Volunteer

Are you looking for a chance to be an active part of a rich and rewarding ecovillage community lifestyle? Does the opportunity of spending quality time fully immersed in one of North America’s premiere sustainable living demonstration sites sound appealing? How about living among like minded folks from across the globe? If these prospects excite you then chances are you’ll truly love the volunteering experience available at OUR Ecovillage.

Lead Volunteer Positions

We are currently looking for volunteers who can commit to either 3 or 6 month periods. 

Currently we are looking for:

Kitchen Co-Ordinator & Chef

OUR Zero Mile Meal Eatery is an amazing handcrafted natural building (cob strawbale) based in a 25 acre Sustainable/Permaculture Living Demonstration Site and Education Centre. With a 3 season busy rhythm, lots of visitors and course participants, and a number of events, there is a diverse range of activities in this role. OUR team highly values someone who can work with ‘food as medicine’ and is interested in working with health practioners and other foodies. We host many volunteers who need a framework for helping in the kitchen, often teach school groups, and are hoping for pure love flowing through the foods we share. An emphasis is placed on obtaining as much food from the land as possible and storing/perserving as much as we can bring in (including huge amounts of gleaning). This is a community based project, with a possibility of small/beautiful residential space. It is a busy role at times with high production and slow and creative at other points. We are hopeful for someone who very much wishes to become the face of this incredibly unique space.

We are looking for someone who is full time for:

  • Ordering and scheduling
  • Performing regular costing and inventory
  • Meeting regularly with the leadership team and other staff
  • Creating interesting and medicinal menus (mostly all buffet)
  • Supervising consistency and speed of recipes being prepared
  • Managing opening and closing duties for kitchen
  • Managing events food team
  • Developing inspiring specials on menu

Requirements

  • Minimum 3 years of kitchen experience is required; more than 5 years is an asset.
  • People skills and the ability to lead a team of diverse staff and volunteers
  • Personal interest in food as medicine, community atmosphere, holistic health, and experience cooking for vegan/vegetarian/paleo/gluten free diets (or willing to learn)
  • Openness to personal development, conscious communication and self responsibility

Farm and Garden Co-ordinator (8 months, March-October)

(Compensation dependent on Experience. Food and Accommodation included)

We are looking for someone who is an experienced and competent organic gardener who can co-create and maintain a holistic/permaculture garden management plan and put it into action.  Ideally, this person will have experience in facilitating, educating, delegating, and leading others in the garden with an attitude of excitement for the plants and the activities at hand.  This person is required to have good communication skills, self-motivation, ability to work alone and in a group, good conflict resolution skills and openness to sustainable living practices through living in a learning community.  Skills of additional benefit to the position:  background in botany; Permaculture/ecological design & application; landscape design, installation & management of irrigation and infrastructure; community development and an interest in intentional sustainable living.

We host many volunteers who assist in the farm, often teach school groups, and are hoping for pure love flowing through the foods/land we share. Being highly organized and focused on safety and project management is important.  An emphasis is placed on obtaining as much food from the land as possible and storing/preserving as much as we can bring in (including huge amounts of gleaning). This is a community based project, with a possibility of small/beautiful residential space. It is a busy role at times with high production and slow and creative at other points. We are hopeful for someone who very much wishes to become the face of this incredibly unique space.

Job activities and responsibilities (not limited to):

  • Managing annual vegetable production in our raised-bed gardens and greenhouses (for CSA and OUR kitchen)
  • Managing perennial food production in our developing orchards, food forests, and perennial systems
  • Expanding food production by designing and developing new garden and food forest areas as well as improving upon the designs of existing areas and systems
  • Assist with Livestock Management (jersey, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens/ducks).
  • Co-creating & implementing a garden management plan based upon organic philosophies and methods and ‘OUR Food Manifesto’
  • Garden data recording & monitoring: i.e. weather keeping, planting charts, watering schedules, etc.
  • Facilitating/leading students & volunteers in organized hands-on garden related projects: Complimenting the Permaculture Design & Organic Food Production Skillbuilder program.
  • Participate in student feedback/assessments
  • Curriculum Co-development with program coordinator/supervisor and education program if inclined.
  • Working with the on-site cook in developing available produce schedules.
  • Work with continuance of “Farm Status”
  • Continue to establish nursery & garden expansion

