Seeking Space

Lunaria Gardens is growing, and we’re seeking a centralized space, preferably in the Philadelphia area, for:

  • Farm/ garden: for growing flowers, herbs, edibles, natives
  • Floral design studio: for creating special orders and event designs
  • Plant nursery: for our specialty herbs, edibles, perennials, natives
  • Workshops: in topics like sustainable floristry, natural dyes, botanical brewing

We’re motivated to find our new home, so if you have a lead, please share, and email [email protected] to start a conversation.

Thank you!

Kristen Jas Vietty
Grower-Forager-Designer
Lunaria Gardens

HIRING: Farmstand Manager, Clark Park/ West Philly

bala market display slate signage Lunaria Gardens

Clark Park Farmstand Manager

Lunaria Gardens is seeking a 2016 Farmstand Manager to work Saturdays at the Clark Park Farmers Market in West Philadelphia.

Job type: Part-time seasonal. Saturday morning availability is required, approximately 7:30a-3p. Possible option to assist in nursery in Roxborough as well.

Season term: We are asking for a commitment of Saturday mornings, April 2 through June 18, 2016. Lunaria Gardens will likely continue market participation beyond this point, but we would discuss summer plans at a later date.

Compensation: $10-16/ hr ($7.25/ hr with sales commission)

Position posted: Saturday, March 19, 2016

Contact: Kristen Jas Vietty, [email protected] (no phone calls)

 

Position Description:

Lunaria Gardens will be participating in The Food Trust’s Clark Park Farmers Market in Spring 2016. At this market, we will be primarily offering potted plants: edibles, natives, ornamental perennials, and houseplants. We will also carry a limited selection of flower bouquets and gardening supplies. The director will train and assist, but the Farmstand Manager is in charge of ensuring everything runs smoothly each Saturday.

– Loading vehicle at nursery in Roxborough/ Manayunk on Saturday morning (or Friday evening if preferred).

– Unloading vehicle and creating display at Clark Park Farmers Market: setting up tent, tables, merchandise display, signage.

– Photographing display for Instagram/ Facebook promotion.

– Assisting customers with selecting merchandise, taking special order requests, selling subscription products. Cultivating relationships and repeat customers, but not allowing conversations to interfere with duties.

– Handling cash and credit card sales, recording sales data, and maintaining optimal visual display throughout market hours.

– Breaking down display and loading vehicle.

– Unloading vehicle back at nursery, reporting any issues or trends to director.

 

 

succulents Philadelphia Lunaria Gardens farmers market clay pots

 

Requirements:

– Must have familiarity with plants and their general growing requirements. Applicant must have some gardening/ farming/ ecological know-how, like cool-season vs tender vegetables, plant families, sun-shade requirements, etc. You will be helping people select plants, so you need to have some base knowledge, as well as an interest in improving it through ongoing training and self-study.

– Must be excellent with customer service and sales, and possess an outgoing, personable, and positive nature.

– Must be punctual, communicative, organized, and comfortable jumping in and figuring things out.

– Must be able to comfortably lift 50 pounds and withstand standing and sitting outside (under tent) in all weather conditions.

– Must commit to work Saturday mornings from mid-March through mid-June.

– Must possess valid drivers license and a vehicle.

Preferred:

– Ideal applicant will live in the vicinity of West Philadelphia, and have some connection to the community.

– Familiarity with botanical nomenclature, gardening, landscaping, agriculture, permaculture, or ecology.

– Interest in assisting with occasional nursery operations (seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, harvesting) during peak season.

– Interest or experience in floriculture is a plus, and could elicit additional Friday hours.

– Experience in visual display and merchandising is a plus, as well as any experience doing other markets or pop-up events.

– Do you have experience with social media/ email marketing, web design, construction, proposal writing, or other cool skills? Let us know.

 

Lunaria Gardens Farmers market display fall bulbs floral arrangements philly

 

About Lunaria Gardens:

Lunaria Gardens specializes in edibles, natives, and perennials for the landscape, and houseplants, floral arrangements, and seasonal decor for the home. Our focus is on habitat creation, food production, and sustainable beauty. New for the 2016 are customized plant assortments and floral subscriptions. Owner-operator Kristen Jas Vietty has a background in visual arts, administration, music, and permaculture design at residential, farm, and municipal scales.

