Blue Heron Farm hiring Full Time Crew Members

Lodi, New York

Blue Heron Farm, Lodi, NY is hiring full time crew members for the 2015 season.

We have been organic vegetable farmers since 1981. We are self-educated, and have experimented with many crops, growing schemes, marketing ideas, and pieces of farming equipment over the years. Well over 150  people have worked for us, and we’ve learned a little something from each of them. We have 160 acres near Seneca Lake, one of the largest of the Finger Lakes. Fifteen acres are used for growing a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and berries and other perennial crops. For 25 years, we’ve been using a permanent bed system in all of our fields, with strips of native vegetation between each bed. This enables us to avoid soil compaction, be more accurate in applying soil amendments, and provides habitat for beneficial insects. Although we grow over 40 kinds of vegetables, the main crops are garlic, cabbage, squash, potatoes, root crops, and various greens. We also grow ornamental and vegetable transplants, as well as early tomatoes and greens, in three greenhouses and four unheated hoop-houses.

Marketing is also diverse. We sell at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, about 20 miles away, every weekend. We sell to two large food co-ops and several restaurants in the local area. We started a winter CSA in 1997, offering storage vegetables and hardy greens to customers in the Ithaca and Rochester area during January, February and March.

The farm work varies according to the season. In the spring, we’re busy with field preparation, seeding and transplanting, (which are mainly done by tractor) and greenhouse work. As the crops grow, there is plenty of weeding, thinning, hoeing, cultivating, and irrigating to do. From late June on, much time is also spent on harvesting, washing, packing, transporting, and selling the produce.  The work requires the ability to do repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently, a love of the outdoors in all kinds of weather, a strong back and tough knees, an eye for details, and the ability to work well with other people. Although the  work is hard and physically tiring, there are many rewards. Every day is different, but every day the results of our efforts are clear. The main results are so important -growing healthy food in a sustainable  day, and providing it to local consumers.

We will be hiring 4-5 full time people. The 40-hour workweek is Tuesday through Saturday. Most people live locally, but we do offer housing on a first come, first served basis. If you’re interested in housing, make a note on your application. Starting pay is $9 per hour, (more for those with significant farm experience) plus produce for personal consumption, plus a bonus based on total hours, paid at the  season’s end. Merit-based raises are always a possibility. We need people from around May 1 to December 1, and require a full season commitment.  See our website, Blueheronorganic.com for more information. To apply, email a resume or fill out an application from the website. If you have additional questions, e-mail bluheron@empacc.net.

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