2023 Seasonal Volunteer Program
Our 2023 Seasonal Volunteer intake is now closed.
A season-long volunteer position at Sole Food Street Farms is for individuals with an interest in urban agriculture and social enterprise. The program provides each participant with the opportunity to spend a season working on an urban farming operation. Education will be through hands-on experience and the skills learned will be focused on agriculture and social sustainability in an urban context.
About Sole Food Street Farms
Sole Food Street Farms is a Vancouver, B.C.-based social enterprise that transforms vacant urban land into street farms that grow artisan quality fruits and vegetables. Our mission is to empower individuals with limited resources by providing jobs, agricultural training and inclusion in a supportive community of farmers and food lovers.
Sole Food is in its fourteenth year of operation with almost three acres of land in production, 25 employees, and over 40,000 lbs. of food produced annually. We used to have three farm sites in and around the Downtown Eastside, including three city-owned brownfields but have now consolidated onto one site near the Cambie Bridge. We are modeling innovative ways of growing food in vacant urban spaces and in abandoned lots with contaminated soils. Our approach is re-envisioning and repurposing vacant lands to improve the food security of our local communities, while providing meaningful employment for people who face systemic barriers to accessing and maintaining traditional employment.
What does being a seasonal volunteer at Sole Food mean?
We have a diverse and innovative urban farming operation, which requires a wide range of skills: greenhouse seedling production, field planting, weeding, harvesting, post-harvest processing, preparing restaurant orders, serving our CSA shareholders and building and repairing infrastructure. You don’t need to have any background in farming or gardening but you should be prepared for physically demanding work performed in all types of weather.
We aim to provide you with a well-rounded training in urban bio-intensive agriculture and farm operations, and expect you to pursue this learning. Besides the informal training that happens each day we will provide regular workshops on various topics and opportunities for further learning off the farm.
- The program begins Monday, May 22, 2023 and ends Friday, October 27, 2023.
- Your time commitment would be one or two 4-hour morning shifts per week from 6:30 to 10:30 mid-season; timing can be flexible. The first shift is scheduled between Monday and Thursday, the second is on Friday. Volunteers are always welcome to stay longer but are not expected to stay beyond your initial schedule.
- You are expected to be punctual; be prepared to work at the designated time, with the necessary tools, and proper clothing. Closed toed shoes are required at all times on the farm.
- If you cannot make your scheduled day please contact the Director of Farm Operations to reschedule to another day. However, it is expected that you choose a day that you are available.
- You will need rain gear, rubber boots, a sun hat, and a water bottle.
- You will receive a market membership of $200 to spend at one of our three weekly sales locations.
- You can also help yourself to the staff vegetable stack in the cooler of market extras
- Taking part in monthly workshop and events
- Physical ability to carry out farm tasks (must be able to lift 50 lbs)
- Lots of energy, highly motivated, and a mind for efficiency
- Open and positive communication skills and attitude
- Interest in both the social and farming aspects of Sole Food’s mission
- Flexibility and a sense of humour!
Please submit a resume and cover letter that includes answers to the following questions:
- What interests you in being a part of Sole Food Farms?
- What physical limitations might you have in performing farm tasks (bending over for long stretches, lifting, pushing heavy wheelbarrows)?
- Can you commit to one or two 4 hour morning shifts a week for five months?
- What other relevant skills do you have?
- If you were to give a workshop to the staff on something you are knowledgeable or passionate about what would it be on? (does not have to be agricultural related)
Email a completed application and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org – include “seasonal volunteer” in the subject line to ensure we receive your application.
Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview.