula, a head of cabbage, and a surprise item. It’s a surprise because we haven’t decided what it will be yet.

I think the biggest item will be the cabbage this week so here are a couple of recipes to use up all of that wonderful, multi-layered, round vegetable.

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of veggie ground meat subsitute
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (I like to cook it in a little vegetable stock for added flavor)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 27 ounces sauerkraut, drained (optional)
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes from the farmers market!)
  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the veggie ground beef, onion, cooked rice, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, and 1/2 can of tomato sauce. Core the cabbage and and boil in a pot of water until partly cooked (don’t overcook!), then separate the leaves and trim off the stems. Set aside between 24 and 32 whole leaves. Use the remaining leaves to line the bottom of a large baking pan, roasting pan, or casserole dish. Stuff a small handful of the Smart ground mixture in the center of a cabbage leaf. Fold top part of leaf over mixture, then fold in the sides and roll until mixture is completely encased. Lay rolls on top of the extra cabbage leaves in pan. If you are so inclined, spoon some sauerkraut over rolls, then sprinkle with sugar. Mix chopped tomatoes and sauce with water and pour over rolls. Add additional water as necessary to reach top of cabbage rolls. Bake for about an hour or so until cooked through and hot.

If you have any leftover cabbage you can make sauerkraut with it. There is a good recipe at this link:
http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=sauerkraut
This is one of my favorite things to do with cabbage and it takes so little time in the summer. This is a good recipe but you have to adjust the amounts to fit how much cabbage you have. He uses 5 lbs, but you can halve or third the recipe according to what you have. Also, the time-frame he gives may not be correct because the air temperature is so hot right now. If you don’t have a/c then your kraut could be ready in a week. You should just taste a little bit every day until it tastes as sour as you like it.

I hope you are all enjoying the food and getting a chance to hone your cooking skills. Let us know if you think of any good recipes, especially for all of these greens.

Thanks! See you tomorrow at the farm. Don’t forget to pick it up!

Molly

2nd Week – August 1

Hello Everyone!

Summer is raging at the farm!  All that rain did a good job of fattening up all the plants and their fruit, and now this sun shine is ripening everything–Molly and I have both been able to snack on a few of the first tomatoes, which means you all will be getting some next couple of weeks!

I hope you all enjoyed your vegetables last week.  We tried to set you up for some tasty salads.  Last week you also all got big bunches of chard, and this week you have gotten more chard and also beet greens (beet greens are delicious and taste a lot like spinach!).  If this heat is keeping you from cooking all of those greens, I would recommend throwing them in the freezer so that you can enjoy delicious, local food in the winter.

What I do to freeze greens is: rinse them, chop them to the size I will want to cook them at when I remove them from the freezer (once they’re frozen there’s no more opportunity to wash or cut), throw them into any old plastic bag (many people insist on using Ziploc freezer storage bags, but I almost always just use regular plastic bags that you get from the grocery store and everywhere else), label the bag with the type of veggie and the date, and throw them into the freezer.  Many people suggest that you blanch greens before freezing them, but I don’t for three reasons:  1. They taste fine without doing the extra work.  2.  If I wanted to turn on my stove to blanch the greens, I’d just eat them now.  3.  You lose the water soluble nutrients to your blanching water.  You could also chop up your beets and rutabagas and throw those in the freezer too, but they should last for a while in your fridge.  Remember to remove the greens from your beets as soon as you can–it will help them stay fresh and crisp.

Also, this week half of you got tomatillos (the other half will get them next week).  To make tomatillos salsa, you don’t even need to roast the tomatillos (keep that oven off!).  Take the husks off the tomatillos, rinse them, chop them and throw them in the blender with some minced cilantro, onions, hot peppers, and water.  I put tomatillo salsa on everything–eggs, sandwiches, salads….

If you didn’t get tomatillos you got a summer squash.  My roommate Elise makes a delicious and easy squash dish by sauteing some garlic salt and pepper in butter and then adding shredded squash to it.  It is great and goes well with eggs in the morning.  It also tastes good cold out of the fridge the next day.

Like I mentioned earlier, you also all received some rutabagas.  If you don’t know how to cook rutabagas these are a few of my suggestions:  Treat them like a potato–boil them and mash them or make a rutabaga/carrot/potato soup, etc. My favorite thing to do with them is to cube them and other root/tuber vegetables (beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc); then toss them will olive oil, whole garlic, salt, pepper, and any herbs I love; and then roast them in the oven (350-450 for about an hour or until a nice texture) while I sit on the porch and drink an icy beverage.  I often make a whole bunch of these roasted roots and eat them throughout the week.

We hope you are all enjoying your vegetables and being a part of our CSA.  We are both really glad that we can have a CSA this year!  You all are our first CSA, so please let us know if you can think of ways that we can make the CSA better in the future.  Also, remember that when you come pick up your bag, you are welcome to hang out and check out the garden.  You can also poke around and see if there’s anything else you want us to harvest for you–right now, for example, we have a ton of basil!

Have a good week,
See you next Monday,
Katie Williams

1st Week – July 25

Hi friends!

