Farm Apprenticeship Fort Hill Farm
- Date Posted October 09, 2018
- Location New Milford, CT
- Category Agriculture
- Job Type Internship/Apprentice
Fort Hill Farm in New Milford, CT is a 20-acre farm operating on land leased from The Nature Conservancy/Sunny Valley Preserve. Paul Bucciaglia and Rebecca Batchie operate Fort Hill Farm, which has been certified organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers since 2003. We also sign the NOFA Farmers’ Pledge. The farm produces about 45 types of Certified Organic vegetables for 300 CSA shareholders and three Farmers’ Markets. The farm focuses heavily on soil health through the growth of cover crops, and the application of compost and rock powders. It offers a full-season apprenticeship program for individuals interested in learning how to farm. Job Description Fort Hill Farm cultivates about 14 acres of vegetable and cover crops. In addition, we have four greenhouses and a large high tunnel for production of transplants and in-soil tomato production. The farm is certified organic, and uses a broad range of biological farming approaches, such as extensive use of cover crops and on-farm composting. We use machinery for most tillage and many planting, cultivating, and harvesting operations, and train apprentices in the use of this equipment. The farm is located near town, with quick access to many great hiking and canoeing opportunities in northwestern Connecticut.
Full season apprenticeships are available at the farm each growing season, from the last Monday in March through Thanksgiving. Applications are accepted year round; fall is a great time to apply.
Apprentices participate in all aspects of crop production, including planting, cultivating, harvesting, market sales, and CSA distribution. Practical training in organic crops and overall farm management is offered. Our goal is to give apprentices the opportunity to learn the skills they will need to manage their own farm. In addition, Fort Hill Farm is a member of CRAFT of Western Connecticut. Apprentices will have the opportunity for monthly visits to area farms, to tour the farm and hear about that farmer’s area of expertise (see http://westernctcraft.weebly.com for more info).
Apprentices who complete a growing season at Fort Hill Farm may apply for a Grower position on the farm for a second season. Growers take on higher level farm management tasks such as managing work crews, harvests, greenhouse production, and farmers markets, as well as more skilled farm operations such as seeding and spraying.
Previous farm experience is helpful but not essential. We do suggest applicants work or volunteer on a production farm for at least one month before applying for a full season apprenticeship, preferably over the summer months. The position requires a desire and ability to do outdoor, physical work in all kinds of weather, a sincere interest in farming, and a drive to learn more about it.
Work schedule varies over the season, generally five and a half days a week, 45 to 50 hours per week in peak season. Work weeks are shorter in early spring and late fall.
Apprentices are paid an hourly wage of $12 per hour for farm labor and on the job training. We pay overtime for hours worked over 40 per week. Craft visits and other on-farm educational opportunities are not paid. Apprentices can choose to live next door to the farm at an affordable rent, or search for their own housing. Apprentices completing the full season earn a $500 year end bonus. Compensation this position is PAID: hourly, under $15/hr How to apply