Interfaith Neighbors’ Kula Urban Farm in Asbury Park has job openings available to individuals who would like to gain experience in agriculture and farming while also helping the community.
Under a grant from the Elizabeth and Barets O. Benjamin Foundation, the program, known as the Kula Farm Experience, pays $10 an hour to up to 15 workers, each of whom can work a total of 60 hours at the greenhouse and outdoor produce beds.
Roger Boyce, director of Interfaith’s Business Development Center, said there is a simple application process for anyone who would like to work. Besides learning about growing produce, the staff can help workers with resumes and a job hunt, Boyce said.
The program is designed for people 18-to-21-years old but the work also is open to individuals outside that range.
To apply, go to the farm at 115 Atkins Ave. or if closed, go to the adjacent Kula Café, 1201 Springwood Ave. The café is open for breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.Tuesday through Sunday.
Tristan McLean, 22, lives close by at Asbury Park Village and works at the farm each Monday. He has a daily job with iStar on the Asbury Park waterfront where he is a crew member helping visitors and residents. But he arranged to take one day off from that job to work in the Kula program because of his interest in farming.
“There’s so much to learn about taking care of plants, the type of vegetables grown here, and the conditions for a particular plant to grow,” Tristan said.
“And I love that it’s right here where I live,” he said. “I would love to see more people from Asbury Park – all ethnicities – come and work here. That would bring great joy to my heart.”
The farm, managed by Lisa Bagwell and Matthias van Oosterhout, is in its first growing season, and its produce and operations have been incorporated into the adjacent Kula Café culinary offerings and the café’s own job training program.
This season’s produce which is sold to area restaurants includes: collard greens, tomatoes, salad greens, broccoli rabe, beets, kale, swiss chard, basil, microgreens, cucumbers, hot peppers, green peppers, beans, spinach, herbs, strawberries, blueberries, pak choi, tatsoi, and bok choy. Cut flowers also are available.
The farm is open to the public to visit and buy produce from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Mondays. In addition, on Saturdays, the community garden at the front entrance is open for people to pick those vegetables they would like to take home at no cost.