Matsuda Farm, part of the Vashon Maury Island Land Trust, seeks motivated crew members for our 2021 Field Crew! Matsuda Farm was originally owned and operated by the Matsuda family, who grew strawberries and loganberries here beginning in the 1920s. Like other Japanese-Americans, the Matsudas were interned during WWII, uprooting them from their home and farm. At the end of the war, they returned to Vashon and continued farming until the 1980s. The last 12 acres of the farm was purchased from the Matsuda family in 2015, ensuring its future as protected farmland under the stewardship of the Land Trust, a non-profit committed to conservation on Vashon Island. 2021 is the 3rd year of diverse vegetable production at Matsuda Farm, and our crew needs two new members. The Field Crew works to support our farming operations, helping to supply food to grocery stores, restaurants, and the Vashon Island School District, as well as distributions to our food access partners, and new this year, a sliding scale farm share!
We aim to have the team work no more than 40 hours per week, on a five-day per week schedule, but we also want to give a realistic experience of farming, so we do expect that everyone stays at it until the day’s tasks are done. Each individual’s speed, efficiency, and focus directly impact the length of the workday for the whole team. Generally, the crew work-week is Tuesday through Saturday (although some weekly schedules may be altered to fill in with organizational activities or weekend farm duties). Changes will not be made to your schedule without your consent. For in town farm deliveries, we require a valid driver license.
The Work: The Field Crew works alongside farm staff in all aspects of vegetable production. The work will vary, but includes bed preparation, planting, weeding, irrigation, harvesting, washing, and packing a variety of vegetables. Workers may also be involved in greenhouse work, grounds maintenance, deliveries/ sales, or other aspects of the operation based on the farm’s needs and the worker’s inclination. The two positions available are full-time and run from April through October.
COVID-19 note: All Matsuda Farm staff have altered our personal lives since the onset of the pandemic in order to reduce risk of transmission. We expect our crew members to have done the same and to continue vigilance with the understanding that your behaviors outside of work have the potential to impact everyone in this community. We are taking precautions to protect you and expect the same respect and care in return.
Qualifications: We seek individuals who are hardworking, enthusiastic, curious, able to do fast-paced physical work on a team, and who love to be outside and get dirty. A healthy sense of humor paired with a healthy sense of urgency is ideal. Applicants should be able to sustain focus through repetitive tasks with an upbeat and positive attitude, be prepared to do strenuous physical work in all weather conditions and have a reliable form of transportation. Crew members will be trained on proper techniques and approaches to all tasks. Previous experience is not required, but a robust work ethic and the ability to work as a team with strong communication and listening skills are important. Good matches for Matsuda Farm are team players who can give and receive feedback with grace and respect. If you don’t have any background in farm work, please describe other applicable experience in your cover letter. Please note: farm work is very physically demanding. Candidates should be able to repeatedly lift up to 50 pounds, should have an awareness of body mechanics and their own physical capabilities and limits. A working interview is preferred.
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