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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Growing Hope is Hiring Gardens Program Assistant, Ypsilanti


Please see an announcement about a job posting for Growing Hope.  Applications accepted until March 1st, 2019. Thank you for posting or passing along to your networks. 


Part-Time Position with Growing Hope


About Growing Hope

Growing Hope is a 15-year-old non-profit organization rooted in Ypsilanti, Michigan whose mission is to foster an equitable and sustainable local food system that empowers all people to grow, buy, sell, prepare, and eat nourishing food. We envision a community where all people--particularly those with barriers due to race, class, culture, language, ability, and mobility--have access to nourishing local food that is culturally appropriate and affordable. People can grow and prepare their own harvests, and may earn a living as a food grower, producer, or entrepreneur.

Our areas of work include Youth & Schools, Farm & Garden, Farmers Markets, and Food Entrepreneurship. This position will work out of the Growing Hope Center and Urban Farm, a 1.4 acre property in the heart of Ypsilanti. The Urban Farm is a multi-purpose space used for organic-practice production, garden demonstration, youth and adult education and events.  

Organizational Culture and Values

Our culture is rooted in our values: Transformation, Education, Justice & Equity, Placemaking, and Integrity. We commit to upholding inclusive practices and policies while creating space for courageous conversations as a staff and within our community. Instead of simply providing services, we aim to leverage the vast resources already within our community in order to empower and partner with participants and customers. We believe that community members have the ability to make their own decisions about their health and wellness goals and that Growing Hope acts as a resource to increase access and opportunities to meet these goals.

About the Position:

We are seeking a well-organized person who is passionate about building an equitable and sustainable local food system to join our team. The Garden Program Assistant should have a firm understanding of the health-disparities and other socio-economic and racial issues our community faces, and be motivated to change them. This person's primary responsibilities will be bringing Growing Hope's vision closer to a reality through: 1) supporting Ypsilanti-area residents to start and grow their own home vegetable gardens, 2) leading our Farm Share program with local residents, which includes organizing workshops on cooking, nutrition, food justice issues and gardening, and 3) supporting garden development and maintenance on the Growing Hope Urban Farm.

This a seasonal part time position that will begin mid-March and go through September with the possibility of expansion based on performance and funding. The Garden Program Assistant will report to our Director of Programs, and work closely with our Farmers Market and Youth Programs Managers and Urban Farm Assistant.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Gardening: Assistant with maintaining our demonstration and education-focused gardens.

  • Organizing: Organize, promote and lead orientations for gardeners and garden mentors for the Home Vegetable Garden Program.

  • Education: Provide education/work with outside facilitators for lessons on cooking, nutrition, gardening, and food justice.

  • Maintenance: Support maintenance of overall site (including lawn care, care for decorative gardens, rain garden, hoop houses, etc.) to be a beautiful, organized and welcoming space for all visitors.

  • Garden Construction and  Installation: Facilitate the installation of garden beds, including ordering supplies, building wood beds, shoveling compost and planting.

  • Harvest & Post Harvest Handling: Lead weekly harvests and supervise and involve our teen leadership program in harvesting.

  • Food Safety: Support and promote food safety throughout the farm and harvest process.

  • Interns: Work with Program Director to manage and teach interns.

  • General Support: Support staff in preparing site for special events, tours, etc.


  • Passion for and experience with growing food and flowers using organic practices.  

  • Experience and comfort with cooking, with either experience or excitement to learn about use of whole and seasonal items.

  • Creativity, flexibility, resourcefulness and positive thinking.

  • Able to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds in terms of race, ethnicity, gender (including nonbinary), sexual orientation, class, and religion.

  • Flexibility to work nontraditional hours in nontraditional settings, including evening and weekends as scheduled.

  • Ability to work independently and with a team.

  • Able to lift 40 lbs.

  • Work in various weather conditions such as heat, humidity, wind, rain, etc.

  • Reliable transportation (this includes bus, personal vehicle etc.)

  • Valid Michigan Driver's License, with a good record.

Qualities that will enhance your application:   

  • Experience working with, or interest working with, adults and teenagers in informal educational settings.

  • Interest to grow professionally within the organization.

  • Belief in asset-based, social justice approach.

  • Knowledge of the food system, farm & food policy and the local food justice movement.

  • Understanding of and experience talking about racism and social justice work.

  • Reside in Ypsilanti, or surrounding areas.

  • Experience driving a trailer, or willingness to learn quickly.

Hours & Compensation: This is an hourly position, $16.00 per hour, approximately 15 hours a week, with potential to increase to 25 hours a week pending funding. In addition to monetary compensation, staff are welcome to take home extra produce and flowers from the Growing Hope Urban Farm.  

To Apply: Submit resume or description of relevant experience and letter detailing your interest in the position, with ideally 3 references (professional or personal) to  Applications accepted until Friday, March 1st at 5:00 pm. No formal education is required for this position.

Growing Hope encourages people of color and individuals who possess an in-depth understanding of poverty or economic hardship to apply. We welcome a diverse pool of applicants and make employment decisions on the basis of merit. We do not discriminate potential employees based on race, creed, age, physical ability,  national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status. Accommodations will be made so that the application process and position is made accessible for qualified applicants.

Erica Bloom
Assistant Director   
Growing Hope 
922 W. Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 786-8401

Please note the Growing Hope Center is a scent free space, please refrain from wearing any perfume or cologne to our space. 

Attachments area

Erica Bloom
Assistant Director   
Growing Hope 
922 W. Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 786-8401

Please note the Growing Hope Center is a scent free space, please refrain from wearing any perfume or cologne to our space. 
MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

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