Full-time, Hourly, Seasonal
Start Date: Wednesday, April 11th
Mill City Grows (MCG) is growing a healthier community in Lowell, Massachusetts by creating new opportunities for residents to access healthy, locally grown, affordable foods. Our mission is to foster food justice in Lowell by improving physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability through increased access to land, locally grown food, and education.
Our Urban Farm Team is seeking two motivated and well-organized Farm Apprentices, who will primarily work within the Urban Farm Program. The best candidates for these positions will be food justice warriors with physical stamina and precise attention to detail. Apprentices will work closely with the Assistant Urban Farm Manager in all aspects of vegetable production, with a primary focus (about 35 hours/week) on transplanting, to ensure the success of our Mobile Market Program. The secondary focus (about 5 hours/week) of this position will be assisting the Assistant Farm Manager with our CSA and wholesale accounts.
Urban Farm Program Overview:
Using sustainable and organic growing practices, Mill City Grows produces a wide variety of vegetables for a culturally diverse population. We grow on three urban farm sites, about 5 acres collectively, within the city of Lowell. By combining handwork, cultural controls and mechanized systems we are able to produce food without using conventional methods. The Urban Farm Program provides produce to our 11 weekly markets as well as our education and community programs. On top of our weekly markets, we also have specific wholesale outlets including a local restaurant and emergency food service providers.
Mill City Grows’ Apprenticeships:
The Mill City Grows’ apprenticeships are full-time, seasonal positions. The apprenticeships are 30 weeks, from April 11th through November 7th. Apprentices will have a 5 day, 40-hour work week and are expected to work a rotating weekend schedule during the season for watering, greenhouse coverage, and weekend volunteer groups. Weekend coverage will be offset with time off during the week. We are looking for driven and eager workers who are enthusiastic about sustainable farming and community building in the city of Lowell. Ideally, we are looking for apprentices with some experience in agriculture and those who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in farming and/or urban agriculture. The apprenticeship is an intensive work and learning opportunity for those who would like to broaden their knowledge of whole farm systems and organic urban growing practices. A strong work ethic, positive attitude, and ability to problem solve independently, along with good time management skills and punctuality are necessary in this position.
• Assist farm managers in all aspects of vegetable production and fieldwork, including:
o Greenhouse management, season extension, field prep, soil enhancement, seeding and transplanting, tillage and cultivation, fencing, irrigation, pest and disease management, and a myriad of other tasks in the day-to-day of farming.
o Harvest, post-harvest handling, and direct sale and wholesale packing and delivery.
• Apprentices will be trained in the approach and use of all farm equipment, including hand tools, BCS,
cultivating tractor, and all primary tillage including spader and perfecta.
• Act as a MCG food justice ambassador and engage with our volunteer and community members to
ensure that all farm visitors understand our work, feel welcomed and feel like a part of our team.
• MCG urban farm staff training sessions.
• Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) farm visits to other local farms.
o Apprentices are strongly encouraged to attend the bi-monthly CRAFT farm visits. These farm visits are considered professional development and time spent at CRAFT events is unpaid, however MCG will reimburse registration and transportation costs.
• Weekly farm field walks to discuss pest & disease control, weed ID, soil fertility, whole farm management, etc. We will plan the week’s agenda, discuss current challenges, and the week’s harvests.
• Informational packet including: crop plan, seeding schedules, and other useful resources.
• 2 to 3 professional development opportunities during the season, e.g. NOFA summer conference. Once
again, these are unpaid hours, but MCG will cover all registration and transportation costs.
• Sustain focus through repetitive tasks with an upbeat and positive attitude.
• Experience or a demonstrated interest in gardening and sustainable agriculture.
• Willingness to problem solve and think critically.
• Ability to work well in all weather conditions (cold, heat, rain, snow, wind).
• Aptitude for physically demanding, fast-paced work.
• Attention to detail.
• Excellent communication skills, a positive attitude.
• Willingness to work alone and as part of a team and ability to take and give instructions.
• Ability to safely lift and carry 50 pounds repeatedly.
• Valid driver’s license, valid and up-to-date car insurance policy, safe driving record, and reliable
• A sense of humor is a definite plus!
• Trainings and professional development
• Fresh produce from the farm!
Please send your resume, cover letter, and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org