 

To Apply:

To be considered, send email to Kristen Jas Vietty: [email protected] (no phone calls)

Email subject format: “Clark Park Farmstand Manager: (Your full name)”

Please either attach a resume in PDF or Word format, or include link to an online resume.

No formal letter of interest required. Instead, either in the email body or in an attached document, answer the following questions in list or paragraph form:

1. Can you commit to working most Saturdays through June 18? Sometimes last-minute situations arise, but please specify if you already have trips or weddings booked on certain dates.

2. Do you have a valid drivers license? Do you have a vehicle with ability to assist with transport of tent, tables, and merchandise?

3. What are your strengths and weaknesses in your plant knowledge? We primarily sell edibles, herbs, natives, and houseplants, and limited amount of non-native ornamentals or cut flower crops.

4. Do you have interest or experience with floral design, as well as Friday availability?

5. What are you hoping to learn or gain from this position?

6. What can you bring to this position? If not listed in resume, please list any skills.

7. If not included in your resume, please list links to social media profiles, websites, links to cool projects with which you’re involved.

 

Lunaria Gardens Philadelphia flower arrangement floral design native bouquet

 

 

Please do not call to follow up on applications.  Thanks much for your interest and time.

Lunaria Gardens is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, and LGBTQ applicants are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Kristen Jas Vietty

[email protected]

lunariagardens.com

facebook.com/lunariagardens

instagram.com/lunariagardens

twitter.com/lunariagardens

HIRING: Lunaria Gardens Intern, Philadelphia

Lunaria Gardens Internship

Lunaria Gardens is offering ongoing internships at several locations in Philadelphia: at the greenhouse in West Fairmount Park, at the nursery and growing fields in Roxborough and North Philadelphia, and occasionally at farmers markets in Chestnut Hill, Old City, and Fishtown.

Job type: Part-time educational internship, hours to be discussed
Location: Philadelphia (mostly Roxborough and North Philly)
Compensation: Unpaid/ student credit, possibility of developing into paid position depending on skills & commitment
Position updated: March 8, 2017
Position available: Immediately
Contact: Kristen Jas Vietty, [email protected] (no phone calls)

Position Description:
As this is an educational position, the tasks can vary according to the interests and skills of the applicant. However, some examples of projects include:

▪ Nursery operations: seeding, transplanting, watering, loading for deliveries
▪ Retail assistance at farmers markets and special events
▪ Field assistance: preparing beds, planting, weeding, harvesting
▪ Floral design assistance, creating market and subscription bouquets
▪ Construction projects: raised beds, compost bins, trellises, planters
▪ Food processing & preservation
▪ Photography, writing, web/ graphic design, marketing, educational event support

Requirements:
The only requirement is a desire to learn about horticulture and ecological design. Some familiarity with plants, construction, or design is a plus.

About Lunaria Gardens:

Lunaria Gardens is an urban farm, plant nursery, and floral design studio. We produce a wide range of specialty edibles, natives, ornamentals, and houseplants for the landscape and the home. Our seasonal florals are primarily grown and foraged in Philadelphia, and we provide delivery arrangements, weekly subscriptions, DIY buckets, wedding packages, custom event design, and wholesale cuts to florists. We also offer educational programming like design parties, pop-up events, and workshops.

Owner-operator Kristen Jas Vietty has a background in visual arts, administration, & education, and knows firsthand the value that internships can offer those seeking low-risk exposure to an unfamiliar industry. She has interned with non-profits, a visual artist, and several organic farms throughout the US. She has since founded and co-operated several businesses and continues to enhance her education.

Women, people of color, and LGBTQ applicants are especially encouraged to apply. To be considered, please contact Kristen Jas Vietty, [email protected] (no phone calls)

Updated: March 8, 2017

HIRING: Garden Manager, Part Time

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Lunaria Gardens is seeking a part time garden manager for a client property in Upper Bucks County, PA.

