Farm Apprentices Wanted in Michigan, 2013

Tilling cropsWorking in HoophouseHand Sown Farm in Manchester Michigan is looking for two farm apprentices for 2013! This is a great seasonal job for anyone who is passionate about sustainable food and loves working outside. Interns will learn all aspects of running a small, intensive vegetable farm. The season will include a variety of work with greenhouse transplant work, bed preparation, field planting, weed control, pest identification and control, harvesting, marketing, tool maintenance, hoop house production, record keeping, etc. Candidates interested in operating their own small farm someday are preferred. Hours will vary, but can be expected to be between 40-50 hours each week depending on the time of year. At least one full day off will be set aside every week. Compensation is $9/hour with access to farm produce.

In addition to getting hands-on experience with a market garden style farm, interns will have opportunity to delve deeper into issues related to organic agriculture through weekly study group. Topics may include: planning, seed ordering, seed saving, soil basics, compost production, pest management, marketing, business planning, etc. Work study will be organized upon request and is an unpaid activity.

Compensation: $9/hour plus produce and opportunities for learning
App Deadline: March 1st
Position duration: April through October, 40-50 hours per week.


  • Ability to do physical labor efficiently in various types of weather 6 days per week,
  • Great attention to detail in all aspects of work,
  • Works well independently or in a team,
  • Stamina and the ability to take care of yourself over the course of a busy season,
  • Prior experience working on a farm or in a garden, ideally on a vegetable farm,
  • Fantastic communication skills, positive attitude and great sense of humor a plus,
  • Experience working with customers and great people skills,
  • Dependability and punctuality,
  • Desire to learn about small, no-till, organic agriculture,
  • Valid driver’s license,
  • Must have own transportation and housing.

About the Farm: Hand Sown Farm is a small-scale, intensive vegetable and fruit farm nestled on 10 acres within Sharon Township, MI.  Our focus is on building soil health and biodiversity on the farm while cultivating crops for sale. We seek to minimize our environmental impact and promote an affordable, human-scaled way of farming through utilizing efficient hand tools and pushing the limits of our season by using passive solar hoop houses.

We grow diversified vegetables, small fruits, flowers and herbs intensively on 2 acres. We have a 30×100’ unheated hoop house, a 30×48’ movable hoop house and a transplant production greenhouse. We sell at four markets a week during the height of the season in Ann Arbor and Plymouth/Canton as well as several restaurant and grocery accounts. We have a small CSA (40  members) who shop with us at any markets we sell at. Our practices are beyond organic:

  • Use of only compost, compost teas and other natural amendments to add fertility,
  • No till system promotes a healthy and living soil,
  • Diversified fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs encourage a complex on-farm ecosystem,
  • Energy efficiency and minimal fossil fuel inputs by using only hand tools,
  • All of our customers are within a 50-mile radius of the farm,
  • Focus on most flavorful, heirloom varieties and implementing on-farm seed saving,
  • Mulching, cover cropping, yearly crop rotation, and preventative pest management,
  • Raise healthy, happy chickens that eat a varied diet and are free ranging,
  • Paying a living wage to farm workers and creating a healthy work environment,
  • Follow rigorous sanitary standards for harvesting and processing.

Contact: Please send your resume and at least one reference to Megan DeLeeuw at In your e-mail, please provide a short statement of purpose and what you hope to accomplish in a season with us.

To learn more about us and the farm, check out the blog:

Position Starts: April 1st 2013

Position Ends: Oct. 31st 2013

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