2017 Farm Apprentices
Full-time, Hourly, Seasonal Start Date: April 17, 2017
Schedule: Tuesday - Saturday
Mill City Grows is growing a healthier community in Lowell, MA by creating new opportunities for residents to access healthy, fresh, 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.
We seek one motivated Farm and Education Apprentice who will work with our Urban Farm and Education Programs. We seek well-organized candidates, committed to the values of our work. We also seek two Farm and Market Apprentices; see that job description for more details. Each apprentice will devote half of their time to urban farming and half to their area of focus/expertise.
Mill City Grows’ Education Apprenticeship:
Mill City Grows runs two urban farm sites within the city of Lowell, managing a little over 4 acres. We run a mobile market, participate in the City of Lowell Farmers’ Market, are involved in a year-round market, and sell to local restaurants. We use organic and sustainable growing practices, and combine handwork and mechanized systems depending on site scale. We are looking for a motivated, excited apprentice, who is enthusiastic about sustainable farming, education, and community building in the city. Ideally, we are looking for a candidate with a few years experience in agriculture and who is interested in pursuing a career in farming and/or farm based education. The apprenticeship is an intensive working and learning opportunity for those who would like to broaden their knowledge of whole farm systems and organic urban growing. A strong work ethic, positive attitude, sense of humor, and ability to problem solve independently, along with good time management skills and punctuality are necessary in this position.
The Mill City Grows’ apprenticeship is a full-time, seasonal position. The apprenticeship is 30 weeks, from April 17th through November 10th. The work week will average 40 hours over a Tuesday-Saturday schedule. Apprentices are expected to rotate through Sundays when necessary and will be compensated with time off during the week as we rotate schedules during the season for watering, greenhouse coverage, and weekend volunteer groups.
• Assist farm manager in all aspects of vegetable production and fieldwork at our farms, including:
o Greenhouse work, season extension, soil and field prep, seeding and transplanting, tillage and cultivation,
fencing, irrigation, pest and disease management, and the myriad other tasks that come up in the day-to-
day of farming.
o Harvest, post harvest handling, and wholesale packing
o Apprentices will be trained to use our Primary tillage tractor, BCS and cultivating tractor, along with
many hand tools.
• Support Education Activities, including:
o Manage maintenance and harvests of MCG’s 1/8th of an acre Urban Farm, which also includes an educational space used for education groups and volunteers of all ages.
o Manage bed preparation, seeding and transplanting, weeding, irrigation, pest and disease management, harvest, and other tasks that arise in the day-to-day with support from volunteers and youth education program participants at our 1/8th of an acre Urban Farm.
o Maintain Educational Garden Beds at the 1/8th of an acre Urban Farm – working with the Community and Education Programs to ensure the beds are prepared for workshops and lessons.
o Work with Education, Community, and Volunteer coordinators to maximize use of the space and communicate on farm tasks and projects that they can integrate into their programs.
o Co-teach MCG’s Youth Food Justice Program with Mill City Grows’ Education staff at least 8 hours per week.
o Supervise MCG’s J-Squad, our 4-6 person summer youth employment program, while they are working on the farms 2 days per week.
• Interact positively with the public, including volunteers and educational groups
• CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) farm visits to other local farms. There are two CRAFT visits per month on Wednesday afternoons. Apprentices are strongly encouraged to attend these visits. MCG will reimburse for transportation costs to and from CRAFT, but visits are considered professional development and unpaid.
• 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.
• On farm trainings in equipment usage, volunteer management, harvesting, weed management, fertility managements, etc.
• 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.
• 1-2 years experience in farming, gardening, food education, and/or sustainable agriculture and a demonstrated interest in the field
• be willing to problem solve and think critically on their own
• be eager to work hard and get dirty in all kinds of weather (cold, heat, rain, snow, wind)
• have an aptitude for physically demanding, fast-paced work
• have good attention to detail
• have excellent communication skills, a positive attitude, and ability to take and give instructions
• able to work well alone and as part of a team
• ability to safely lift and carry 50 pounds repeatedly
• a safe driving record, valid driver’s license, personal transportation, and a valid up to date car insurance policy
• experience/interest working with children of any age and the ability to pass a CORI/SORI background check
• Trainings and professional development
• Lots of produce!
Mill City Grows is an equal opportunity employer.
Please send your resume, cover letter, and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org