Hutchins Farm is seeking motivated, enthusiastic candidates for two apprentice positions for the 2016 season.
Hutchins Farm is one of the oldest and largest certified organic vegetable and fruit operations in Massachusetts. Organic since 1973, Hutchins grows around 35 acres of vegetables, about an acre of small fruit, and 10 acres of certified organic apples We sell our produce directly to consumers at our farmstand in Concord, MA, and at three weekly farmers’ markets, with a small amount of sales to local restaurants.
The owners and managers of Hutchins Farm have many decades of agricultural experience combined. Through intensive hands-on learning and formal educational opportunities, the Hutchins Farm apprenticeship will provide apprentices with a broad understanding of the principles and techniques of diversified organic vegetable production.
Responsibilities will include:
- Basic tractor operation, such as field preparation, transplanting, mowing, blind cultivation and other tasks. There may be opportunities to perform more advanced tractor operation such as cultivation, seeding, bed forming and spraying, depending on employee interest and the needs of the farm.
- Semi-regular participation in daily harvests with the Harvest Manager and field crew, to assist the Harvest Manager to complete harvests efficiently with the proper techniques and adherence to quality standards.
- Setting up and troubleshooting overhead irrigation, setting up drip irrigation.
- Deploying and maintaining temporary fencing around sensitive crops, utilizing standard deer fencing as well as electric fence systems.
- Greenhouse management, transplant propagation, watering, etc.
- Assisting the Marketing Manager with stocking, serving customers, and staffing farmers’ markets.
- Myriad other tasks that crop up in the course of organic vegetable production.
- Paid time to attend bi-weekly EMass CRAFT farm visits.
- Periodic formal education sessions from the Farm Manager and other managers covering the principles of organic vegetable production, guided by the particular interests of the apprentices, including: soil science and fertility, variety selection, crop rotation and field planning, marketing and pricing, organic certification, disease and pest management, and other topics.
- Positive, enthusiastic and inquisitive attitude, and an excellent work ethic
- Ability to work well in groups and independently
- Ability to follow directions and to take constructive criticism
- Must have valid drivers’ license
- Must be able to lift at least 50lbs repeatedly
- Candidates with some agricultural experience will be given preference
The Hutchins Farm Apprenticeship runs from April 1st until mid-November. Candidates must be able to commit to the full season in order to qualify. Apprentices work five days per week including at least one weekend day during the peak season. A typical day is from 7am-4pm. Compensation will be $11/hr, with a 75¢ per-hour-worked bonus contingent on completion of contract, plus vegetables from the farm.
We would like to provide apprentices with the opportunity to return for the 2017 season in a more specialized role, which could evolve into a managerial position. However, this opportunity will depend on the relative success of the business, as well as the strengths and interests of the apprentices.
Housing is not available.
Please send a cover letter, resume and two references to the Farm Manager, Brian Cramer, at firstname.lastname@example.org