Job type: Part time, 1-2 days (8-16 hrs) per week. Additional hours may be available depending on season or special projects.
Compensation: $10-$17 per hour depending on experience
Commitment: After a trial period, we’d like a commitment of 1-2 days/ week through the 2013 season (usually ending Nov or early December). We’d like to offer additional compensation depending on level of commitment for the 2014 season.
Position available: Immediately
Application deadline: Thursday, August 1, 9pm
Contact: Kristen Jasionowski, owner, Lunaria Gardens, [email protected]

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Description:

The garden manager will primarily be responsible for ongoing care of a client property in Ottsville, PA, as well as occasional assistance with other sites. Lunaria Gardens is not a typical landscaping company – there is no lawn mowing or formal hedge trimming involved. We instead design & install ecological gardens for food production & habitat. Watering, weeding, & harvesting vegetables are ongoing weekly tasks, while planting, mulching, & light construction will also make appearances on task lists.

Aside from the annual vegetable garden, the Ottsville property contains mostly woodland perennial plantings, so it’s a generally comfortable workplace. You’ll undoubtedly improve your understanding of botany, native ecology, food production, & sustainable property management by working with us.

Requirements:

– proximity to Upper Bucks County (much of position requires maintenance of client property in Ottsville, PA.) Occasional assistance in Easton, PA as needed.

– Reliable transportation. The only tools regularly required are some good hand pruners and a trowel.

– Basic familiarity with common plant identification, i.e. you should probably know the difference between a hosta & a hydrangea, or a dandelion & a thistle. We specialize in edibles, in addition to natives & ornamental perennials.

– Desire to enhance your ecological management & botanical knowledge.

Preferred:

– Plant identification skills, especially common ornamental shade perennials, “weeds”, and edibles.

– Familiarity with weeding, harvesting, planting techniques.

– Ability to lift 50 lbs (less physically able applicants will also be considered).

– Basic carpentry/ construction experience is a plus.

– Plant nursery, irrigation, earthworking, farming, or flower arranging experience is a plus.

Extras:

– Have an interest in social media, e-communications, photography, writing, or teaching? We’re into Instagram & twitter (@kristenjas), and Facebook. We’re interested in expanding our blog content, and would like to host events and workshops in the coming year. This could be additional income for someone who wants to get more involved in these areas.

– The above skills would also apply to Kristen’s other music publicity work with Musette Project, Dallas Vietty, or Hot Bijouxx. If you’re interested in working with these projects, drop us a line. Or get yourself on the mailing list by using the little signup in the sidebar.

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About Lunaria Gardens:

Lunaria Gardens is a custom permaculture consultation, design, maintenance, & education service, soon to be expanding nursery operations. We primarily help people grow food, as well as compost, keep livestock, provide native habitat, and generally close energy loops to reduce unnecessary energy expenditures. We currently have clients in Ottsville & Easton, PA. Owner Kristen Jasionowski has a background in visual arts, administration, & education. She transitioned from a self-taught hobbyist to a career in sustainable agriculture in 2009, and has apprenticed via the WWOOF program, co-managed a couple microfarms, and has studied with Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild & various permaculture & forest gardening professionals. Her company’s focus is on empowerment & connection via habitat creation and food production.

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To be considered, please email the following:

– A resume & cover letter would be awesome, but a couple paragraphs about why you would be great for this job, and what you’re hoping to get out of it will do.

– Contact info including name, phone, address, & any web presence you’d like to share.

– How you found out about the position.

Women, people of color, and LGBT applicants are encouraged to apply. If you’d just like to get on the mailing list, you can do so in the sidebar at right.

Contact: Kristen Jasionowski, owner, Lunaria Gardens, [email protected]

Posted July 30, 2013
Application deadline: Thursday, August 1, 9pm

INTERVIEW / Hunter Hill Farm / Easton, PA

A little late April Hunter Hill harvest in my kitchen. Clockwise from top left: mint, oregano, chives, sage, Siberian kale, radishes, salad mix (arugula, claytonia, spinach).
A little late April Hunter Hill harvest in my kitchen. Clockwise from top left: mint, oregano, chives, sage, Siberian kale, radishes, salad mix (arugula, claytonia, spinach).