Katie and I are really excited to give you the first ever CSA box from Patchwork Farms. Don’t forget to pick it up Monday between 12 and 8pm. One of us will be there and we’re happy to give you a lil’ tour of the farm if you want one. The plants have recovered really well from the hail and strong winds and the hot weather and rain have been great.  Since it’s been so hot all I’ve wanted to eat are salads so this box is going to be all stocked up for salad making. Some things you can expect to find in your box are:

Lettuce
Arugula
Watermelon Radishes
Beets
Basil and Lemon Basil
Pac Choi

I made a green goddess dressing the other night with some basil from the farm so I wanted to share the “recipe” with you. I say “recipe” in quotes because I kind of made it up and didn’t measure anything but I’ll give you the ingredients and approximate amounts

Basil Green Goddess Dressing

3 cloves of garlic (or garlic scapes if you have them)
Plenty of basil
lemon juice to taste
tamari to taste
a few tablespoons of tahini
a few splashes of apple cider vinegar
plenty of olive oil to make it creamy and liquidy
a couple of tbsp of sunflower seeds

I would just throw everything in the food processor a little bit at a time and keep tasting it until it tastes garlicky and basil-y and delicious.

Also there are 2 spots left for people to join the CSA so if you know anyone who is interested, let me know.

See you soon!

Molly and Katie

June 20th: We’re throwing a party!

Our friend Al Scorch and we are throwing a square dance party on Wednesday, June 20th.

The evening will start at 5p with three live bands:

The Kodiak Farm Boys

Al Scorch

The Tillers

After that, we’ll move on to dance calling by T-Claw from Nashville, TN:

Beginners workshop at 7:00pm and dancing shortly thereafter, until around 10:00pm or when demand or energy is expended.

All dances will be taught. Everyone will have fun. No one is required to dance, but everyone is encouraged to try it out. No experience necessary.

There will also be beers from New Belgium Brewing Co.

It (like us) is on facebook — http://www.facebook.com/events/390723127631565/

Plants For Sale!

We have plants for sale, come check em out!

Basil

Tomatillos

Tomatoes (many varieties)

Kale (4 varieties!)

Okra

Eggplant (small fruiting varieties)

Ground Cherries (very delicious fruit, you should give ’em a try)

 

We’re open Wednesdays and Sundays from 2-7 or by appointment.

The Great Migration

of soil is coming to an end this weekend. We are just a few beds away from having all of our soil moved to the garden on Chicago Avenue. It has been a lot of fun, but it will be such a relief to be done and be able to focus on growing vegetables again. Thanks to Christy Webber Landscape, we have been able to use an amazing dump truck with a lift gate for the past 2 weekends, which has made everything much easier. It also has a nice, loud stereo so we’ve been able to shovel along to all of the hits. Katie and I both agreed that we are going to miss working in Garfield Park. The neighbors have been really supportive and people are always stopping by to chat which made us feel at home there. I felt like that garden turned an empty lot into something beautiful, and now it’s going to be just another empty lot again. If the owners sell or develop it, I hope it becomes something useful and beautiful for the community.  Luckily, the landowner of the space on Chicago has been really supportive of our expansion and our future plans for the site. After this weekend, we can really focus on all of the neat projects we’ve been starting. We’ve just been lucky enough to have a bunch of fresh cut logs delivered to us from a local tree service which will become part of our mushroom garden. We have a nice shady spot in the southeast corner that will be the future home of these delicious fungi. Meanwhile we have been busy planting our onion starts, starting seeds in the hoophouse, and getting ready for our first CSA on May 2nd. We are just now realizing how ambitious this date is, considering the last frost date is right around this time. We’ve been super busy covering and uncovering the plants, trying to keep them safe through the cold Spring nights. Running a farm is about careful planning, but also knowing when to experiment and when to take risks. Sometimes these things pay off and sometimes they fail. And sometimes it hails. For every unfortunate event we’ve had, there’s always been something positive that comes along soon after. Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way.

Molly

Dirt Moving Party!

This weekend we had a great time (at least I thought it was) moving 1/4 of the dirt from our St Louis Ave garden to our Chicago Ave garden!   With the amazing help from the landowner of the Chicago Ave garden, Sam, and his friend Stuart we were able to nearly continuously fill and haul dirt using a large dump trailer and large dump truck all day Saturday.  We had help from soooo many awesome friends, and did all the work using only shovels, wheel barrows and ramps.  We also had pie, crackers, cheese, a puppy, chips, a dirt jump, and a pretty good time on a nice day.

It rained Sunday morning so since the dirt was too wet to move, a group of us got together and readied rest of the garden to be moved.  We picked all the plants out, moved all the bricks to the side, and found the edges of the fabric the garden is built on top of.   That work will make the next dirt moving party run even smoother.

We’re hoping that we have only 3 more days of dirt moving ahead of us.  Then we probably have a full week of bed building at the Chicago Ave garden.

Check our facebook page for more info on our next dirt moving parties:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=100002370638919

Also, if anyone took any pictures that day, please send them to us.  Thanks to Kim for these: