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Global Garden Refugee Training Farm Looking for Volunteers

By Patty Wetli | March 19, 2014 10:20am
 Volunteers are needed at the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm to help with everything from composting to the farm's CSA.
Volunteers are needed at the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm to help with everything from composting to the farm's CSA.
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DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

ALBANY PARK — For anyone who's ever wanted to try their hand at farming, without having to live on a farm, here's your chance.

The Global Garden Refugee Training Farm, located at Lawrence and Sacramento avenues, is looking for volunteers to fill a number of positions, ranging from farm crew leader to beekeeping coach.

To receive more information or apply for any of the opportunities listed below, email Linda Seyler at globalgardenfarm@gmail.com. In all instances, volunteers must be willing to work with individuals with limited or no English.

Here are some job descriptions:

Seed repackaging, noon-4 p.m., March 30, Peterson Garden Project Learning Center, 4642 N. Francisco Ave.: Take seeds purchased in bulk and break them down into packets for individual farmers. Entails measuring, labeling and sealing of seed packets.

Farm crew leader: Will lead a crew of six to 12 refugee farmers in performing chores such as weeding, harvesting, watering, spreading wood chips, etc., as directed by the farm manager. The job requires two to three hours weekly at a regular time, to be determined by the volunteer.

CSA assistant: Will assist the farmers and farm manager with filling anywhere from five to 25 CSA shares and tracking customer pickups. Requires two to three hours on Saturday mornings beginning at 8 a.m.

Market day coordinator: The primary responsibility will be tracking sales data during market stand hours including the number of customers, types of crops sold and amounts sold by individual farmers. Can also assist with harvest, packing CSA bags, customer service and other market day chores. Requires two to three hours weekly on Thursdays or Saturdays.

Flower bed crew leader/manager: This job can be tackled by a single individual or a small group of people willing to manage the farm's flower beds along Sacramento Avenue. Will require weed removal and regular litter pickup. The long-term goal for these beds is to establish hardy, drought tolerant perennials.

Master composter: Needed to advise and assist with the management of Global Garden's compost pile, which is mostly fed a lot of high carbon garden refuse. Hours are flexible.

Beekeeping coach: An experienced beekeeper is sought to teach farmers how to care for and manage a pair of second-year beehives. The position requires a weekly meeting with the refugees’ Bee Keeping Club, in addition to inspecting the hives and advising farmers and farm staff. A search for funding for a stipend is pending, but money has not been secured.

The Global Garden Refugee Training Farm was built in 2012. More than 40 families from Bhutan and Burma work the nearly one-acre plot, which is managed by the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly. The farmers produce organic vegetables for their families and for sale, learning how to translate their growing skills to a Midwestern climate, with the goal of moving toward economic security.