×

Search form

New Roots farm & community garden support volunteer

Start date: Ongoing
Last updated 

Thank you for your interest in assisting refugees and asylees in our community. By volunteering with the IRC in Sacramento, you can share your unique experience and skills directly with IRC clients. Volunteer support is an integral part of the IRC’s mission to provide opportunities for refugees to thrive in Sacramento.

Responsibilities

The New Roots program at IRC is an initiative to support nutrition, food security, gardening, enterprise, and production activities within the U.S. network of IRC offices so that resettled refugees are empowered to be self-sufficient and lead healthy lives. Volunteers in this role will be placed in the track of best fit (listed below) and will be empowered to assist IRC staff in expanding the size and the scope of the farm and gardens, propagation and maintenance of the garden, farm pop-up stand coordination, and/or serve as a liaison between IRC growers and local community.

Scope of work

Volunteers will be empowered to support the following activities:

  • Collaborate with IRC staff and community partners to identify new refugee participants, partners, materials and plants needed for the community garden;
  • Work alongside IRC staff, refugee farmers, other interns & volunteers
  • Assist in identifying and securing donations of materials, expansion sites, and technical advice
  • Organize and help facilitate classes and community meetings
  • Keep thorough and accurate records for all tasks, including participants & activities
  • Create reports and communicate with New Roots staff on farmer and overall project progress
  • Assist New Roots Staff and farmers with identifying & implementing ideal harvest times
  • Work and communicate cross-culturally with multiple stakeholders
  • Support farm and garden upkeep and maintenance, including helping to assign plots, lead composting activities, assist with workshops, train, coordinate deliveries

Volunteer Tracks

FARM POP-UP STAND  |  MARKETING & SALES

This role champions the culmination of all the farmer’s work by assisting with the marketing, reconciling, and sales of produce from the farm. To thrive in this role, you need:

  • Experiential knowledge of working at a farmer’s market &/or pop up market
  • Exceptional communication skills, sales or customer service experience preferred
  • Excellent record keeping skills, including use of excel
  • Ability to track and forecast market demands to inform succession planting, harvest times, etc
  • Product knowledge, existing knowledge of vegetables (types, peak harvest times, preferred uses)
  • Ability to lift, hold, and stand for extended periods of time to assist with set-up, operation, and tear down of pop-up stand
  • Existing marketing, design, and advertising experience

DEMO GARDEN & PROPAGATION SPECIALIST  |  GROWTH & FARMER TRAINING

This role ensures a successful demonstration garden (50x50 plot & herb garden), successful plant propagation, and training of farmers on selection and best practices. To thrive in this role, you need:

  • Experience in propagation, preferably from a hoop house, greenhouse, or other nursery setting
  • Existing knowledge and experience growing common vegetables
  • Superb understanding of planning and implementing succession planting
  • Ability to diagnose and resolve plant pests and diseases
  • Confidence and comfort in identifying and teaching best practices in small group settings. Example topics include pest management and how to properly use shade structures and greenhouses.
  • Coordinate with IRC staff on what and when to plant demonstrations, as well as implement the plan.  This includes planting, seeding, weeding, and harvesting produce from demo and herb gardens

FOOD SAFETY & PRODUCE READINESS  |  PACKING & WASHING SPECIALIST

This role supports refugee farmers as they harvest and prepare their produce to make maximum profit.  The individual will train & support farmers with food safety requirements during harvest, washing, and packaging. To thrive in this role, you need:

  • Experience washing & packing produce
  • Thorough knowledge of food safety guidelines
  • Excellent record keeping skills, including use of excel
  • Willingness to work closely with Farm Pop-Up Stand personnel & support farmers growth
  • Existing knowledge and experience growing common vegetables

Ideal Approach, Skills & Experience:

  • Teamplayer – every role works directly with refugee farmers, volunteers, and IRC staff
  • Energetic, empathetic, organized and ready to do a variety of jobs.
  • Creative and willing to assist with projects
  • Experiential & working knowledge of agriculture, technical agricultural experience preferred
  • Problem-solving, industrious, adaptable to changing deadlines and priorities
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English.
  • Ability to lift, squat and stand for prolonged periods of time

Volunteers help refugee farmers grow produce on urban farms and garden plots.

Logistical Requirements

Preference will be given to those who have reliable transportation out to the farm. As such, the following logistical qualifications are preferred:

  • Driving to the farm and driving to help clients overcome barriers to receiving social services
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable car, proof of insurance
  • Client-related mileage is eligible for reimbursement

Time Commitment

Minimum Commitment:  6+ hrs/ week for a minimum 4 months during IRC business hours Mon – Fri from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Fulfilling minimum volunteer hour commitment in 1 day is preferred. Longer volunteer commitments encouraged.

All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and undergo a security background check

Apply

If interested in volunteering with the International Rescue Committee in Sacramento, please complete a volunteer application by following this link. You will be contacted by the Volunteer Coordinator as needs arise.