FARM APPRENTICESHIPS AND INTERNSHIPS: COMMON HANDS FARM HIRING FOR 2016 SEASON
Common Hands Farm is an organic CSA and community market farm in its 6th year of production. We are a regenerative agriculture based farm using the techniques of permaculture and biodynamics to bring about long term resilience through our farming of the land, and building of healthy soils.
Currently, we are expanding and diversifying our farm, and moving our center of operations to new land in Philmont NY. We are excited to be partnering with a community of small farmers on 140 acres of prime soil, pasture, ponds, and woods.
Our enterprise is primarily supported by growing 150 or more different varieties of fruits and vegetables for our 200+ member CSA and farmers markets. We have a strong and loyal community relationship both locally and in our NYC CSA communities, and we provide for many of restaurants throughout the region.
In addition to our annual harvestable crops, we are working to begin developing nursery stock, and integrating perennial fruits, nuts, berries, and tubers into our farm landscape.
We also integrate goats, sheep, bees and chickens into the farm landscape, for production of eggs, meat, and most of all their contribution to the fertility cycle.
We are accepting applicants for two types of positions in 2016
- SEASON- LONG APPRENTICESHIP
Season-long apprentices commit to holding the farm and its tasks as their central priority for the duration of the growing season. We work long days in the summer, and there is a lot of bending, stretching, carrying, harvesting, and processing to move the produce from farm to table. We work in all conditions and elements and expect our crew to be prepared and ready to meet the weather of the season.
Apprentices learn to work at a production scale pace, and are constantly expected to improve their efficiency, and be open to learning and refining their production skills together with the farmers throughout the season. Being a good farmer is like being a good athlete, it takes constant training and coaching to achieve your optimum performance with the most ease. We expect all apprentices to hold themselves to that standard during work hours. Flexibility to changes in protocol throughout the season is key, as we ourselves are refining our process each year.
- Season begins Saturday April 23 and ends Saturday Nov 12th
- Room/board provided in a house with fellow apprentices and workers
- Basic food staples provided to supplement produce from the farm
- Monetary stipend of $600/month
- Work-week is comprised of 5 ½ days per week, with shorter hours in early spring and late fall
During the first month, and throughout the season, each participant embarks on a personal journey of becoming an Agri-Culturalist. The apprenticeship is an intensive yet rewarding development of oneself in regards to nature and the surrounding world, and often involves shedding prior beliefs in favor of a more holistic worldview and a renewed sense of the Human being’s role in nature and our planet.
- Introduction and Brief History of Agriculture
- Core Principles behind Sustainable and Regenerative Farming
- Biodynamic Agriculture Styles
- Introduction to Permaculture Principles
- Land Observation and Land/Ecosystem Awareness-based Meditation
- Introduction to Permaculture Design
- Greenhouse Management and Planting Skills
- Soil Science
- Biochemical Plant Growth Sequences
- Holistic Farmland Management
- Plant Species and Breeding
- Cover-Cropping and Crop Rotations
- Introduction to Farm Equipment
- Introductory Beekeeping
- Introductory Grazing and Animal Management
- Introduction to Biodynamic Grains, Milling, and Bread-Making
- Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Community Models
- Bed prep and fertilisation, cover cropping, building soil humates
- Making biodynamic compost
- Weeding and weed control
- Everything from planting seeds to harvesting healthy vegetables
- Managing pests and diseases
- Irrigation and water management
- Processing orders for local restaurants and retailer
- Packaging, bunching, and storage methods
- Delivery and distribution
- Attending farmers markets and interacting with CSA members
- Maintaining a positive environment for the farm community on-farm and in the house
- Hosting community dinners to celebrate the harvest
- SUMMER ABUNDANCE INTERNSHIP
During the summer months we host a small group of additional interns who join us for 1-2 months at a time. Interns have less work hours than the apprentices, and spend some additional time learning material the apprentices have already learned.
In addition there are active permaculture design/build modules which the apprentices and summer interns partake in together.
Interns are also able to partake in any apprentice learning taking place at the time, and on days they are scheduled to work, all interns are expected to strive to meet the work pace set by the apprentices and farmers throughout the day.
- Internship requires four full days on the farm with 3 days off
- Occasional help with weekend farmers markets
- Room/board,food and education opportunities provided in exchange for participation in farm work
Who We are Looking For:
Season long apprentices must be honest, open, respectful, driven by learning and a serious desire to dedicate your life of a full time basis to farming. You must be ready to work hard and keep a positive attitude.
We do not expect that you have a full season farming experience prior, but you must have at least one short term, or part time farming experience in the past.
How To Apply for the farm apprenticeships and internships:
If our farm and our learning programs seem to be right for you, and you would like to be a part of what we are creating and growing, we look forward to hearing from you, and hearing about you.
We are looking for people who are serious about learning to farm, and are considering having, or running a farm of their own someday. Moreover, we are looking for people who are passionate about regenerating the earth through new forms of agriculture, and new forms of community engagement.
Please Send the following to CommonHandsFarm@gmail.com
- A current resume
- 2 recent references (preferably agriculture related)
- A personal cover letter about you that incorporates the following questions
- We want to know what drives you to farm, and what your goals are with the apprenticeship.
- We are interested to know about your past work experience, and how you would bring your own skills and passions to your work on our farm.
- Tell us about your past farming experiences, what you learned from them. Reflecting on these experiences, why would you choose our farm as your next venture?
- How do you relate to the communities you live and work in?
- How do you see yourself in a peer-run learning/housing situation? How do you share space with others?
- Tell us a bit about your work ethic.What are your strengths and weaknesses in general work environment.
- If able, name any specific skills you feel would benefit our farm or community.
- Do you have experience cooking and preparing food for large groups of people?
- Do you have any experience with biodynamic farming? If you are unfamiliar with it, look it up and tell us a little bit about what you think of the idea.
We look forward to hearing from you and building a strong, caring, and co creative team!
Dan McManus and Tess Parker