Farm Apprentice Frinklepod Farm
- Date Posted January 02, 2018
- Location Arundel, ME
- Category Agriculture / Business
- Job Type Internship/Apprentice
We are a small, certified organic farm in coastal southern Maine, focusing on growing a diverse selection of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and cut flowers on 4 acres. Our revenue comes from CSA memberships, seedling sales, floral design work, and cooking classes and other workshops. This past year we built a new multi-purpose building, launched a plant-based meal kit service, started making value-added products from our kitchen, and opened a winter farm store. We currently grow our crops on 3 acres of fields and in a heated greenhouse and two large high tunnels. The farm store, storage barn, and washing station are located in the center of the property and a new solar-powered building featuring a commercial kitchen, propagation greenhouse, floral design studio, workshop space, and crop storage rooms is on the forest's edge of the farm.
Our 2018 crew will consist of ourselves (Noah and Flora), three full-season apprentices, a summer flower intern, a part-time flower farming employee, and a part-time farm store cashier.Job Description
All of our apprenticeships offer a hands-on experience with agriculture, local food systems, and direct-to-consumer marketing.
Two FULL-SEASON VEGETABLE FARMING APPRENTICES will work mainly with Noah, focusing on vegetable and food production, from spring through late fall. Spring involves starting seedlings in our greenhouse, field preparation and direct seeding of hardier crops, and preparing seedlings for planting and sale. Apprentices will be oriented to the use of hand tools, power tools, and the walk-behind tractor. Summer and Fall tasks include planting; weeding with hoes and hand tools; pest management; harvesting, washing and organizing produce; and assisting customers. Late Fall involves harvesting storage crops; preparing the greenhouses for the production of winter greens and vegetables; preparing the fields for winter; and assisting customers.
One FULL-SEASON FARM MARKETING APPRENTICE will work mainly (75% of the time) with Flora on running the business side of the farm, including marketing, branding, and business planning; managing the farm store and curating an assortment of locally-made items; developing value-added food products and our line of ready-to-cook meal kits; developing our schedule of community events, workshops, and plant-based cooking classes; and strengthening our community partnerships and participation in local hunger relief programs. This apprentice will also spend some time (25%) participating in all farming tasks over the course of the season.
Apprentices work five days/week, Tuesday- Friday, 7am-5pm and Saturday 7am-4pm, with a 30 minute mid-morning break and 1 hour lunch break. Sundays and Mondays are off. Apprentices get one week of paid vacation time over the course of the season. Compensation is $800/month (weekly payments of $200) as well as housing (see more below), unlimited produce from the farm, and access to bulk pricing on other staple ingredients.
One SUMMER FLOWER FARMING INTERN will work with Flora and a part-time employee on growing, harvesting, and designing with flowers for retail bouquets, weddings, and custom orders during the peak of our season - approx. early June through early September. Start and end times for this position are flexible. The ideal candidate will be prepared for the physical demands of flower farming as well as have an eye for detail and aesthetics; prior experience in gardening or farming is helpful but not required. Compensation includes housing and a stipend of $100/week.
Our apprenticeship program emphasizes learning by doing. We demonstrate new tasks and work with you to develop and hone skills; as you gain confidence and proficiency, you will often be expected to work without supervision and eventually to take responsibility for your own projects. Our crew meets regularly to go over plans, set goals, and do field walks. We also have a weekly “lunch & learn” workshop with the crew in which a specific topic (e.g. soil health, farm finances, irrigation) is presented on and discussed. We give our apprentices time off to participate in MOFGA’s Farm Training Projects and to visit other farms. The compact size of the farm and small crew size allows for constant and personalized guidance and communication as needed.
Apprentices must have the physical ability to perform repetitive manual labor for many hours at a time, in all kinds of weather, as well as the emotional and mental stamina to get through long days and weeks of work. The ideal apprentice is self-directed, curious, and enthusiastic. We value clear and open communication and expect our apprentices to be comfortable both working alone and with others, as well as providing friendly customer service to all sorts of characters in the busy farm store.
We strongly recommend bringing your own vehicle, or being an intrepid biker, in order to make the most of your days off.
Housing is provided on our multi-generational family (ages 5 to 80) homestead, across the street and through the woods from our commercial farm operation. The sleeping quarters - two small campers and two bedrooms in the barn - are within close proximity to a shared outhouse and to the main farmhouse where there is a full kitchen/living room shared only by the apprentices, as well as an indoor shower, washing machine, and wifi access. Our private pond is perfect for summer swimming. Responsible drinking is OK. No smoking or illegal drugs. We are a just few miles from sandy beaches, grocery stores, and three town centers, and a 30 minute drive to Portland ME and Portsmouth NH.
Compensation this position is PAID: stipend How to apply