Apprenticeship: Chestnut Hill Farm

Jan 2 2019

Farm Apprentice – Full Season Chestnut Hill Farm (Southborough, MA)

About the Organization: The Trustees is an organization with a fascinating past and an exciting future. Our places are open to all and we thrive by involving as many people as possible in what we do. The organization was founded in 1891 by a group of visionary volunteers to protect special places across the state of Massachusetts and to preserve properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value for public use and enjoyment. We have helped protect more than 50,000 acres, including 25,000+ acres on more than 100 reservations that are all open to the public. We are a nonprofit conservation organization funded and supported entirely by our visitors, supporters, volunteers, and more than 40,000 members.

Chestnut Hill Farm features a 5th year CSA program on a beautiful myriad of crop fields, pastures, rolling hills and woods on 170 acres in Southborough, MA. We are located only a few minutes from the commuter rail which gets you to Boston in under an hour; Hopkinton State Park with its glorious lake; and all the hustle and bustle of the growing towns of Westborough, Northborough and Marlborough. As a farm, we are continuing to break new ground and develop new systems to support our active CSA and farm-store. Under the leadership of a dynamic and experienced grower, this season will provide a unique learning experience for apprentices, as you will be part of a growing farm operation still in its infancy. Our apprenticeship is a well-rounded experience for anyone interested in diverse farming opportunities.

Position Summary: We are seeking people who are passionate about sustainable farming and eager to take on the wide-range of responsibilities associated with running a fast-paced, public, and busy production farm. This includes: crop production, greenhouse work, field preparations and tillage, hand and tractor cultivation, transplanting, harvest/distribution, livestock production, rotational grazing, and working with diverse volunteer groups. Apprentices typically participate in both vegetable and livestock production; roughly 15 acres of diversified crops for on-farm and delivered CSA shares, plus a mixed herd of 50 goats/sheep and about 400 broiler chickens. You will also be expected to help facilitate small and large events throughout the season from ‘Meet the Farmer’ to our annual ‘Harvest Festival!’

Chestnut Hill Farm is a young operation where apprentices are expected to further hone their skills and develop proficiency with specific systems. We are hiring for multiple positions and the responsibilities of the apprenticeship will vary depending on the expertise and experience that each applicant brings to the table. Ideally, you are responsible, flexible, personable, and happy working as an integral part of a small farm crew. We are looking for people who can take on the physically demanding schedule, tasks, pace and inevitable challenges of the farm season with consistency and good humor. We need people who are ready to learn, take and give direction, and are excited about working intensely with all types of people.

In addition to the above you must also:

  • Have at least two seasons of experience working on a production farm, (or other physically demanding work).
  • Comfortably and safely lift and carry 40 lbs.
  • Ability to work long hours outside in any type of weather – wind, rain, heat, cold.
  • Valid driver’s license and clean (5 years!) driving record.
  • Pass a CORI background check.
  • Seasonal availability—Full season start date of April 1st and end date of Oct 31st or Dec 15th.

Benefits and Salary: Apprentices are paid hourly: $12/hr and should expect to work 40-50 hrs/week for the season (depending on start and end date). Apprentices also receive:

  • CSA vegetables
  • Optional participation in Eastern MA CRAFT workshops
  • Trainings on mechanized tillage and cultivation practices, farm planning and record-keeping, tractor and farm safety practices, basic equipment maintenance, food safety guidelines, and more.
  • A seasonal membership to the Trustees which gives you access to many exciting events at all of our fascinating properties across the state plus discounts on parking and camping.
  • Rental of On-Farm shared apprentice housing at a below market rate with utilities included. This is offered on a first come, first served basis for full-season employees only.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to ctrager@thetrustees.org.

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