FRESH New London is a small non-profit located in New London, CT. Our goal is to unlock the power of New London’s diverse community and encourage broad participation in the hands-on transformation of our food system from what it is to what it ought to be: healthy, just, sustainable, accessible, productive, and beautiful! FRESH works within the framework of three areas: growing food, connecting community, and empowering youth. In the growing food area, FRESH has recently turned our focus to urban farming and community gardening as a way to build resiliency in our city and to inspire more people to take part in the community food system. With our newest imitative, Edible New London, we envision food grown, with the community, all over the city – urban orchards, public snack beds, community garden plots, a community supported greenhouse, and more. With FRESH supporting residents to grow, harvest, and enjoy food grown right here New London. Currently FRESH manages a small raised bed urban farm and two community garden sites. We grow vegetables and herbs, care for fruit trees, and other annuals on these sites. We also support school gardens and other community gardens in New London. We are looking to expand our urban food production, create new, environmentally sustainable growing systems, and build new urban farming sites over the next five years.
FRESH New London (Food: Resources, Education, Security, Health) builds momentum for food system change through local agriculture and youth empowerment. We use food to connect to the community, encourage leadership, inspire stewardship, and incite change.
We envision a robust, productive, equitable, healthful, and sustainable local food system in New London, Connecticut that was created with broad and diverse engagement. Healthy food will be common in our community because the food will be truly accessible and the skills and information for growing and enjoying these foods will be shared by all. Resources and opportunities for participation at all levels of the community food system will be universally accessible. People of color and low income families will be leaders in this local food movement, express their power and self determination to grow a just New London community, and change the global food system. And food will be grown all over New London. Raspberry hedges line busy streets; community gardens can be found in every neighborhood; small urban orchards and communally harvested vegetables gardens are seen.
- Environmental Stewardship;
- Health and Wellness;
- Racial and Social Justice;
- Our community: Our cultures, our people, our place, our power;
- Sense of humor and fun!
The FRESH Urban Farm produces food (mostly produce), plants, and a myriad of opportunities for training of youth and the general public- on multiple sites within New London. The Edible New London Farm and Project Manager will oversee all food production activities, create effective management systems for urban farming, assist building new garden projects, and supervise and mentor paid youth staff, farm interns, and other community volunteers. The Edible New London Farm and Project Manager is also responsible to oversee the community education and food marketing components of FRESH work, working closely with FRESH youth and Youth Program staff. The Edible New London Farm and Project Manager will work closely with New London residents to plan and build new garden sites that center the needs of community members.
Primary growing food site is the ½ acre FRESH Urban Farm and Education Center, but management responsibilities include the continuing development of McDonald Park Edible Park project, upcoming edible landscape projects, and consultation with--and occasional site visits to--the constellation of community and school gardens that FRESH helped to establish and with which we maintain strong relationships.
Essential Job Functions
Farm Management: From Seed to Sale
- Create and implement a yearly food production plan in collaboration with staff, youth, and community leaders. Oversee the implementation of those plans;
- Work with Americorp VISTA , Food Justice Educator, and FRESH youth to plan and implement weekly planting, maintenance, and harvesting schedule for all FRESH growing food locations;
- Create new systems for project management and crop management;
- Manage greenhouse growing—plant propagation, hot weather crops, and season extension;
- Oversee plantings of and care for fruit trees, medicinal herb gardens, and other perennial plantings;
- Use environmentally sustainable insect and weed control and soil fertility management;
- Assist with infrastructure planning, creation, and maintenance;
- Irrigation planning and implementation, including harvesting rain water;
- Develop soil-building/fertility program, including composting;
- Coordinate efforts to include poultry and bees into FRESH’s Urban Farm as able;
- Purchase seeds and all agricultural materials for Urban Farm, FRESH Programs and community partners/members;
- Assist with delivery of produce in FRESH Box Truck and set up at some direct marketing events as needed;
- Work with community members (youth and adult) to include culturally appropriate produce/plants in annual plan.
Edible New London Site Construction
- Participate in planning for new Edible New London locations—including small urban orchards, snack beds, community gardens, and other urban food production sites. Work with neighbors and residents to implement their ideas. Act as the agriculture expert on the team to assess how and where food can be produced throughout the city;
- Lead a team to construct and plant new sites. Team will include FRESH staff, youth, and community volunteers;
- Draft plans and get community approval (work with Director and FRESH Community Organizer);
- Purchase materials;
- Plan workday and lead crew in construction;
- Maintain all new garden sites with the assistance of volunteers, FRESH youth, and staff.
Supervision and Education
- Collaborate with FRESH Staff to train youth in practical agricultural skills and experiences;
- Integrate youth and volunteers into weekly farm planning and task work;
- Assist Food Justice Educator to incorporate educational experiences into youth and volunteer work crews;
- Assist in developing educational goals and curricula for Summer Youth Program, as needed by youth program staff;
- Supervise and guide Farm Interns and YAS (Youth Adult Staff);
- Collaborate with staff, youth, FRESH Advisory Board Members, and others to create and coordinate regular/monthly workshops/workdays which engage participants in service learning and connect people to the food, land, and each other.
Record Keeping and Assessment
- Track yield, sales, donations, other;
- Assess and adjust cultural practices, fertility, and other systems plans. Utilize soil tests and other methods to measure soil health;
- Feedback- proactive communication within organization to solve problems and advance program objectives;
- Evaluate activities based on clear goals and objectives;
- Participate in planning for long-term/strategic farm development, fertility, and programming.
- Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
This is a full-time, salaried position that will include a full benefits package, medical, and dental. The salary is $30,000 to $40,000, depending on experience. The position offers a lighter workload in the winter months and abundant fresh vegetables.
Work on this urban farm includes time on the farm, greenhouse, outdoor classroom, and office. It is hard and repetitive physical work that includes evening and weekend hours. Flexibility with scheduling is required. You’ll need to live in or near New London to maintain our garden sites. You’ll also need a current driver’s license, a clean driving record, and comfort driving trucks.
The FRESH Urban Farm and Project Manager will need a strong, practical knowledge of agricultural skills and management; a commitment to community food security, and a passionate dedication to food justice, social change and environmental stewardship.
- A minimum of 2 years of full-season agricultural experience;
- A commitment to racial and social justice;
- Working knowledge of sustainable farming and urban farming methods;
- Ability to think about a long term vision, while implementing project details;
- Experience with and knowledge of basic carpentry;
- Supervisory experience with farm workers, volunteers, and/or youth;
- Highly organized and able to manage and track work on multiple sites;
- Experience working with youth; interest in youth leadership and youth development is strongly preferred;
- Experience with fruit tree care and/or permaculture design is a plus;
- Strong communication skills; ability to work with team and community members respectfully and with patience;
- Ability to lift up to 40 pounds repeatedly, do regular physical labor, and arrive at work in the early morning;
- Experience and interest in working with diverse populations - different ages and various economic, social, and political backgrounds;
- Qualities of self-motivation, time management, flexibility, and cooperation are a must.
We strongly encourage online applications. Please attach your resume and cover letter.
We also accept applications by mail or fax. Send to:
Attn: Human Resources
89 South Street, Suite 700
Boston, MA 02111
Or Fax: 617.523.2070
As an EOE/AA employer, TSNE MissionWorks/FRESH New London will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, and veteran, or disability status.