Hunter Hill Farm is a 12-acre homestead & vegetable CSA just outside of the city limits of Easton, PA. Last year, I was a resident for the season, designing & helping to install the initial orchard phase of their edible forest garden. I decided to stick around the area, and this year we’ve been doing a little bartering of a different sort – forest gardening & poultry consultation in exchange for veggies. This week, farmers Dan Hunter & Bethany Towne came over with groundcover questions, as well as a beautiful harvest of some early greens, herbs, & radishes. I thought some readers would appreciate learning about what they do, so I suggested an interview. Below is our conversation.

Looking northwest upon the hoophouse and the fields in early spring.
Looking northwest upon the hoophouse and the fields in early spring.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What made you guys want to be farmers at Hunter Hill?
Dan Hunter: Maybe 7 or 8 years ago, I was watching C-Span, and Roscoe Bartlett was giving a presentation on peak oil, and that was I guess the first time I heard about the whole energy crisis thing. And at that time I was trying to be an upright bassist, which was predicated a lot on me having a wagon, and hauling a bass around. So I got interested in sustainability in general, and then the farming part seemed to be the one that most most attractive and stuck, like I tried a bunch of different things. And then I started some apprenticing work and started looking around for land with my parents, and that drug on for about 3 years. And then we finally found a place that was enough land and in our budget, and then we bought it. So, I’m gonna say, food security.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What is your farm mission?

Bethany Towne: I just try to grow a lot of food, and we try to make some money to get by. I like sharing it with everyone, and eating it. And learning about permaculture is really cool too, because if we can set up something really awesome, then we’ll have the experience and a lot of the resources to help people do that too.

DH: For me, I wanted a place where I could kind of make a livelihood and everything, but also be an experimental ground for different types of agriculture. If the goal was just to grow food for money, it would get old and I wouldn’t feel that I was doing much. So the idea is for it to be an educational place, or a place where people can just come out and relax. Our friend was talking about farm therapy programs in Europe, where people in different situations can come out relax for a while. So yeah, getting integrated in the community, and not just, you grow stuff and then you sell it, and that’s the extent of the interaction. The ideal is to be much more plugged in, to be a resource for the community, and have as many overlapping functions as possible. Because land is a huge thing. Land is expensive, and it’s hard to get, and hard to maintain. So many possibilities with it.

 

Dallas Vietty relaxing on the farm. Summer, 2012.
Dallas Vietty relaxing on the farm. Summer, 2012.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What do you offer at Hunter Hill?

DH: We offer a 22-week CSA (Community-supported agriculture), from the 1st week in June to the 2nd or 3rd week in October. It’s a weekly pickup of vegetables, in either a half or a full share size. And there will be other things that come in through the year, like mushrooms or fruit, that we’ll offer as add-ons, as retail items when people pick up.
We’ve also had Seventh Generation Charter School classes visit for educational field trips. Or if people have an idea for what they want to do, that’s related to, I don’t know, the growth or integration of communities, or experiments in agriculture, or whatever, that’s great, and they should talk to us.

BT: We sell to restaurants sometimes, and there are instances of being super busy and we have way too much of something, but maybe if we had better connections with particular restaurants…

DH: … or individuals, or 3rd Street Alliance, or pretty much anybody who’d be interested in coming out and picking something, we should set up a call list, or an email chain. So there’s opportunity for gleaning…

BT: … or trade.

 

Inoculated shitake logs fruiting in the Hunter Hill mushroom circle.
Inoculated shitake logs fruiting in the Hunter Hill mushroom circle.

 

Lunaria Gardens: What makes your CSA special?

DH: We really don’t really use any machines. What’s in the field is entirely hand worked, so we do no-till. So yeah, we just sheet mulch. And the only amendments we add are composted animal waste, or house compost. So it’s very simple. We try not to get involved with large supply chains, partly because their expensive, partly because they suck. I guess we’re still buying seeds from Johnny’s. But there’s some vague anti-corporate inclination going on. I feel like there’s not very much intention about how that gets carried out, but it gets carried out to some extent. But yeah, I feel like the special part is just the no machine thing. Just compost additives. All the stuff is hand-picked and maybe washed.

