Michigan – GrowTown hiring Market Garden Grower

Detroit, Michigan

Market Garden Grower 2017 season

GrowTown is accepting applications for a market garden grower(s) to participate in the development of the Penrose Market Garden in Detroit, MI. This opportunity is for landless but skilled growers ready to take initiative and who can work collaboratively with GrowTown and other community stakeholders towards an extraordinary outcome and exciting urban agriculture model. Onsite housing is provided.

The Penrose Market Garden is a GrowTown project with the following mission:

A Viable Market Garden demonstration project: Financially viable and replicable demonstration of the Small Plot INtensive SPIN-Farming business model that has been documented to generate $68,000 and more per ½ acre.

2017 is the second season of development for this entrepreneurial market garden business in Detroit, Michigan. The Penrose Market Garden is being developed by GrowTown to be a profitable sub-acre urban market garden business that generates significant income for a market grower. The GrowTown model integrates this local food business into an urban affordable housing development and neighborhood.

This is a pilot project of the neighborhood development concept GrowTown which was a 2010 Buckminster Fuller International Challenge semi-finalist. The project is also a recipient of a 2015 Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit grant.

This is a unique opportunity to be a part of an innovative community development project. Our work environment is highly disciplined and entrepreneurial. We are looking for a grower or partner growers to bring their skills and enthusiasm to the Penrose Market Garden and participate in building a successful, groundbreaking urban agriculture model.


  • Provide oversight and management of Market Garden operations.
  • Crop Care: Growing, maintenance, management and sales of crops.
  • Manage crops using organic, high productivity practices.
  • Insect and weed control, fertility monitoring and general field observation.
  • Practice 4 season vegetable production and season extension.
  • Manage, maintain and perform simple repairs of all Market Garden equipment: irrigation, tunnel house, cooler, gates, fences, etc.
  • Keep detailed records of expenses, sales, crop schedules, yields, successes and failures.
  • Manage and direct supplemental labor, if required, for market garden operations.
  • Maintain Market Garden and grounds in a professional and attractive condition.
    The Penrose Market Garden is a neighborhood center and community asset and appropriate maintenance of the facility is required, just as in any other urban business or endeavor.
  • Friendly and open interaction with neighbors and visitors and ability to positively engage in community relationships at the garden.
  • Work as a team member with community partners.
  • Work respectfully and cooperatively with the Penrose Village property management team.

  • Penrose Market Garden markets for the 2017 season include:
    2 farmer’s markets, a weekly onsite Penrose Farmstand, and a 10-15 member Salad CSA new for this season. The Farmstand accepts SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, and WIC Project Fresh coupons. Additionally, there are many potential restaurant customers in the immediate area.


  • Degree in agriculture, vegetable production, horticulture or related field, or completion of a certificate program such as the MSU Student Organic Farmer Training or similar and/or equivalent work experience.
  • Minimum 2 years work experience on a farm or market garden.
  • Physical ability to lift 50 lbs and work outside in all seasons.
  • Knowledge and skills in organic growing methods, pest management, soil management, composting and safe food handling.
  • Strong organizational and record keeping skills with attention to detail.
  • Entrepreneurial energy, high level of initiative, flexibility and positive problem-solving attitude.
  • Excellent personal, communication, and customer service skills.
  • Passion for innovation and excellence in local food systems and urban communities.
  • A candidate will have a strong practical knowledge of agricultural skills, experience in crop management, record keeping and marketing. The Market Garden Grower needs a good understanding of the rhythm of farm work. Knowing the appropriate time to do certain tasks both on a daily basis and weekly schedule, and how much time to allow for task completion and maintaining a schedule. A good candidate will be self-directed but also able to take direction from the GrowTown project manager. Organizational skills and self-motivation are imperative. Attention to detail is required in all aspects of the market garden management.
  • Pioneering spirit and adaptive management style:
    This GrowTown pilot project and the Penrose Market Garden are in the development phase. We are committed to extraordinary results and we are looking for a partner or partners that have the skills and commitment to produce high level professional results and the ability to adapt and respond to challenges and needs as they arise.

To apply see growtown.org for more information.

We will begin reviewing applications on January 20, 2017