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lost sierra Food Project

Quincy, CA

https://www.lostsierrafoodproject.org/

Regenerative Agricultural Education in Rural Mountain Communities

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Experience with youth education in the outdoors, ecology or biological sciences, natural resource and environmental science, sustainable agriculture and food systems, horticulture, permaculture, nutrition, community development, communications, or public relations. 

  • Completed course or experience in organic farming/gardening. 

  • Training in educating youth, elderly, and vulnerable populations - one or both is much appreciated!

  • Experience leading youth in both a classroom and outdoor setting

  • Good time management and self direction 

  • Creativity and resourcefulness regarding project development and implementation

  • Physical endurance - ability to withstand days in the heat (90+ degreesF)

  • Communication skills, works well on a team, interpersonal skills and self-confidence

  • Sense of empathy and understanding

Openings: 1 of 1

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Focus Area: Agri-Food Systems

Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Education & Outreach, Food Systems, Regenerative Agriculture, Volunteer Engagement

project breakdown

Research

15%

Planning

15%

Implementation

35%

Education & Outreach

35%

Goals & Needs

The Lost Sierra Food Project aims to increase local food access for Plumas County residents, prioritizing low income populations, provide workforce development programs, and create educational food and ecological farming opportunities.

 

Lost Sierra Food Project (LSFP) is seeking a GrizzlyCorps Fellow to work on projects revolving around regenerative agriculture and community education. The Fellow will gain a full season of experience on a regenerative agriculture farm (known as Rugged Roots), work with local youth and elders, and become enmeshed in a rural mountain landscape. This opportunity promotes GrizzlyCorps' purpose and goals by offering immersive experiences in regenerative agri-food systems, community resilience, and project implementation. 

 

As a GrizzlyCorps Fellow with LSFP, you will spend 11 months supporting both agricultural education in local schools and on-site at Rugged Roots Farm. You will be hands-on throughout the farm season on our community-based education and production farm. Working on the farm will include general tasks such as crop harvesting and weed management, but will also include assisting with farm events, workshops, and organizing community-based projects. LSFP has a variety of opportunities that can be catered to your interests such as taking a leadership role in educational programming, organizing and implementing community gleaning projects, teaching agricultural concepts in local schools, and farm management. 

 

LSFP teaches and practices regenerative farming techniques that reverse the effects of climate change by restoring degraded soil biodiversity. Food access, education, and regenerative farming create an intersection between community action and environmental stewardship. 

 

In 2021, Plumas County faced the largest single-source wildfire in California’s history. This fire burned 963,309 acres, ignited in the Feather River Canyon, and engulfed multiple communities causing soil damage in many backyard gardens, local production farms, and throughout forest environments. Our community has been focused on rebuilding and as each wildfire season approaches, the community faces the traumas and anxieties of a dry summer. As we navigate this post-wildfire recovery process, addressing the impacts on youth and the elderly is often overlooked. Teaching farm-based lessons will help youth reconnect to nature, offering therapeutic benefits, and learning regenerative agriculture techniques will foster soil sustainability, water efficient practices, and ecological conservation. Involving elderly persons in community-based projects will allow our community increased access to local, accessible, and nutritious food. The combination of these objectives will cultivate environmental stewardship, ultimately leading to climate action. 

 

The Fellow’s service will build capacity and help accomplish determined goals for not only Lost Sierra Food Project’s programs, but Quincy Elementary School, Plumas Charter School, and Quincy High School’s agriculture programs. By increasing the capacity to accomplish work for each of these institutions, the fellow will be actively building community resilience - the more projects we can accomplish, the more fortified our community can become. Because this work leans heavily on regenerative agriculture and soil conservation, the fellow will accomplish work that directly increases the local soil’s ability to sequester carbon and reduce the impacts from climate change. The fellow will develop and teach lessons for local schools, plan and implement community projects, learn the internal operations of a non-profit, and directly engage with farm practices; each contributing to professional development

Capacity Building Projects

There are two primary capacity building projects that the GrizzlyCorps Fellow can focus time on while with Lost Sierra Food Project. 