 

What can customers expect if they do sign up for a share?

DH: Full shares can expect 8-12 items per week. An item can be a bunch of carrots, or a quart of tomatoes, a head of lettuce. Half shares, 5-7 items per week. And it’s gonna be fresh, because we don’t have any fridge space! So even if we wanted to hold over products, we really can’t! So, expect fresh, seasonal vegetables in quantity. And shares are picked up from the farm or a drop point in North Bethlehem, near the YMCA.

 

Some cool-weather annual CSA vegetable transplants, as well as perennial forest garden plants & trees, April, 2012.
Some cool-weather annual CSA vegetable transplants, as well as perennial forest garden plants & trees, April, 2012.

 

Lunaria Gardens: Dan, you mentioned no machines and no-till, but I want your words for readers. What is it about no-till?

DH: Well, my limited understanding of soil science and agricultural practices leads me to believe that tilling is primarily an expedient practice. In tilling, it’s like the rain comes down, and if soil is loose, it moves; so if you break up the soil all the time, more soil and nutrients and everything are going to wash off your land. I guess that’s really the crux of the matter. And I guess when you till, you’re breaking up the soil ecology that’s trying to form all the time to help you. So we don’t till. And we don’t use machines because their expensive, and they’re part of the industrial corporatocracy, and they compact the soil most of the time. And they also have sort of an expedient element to them, that makes it easy but ends up hurting you in the end. That has been my experience of it. I guess I could expound on how they hurt the people using them, or the people making them, or the places where they’re taken, or the larger watershed or ecology, but mostly, I don’t like working with them, and they’re expensive.

 

Camping out in the apple orchard. Summer 2012.
Camping out in the apple orchard. Summer 2012.

 

Lunaria Gardens: Who else is helping behind the scenes, besides you guys?

BT: Oh, yeah, lots of people! It varies a lot year to year, and you never know, it seems like there might be quite a few people coming to stay at the farm at some point during the year. But Dan’s parent’s bought the property, and they help out a lot. Dan’s dad was just helping me build the frame for a chicken tractor last week, which is really exciting. Scotty… I don’t know, there’s tons of people!

DH: Lehigh Valley friends who have varying degrees of residency at the farm [laughs], or non-residency.

Bethany: Yeah, Joe Farnack was working for us really regularly last year, and helping with harvest, and taking home vegetables.

 

The Hunter Hill kitchen, during a young farmer potluck & film screening, March, 2012.
The Hunter Hill kitchen, during a young farmer potluck & film screening, March, 2012.

 
Lunaria Gardens: What resource would you love to come into?

Dan: One thing that was amazing, was this guy from Green Briar Equestrian Services or whatever…

Bethany: Oh yeah!

Dan: Yeah! [laughter] This guy who cleans out horse stalls, he goes out with his Bobcat loader in his dump truck, so he has to leave it at the place, and then go dump the load somewhere locally, and then go back and pick up his Bobcat – so he goes and dumps at all these farms. And he dumped 6, 7, or more dump truck loads of equestrian bedding. And that’s probably 3 solid weeks of full-time work that he just donated for free, in terms of if we had to go pick it up, and all the wear and tear on the truck. So, um…

Lunaria Gardens: So… delivered horse shit?

[laughter]

DH: Or just convenient sources of decent compost. The ideal is that it’s free and delivered. That would be great. Because that’s the input, besides some infrastructure, or irrigation stuff.

BT: Man, it’s really exciting thinking about like the future, like we’ve been working on growing medicinals and things like that, but even with the permaculture project, fenced portion is a small percentage of farm property, but there’s so much that you can produce on that land to share with people. And things that don’t take as much work as a vegetable plot. It’s pretty exciting.

 

Lunaria Gardens: Would you say you get excited about abundance?

BT: Yeah, haha.

