What is Community Shared Agriculture?

Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) isn’t a new concept or idea; it’s been around for several decades and comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In essence, a CSA program allows farmers to receive a set fee (from you – the consumer) for the growing season. In exchange, you receive a weekly share of freshly grown, local produce for you and your family to enjoy as well as sharing in the risks due to weather and other factors beyond our control.

In the community supported farm structure, every member of the relationship benefits: the shareholders, the farmers, the farms (the Earth), and the greater community. This is what separates it from the traditional farming method and why it is suited for an urban program like Young Urban Farmers CSA. Let’s look at how each party in the relationship benefits:
The Shareholders (that’s you the customers)
  • receive fresh, chemical-free vegetables and herbs delivered on a weekly basis, often harvested the morning of delivery – can’t get much fresher than that!
  • pay close to supermarket prices for local, organic produce
  • know where and how your food is grown, who grows it, and have the opportunity to partake in the miracle of growing food
  • are provided with a structure through which you can support viable local agriculture, preserve local land, and contribute to a healthy local economy
  • have the opportunity to gain knowledge of growing food and stewardship of the Earth
  • become more aware of their relationship to the land, farm life, and processes that make our lives possible
The Farmers (that’s us):
  • are given the opportunity to make a viable income by growing food in a responsible and harmonious way, directly supported by the consumer – no middleman
  • have the pleasure of knowing who their product is going to and consequently feel more care, responsibility, and reward in our work
  • are relieved of marketing labor and can focus more on growing food
The Farms:
  • stewardship of the land through sustainable farming practices
  • use of previously unproductive land
  • act as a hub for community involvement
The Greater Community
  • benefits by the preservation of urban space and adding to the diversity of communities, making them more whole and satisfying places to live
  • is strengthened by the bringing together of people who share healthy concerns about our future
  • gets an economic boost when food dollars remain within the community rather than supporting out of province corporations.

In conclusion,a CSA model allows for all parties involved to benefit from this relationship. It is a chance to reconnect with local food and make a difference in your community.

Homeowners: Now Accepting Applications for your backyard

Thank you for your interest in our Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program. Please contact Chris at 416-238-5715 or chris@yufcsa.com to arrange for a personal consultation of your yard and to learn more about our program. Our website is still under construction and we hope to be providing more updates as the growing season approaches. In the interim, we’ve put together a list of some FAQ’s for you to learn more about who we are and why we’re doing this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are We?

We are a group of young individuals who love gardening and believe in reconnecting the community through fresh locally grown food in a fun interactive manner. We believe that through a community shared agriculture program, we can form a more vibrant and cohesive neighbourhood and promote healthy living through healthy eating. We transform residential yard space into a sustainable food source, a beacon for environmental responsibility, and an interactive learning centre for your kids. How? Organic vegetable gardening in your backyard!

Who We’ve Looking For

We’re looking for you and residents in the community to donate your yard (back or front) for us to convert into a vegetable garden for the 2010 growing season. If you’ve always wanted to enjoy the freshest, tastiest, backyard grown produce, but don’t have the time or expertise to get it started, now is your chance! Let us do all the heavy lifting and hard work in tending to your backyard garden. Ideally, your yard should be in a flat, open area, with access to lots of sunshine. While some plants will need a bit of shade to grow, most vegetables do best in full sun conditions.

What Do You Get?

We provide all of the work including labour, seeds, plants, and maintenance of your garden. You get to share in the harvest and have a beautiful garden in exchange for providing us with access to your yard and a water supply. You and your community benefit by eating healthy, fresh, local food while engaging in a fun, exciting, and innovative project. And of course, your beautiful and bountiful garden will be the envy of your neighbourhood.

What is the Cost to Participate?

For homeowners who are donating their yard (with at least 300sqft), there is no charge for you to participate in the program. For other community members who wish to share in the bounty of the harvest, there will be a cost recovery fee in exchange for the produce you will receive.

Still have more quetsions, feel free to contact Chris at 416-238-5715 or by email at chris@yufcsa.com

Volunteer Positions for the 2010 Growing Season

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At Young Urban Farmers CSA, we’re looking for motivated, self-starters who work well in both a team and independent environment, and who want a chance to develop their leadership and management experience. Volunteers in our executive level positions will have the opportunity to manage key projects and gain valuable hands-on experience. Volunteers will have the opportunity to develop the following skills:

• Sales / Marketing

• Management / Leadership

• Financial Planning / Control

• Logistics / Operations

• And Much More!

Volunteers will also participate in our mentorship program, where they can gain valuable career advice and coaching.

Who and What We’re Looking For

At Young Urban Farmers CSA, we want people who are passionate about fresh, local food, people who are looking for a challenging and rewarding experience, and who want an opportunity to make a difference in the community. We are a group of young, fun, ambitious individuals and are looking for you to join our team.

