Farming Apprenticeship in Connecticut, 2013

harvesting beetsFarming "Field" Apprenticeship in Connecticut, 2013

The Adamah field apprenticeship is an opportunity to take the next step in becoming an organic farmer for folks with a deep interest in field work, ecological farming systems, community building around agriculture and education through production. The apprentice leads crews of Adamah fellows in the field and works closely with the field manager to run the farm and to maintain it as a healthy space for fellows and plants to grow. About Adamah: Adamah is a program of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center that cultivates the soil and the soul to produce food, build and transform identities, and gather a community of people changing the world. They run a ten acre farm with about six acres in vegetables and flowers, one acre in permaculture style tree fruit and herbs, and three acres of goat pasture. Their commercial kitchen is lovingly called the Cultural Center or “Center for Cultural Proliferation” since most of what we do there is make lactofermented pickles and goat cheese. Work in the fields, barnyard, dairy and cultural center is accomplished by the Adamah managers, apprentices and fellows. Now in its seventh successful year, the Adamah Fellowship is a three-month leadership training program for Jewish young adults in their 20s that integrates organic farming, sustainable living, Jewish learning, community building and contemplative spiritual practice.

They also run public programs in addition to the fellowship. All programs at Adamah integrate physical, social, spiritual, Jewish and ecological realms. They emphasize hands-on experience and peer leadership to empower participants with skills and confidence to make a difference, and we offer positive ways to connect to the core Jewish principles of awe and gratitude, which inspire participants well after they leave.

About The Field Apprenticeship: The field apprenticeship runs from April 1st – December 15th. During peak season (May-August) the apprentice will work about 44 hours a week while during calmer months the apprentice will work 30-40 hours a week with seven vacation days and some days off for holidays.

Apprentices will have full room and board, including their own bedroom in a shared house with a kitchen. They will have access to three meals a day in the Isabella Freedman dining hall when it is open. Stipend is quite competitive.

Experiential education is at the core of what they do at Adamah so the Apprentice can expect impromptu discussions abour soil management or cover crops while weeding.

Apprentices are also members of the northwest Connecticut CRAFT program and attend about 10 workshops at local farms throughout the season. Apprentices also have access to Adamah programming which includes several classes a week. See the website for details.

The apprentice will do seeding, planting, weeding, irrigating, harvesting, washing, organizing deliveries, pest/disease management, truck driving, composting and other farm tasks. The apprentice will lead work sessions with Adamah fellows and occasionally with volunteers.

In addition to these core tasks, the apprenticeship can be tailored to the apprentices’ goals and capacity. There is a lot of room for responsibility, ownership over the work and independent projects. Some example projects that apprentices have taken on in the past include building a high tunnel, putting in irrigation systems, full responsibility for the wash station, and constructing a germination table.

Frequent informal communication between Adamah staff apprentices and fellows about meeting goals and expectations is key to how we operate. In addition, the apprentice will have monthly ‘goals meetings’ with the field manager throughout the season to reflect and to make intentional readjustments where necessary.

Expectations of the Field Apprentice: At least one season of experience in agriculture (or the Adamah fellowship) is required. The field apprentice must be able to lift fifty pounds and be in good physical shape; The Adamah field apprentice must be able to articulate their own needs well while keeping the needs of others in mind. Farms are composites of many moving parts and they involve a lot of communication. As a residential community working in informal farm education, our farm requires even more communication than most; The ideal candidate will be a good problem solver, have a generally positive attitude, love manual labor, care about revolutionizing our food system, have a sense of humor and feel moved by the sight of rotting food waste mixed with manure and straw.

If You are Interested in the Adamah Field Apprenticeship

Please check out their website for more information about the farm and fellowship. The application process with require a resume, cover letter and an in-person or telephone interview. If interested in the field apprenticeship please e-mail any questions to

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