2017 Farm and Market Apprentices
Full-time, Hourly, Seasonal
Start Date: April 17th
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 two motivated Farm and Market Apprentices, who will work within the Urban Farm and Mobile Market Programs. We seek well-organized candidates, committed to the values of our work. We also seek a third Farm and Education Apprentice; see that job description for more details. Each apprentice will devote half of their time to urban farming and half to marketing our produce through our Mobile Market.
Mill City Grows’ Apprenticeships:
Mill City Grows runs two urban farm sites within the city of Lowell, managing a little over 4 acres. We use organic and sustainable growing practices, and combine handwork and mechanized systems. We run a Mobile Market, participate in the City of Lowell Farmers’ Market, and are involved in a year round winter market. We also sell wholesale to local restaurants and emergency food service providers. We are looking for motivated, excited apprentices, who are enthusiastic about sustainable farming and community building in the city. Ideally, we are looking for apprentices with 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, organic urban growing, and direct sales. 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.
The Mill City Grows’ apprenticeships are full-time, seasonal positions. The apprenticeships are 30 weeks, from April 17th through November 10th. The workweek will average 40 hours over five days. Apprentices are expected to work some weekends as we rotate schedules during the season for watering, greenhouse coverage, and weekend volunteer groups and will be compensated with time off during the week.
• Assist farm managers in all aspects of vegetable production and fieldwork, 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 BCS and cultivating tractor, along with many hand tools.
• Support marketing activities
o Set up, sell at, and break down mobile markets 2-3 days a week.
o Working with Assistant Mobile Market Manager to organize the week’s produce availability, harvests and
wash-up for markets and restaurant sales.
o Packing and delivery of produce to wholesale customers.
• Interact positively with the public, including customers, 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 time spent at CRAFT events is 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.
• 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.
• experience in gardening, sustainable agriculture, and/or customer service
• a demonstrated interest in the field
• willingness to problem solve and think critically on their own
• eagerness to work hard and get dirty in all kinds of weather (cold, heat, rain, snow, wind)
• an aptitude for physically demanding, fast-paced work
• good attention to detail
• 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
• 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