Hutchins Farm is looking for candidates for a newly created position to help manage our 10 acres of certified organic apples and one acre of certified organic blueberries. Following the retirement of John Bemis, who established our orchards and managed them for the past 40 years, we are seeking a motivated, inquisitive and reliable individual to step into a management role over the 2016 season with the assistance and guidance of the other managers at Hutchins Farm.
Responsibilities will include:
Apples: Management of the apple orchards comprises four major tasks during the 2016 season – pruning during the winter, mechanical application of organic spray materials during the spring and early summer, mowing in the summer and fall, and harvest of the crop. The Manager-in-Training will receive assistance for the labor-intensive tasks of pruning and harvest, but will be ultimately responsible for the efficient management of these jobs.
Blueberries: Management of the blueberries follows a similar pattern – pruning in late winter, application of organic spray materials in the spring mainly to suppress winter moth, deployment of bird netting in the late spring, and mowing and perennial weed removal in the fall. Management of the harvest will be a collaborative effort between the Manager-In-Training and the other managers at Hutchins.
Developing a Management Plan: The Manager-In-Training will be responsible for developing a management plan for the orchards and blueberries in collaboration with the other managers at Hutchins Farm. This will include a detailed orchard map, notes on spray applications, and other relevant information, and could also include a plan for the removal of undesirable varieties and the addition of new trees.
Combination with other roles at Hutchins Farm: The time commitment of perennial fruit management is quite variable, requiring a lot of work in the early part of the season for pruning and spraying, and (hopefully) a lot of work late in the season for harvest. In the mid-season the Manager-In-Training could move into another role in vegetable crop production. This could mean that the Manager-In-Training would periodically join the field crew to assist with the routine tasks in row crop production, or could play a more specialized role, such as machinery operation, marketing, or greenhouse management. The details of this arrangement can be negotiated, and would depend on the interests of the candidate and the requirements of the vegetable operation.
The Manager-In-Training will be provided with guidance and instruction from the other managers at Hutchins Farm. However, the position will also require self-directed learning through a variety of resources, including reference literature on the farm, and conversations with other local producers. The Manager-In-Training will be responsible for synthesizing relevant information in order to develop efficient practices that will allow the orchards to be run both responsibly and profitably.
The Manager-In-Training will be trained to operate our John Deere 5400N orchard tractor, blast sprayer, and mowers, and other tractor-drawn implements and to safely use a chainsaw for limbing and tree removal.
The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in organic perennial fruit and vegetable production. The position will require a considerable amount of independent work and decision-making, so candidates must be reliable, responsible and have the ability to communicate well with the other managers at Hutchins Farm both to receive instruction and critiques, and to provide relevant information to the other managers about the perennial fruit operation.
Preference will be given to candidates who have some background in organic agriculture and/or experience operating machinery.
The Perennial Fruit Manager-in-Training position is seasonal, running from January 1, 2016 through November 15, 2016. Provided that the Manager-In-Training excels in their role, we would consider offering the Manager-In-Training a Manager position for the 2017 season onward with additional independence and compensation.
We are still trying to determine compensation for the Manager-In-Training position. However, it will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Compensation will also depend on what kind of supplementary responsibilities the applicant would like to assume in the vegetable production operation during the periodic lulls in perennial fruit management.
All employees at Hutchins Farm are welcome to harvest vegetables and fruit for themselves throughout the season.
Housing is not available.
Please send a resume, cover letter and contact information for two references to Brian Cramer at firstname.lastname@example.org