Field Apprenticeships on New York Farm

Common Ground Farm (www.commongroundfarm.org) is a non-profit ecological vegetable farm in the Hudson River Valley of New York. In 2002 CGF was founded by members of the Beacon community who were intent on finding healthy, chemically-free, locally grown vegetables. The farm ran an active CSA for many years, but as of 2013 production was scaled back to help our land regenerate. We are now growing food on 2.5 acres (and in a high tunnel) for farmer’s markets, local restaurants, food-justice programs, and food donation. We run educational programs for children and adults year-round. The farm is located on the grounds of Stonykill Environmental Education Center, a state-run demonstration farm and nature preserve of 700 acres. CGFleases 9 acres from Stonykill. We are not intensively mechanized, using a small tractor for ground preparation and some cultivation. The rest is done lovingly by hand, including planting, weeding and harvesting. We grow a diverse selection of veggies, fruits, herbs, and cut flowers. Over 50 different types are grown, including many interesting and heirloom varieties.

In 2014 we will offer two full-season field apprenticeships.Common Ground Farm Field

The apprentices are looked upon as Farmers-in-Training and are part of the entire farming process; from detail-oriented greenhouse work to planting, hand-weeding, insect control, harvesting, chasing woodchucks, washing produce, preparing and staffing farmer’s markets. Our goal is to train by seasons in all aspects of the farm. The apprentices will gain agricultural skills through hands-on farm work. They will have ample opportunities to learn from experienced area farmers through workshops and tours, but by and large this is a vocational training program where they will be asked to learn by doing. Applicants should be prepared for early mornings and working through inclement weather conditions: we work through hot, rainy, cold, and windy days. We tend to enjoy the dirt and sweat that the job offers, and we are looking for candidates who already know that this kind of working environment is for them. If you have not previously worked for extended periods of time outside, a working farm is probably not the place to experiment with that idea. Additionally, apprentices will be required, alongside the farm manager, to participate in the farm's education and food access programs. They will work alongside local high school students in Beacon's Green Teen program, which provides CGF vegetables at low cost throughout the city through mobile markets. They will also have the opportunity to participate in Beacon's first Farm to School initiative which was launched in partnership with CGF this year.

We seek dependable, good natured people with an interest in farming, education and access to food; good communication skills, an ability to take initiative, multitasking, an eager attitude towards learning and above all, the desire to bring about positive community change are musts. The ideal candidate will have a thoughtful understanding of the food system in the US and the desire to use organic farming as an educational tool with local youth in and around the Hudson Valley to make a positive impact in the community. Common Ground is a food justice mission-based farm. We believe Good Food should be available to everyone and our passion is to make it accessible through low-cost mobile markets, educational programming and donation. Apprentices will have the opportunity to participate in CRAFT, the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training program.

This is a full-time position, with a work week ranging from 40-55 hrs./week. The position is from April 1 thru October 15. Interviews to begin immediately.

The stipend for this position is $150/wk and apprentices are welcome to all food grown on the farm. Housing is provided off-site in a communal house three miles from the farm in the city of Beacon. Contact Farm Manager Arielle Narva at ariellenarva@gmail.com

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