Seeking Farm Apprentices in Maine for 2016

farmer with carrot

Positions Are Filled! Thanks for Your Interest.

Seeking Farm Apprentices: Frinklepod Farm in Arundel, Maine is seeking three enthusiastic farm apprentices for the “summer” growing season which runs from mid-April through early November.  The farm grows vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers in coastal southern Maine, in a semi-rural setting but just a few miles from three bustling town centers and 30 minutes from the hip city of Portland.  Owners Noah and Flora’s mission is to grow healthy, plant-based food while strengthening the interconnectedness of the surrounding community.  The farmers are inspired by the practice of permaculture and focus on soil health and holistic farm management; they have always grown according to organic standards and will be going through the official certification process this summer. The on-site farm store sells our produce and flowers, alongside other locally made food and body products, to both CSA members and the public.  They also run a Winter CSA which features fresh greens and storage veggies.  Throughout the season they host a number of workshops and events focused around gardening, food preservation, cooking, and more.

Spring involves starting seedlings in the greenhouse, field preparation and direct seeding of hardier crops, and various building projects.  Summer and Fall tasks include planting; weeding with hoes and hand tools; harvesting, washing and organizing produce; and assisting CSA members and customers in the farm store.  Late Fall involves harvesting winter storage crops; preparing the greenhouses for the production of winter greens and vegetables; and preparing the fields for winter.

While the focus is on food, there is also the opportunity for one of the apprentices to spend a portion of his/her time assisting with the production of cut flowers; from planting to harvest to design work.  Depending on your interests, there will also be opportunities to gain new skills in carpentry, forestry work, and food preservation on a small/home scale.

Finally, all season long you will be encouraged to participate in the business management end of things as well, e.g. crunching numbers in our home office, organizing and promoting events, and making connections with other food producers.  They farmers are in the design process of a new farm-related facility that will focus on year-round food production with a four-season greenhouse, storage rooms, commercial kitchen, plant-based cooking school, and community space; as we continue work on this, you will have the unique opportunity to learn about farm financing, fundraising, local and federal regulations, business planning, cash flow management, and more.

Frinklepod Farm is seeking farm apprentices because we are passionate about helping educate the next generation of farmers. In addition to some recommended reading, you will meet as a farm crew once a week to do a field walk, go over the week’s plan, and set goals.   New tasks are demonstrated and the farmers work with you to hone skills in the field; as you gain the comfort and skills on the farm, you will often be expected to work on your own as well as to help in overseeing volunteers and work-share members.  There is also a weekly “lunch & learn” session for our apprentices and interns in which a specific topic of common interest (e.g. soil health, farm finances, permaculture) is presented on and discussed.  Apprentices are encouraged to participate in workshops sponsored by MOFGA (ME Organic Farmers & Gardeners Assoc.) and other farmer-focused gatherings in the area.

Typical hours are Tuesday-Friday, 7:30am-6:15 pm, and Saturday 7:00am – 5pm, with 1.5 hours off for lunch.  Sundays and Mondays are days off.  The farmers will work with your schedule to ensure that you get an additional 5 days off during the less busy times of the season.  Physically rigorous work is a given; you may work on any given task, often using repetitive motions with a hand tool, for hours at a time so physical and mental stamina are critical.  We are looking for apprentices who are also self-directed, curious, good communicators, flexible, and personable. Please be comfortable with children; while you are not expected to “babysit,” two awesome daughters (ages 3 and 6) are almost always around.

You will receive a stipend of $100/week, housing in your own sweet little camper or a bedroom in the barn (your choice), all the produce you can eat, and an indoor common space/kitchen shared with the other apprentices.  Your living quarters are on a multi-generational homestead and a 30-second walk to the outhouse, an indoor shower/bath, a washing machine, wifi access, and a great swimming pond.   While the road feels somewhat rural, the farm is far from isolated and you will enjoy social interactions with a wide segment of the community on a daily basis.

Positions are filled for 2016

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