Seeking a Farm Apprentice for Summer/Fall 2013. The apprentice will assist the Manager in all farm operations at Shalom Farm – a 5-acre nonprofit community farm project in rural Goochland County, Virginia. The apprentice will also lead visitors and volunteers in farm tours and work. The scope of the apprenticeship may broaden to include engagement in urban gardening and food entrepreneurship programs in low-income neighborhoods of Richmond. The apprentice’s involvement in off-farm food access activities will be determined by his/her interest and the organization’s needs.
The apprentice must have a strong desire to learn and a willingness to work hard. Farming or gardening experience is preferred but not necessary. The apprentice must be prepared for strenuous labor under potentially extreme weather conditions.
We will work with the apprentice to develop a curriculum to further his/her education in sustainable agriculture, food security issues, and nutrition.
Educational opportunities on the farm include seed propagation, transplanting, tractor operation, composting, soil amending and care, harvesting, egg production and more.
The apprentice will be housed in a rustic, isolated cabin located on Camp Westview on the James, the same property that hosts the farm. The cabin has electricity, window unit A/C, refrigerator, microwave, and hot plate. A bathroom with hot water is located about 50 feet from the cabin.
A driver’s license and vehicle for occasional commuting to the city for programming and distributing produce is preferred.
Shalom Farms is a nonprofit community farm project with the overarching goal of increasing food security in the Richmond region, particularly in low-income urban neighborhoods.
Our approach is two-fold – 1) we meet immediate need by making fresh produce available at low or no cost to people with limited food access, and 2) we work for long-term transformation of the food system by providing educational opportunities in diet, health, and agriculture.
We are currently growing produce on 5 acres in rural Goochland County (about
30 miles west of Richmond) on property owned by Camp Westview on the James, a Methodist camp and retreat center. Half of our produce is sent to the Central Virginia Food Bank, while the other half is used in after-school programs, cooking classes, food pantries, meal programs and youth-run farm stands at partner organizations in East End and South Side neighborhoods of Richmond.
We grow about twenty basic vegetable and fruit crops, all chosen for their widespread appeal and accessibility in the communities we serve. We also cultivate a half-acre blackberry and raspberry orchard and maintain a small- scale egg operation with 25 chickens.
While not certified organic, we use organic methods, emphasizing soil care through composting, mulching, cover cropping and other practices that enhance microbial life. We do not use any synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, or pesticides.
In addition to food production, the farm offers an outdoor learning experience for thousands of volunteers and visitors each year. Located on the grounds of Camp Westview on the James, Shalom Farm is frequented by campers who visit the farm throughout the summer to work and learn.
For a quick glance at Shalom Farm, visit our website or Facebook page.
Apprenticeship dates (flexible): available starting immediately through November 2013 Hours per week: 40
Compensation: Modest living stipend, housing, and farm produce provided.
Location: Goochland, Virginia, 23063, United States Application deadline: open until filled
Apply by contacting Shalom Farms Programming and Volunteer Coordinator Claire Hitchins at Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org Please provide a resume and brief statement of interest.