Songaia Garden Manager
The Songaia Garden is supported by the Garden-to-Table Club, an activity within an intentional co-housing community in Bothell, Washington. Over the last 25 years it has evolved into an important focus of our work towards a sustainable future. Significant steps towards living lightly on the land have manifested through the development of organic, permaculture-based systems, which include food forests, our quarter acre main garden, and orchards. In 2016 we harvested over 5,000 pounds of organic produce. We educate interns and others in the principles and practical application of the permaculture method.
Mission of the Songaia Garden
To grow an abundance of vegetables, fruits and nuts to feed our community (via the Garden-to-Table Club) throughout the year. To act as a Permaculture teaching site and to involve and inspire the Greater Neighborhood and surrounding communities to participate in the wonder of growing food together and experiencing the joys of our unique community.
Garden Manager for Garden-to-Table Club
$15,000 per year. This is a part-time contract position. Therefore, the Garden Manager will arrange his or her hours as needed to supervise interns and volunteers during the growing season (approximately mid-April through mid-October) and to coordinate preparations for the upcoming season during the winter months. Contract will be paid in two segments, $3000 for November-March and $12,000 for March-October.
Benefits: Free membership in Garden-To-Table Club, $500 educational allowance. Contract positions do not pay into Social Security and L&I, or deduct income tax.
- Coordinate Garden Activities.
- Daily operations. Optimize food production and use of garden produce by Garden-to-Table Club members. Participate in and supervise all aspects of the day-to-day chores of permaculture fruit and vegetable production, including bed preparation, planting, managing invasive weeds, mulching, composting, and watering. Document yield and report annual yield to community.
- Increase soil fertility. Utilize permaculture principals such as crop rotation, guild planting and various composting methods. Arrange for winter composting of food waste from Club meals.
- Winter garden preparation. Coordinate the early preparation of the garden (primarily performed by the garden team) including the planning of crops, seed procurement, propagation, preparation and care of seedlings and transplants from greenhouse.
- Manage orchards and food forest. Lead care for the large number of fruit trees. Includes planting, watering, disease control, fruit thinning, pruning, removal of dead or diseased trees, mulching and extensive harvesting. Teach food forest design, implement guilding as feasible, and coordinate ongoing maintenance, including management of invasive weeds.
- Process harvest. Participate in and instruct volunteers and interns in the preservation of food for winter consumption. This may include canning, drying, fermenting and freezing.
- Coordinate Volunteers and Intern Program
- Community volunteers. Provide and encourage opportunities for our residential and extended Songaia community to participate in garden work. Examples include garden team projects, community-wide work parties, and harvest processing events. Reach out to surrounding community, volunteer organizations and schools. Support community members in developing garden related proposals according to their passions and interests. Examples might include food forests, chicken husbandry, and bee keeping.
- Internship program. Recruit interested interns, including communication with the WWOOF (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program and local colleges. Plan weekly meetings to develop priorities and discuss garden issues. Oversee day-to-day scheduling, instruction, supervision and guidance. Set priorities and assign interns for completion of those priorities. Provide evaluations and letters of recommendation. Supervise housing and community participation by interns.
- Arrange for appropriate coursework and teach interns about organic gardening and permaculture through weekly classes, field trips and recommended reading. Serve as an educational resource for volunteers by providing expertise and support. Infuse all teaching with the principles of sustainability, land stewardship, climate change awareness and minimal disturbance of nature’s processes. Utilize and model permaculture principles in problem–solving.
- Network with wider Permaculture community. Attend the annual Permaculture Convergence and facilitate intern participation in the Convergence.
- Administrative Duties
- Manage budget. Approve expenditures from appropriate budget line items of Songaia Association and the Garden to Table Club. Obtain regular financial reports from the bookkeepers of these organizations. Report financial status at least quarterly.
- Web-based communications. Post materials on Songaia garden web page, Facebook page, Meet-up or other relevant social media formats. Send appropriate email announcements to Songaia community, volunteers, and interns.
- Garden Logistics. Handle all garden related logistics including facilitating infrastructure improvements (e.g. fencing) and repair, deliveries (e.g. manure, mulch). Coordinate the design and operation of irrigation systems.
- Attend regular relevant committee meetings, as well as community-wide meetings, subcommittee meetings, Club meetings, and so forth as appropriate for the role of Garden Manager.
Knowledge of Permaculture gardening principles and techniques.
Ability to supervise a team of interns, volunteers and residents.
Organizing and planning daily schedule.
Designing and implementing educational opportunities.
Setting clear policies and enforcing work rules.
Creating high standards and a positive work ethic.
Encouraging development of skills and talents of other team members.
Exceptional organizational and planning skills.
Prioritize the demands of a complex system.
Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Fluent with email, spreadsheets and common document formats.
Familiarity with or aptitude to learn current social media and networking tools.
Experience implementing permaculture design principles.**
Ability to lift 50 pounds
Ability to perform challenging physical work.
Ability to operate necessary equipment and tools.
Must have a valid driver’s license.
Pass a criminal background check.
Knowledge of gardening in the Pacific Northwest.**
Experience with residential intentional community.**
Personal connection with Songaia Greater Neighborhood.**
Geographic proximity to Songaia.**
Minimum of 5-year hands-on experience in horticulture, including supervisory experience.
Experience as a Permaculture Garden Manager. **
Experience in adult education.**
High school Education.
Permaculture Design Certificate obtained before March 2018.
Permaculture Teacher training and experience in permaculture education.**
Master Gardener training.**
** Preferred but not required qualifications
We believe that diversity is a crucial factor in the life of The Greater Neighborhood and in the “Garden to Table”, program as a whole. We see diversity as enriching and vital. We do not discriminate on the basis of ancestry, creed, color, religion (includes religious dress and grooming practices), sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, and sexual orientation or veteran status.