Farm Apprentice

Location: 
Sudbury, MA
Publication Date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2013 (All day)
Company Name: 
Siena Farms

We still have some spots open for hard-working, dedicated farm apprentices!

  Siena Farms is hiring apprentices for our 2013 growing season.

 Siena Farms is an award-winning 60-acre market farm growing diversified produce on the fertile soils of the Sudbury River valley, twenty-five miles west of Boston. We distribute our produce through a 750-member CSA, the Copley Square farmers’ market, our Siena Farms South End farm store, and area restaurants including family-owned Oleana and Sofra. We grow our produce using the traditionally sustainable farming practices of modern organic agriculture, free of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers.

 We are seeking reliable, hardworking, and dedicated individuals motivated by a strong interest in sustainable agriculture to join our 2013 apprentice team.

As an ambitious and innovative farm operation that has grown over seven years to include a four-season CSA and year-round farm store, Siena Farms offers a unique learning environment. Apprentices will participate broadly in the farm’s daily operations, including production, harvest, and marketing, and will work closely with the management team. Training will be both formal and informal, and apprentices will gain extensive hands-on experience. Those with demonstrated aptitude for a particular aspect of our operation will be encouraged to take on responsibility in that area, with the potential to return for additional seasons.

 As a working apprenticeship on a fast-paced production farm, this position requires mental and physical stamina. The ideal candidate will have some experience farming and will be a flexible team player who enjoys working both independently and under direction, maintains a good attitude, and has the desire to learn and improve throughout the season.

 The 2013 Siena Farms Apprenticeship is a seasonal position. The positions that still remain open for this season have start dates available in May or early June and end dates possible from September to December. Hours range from 50-60 hrs per week during the peak season, 30-40 hrs per week in the early and late seasons. Apprentices are paid by the hour, including for lunch and educational time. Benefits include a weekly CSA vegetable share and discounts at Siena Farms South End, Oleana, and Sofra. Please note that Siena Farms does not currently have on-farm housing available for staff.

 Responsibilities

 Harvest (50-60%)

- Daily harvest of our 200+ varieties of vegetables to meet the needs of our demanding market schedule

- Post-harvest handling, including washing, curing, storing, packing, and transporting produce

 Production (15-20%)

- Planting, including seeding in the greenhouse and mechanized transplanting in the field

- Cultivation, including hand-weeding to reduce competition and disease pressure, thinning, etc.

- Other field work and greenhouse tasks as needed throughout the growing season

 Market (25-30%)

- Building customer relations and assisting with set-up, sales, and break-down at our Copley Square farmers’ market stand

- Assisting with sales and customer service at Siena Farms South End

- Preparation and packing of orders for weekly restaurant deliveries

- Preparation and packing of CSA farm-shares for pickup and distribution

 Additional Learning Opportunities

 - In-house training sessions on harvest, production, and marketing techniques, farm safety, soil fertility practices, and pest and disease management practices

- Introduction to our extensive array of tractors and implements

- Access and orientation to farm planning materials including crop plans, field plans, soil tests, etc.

- Opportunities to participate in bi-weekly EMass CRAFT tours (visit www.emasscraft.org for details)

 

Qualifications

 

- Excellent work ethic

- High level of attention to detail and to quality standards

- Ability to take direction as well as to take initiative

- Desire to learn and improve

- Willingness to work outdoors in all conditions

- Ability to lift up to 50 lbs repeatedly

- Interest in sustainable agriculture at a commercial scale

 If you think you may be a good fit for the 2013 Siena Farms Apprenticeship, please send a letter of interest and a resume to Dan Kamen at dan@sienafarms.com. For more information on our farm, please visit www.sienafarms.com.