16 people are interested
Interns are an integral part of Veggielution, providing essential support to staff throughout the year in almost every area of the farm operation. As a part of our team, you will have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on farming experience as well as a deeper understanding of urban agriculture , community engagement , and the non-profit sphere . We are looking for candidates with a strong work ethic, sense of self-motivation, and commitment to Veggielution’s mission.
Our mission is to connect people
from diverse backgrounds through food and farming
to build community in East San José.
Farm Interns report directly to the Farm Manager and work closely with the Volunteer Program Manager, other staff and other volunteers to complete a wide variety of farm tasks including, but not limited to; bed preparation, seeding and transplanting, weeding, pruning, harvesting, greenhouse propagation, chicken care, flower management, composting, and irrigation systems maintenance, leading volunteer groups, leading workshops, etc. You will work in a collaborative, team environment as part of the farm crew, working alongside staff and volunteers to strengthen daily farm operations. You will select an area of focus within the farm operation (fields, chicken coop, orchard, compost, greenhouse, flowers, and distribution center) and will be responsible, along with your team, for maintenance of that that area.
(Focus area descriptions below)
General range of intern duties:
- Select an area of focus within the farm and work closely with farm crew staff and other interns to strengthen operations within that area.
- Create and maintain a schedule based on your availability for management of your area of focus.
- Work quickly and efficiently on a variety of farm tasks including bed preparation, composting, seeding, transplanting, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, trellising, harvesting, etc.
- Welcome new volunteers to the farm and serve as a leader, role model, and teacher.
The ideal candidate for this position has:
- Strong verbal communication skills
- Comfort working with people from diverse backgrounds (age, race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and ability)
- Enthusiasm and passion for Veggielution’s mission
- Some experience and interest in gardening, farming, landscaping, etc. (optional)
- Reliability and a strong sense of self-motivation
- Bilingual ability is a plus (Spanish, Vietnamese, etc.)
- 8 - 20 hours per week (may not exceed 20 hours a week)
- Attend at least 3 work days per week (Tuesday - Friday 8:30am-12:30pm or 1:00pm - 5:00pm, Saturday 8:30am - 1:30pm)
- Additional afternoon hours to complete project-based work in your focus area can be arranged with the Farm Manager (optional)
- Rotating Sunday and Monday farm chores. The farm is closed on Sunday’s and Monday’s, but interns and staff will share weekend responsibilities.
Areas of Focus (7)
Orchard (2-4 vacancies)
The Veggielution orchard is home to more than 150 fruit trees, including apples, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, pears, figs, persimmons, pomegranates, and mulberries. We have two main sections of orchard: one in the back of the farm and one alongside the road. Most of our fruit trees were planted between 2012 and 2013, and 2016 was our first year of significant harvest. The varieties in our orchard were selected with the help of Nancy Garrison, a master arborist and long-time supporter of Veggielution, who continues to come out to the farm regularly to assist with ongoing maintenance.
Farm interns who focus on the orchard will have the opportunity to learn about fruit tree care and maintenance, including:
- Fruit thinning
- Weeding and mulching
- Irrigation maintenance
- Data Entry
Additional projects will also include:
- Completion of an orchard map
- Leading small groups of volunteers to complete weeding/mulching
- Any other great ideas you have!
Chicken Coop (2-3 vacancies)
Veggielution has an educational flock of chickens. Eggs are sold at the Farm Stand every Saturday and we provide the opportunity for volunteers and Youth Garden families to meet the chickens and learn about how they are raised. Our chickens eat a diet of certified organic mixed grain feed and vegetables from the farm, as well as oyster shell as a calcium supplement and the occasional mouse (chickens are omnivores!).
Chicken coop farm interns will focus on the chickens care, adolescent and adult hens and be responsible for the daily and weekly maintenance tasks in the chicken coop. These tasks will include, but not limited to:
- Feeding and watering
- Collecting eggs
- Cleaning out nesting boxes
- Data Entry
Additional projects will also include, but not be limited to:
- Coop upgrades and improvements based on independent research
- Cultivation of supplementary crops inside the coop
- Any other great ideas you might have!
Compost (2-3 vacancies)
Compost plays a huge role in our organic soil management strategies, especially in our no-till plots, as a source of organic matter and nutrients. While we do produce some compost on site for use in our potting mix, we mostly rely on donated municipal compost for field application. The municipal compost (produced by Zanker recycling) is a great source of organic matter, but does not have the worms or microbial life that our homemade compost has. At earlier points in Veggielution’s history, we produced our own compost more regularly and in larger amounts than we do now, but have not had the capacity in recent years to dedicate time to that process. Today we are in the middle of establishing an static aerated compost pile, which will aggregate browns and greens from our neighboring Emma Prusch Park and PAL stadium to create compost of our own that we can share with the community.
