Organic Farm Jobs in New York State, 2012

Organic Farm Photo New YorkBlue Heron Organic Farm is hiring for jobs in New York State for 2012. Blue Heron Farm has been in operation since 1981. Lou Johns and Robin Ostfeld are self-educated, and have experimented with many crops, growing schemes, marketing ideas, and pieces of farming equipment over the years. Well over 100 people have worked for them, and they’ve learned a little something from each of them. They have 150 acres near Seneca Lake, one of the largest of the Finger Lakes. Ten acres are used for growing a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and berries. For over 10 years, they’ve been using a permanent bed system in all of our fields, with strips of native vegetation between each bed. This enables them to avoid soil compaction, be more accurate in applying soil amendments, and provides habitat for beneficial insects. Although they grow over 40 kinds of vegetables, the main crops are lettuce, spinach, root crops, and bunching greens. They also grow ornamental and vegetable transplants, as well as early tomatoes and greens, in two greenhouses and two unheated hoop-houses. Marketing is also diverse. They sell at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, about 20 miles away, every Saturday. They sell to two large food co-ops and several restaurants in the local area. In addition, they’ve developed a winter produce subscription system, delivering boxes of mixed storage vegetables to customers in the Ithaca and Rochester area during January, February and March. To read the job description and to learn how to apply, click "read more"

The farm work varies according to the season. In the spring, they’re busy with field preparation, seeding and transplanting, (which are mainly done by tractor) and greenhouse work. As the crops grow, there is plenty of weeding, thinning, hoeing, cultivating, and irrigating to do. From late June on, much time is also spent on harvesting, washing, packing, transporting, and selling the produce. The work requires the ability to do repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently, a love of the outdoors in all kinds of weather, a strong back and tough knees, an eye for details, and the ability to work well with other people. Although the work is hard and physically tiring, there are many rewards. Every day is different, but every day the results of our efforts are clear. The main results are so important -growing healthy food in a sustainable way, and providing it to local consumers. They will be hiring 2-3 full time people. Normally everyone works five 8-hour days per week, Tuesday through Saturday, with Sunday and Monday as days off. We try to be as flexible about scheduling as possible. Most people live locally, but we do offer housing on a first come, first served basis, please inquire if interested. Starting pay is $8 per hour, (more for those with significant farm experience) plus produce for personal consumption, plus a bonus based on total hours, paid at the season’s end. Merit-based raises are always a possibility. They need people from around May 1 to November 15, and give priority to those who can stay the whole season. See their website Blueheronorganic.com for more information. If you are interested in working there, please apply via email. Download and return an application along with a resume if possible. If you have additional questions, feel free to e-mail bluheron@empacc.net.

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