Farm Apprentice Frinklepod Farm
- Date Posted January 09, 2019
- Location Arundel, ME
- Category Agriculture / Culinary
- Job Type Internship/Apprentice
We are a unique, small farm growing certified organic vegetables and flowers on 4 acres in Arundel, Maine. We are passionate about providing our community with nourishing food, resources & education related to living more sustainably, and opportunities to gather and connect with each other and the land. Deeply concerned about the loss of agricultural land and biodiversity in this part of southern Maine, we grow using “beyond organic” methods focusing on soil health and drawing inspiration from permaculture principles.
As partners in both life and work, we (Noah and Flora) manage different aspects of our ever-evolving farm business. Noah is the lead veggie farmer, running our seedling greenhouse, 4 high tunnels, field production of annual and perennial crops, and post-harvest operations. Flora runs the retail, business, and marketing sides of the farm. She also grows flowers, manages our commercial kitchen (making popsicles, non-dairy cheese, pesto, salsa, etc.), leads vegan cooking classes and organizes our events calendar. All of our sales are direct-to-customer in our farm store (open year-round); CSA members sign up for a debit card, essentially buying a gift card to the farm with a discount. From the beginning, our focus has been on drawing the public to our farm and creating a welcoming, informative experience for them, rather than doing farmers markets and/or having wholesale accounts. Our farm store features our own produce and value-added products but also showcases items from other local farms, food producers, & makers, along with some of our favorite grocery items.
We are hiring three full-time apprentices; two “Farm Apprentices” who work closely with Noah on all things related to growing vegetables on a production scale - greenhouse seeding, seedling care, transplanting, irrigation, weeding, pest management, harvesting, washing, processing, and more. There is also the opportunity to help with flower farming if there is interest. The “Food & Education Apprentice” works directly with Flora on tasks including maintaining our kitchen garden (used for classes and products we sell), creating value-added products in the kitchen, assisting with classes and events, social media marketing, and much more. While we have an employee who works in the farm store, all apprentices will also work an occasional shift to experience the customer service aspect of the farm.
Our apprentices receive an immersive experience in the running of a small, community-focused, certified organic farm business. Educational components of the apprenticeship program include
- individualized instruction
- an emphasis on learning by doing
- rotating responsibilities around the farm and your own
- weekly lunch & learn sessions with the crew
- regular individualized goal setting and check-ins
- participation in MOFGA’s farmer training sessions across the state.
- Conversations around farm financing and bookkeeping, crop planning and record keeping, marketing and community relations, and broader issues such as food equity and industrial agriculture are all part of the experience.
We are seeking apprentices are self-directed, curious, and passionate about learning how to farm. Preference is given to people who have prior experience in farming, gardening, or landscaping. Farming is physically demanding, happens in all kinds of weather, and can be tedious and repetitive. Strength (can lift 50 pounds), stamina (both physical and mental), speed, and efficiency are all traits that make a successful farmer. But we also value flexibility, a sense of humor, and good communication skills. We expect you to be comfortable working both alone and with others, to be able to accept constructive criticism, and to be able to advocate for your needs (at both work and in your home environment).
The Food & Education Apprentice will be working both indoors and out, on an ongoing list of projects and tasks. The ideal candidate will be organized, a clear communicator, outgoing and good at taking initiative. A passion for cooking and vegan cuisine is a plus but not required. This position is an excellent stepping stone for someone thinking about starting their own food business, but may also lead to many other interesting job opportunities!
Apprentices work five days/week, Tuesday-Saturday. Hours vary a bit throughout the season but in general you can count on 7am-5pm with 1.5 hours off in the middle of the day. The season runs from early April through the end of October or early November(exact start/end times are negotiable).
- Housing is provided on our multi-generational homestead, which is separate but from but adjacent to our farm operation. Apprentices each have their own bedroom or camper and share an indoor kitchen/ living space with each other. Accommodations include wifi, laundry, and a private pond for swimming. No smoking.
- Food - unlimited farm-grown produce, plus access to other groceries at wholesale prices.
- $800/month stipend