Business / Organization Name:
Hermit Thrush Homestead
4615 Green River Rd
We are a small diversified non-certified organic farm in southern Vermont, looking for apprentices for the main growing season (May through September-- although dates are flexible). Work varies depending on the time of season, but typically we are doing more seed starting and bed preparation (spreading compost, tilling, liming, etc.) in the spring and early summer, and more weeding, transplanting, harvesting, and washing during late summer and fall. In addition to our vegetable production, we have a flock of laying hens, two milk goats, and are hoping to add some lambs and a draft horse to our homestead this summer. Apprentices will participate in all aspects of the homestead, helping with all aspects of vegetable production, goat milking, egg collection and washing, fence moving, and horse care. We also have ongoing building projects, clearing (tree felling and brush hauling), and milling, which will be worked on whenever time allows. Our fruit trees and berry bushes are all in their second and third years of growth, so while we tend to them occasionally, they are not yet productive parts of our farm. We grow two acres of diversified vegetables. This year, we are focusing on growing more winter and storage crops with the idea of starting a winter CSA. Last year, partnering with a farmer friend, we marketed produce at three farmer's markets and through our CSA. This year, without the additional help, we're focusing more singularly on production for our CSA, continuing just one of the markets that is more of a hybrid market/ CSA for low income families. Our work week is normally 5 and a half days, though some weeks we take a full two day weekend when we need it. This is usually Monday through Friday with a partial day Saturday and Sundays off. Some work days are long-- starting at 7am and ending at 6pm while others are a more typical- 8am to 4pm or 5pm. We eat lunch all together on the farm-- alternating who cooks and who washes the dishes. Apprentices will be working directly with the lead farmer (Meggie) most of the time, and are always encouraged to ask questions and exchange ideas about farming, animal husbandry, life, and anything else that comes up. We have weekly meetings using non-violent communication, a form of communicating that helps us connect using a language of feelings and needs. We have found this method of communication incredibly effective for us on the farm and off the farm. We reflect for each other what we hear each other saying in terms of feelings and needs, and the process is often clarifying and illuminating, and brings us closer to understanding ourselves and each other. As an apprentice, you will also take part in weekly planning meetings, prioritizing work and scheduling. This is an essential part of running a commercial farm that is often left out of a traditional farm job. We are also open with our financial record keeping and budgeting, which we are happy to share with apprentices who are thinking of how farming can work economically.
Plant and Soil Sciences
Sustainable Food and Farming
Friday, May 30, 2014
Application Requirements (resume, cover letter, etc.):
A formal resume is not necessary-- please e-mail or send a detailed description of your relevant work or other experience, and a letter describing your interest in the position, why you're interested in working on our farm operation and what you would like to gain from the experience.
No minimum qualifications. Experience in farm work is helpful, but a strong desire to learn and work is more important than prior farming experience.
Wage, Salary & Benefits Description:
We are a young operation, and, unfortunately, are not yet in a position to compensate workers financially. We offer full room and board. Our accommodations are rustic- a three sided shelter or tenting, and minimal running water, electricity, and a compost toilet. Though we lack many modern amenities, we do have wireless internet which is a available from many locations on our farm. Apprentices are welcome to as many vegetables as you can eat, eggs, goat milk and cheese, and we provide staple foods like flour, grains, beans, pasta, etc. We are vegetarian, and generally eat a large vegetarian communal lunch-- but breakfast and dinner are more independent. A 10' x 20' cabin is our common space and main farm building, which has a small kitchen with propane stove and refrigerator that apprentices are welcome to use at any time.