Unity Gardens Intern

Contact information
Farm Address:
3701 Prast Boulevard
South Bend, Indiana, 46628

Primary Contact: Katie Lane
Primary Phone:
    Number: 9145391809
    Email: katie@theunitygardens.org

Website: https://www.theunitygardens.org/

Internship information
General Farm Description: Unity Gardens is a local nonprofit in South Bend, Indiana with a mission to connect our community to healthy food, nature and one another, literally growing community. We do this by providing 30+ free-pick gardens throughout South Bend and the surrounding Michiana area to develop a sustainable local food system. Unlike traditional community gardens where people grow food for themselves, at Unity Gardens people gather to grow food that is accessible to everyone. Besides growing fresh food through sustainable agriculture methods, we provide nurturing green spaces, free education, and other community programming. We work to increase social capital by connecting the community to local resources and re-establishing bonds between our neighbors and the local food system. This is accomplished in collaboration with many partners including area businesses, local government, universities, schools, churches, nonprofits, and the surrounding community members. Interns will be working primarily at the LaSalle Square Unity Garden which is a 7 acre non-for-profit urban garden It is designed as a garden-park with fruit trees, berries, bees, chickens, goats, and vegetable and native flower gardens. Solar panels power the electricity, mulch and compost power the plants, and hoop houses allow year-round growing in the Market Garden. Next year we will also be installing a Growing Spaces geodesic dome for more tropical growing. The food forest, native plants, herbal garden, and companion plants are used to minimize pest damage while beautifying the garden. We are 2 miles from downtown South Bend which boasts many community events, buses, and bike routes, and is an easy day-trip to Chicago.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: May 1
Internship Ends: September 1
Number of Internship Available: 10
Application Deadline: April 30
Minimum Length of Stay: 6 weeks

Internship Details:

Description: Opportunities are as endless and flexible as creativity allows! Past interns have majored in a variety of subjects including: Agriculture, Environmental Science, Political Science, Education, Social Justice/Outreach, Journalism, Art and Photography, Civil Engineering, Anthropology, Ecology, Public Health, Marketing, Communication, and much more. We work with all our interns to make sure they can follow their passions- personally, academically, and professionally. Considering that scope, job possibilities include the following:

  •  Sustainable Agriculture: Interns use permaculture and ecosystem principles to care for vegetables, perennials, and animals. They also help manage 4 hoop houses and outdoor raised beds, manage pests, harvest for Farmer’s Market, and develop marketing materials. We sell produce, plants, honey, and value added products at the South Bend Farmer’s Market, 3-4 days/week.
  • Garden Guide: Interns greet garden visitors, help visitors find food, share and gather recipes, and collect qualitative and quantitative data for research. Garden Guides also engage children and families, help design activities, and engage them in play in the garden.
  • Educational Opportunities: Each new project requires research and ongoing learning. Teaching opportunities abound, whether it is demonstrating how to pick peppers for visitors, leading a volunteer or school group, hosting a cooking demo, or presenting a garden lecture to a class.
  • More: Interns can help manage the 1+ acre vegetable garden, native plant garden, herbal garden, food forest and mushroom cultivation. Interns can lead volunteer groups, tour visitors through the garden, take pictures for social media, develop garden signage, design and carry out environmental research projects, create art in the garden, and connect with the other neighborhood Unity Gardens. Fund raising, event planning and grant writing are other opportunities!
When at the gardens, it is expected that interns will treat all garden contacts with respect and courtesy in a non-discriminatory manner.

Schedule: During the months of April through September hours are consistently needed. Start and end times are flexible. Days, evenings, and weekends are all available as scheduling is flexible. Twenty to 40 hours a week in the summer internship program is typical. Additional opportunities can be designed per individual learning objectives and scheduling needs.

Educational Opportunities: Unity Gardens definitively offers an experiential learning opportunity for all interns. In the interview process, we identify their academic and personal passions in order to make sure it is a mutually beneficial experience. Unity Gardens is a multi-faceted organization and interns work within all sectors. As such, they receive hands-on experience in multiple forms. Experiences range from sustainable agriculture, community organization, nonprofit management, networking with community partners, nonprofit social media management, retail at our farmers market booth, and community education opportunities.  Through their work over the summer, we expect interns to become self-motivated problem solvers. Because we have a large team, interns will learn how to communicate and work effectively with a team while also gaining leadership skills by managing volunteer groups. By working in multiple areas, interns will also develop skills related to their specific interests, like managing for-profit growing, teaching classes, organizing events, social media management, and community outreach.

Skills Desired: No, we accept applicants coming from all backgrounds and levels of expertise.

Meals: No, but interns are welcome to harvest food from the garden.

Stipend: Yes, we offer an hourly wage and can direct interested applicants towards possible additional grants/stipends.

Housing: No

Preferred method of Contact: email