Vermont: Wellspring Farm CSA seeks Vegetable Farmer Apprentice

21 Feb
Marshfield, Vermont

www.wellspringcsa.com

My experience at Wellspring has been akin to a farmer-in-training program. From hands-on disease and pest management to more structured budgeting and crop planning workshops, I’m walking away with a broad and solid enough base to start my own farm next season with confidence.

~ Chris Siegriest, Wellspring 2006 apprentice and present owner/farm manager of Bread and Roses Farm, Westford VT

    With aspirations to begin farming on my own, Wellspring Farm has proved to be a great resource.  From casual conversations over weeding, to sit-down workshops on soil fertility, financial planning or tractor implements, Farmer Mimi has been an endless source of guidance.  My questions seem never-ending, yet there is always an answer or more– an article, catalog, telephone number or a recommended farm visit.
    ~ Jillian Abraham, Wellspring 2009 apprentice and present farm manager of Small Steps Farm, Waitsfield VT

A Note About Apprenticing at Wellspring:

We have a competitive application process and aim to hire committed, enthusiastic future farmers. We are proud that four of our apprentices have gone on to manage their own farms, and others have applied their experience at Wellspring to educational and farming-related endeavors. We view our apprenticeships as a launching pad to help you take the next step toward starting your own farm. Experienced applicants are encouraged to apply. If you already know the basics of planting, weeding and harvesting, we will take time to teach you the next level: soil fertility, crop planning, budgeting, business planning, crop profitability analysis, production efficiencies, etc. If you are newer to farming, we adjust accordingly. We take pride in tailoring training to apprentice interests, and in this way can show our thanks for your hard work on our farm.

Note: We do not hire couples due to housing limitations.

The Farm

Wellspring Farm is a 150-member community supported farm (CSA) growing 3 acres of high quality certified organic veggies, flowers and cover crops on a beautiful 200-acre land cooperative. Rural setting with offerings of capital city nearby. Great hiking, biking and world-class swimming hole on site. Our enthusiastic CSA members pick up their produce & PYO at the farm or in Montpelier.

Task Description

Expect hard physical labor. Work closely with farmer and other part time staffers as we expand our community spirit and vegetable-induced joy. Tasks include all aspects of vegetable production: greenhouse work, transplanting, seeding, weed control, harvest, pest & disease identification and organic control application, carpentry and member interaction. Additional tasks may include tractor use, supervising volunteers, staffing CSA pick-up, and some farm management.

Qualifications

Our apprenticeship is best for folks who are seriously considering farming as a career. Applicants must have prior farming or outdoor/manual work experience. Seeking applicants with strong work ethic come rain, hot sun, wind or bugs (and they will all come). Must have ability to lift 50 lbs. and ability to drive manual transmission. Mechanical/carpentry/trade skills a plus. Positive attitude, professionalism, interest in learning, interaction with CSA members and sense of humor required. Must work efficiently, think ahead, and function both independently and as a team member. Live off the grid and work your ass off for fun.

Note: No dogs allowed.

Housing, Schedule & Remuneration,

Rustic cabin or RV trailer near woods with basic kitchen, fire pit & outhouse. Heated outdoor shower near farmyard & river bathing.

Work schedule is Monday through Friday with periodic weekend greenhouse duty. Typically we work 8-9 hour days, 3 days a week and 10-12 hour days, 2 days a week (on CSA distribution days). Commitment from late April through early or mid October required.

Starting stipend $150/week. Stipend increases to $200/week in August after a mid-season review. Apprentices receive a bonus upon completion of the full season.

Farm veggies & occasional homebrew.  Monthly work-exchanges with other local farms & periodic on-farm workshops. $50 provided toward NOFA summer conference or other farming seminar of your interest during the season. We are committed to teaching you about small scale farming and to helping you reach your farming goals.

How do I apply?

If you believe Wellspring Farm is a good match for you, please email answers to the following questions to mimi@wellspringcsa.com (alternatively, NOFA-VT’s apprentice application may be substituted). After reviewing your information, if we think you might be a good fit with our farm, we will contact you to set up a phone interview.  Please note that we also require an on-farm, in-person interview as part of our full application process.

  1. Please tell us about yourself, your interests, your long-range plans, and why you want to work on a farm.
  2. Previous related work experience.
  3. Why do you think Wellspring Farm would be a good match for your interests?
  4. Any special considerations we should know about (e.g. health, injuries)
  5. How do you feel about living in a rustic cabin for the summer?

Please include a resume and provide 2 references we can contact regarding your work and learning style.

 

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