This will be my fourth season managing this farm. A diverse mix of veggies, herbs and flowers are rotated with cover crops. Tomatoes and greens are very important to the business. With the help of a 40HP John Deere, a 1950’s Farmall Cub with basket weeders for cultivation and hand tools, I grow for the Capital City Farmers’ Market, a small CSA and a few local wholesale accounts.
Work Period Detailed Explanation:
This season, we are looking for two full time apprentices who should be available June through October. Apprentices will be involved in all aspects of vegetable farming including greenhouse work, seed starting, bed preparation, amending soil, transplanting, harvest and handling produce. Throughout the season we will plant, weed, harvest, wash and sell three acres of naturally grown vegetables. The work is physically and mentally demanding but very rewarding.
Folks interested in staying for a shorter (or longer) period of time are encouraged to contact us.
Apprentices should plan to work five and a half days a week and have one full day per week off. Weekend work includes helping at market and/or greenhouse management. Hours may vary according to the season but generally we work Monday through Friday 7am-6pm with an hour break for lunch.
Trial Period Information:
All potential apprentices are asked to visit with us beforehand, if possible. There will be a two week trial period, after which all parties will meet to decide if the arrangement works for everyone.
Room and Board
We have rustic accommodations at the farm. Currently, there is a yurt and a tipi and there will soon be a rustic three season cabin. Access to hot showers and occasional house sitting amenities available. We can share some meals and, depending on the group, we can take turns preparing lunch and dinners. Vegetables make up the majority of our diet. We raise a small flock of layers for access to fresh eggs and provide some market goods. Staples (rice, beans, cornmeal) are provided. We ask that you provide your own treats like chocolate and beer.
It is expected that apprentices will be tidy and clean up after themselves. No smoking or drinking during work hours or unresponsibly, please.
Let us know if you have food allergies.
Because we are direct market farmers, we are not certified but do grow using organic methods and principles. Along with plenty of greens and veggie scraps, our ducks are fed organic grain.
We strive to grow nutrient dense crops which involves remineralizing soils, working to achieve optimal levels of nutrients and trace elements, inoculating seeds and a myriad of other responsibilities. Healthy food translates to healthy people and a healthy world!
The work we do is physically and mentally demanding. At any time of day we may be standing, kneeling, bending, lifting, etc. There may be hours of repeated motions or hustling to get greens out of the sun. Expect to get a good work out. The people who enjoy apprenticing on vegetable farms tend to be people who enjoy outdoor and endurance activities.
We expect apprentices to pay attention to detail. Quality of work (and crops harvested) is extremely important.
5 Topic Areas of Expertise:
Because this is a young business, there is much to learn from the situation. First of all, focus is on soil health and rotation. Other topics of learning will include how to cultivate a wide array of vegetables, direct marketing, land access and planning for a viable operation.
Instruction and Training:
I work alongside apprentices showing them the ins and outs of vegetable production, harvest, sales and storage. There will be formal and informal teaching throughout the day. Questions are always welcomed. Along with what you learn through work and questions, we will have night lessons every other week based on the topic we are covering (ie soil health, crop planning, greenhouse management, etc.). Visiting other farms can be set up for tours and workdays. As a former apprentice, I understand the value in seeing different operations.
East Calais, VT, 05650
Best time to reach: nights