 

  1. Develop Educational Programming for Plumas Charter School (PCS) and Quincy Elementary School (QES).

 

In partnership with Plumas Charter School (PCS), LSFP offers programmatic support for the Agricultural Pathway in the Career Technical Education Program. The Fellow will work directly with the LSFP Program Manager and the Agriscience Pathway Coordinator at PCS to develop and teach classes for students. This program teaches students about ecological production methods, techniques for high-altitude farming, diversified crop production, season extension, and how small farms can be a tool for positive social, economic, and environmental change. The Fellow will aid in lesson planning and teaching, but will also offer support in coordinating Rugged Roots Farm field trips for memorable, kinesthetic learning experiences. PCS would benefit from the support of the fellow to offer programmatic structure for this pathway and encourage students to explore agriculture and ecology as a career interest.

 

In conjunction, the Fellow will assist the Garden Program Manager at Quincy Elementary School to develop lessons and teach classes on the basics of backyard gardening - choosing crops for our area, seed starting, soil health and conservation, transplanting, harvesting, and food preservation. The Fellow would not only be responsible for designing and teaching lessons, but organizing field trips to Rugged Roots Farm for hands-on learning experiences. QES would benefit greatly from the support and creative direction of the fellow and will increase the institution’s capacity to accomplish adjacent projects that will in turn, bolster the efficacy of rural mountain agriculture as a whole.

 

  1. Coordinating and Implementing Community Gleaning Projects

 

Gleaning is the act of harvesting food that would otherwise go to waste and giving it a chance as accessible nutrition. LSFP is in the planning phase for a gleaning program centered in Quincy. This program will harvest excess fruit from local fruit trees and orchards, host community events to preserve the fruit, and finally distribute the product and a portion of the harvest to hungry folks and local food banks - all at no cost to the consumer. This program will be open to all who are interested to participate in picking and preserving fruit, but LSFP aims to engage the elderly generation as a way of expanding our reach and increasing inclusivity. The 2023-2024 GrizzlyCorps member developed a feasibility report and laid the groundwork for the project that will provide the new Fellow with direction. The 2024-2025 Fellow will be responsible for bringing the project out of the planning phase and begin project implementation. 

 

Ultimately, the Fellow will assist in the creation of a suite of activities specifically designed to engage youth and the elderly who have been impacted by catastrophic wildfire as our community continues to navigate a post-wildlife landscape.

Organizational & Community Highlights

Quincy is small-town living at its best: small, affordable, and surrounded by public lands. There are plenty of mountains, canyons, rivers, lakes, hot springs, and swimming holes to explore - none of which will ever be busy or crowded. Quincy and surrounding areas offer an abundance of recreational opportunities, including and certainly not limited to: endless hiking, majestic rivers and lakes for camping, SUP-ing, and paddling. Our forests boast world class mountain biking, snow-shoeing, cross country and backcountry skiing, adventurous rock climbing, and more. We are in close proximity to Lake Tahoe, with downhill skiing and swimming adventures abound. 

 

In addition to the beauty and solitude of the natural landscape, the Feather River Foods Co-op, our local brewery “Quintopia”, an up and coming tap room “Rich Bar”, a surprising number of excellent thrift stores, are all located in Quincy. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through Quincy and the High Sierra Music Festival comes to town each summer, hosting a variety of folk, reggae, and funk musicians. Quincy has been named one of “America’s Coolest Small Towns” (2013) and a “Beautiful, Charming Small Town in Northern California” (2017).

 

Quincy is the county seat, and home to Plumas District Hospital, Feather River College, the Supervisor’s Office, and the Mt. Hough Ranger District of Plumas National Forest. There are lots of well-educated professionals in the area and a thriving young adult population. The UC Berkeley Forestry Camp is 8 miles west of Quincy in Meadow Valley. For a rural area, Quincy has grocery stores, gas stations, internet access downtown, and multiple small town events like open mic nights and live music.  

 

The workplace culture at LSFP is encouraging, flexible, and accepting. Our team is comprised of passionate folks who have a greater vision for food access and sustainable agriculture throughout Plumas County and extending into surrounding counties. Your Site Supervisor for Lost Sierra Food Project is Bethany Rouse. Bethany is the Program Manager for LSFP and is committed to workforce development, community education, and providing nourishing food to Plumas County residents. During her free time, you can find her working on home projects, swimming in Bucks Lake, biking, or walking her dog. 

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