Growing in the Twin Cities with Backyard Harvest

Building a sustainable (and delicious) urban food system – one yard at a time

Backyard Harvest is hiring urban farmers for the 2010 season January 13, 2010

Filed under: Farmers — Krista Leraas @ 2:12 pm


Backyard Harvest farmers are the direct link between homeowners and their backyard food gardens. Farmers grow fresh vegetables in customer yards and provide exceptional customer service. This is a part-time contract position with PRI Cold Climate that reports to the Backyard Harvest Farm Manager and works as a team member within PRI’s Backyard Harvest program. This is an hourly, non-benefit earning position.

Duties and Responsibilities


  1. Prepare spring and summer garden beds along with paid/volunteer crew. Plant a wide diversity of annual and perennial food plants for multiple harvests throughout the season
  2. Install basic irrigation systems and fencing
  3. Maintain vegetable beds – weeding, culling, replanting
  4. Autumn tear-down of gardens

Customer Service

  1. Provide courteous and efficient customer service to garden owners
  2. Communicate regularly with garden owners via garden journals and/or face-to-face conversation
  3. Contribute to a weekly e-newsletter

Record Keeping

  1. Track harvest by weighing and recording poundage of vegetables and types of crops
  2. Keep accurate records and reminders for each garden in the garden journals (online format that customers can follow) and farmer journals (to kept by the farmer)
  3. Report problems, needs, questions and program feedback to the Farm Manager


  1. Participate in community events (e.g. classes, celebrations, tours)

Outreach and Team Meetings

  1. Assist Program Coordinator and Farm Manager in implementing the outreach and marketing plan
  2. Attend team meetings twice a month during the growing season (April – October)


  • Minimum 3-4 seasons of ecological gardening, farming or other food production experience
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and responsibly
  • Reliable transportation within the city (bike with trailer OK)
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs
  • Basic building skills
  • Possess (or acquire) basic harvesting and maintenance tools: pruner, harvesting knife, hoe
  • Customer service experience and knowledge of permaculture desirable
  • Passion for a sustainable local food system

Compensation and Hours

  • Depending on # of gardens assigned + time of season, approximately 9-20 hours/week
  • $575/garden per season (min. 4 – max. 10 gardens/farmer) + $13/hour for required meetings, garden installation and garden tear-down
  • Training in sustainable agriculture methods, permaculture introduction, basic business, specialty gardening skills
  • Access to a separate growing site for farmers and other Backyard Harvest program consultant use

Send resume and letter of interest to Krista Leraas at Deadline is February 1, 2010.

Persons of color are encouraged to apply. Candidates living in or near Frogtown in St. Paul, South Minneapolis or Northeast Minneapolis are also encouraged to apply.


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