 

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Hunter Hill Farm 2013 CSA shares

Full share: $500 ($25/week), Half share: $300 ($15/week)
Length: 20 weeks, June 6 to October 17
Pickup: Thursdays at farm (901 Frost Hollow Road, Forks Township, Easton, PA) or Bethlehem, PA
Includes: A share of non-certified organic vegetables; 8-12 items (full share) or 5-7 items (half share) / additional seasonal offereings, i.e. apples or mushrooms, for purchase as available

Contact: Dan Hunter/ 484-788-4634 / Local Harvest / Facebook

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INTERVIEW / Tiny Terra Ferma / Manayunk, Philadelphia

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Tiny Terra Ferma is Manayunk’s new ecological landscape design studio & garden shop, opening this Friday. Below is my interview with owner-designers Jeff Lorenz and Annie Scott, followed by details about the Spring Opening Party. [All photos courtesy Tiny Terra Ferma.]

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Lunaria Gardens: Tell us about the evolution of Tiny Terra Ferma & the new space.

Jeff Lorenz: Annie and I have been working on urban garden projects for the last few years with Ivy Ridge Green, an organization she co-founded in 2009. From the get-go we connected over a love for native plants and the possibilities of gardening and food production in our small backyard spaces. With my 15 years as a horticulturalist, designer and business owner, and Annie’s experience and masters in landscape design and planning, we both had the expressed desire to create a design company and local hub for gardening and urban green space.

Annie Scott: This past year we started working on design projects together and planning our company. Our space is now in a repurposed garage on Main Street in Manayunk, that was abandoned for over 30 years. I had often walked by it and thought about how much potential the space has. We have both put in long hours working on the space – its really exciting to see it become our garden shop and design studio.

A vertical pallet planter at Tiny Terra Ferma.
A vertical pallet planter at Tiny Terra Ferma.

Lunaria Gardens: What are some common problems that you’re aiming to solve for the urban grower?

JL: Urban gardening is challenging and multifaceted, but in order to leverage its potential, it must be affordable, accessible and attainable. That is our mission through our design service and garden shop.

Lunaria Gardens: How does your vision relate to larger food issues in the Philadelphia region?

AS: Our goal is to enable people to grow their own food in both large and small spaces. Through proper design, it is possible to grow an abundance of food in tiny rowhouse backyards. We aim to educate, inspire and empower people to grow food themselves.

Closeup of herbs, greens, & succulents potted in the vertical pallet planter.
Closeup of herbs, greens, & succulents potted in the vertical pallet planter.

Lunaria Gardens: What other events do you plan on hosting in the coming year?

AS: We will be hosting various classes on garden related topics. We envision our space to be an educational forum and a hub for potential neighborhood greening.

Lunaria Gardens: What design project would you love to encounter?

AS: Projects that serve the client and nature. I love the challenge of fulfilling the client’s goals while serving nature, and creating food sources for both humans and wildlife through the use of native plants. I have done this through design on 40-acre farms, 400-square-foot backyards, and window boxes. I’m excited about any new design challenge that provides the opportunity to create beautiful spaces in both form and function.

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Lunaria : Give us a little background on some of the other folks involved with the First Friday opening.

JL: The great accordionist Dallas Vietty, of Musette Project, will be performing selections from the French Musette and Gypsy Jazz musical repertoire. Our Manayunk neighbor, Ryan McNeely, will provide guitar accompaniment as well as bossa nova compositions.

Lunaria Gardens: Can you give us a sneak peak of some cool plants or tools that will be available April 5th?

AS: The plants we carry are functional – native, edible, extremely drought tolerant, and beautiful. We have adorable 5” baby fig trees, kale and swiss chard starts, herbs, blueberries and native plants. We also have a selection of quality garden tools and accessories.

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tinyterraferma_logoTINY TERRA FERMA, 4324 Main Street, Manayunk, Philadelphia, PA, (267) 237-1489
Spring hours: Thursdays – Sundays 11am – 7pm

Spring Opening Party: First Friday, April 5, 2013
5 – 9pm drinks & light refreshments
6:30pm music by Dallas Vietty & Ryan McNeely
RSVP on Facebook