Ecosystem Farm Apprenticeship in Maryland, 2012

Seeking Applicants for 2012 Season Ecosystem Farm Apprenticeship Program in Maryland The Robert Ware Straus Ecosystem Farm is an eight-acre certified organic vegetable farm on the banks of the Potomac RiverAgrokeek Stewardship Ecosystem Farm in Piscataway Park located in Accokeek, Maryland. It is a part of the Accokeek Foundation’s Center for Agricultural and Environmental Stewardship (CAES), which provides farmer training and support. The apprenticeship is a main component of advancing the CAES’s mission and is centered around the farm and its daily workings, namely the fulfillment of a weekly CSA operation. General Apprenticeship Information:

  • Two apprenticeships will be available for the 2012 season.
  • Positions will begin on or around March 5 and end around November 30.
  • A stipend and health insurance benefits will be offered as a part of the position.
  • Applications must be received by February 12, 2012, with interviews to follow. Please expect to be physically present for any interviews.

Apprenticeship Details:
  • The apprenticeship program is designed for beginning farmers who have at least one season’s worth of experience and want to round out their training. Our goal is to expose apprentices to many experiences, techniques, and approaches to sustainable agriculture while accomplishing the Foundation’s work.
  • Apprentices will be engaged mainly in “land-based training,” in which they will participate in all aspects of organic vegetable and small fruit production at the Ecosystem Farm. This is an intensive program, and applicants can expect to work 40-55 hours a week in all weather conditions.
  • Specific on-farm training includes greenhouse production, soil preparation, planting, transplanting, use of drip irrigation, cultivation and weed control, pest control, harvesting, post-harvest handling, and CSA management.
  • In addition to the daily work, apprentices will have the benefit of formal training, including field trips to other farms in the area, participation in the CAES’s workshops, and the ability to receive agricultural instruction from other institutions and individuals in the Chesapeake region.
  • This position is designed for those with a serious desire to pursue farming as a way of life, and every effort will be made to provide professional support after the season is over. It should be noted that the work involved is challenging in many ways, and a strong emphasis is placed on safety and personal accountability.
 Apprentice Qualifications:
  • Applicants should have at least one to two seasons’ experience in sustainable farming and a motivated desire to further this education.
  • Applicants should be reliable and willing to take on and accept responsibility.
  • The apprentices will be a part of the daily workings of the farm, and therefore should be physically capable and able to lift 50 lbs or more.
  • Because we will be working very closely together at times, it is essential that the apprentices be capable of working well with others. The ideal candidate will also have well-developed problem solving skills.
Review application at www.accokeek.org Please send your application (or any questions) to: The Accokeek Foundation Ecosystem Farm 3400 Bryan Point Road Accokeek, MD 20607 or to caes@accokeek.org The Accokeek Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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