As part of OUR ECOVILLAGE’s committed ground team you will be able to access some of our guest programs and a wide number of OUR courses.  We are working to create this position as part of the Internship framework for the Global Ecovillage Network and will be piloting how to build in as many different training components of skills for living/working in a cooperative, collective, community lifestyle.  This is a high value learning opportunity and rather than paying for an full Internship with OUR school we have opened this position up for more as win-win and will be offered some compensation depending on experience.  We work together in the village to share tasks and to project manage all the elements of a large demonstration site and intentional community which hosts lots of incredible learning programs (K-12, Universities/Colleges, building industry, regulatory authorities).  We aim to be a highly professional that still maintains a creative edge while being as zero waste as possible.  This is a 6 month role but this could potentially turn into a longer position if Canadian and depending on your fit in the role/village as we will be shortlisting for a business partner.  

**there is also a space potentially for those who qualify under the ‘unemployment reachback’ framework of EI to apply for a paid position with OUR Education Team – please contact us at volunteer@ourecovillage.org for further information on this related potential contract. Must be a Canadian Citizen to apply.

Other Positions: Tradespeople (Carpenters, Electricians), Natural Builders, Teachers and Educators, Google Ads SEO

Please fill out our form if you have any of these skills or other skills you wish to offer.

We are only accepting volunteers who can commit to either 3-6 month periods. 

What is living at an Ecovillage like?

As a volunteer you will be invited to join us in the day-to-day of village life. Whether tending to the garden, building up on-site infrastructure, or cooking lunch, you will have many avenues to contribute to OUR Ecovillage and gain experience in the area of your interest. In addition to the hands-on tasks you will also have an opportunity to learn and practice essential “soft”-skills for community building.

Living in community means building relationships; with the land, the people and ourselves. This means participating in OUR daily check ins, weekly community meetings and much more. As a member of the village you will invited to partake in and contribute your uniqueness to the medley that makes up OUR culture.

OUR Ecovillage is also renowned for it’s educational programs which means many different courses take place here throughout the year. Be prepared for many visitors and course participants congregating in this bastion of permaculture and sustainable living during your experience. Your unique skills are invited to help facilitate and/or prepare for the many wonderful learning opportunities available here.
 
While volunteering with OUR team you will be able to camp onsite (weather permitting), potentially stay in OUR dorm space (availability permitting) or if coming for a longer term stay, your own trailer or temporary shelter. We will share more information on short and long term stays below.

Ready to Volunteer?

Along with filling out the volunteer form (link below) please attach resumes and your background information and let us know what has you wanting to come and join us. We want to get to know you and your vision of volunteering with OUR Ecovillage.

From there you will be in touch with a lovely villager who’ll correspond with you in creating your village experience. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, so please feel free to ask us anything.

It is pertinent to mention that certain parameters have been put in place for the volunteering program within which we can craft individual’s experiences of contribution. For starters, we have a standard trial period of up to 7 days for new volunteers. This period is of great importance as it allows the village and volunteer to assess the fit and determine whether or not further volunteering is desirable for all involved. Details will be discussed with the volunteer coordinator prior to, and, during the trial.

The length of your stay is something else that will be discussed between the volunteer coordinator and yourself. We prefer people who are willing and able to stay for longer periods, 1 month to longer so that they can get into the flow of village life and maximize their experience. 

For length of stay many factors are taken into consideration such as: number of volunteers on site, particular skill sets that may be needed and time of proposed experience. Each situation is unique and there are occasions where an individual comes for a ‘try it out’ period only to become a part of OUR community longer term. This occurs through the developing of trusting relationships and a desire for heightened responsibility and accountability by the individual. There are numerous examples of folks whose intention to volunteer short term ends up extending to a stay through the season; to then come back and lead projects or courses, and in a few cases become long term land stewards in OUR Ecovillage Cooperative.

Can you sense the myriad possibilities?

Are you feeling the call to join the magic at OUR Ecovillage?

OUR Volunteer program begins February 15 2019