Seasonal Farm Educator
Position Available: Fulltime, March 3, 2014 – October 31, 2014.
Posted: February 6, 2014
Applications due: February 21, 2014
Chewonki Foundation, Inc., is a year-round, nonprofit environmental education center based on a 400-acre peninsula in mid-coast Maine. Our programs include a semester school for high school juniors, summer camp for boys, all-girls and co-ed wilderness expeditions for youth and adults, environmental education for
independent and public school groups, and traveling natural history programs. Please visit our website at http://www.chewonki.org for more information.
• Semester School: A semester long program of academic and personal challenge for high school juniors. There are up to 41 students in each semester group and the faculty consists of nine to 12 full time teachers.
• Center for Environmental Education: Chewonki provides a broad range of environmental education programs (Outdoor Classroom/OC), including residential programs (March-November) and traveling natural history presentations to schools and community organizations year-round.
• Camp Chewonki: A seven-week summer camp for boys ages eight to 15 with coeducational wilderness trips for ages 13 through 18.
Chewonki inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives.
The Chewonki Farm
Salt Marsh Farm, on the Chewonki property, is small and diversified; its primary goal is to educate program participants while producing food, wood products, and fiber for the community. There are approximately 15 acres of open land; one acre is cultivated for vegetable gardens and the remaining 14 acres are pasture and hay fields. The managed woodlot is approximately 150 acres.
The gardens are intensively managed and are the primary focus of our work during the growing season, producing 10-15,000 pounds of vegetables annually for consumption in our dining hall. We raise livestock for milk, meat, and fiber. We keep one or more dairy cows, which we milk by hand and breed them annually, resulting in steady milk production as well as beef for the kitchen. The farm keeps seven to ten brood ewes, producing ten to 12 lambs each spring, for meat and fiber. We raise 50 to 150 laying hens, free-ranging most of the year. Two hundred and fifty broilers are pasture-pen raised in the late summer/fall. Spring piglets are purchased in May and raised throughout the growing season for fall slaughter.
One American Belgian draft horse provides much of the power for the farm operation including plowing and garden cultivation; hay cutting, tedding, and raking; winter logging and wood hauling; and a wide variety of other tasks. We are always looking for ways to expand our knowledge and effective, safe utilization of draft horsepower. Whenever possible, horsepower is emphasized as a sustainable and rewarding method of accomplishing valuable labor. We also have a tractor that we use primarily for moving material, turning compost, cutting hay, and clipping pasture.
We cut between five and ten acres of our own hay with a sickle bar mower and bring it in loose. We buy in the remainder of our hay in bales from a local farmer. During hay season we retrieve the bales directly from local fields after he cuts them and unload them into our barn loft. The farm, in cooperation with the Maintenance staff, maintains the majority of its own buildings, grounds, and machinery.
As a member of farm crew during the spring and fall, the Seasonal Farm Educator will assist in all aspects of care for livestock, which primarily happens during morning and afternoon chores. Chores to care for livestock are done at the beginning and end of every day throughout the year. Generally, the farm crew workday is between ten to 11 hours daily, five days a week, and can be more during hay season. Chore weekend responsibilities alternate with “off” weekends. All farm crew members attend Food Action Committee meetings.
All Chewonki farmers:
• Thoughtfully prioritize
• Recognize and celebrate the farm’s historical context
• Have the flexibility to grow and adapt systems based in that context
• Are facilitators of Chewonki’s food system
• Make mission-driven decisions
• Use our strengths to support Chewonki’s programs, the farm, and all staff
• Share the workload and responsibilities fairly
• Balance production and education within the farm context
Boys Camp Support Staff Responsibilities
From early June through mid-August, the Seasonal Farm Educator will serve as a Support Staff member for the Chewonki Boys Camp. Support Staff are responsible for teaching a specific activity at camp, (in this case, the Farm Activity) and act as the activity head for this area.
The job of Support Staff is challenging, demanding, and requires a great deal of patience and understanding. Personal lifestyle sacrifices may have to be made including disconnecting from daily use of digital technology. Sensitive and dynamic leadership is necessary to provide youngsters the opportunity to grow, to relate to others,
to establish life-long values and to increase their awareness of the natural world.
• Interest in education-based, diversified farming
• Good communication and teaching skills
• Ability to live and work in a small community
• Ability to oversee a work crew, as well as manage projects collaboratively
• Current certification in Basic First Aid and CPR required.
• Ability to operate a chainsaw and lift at least 50 pounds.
Chewonki Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.
Salary and Other Details
Compensation is $300.00 semi-monthly plus room and board. All staff members are covered by Workman’s Compensation Insurance for illness or injuries that occur during the course of their work. Staff Members are encouraged to carry their own health insurance.
To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and supplemental application (found on jobs page of Chewonki.org) to the address below or by fax or email (single file electronic submission preferred).
Chewonki Foundation, Inc
485 Chewonki Neck Road
Wiscasset, Maine 04578
207-882-9564 (confidential fax)
Position Title: Seasonal Farm Educator
Employment Category: Category F
Reports to: Farm Manager & Boys Camp Director
Schedule (hours and weeks): March 4 – October 31, 2014
Benefits Eligible: No
Prepared by: NMPercy
Date: February 6, 2014
OBJECTIVES AND ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Spring and Fall:
• Help with tasks necessary for the production of crops and care of livestock, including:
o Forestry management/firewood production
o Spring lambing
o Seed starting
o Early high tunnel growing
o Garden plowing, cultivating, planting, harvesting/crop storage, and covercropping
o Pasture rotation and fence maintenance
o Send livestock to slaughter
• Integrate workhorse into general farm tasks
• Work with Semester School students during the academic year through work program and chores
• Work with Outdoor Classroom students on various work projects and chores during the spring and fall Outdoor Classroom season
• Organize and maintain tools (mechanized and otherwise)
• Maintain buildings in coordination with facilities department
• Build on existing curriculum to create and facilitate Farm Activity lessons
• Coordinate staff coverage of Farm Activity
• Assist in coverage of Farm Activity during General Swim period 1/2013
• Plan Tent Days related to farming and food systems
• Plan and facilitate farm dinners for cabin night activities
• Perform non-cabin, support responsibilities, including:
o Short Duty or Long Duty once a week
o Helping and planning various evening and all-camp activities
o Being “on-call” for driving
o Maintaining a supportive relationships with cabin counselors and a specific cabin as a Cabin Buddy
o Providing general support to senior staff.