Application Process

Young Urban Farmers CSA has currently closed its application process. However, we will be accepting volunteers on an on going basis. In the meantime, please submit any interest to Jing at jing@yufcsa.com

Roles and Responsibilities

Vice President Sales

The VP Sales will be responsible for all aspects of the sales process. Strong interpersonal skills, an outgoing personality, and a passion for gardening are crucial to the success of this role. This position is for someone who is outgoing and works well with a variety of people.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Finding homeowners/individuals to donate their land for our services

• Engaging customers to participate in our CSA service

• Administering direct marketing and cold calling

• Booking and giving sales presentations

• Managing customer relationships

• Implementing overall sales strategy

• Managing, training, and overseeing a team of direct marketers.

Commitment Required:

• Pre-season commitment from November – April

• 4 – 10 hours per week (tbd)

• Evenings and weekends will be required

Vice President Marketing

The VP Marketing is responsible for the marketing strategy of Young Urban Farmers CSA, including both traditional and new media opportunities. This position is especially relevant for anyone looking to get into the marketing field and gain practical real-world experience.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Administering advertising and publicity and managing media contacts

• Public relations (PR) strategy and execution

• Delivery and management of PR material, such as press releases and media kits

• Branding strategy for YUF CSA and implementation

• Social media strategy and execution

Commitment Required:

• Ongoing commitment

• 4 – 10 hours per week

• Flexible work times

Vice President Grants/Fundraising

The VP Grants/Fundraising is responsible for the fundraising efforts of Young Urban Farmers CSA. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required in interacting with potential commercial, private, and government donors. Strong organizational skills are required. This position provides great exposure for creative writers and individuals looking to develop their technical writing.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Identifying and researching potential grants from various sources of funding

• Applying for government grants and sponsorship

• Pursuing private donations and in-kind sponsors

• Writing and preparing all applications or proposals

• Building and maintaining business-to-business relationships

Commitment Required:

• Majority of work occurring in the off-season from November to April

• 4-10 hours per week (tbd)

• Flexible work times

Vice President IT/Web

This position is for the web designer and developer. The main tasks include the setup and maintenance of the Young Urban Farmers CSA website and to develop a long-term infrastructure for future growth and development.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Building and maintaining the website

• Develop customer database and infrastructure

• Integrating and coordinating logistics other VP’s

Commitment Required:

• Initial upfront work in building the website and database

• Ongoing support of IT duties; Flexible work times

Vice President Research and Development

This unique position allows for the implementation of academic research into our gardening operations by a student in academia or a candidate with interest in agricultural research. Results can then be analyzed and immediately reported to stakeholders, with benefits shared within Young Urban Farmers CSA.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Research and implementation of academic papers ex: companion planting, bio-dynamics, forest gardens into

• Connecting with the research community

• Coordinating new initiatives with the Operations VP

• Reporting on new developments and results

Commitment Required:

• Ongoing commitment, varying during each stage of the projects

• 4-10 hours per week; Flexible work times

Vice President Finance

The VP Finance is responsible for all financial aspects within the organization. Attention to detail, superior organizational skills, and financial experience are required. The VP must communicate financial information to key stakeholders on an ongoing basis, thereby ensuring the financial viability of the organization.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Creating the budget and forecasting of ongoing operations

• Managing bank account and cash flows

• Reporting on financial status

• Preparing financial statements and projections

• Utilizing best practices in industry

Commitment Required:

• Ongoing commitment

• 4-10 hours per week; Flexible work times

Vice President Operations/Gardening

The VP Operations is responsible for the general gardening operations of the organization. Strong interpersonal skills, an outgoing personality, and a passion for gardening are crucial to the success of this role. They must have experience gardening and be able to manage/project planting results to ensure a stable growing season.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Responsible for all areas of gardening and planting

• Preparing land for planting

• Responsible for customer experience and relationships with land owners

• Cost projections and cost control

• Creating a knowledge bank of gardening/operational processes

Commitment Required:

• 20-40 hours per week during the growing season

• Additional commitment during the preseason in setting up the gardens

• Structured work schedule for garden maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I apply to more than one position?

A. Yes, though please indicate on your application the order of your preference of positions.

Q. When will interviews be conducted?

A. Applications are due midnight October 20th. We will take about a week to review the applications and to setup interview times with the short-listed candidates. Interviews will most likely take place the week of November 30th and December 7. We will contact each applicant directly to setup an interview.

Q. Where are the gardens located?

A. Our final garden locations are still being finalized, with a high probability that they will be located in the Riverdale, East York, and Beaches area. We are now officially in 3 main hubs: Wychwood, Lawrence Park North, andEast Riverdale

Q. Where will I be working if I am chosen for one of the executive positions?

A. We pride ourselves on providing a flexible work environment. Most of the work will take place at a convenient location to you and will require internet and email access. You will be free to work from home, at school, the library, or another convenient location. Some work will be required to be completed in the field either at the gardens or in our target neighbourhoods. This is applicable primarily for the VP Sales and VP Marketing portfolios.

Q. I am interested in volunteering doing some of the hands-on gardening work. How can I submit my application?

A. Please submit your cover letter and resume to info@yufsa.com and include the words “Spring Gardening Volunteer” in the subject. Please note that our gardening work takes place in the spring and summer when the weather is warmer and we will contact you before that time.

More Info and FAQs coming soon!