Farm interns who focus on compost will play a key role in further developing the system for the on-site production of compost for field, greenhouse, and community pick up application. Independent research as well as training from Farm Crew staff and Master Composters will inform the system design, and specific responsibilities will include:
- Emptying packing shed, dish station, and general compost bins
- Creating schedule for compost evaluation and watering
- Leading groups of volunteers to help with compost maintenance
- Recordkeeping for inputs and outputs of the compost pile
Greenhouse (2-4 vacancies)
Many of the vegetables and flowers grown at Veggielution begin their lives in our production greenhouses. Starting vegetables in the greenhouse allows us to get a head start on warm weather plantings in the spring, thereby expanding our growing season. Twice a year we also produce vegetable starts for annual spring and fall plant sales, as well as supplying seedlings for sale at the farmstand.
Farm Interns who focus on the greenhouse will be involved in following scheduled vegetable and flower sowings for the farm and plant sales, as well as helping to develop and expand our native plant propagation program for practical application and educational purposes. They will also be involved in regular maintenance tasks to support transplant health. Specific duties include:
- Propagating vegetables, flowers, and native plants.
- Leading Saturday workdays in the greenhouse.
- Pest and nutrient management.
- Regular maintenance such as thinning, fertilizing, potting up, hardening-off, etc.
- Data Entry
Additional projects will include:
- Researching and selecting vegetable varieties for our upcoming seeding.
- Assist in developing plan to expand our native plant propagation and increase our plant sales.
Distribution Center (2-4 vacancies)
The distribution center is the vegetable processing power house and egg storage center. Every Friday we harvest what is available, trim, wash, dry, take weights, and portion out our produce in the Distribution Center. In addition to harvests, we also try fresh herbs, store our vegetables, and educate the public on the inner workings of our farm.
Farm Interns who focus on the packing shed will manage weekly harvest activities, lead volunteers in packing shed activities and explore other possibilities to make the packing shed more robust and efficient.
- Washing all yellow harvesting bins
- Cleaning the eggs on Fridays
- Evaluating the wash station (working with Farm Program Manager to plan improvements)
- Pest management
- Regular maintenance such as sweeping, organizing, sorting, drying herbs, etc.
- Data Entry
Additional projects will include:
- Reporting out on harvest numbers
- Collaborating with program leads to distribute produce
- Working with volunteers to make produce bags for volunteers to take home
- Researching and implementing efficient packing shed procedures.
Flowers (2-4 vacancies)
The flower intern will focus on the planning, seeding, transplanting, care of, harvesting, and bouquet making of flowers. We want to have many more pollinating plants here on the farm as well as have flowers for sale and always brighten up the farm with flower arrangements.
Interns how care for our flowers will:
- Create a flower plan for the fields and around the farm
- Seed flowers in the greenhouse
- Transplant flowers with volunteers when they are ready
- Care for and maintain good flower health
- Harvest flowers for sale in the farm stand
- Prepare bouquets with staff & volunteers
Additional projects will include
- Working with Farm Program Manager and Operations Manager around farm planning including flowers
- Tracking flower seeding, planting, and harvest data
- Working with volunteers to accomplish projects
- Research and implement effective pollination plans
Field (6-10 vacancies)
The field intern(s) will focus on the soil care planning, transplanting, care of, harvesting, and working with other interns and volunteers to accomplish any given task. The goal is to always have plenty of vegetables in rotation so that we can distribute veggies as payment for volunteers, sell veggies from the farm stand, offer a wide variety of plants to our cooking programs and of course teach other volunteers about the intricacies of horticulture.
- Work with farm program manager and operations manager on farm plan
- Work with Greenhouse intern for seeding schedule
- Transplant veggies when they are ready, leading volunteers and/or interns
- Care for and maintain good plant health
- Harvest veggies for various purposes
- Other farm related duties
Additional projects will include
- Working with Farm Program Manager and Operations Manager around farm planning and maintenance
- Tracking transplanting and harvest data
- Working with volunteers to accomplish a variety of projects
- Research and implement innovative growing plans
We'll work with your schedule.
647 South King RoadSan Jose, CA 95116
- Sales Marketing
- Supply Chain
- People 55+
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- 3 months to 1 year
- Strong verbal communication skills Comfort working with people from diverse backgrounds (age, race/e