Abundance Farm hiring Farm Manager

Northampton, Massachusetts

Abundance Farm
Seeking Farm Manager
Posted: February 2015
Start Date: March 3rd

Abundance Farm, a non-profit, 1-acre food justice farm and outdoor classroom located near downtown Northampton, MA, is seeking a part-time Farm Manager. This is an exciting opportunity for a passionate and talented farmer/educator to join our growing team.

Abundance Farm is a unique collaboration at Congregation B’nai Israel with the Northampton Survival Center and Lander-Grinspoon Academy.  The three-fold mission of Abundance Farm is to:

  • Practice and Promote Food Justice and Local Food Security
  • Build Strong Community between our three collaborating organizations (CBI, LGA and the Northampton Survival Center) and between the Northampton Jewish community and the broader local community
  • Provide Outdoor Education Experiences which inspire a love of the natural world, promote a sense of personal responsibility to care for Creation and a love of learning

The Farm Manager will play a central role in the life of Abundance Farm, helping the Farm to continue to grow and thrive in its third season of production. The Farm Manager will work closely with staff, students and volunteers as the lead staffer responsible for soil management and food production and will also play an important role in support of farm-based, educational programming.

Primary Responsibilities:

  1. Soil, Crop and Land Management
  • Develop and manage comprehensive soil management plan to increase soil health
    • Consistent soil testing
    • Consult best practices with local experts
    • Source local, sustainable sources of fertility (compost, manure, biochar, etc)
  • Manage Farm Infrastructure
    • Provide consultation to project partners and/or oversee installation of fencing, irrigation, season extension, storage, etc.
      • *We plan to put up an 18’x24’ greenhouse this spring/summer and the Farm Manager will be responsible for managing this project
    • Purchase, prepare and maintain hand tools, power tools, and small farm machinery. Develop systems and standards for use of tools.
  •    Manage the Growth and Distribution of Crops
    • Maintain attractive, productive, and ecologically friendly growing spaces
    • Create and follow yearly field plans to be based around successive plantings
    • Create a soil-building program including green manures, soil amendments, composting and (possibly) vermiculture
    • Seeding, field seeding, transplanting
    • Control insect and weeds organically, monitor fertility, and conduct formal field observation; oversee hand cultivation
    • Manage irrigation system
    • Coordinate regular harvest schedule to include consistent weighing of produce
    • Coordinate distribution of produce through weekly “pick-your-own” days, our free farm stand, delivery to the Northampton Survival Center and occasional use at CBI and LGA
  • Report to community leadership teams monthly on the progress and key decisions in farm development
  1. Education, Supervision and Community Interaction
  •     Offer critical support to teachers, parents and students to ensure maximizing the educational potential of the Farm.
    • Develop and uphold safety protocols for farm site and all workers
    • Develop and supervise work plans for volunteers in alignment with the farm production plans
    • Establish systems for volunteers, youth and local residents to participate in farm tasks
    • Oversee volunteer work days
    • Supervise college interns
    • Support professional development training for teachers
    • Oversee students’ hands-on experiences in the garden to include planting, tending harvesting and cooking
    • Occasionally lead students in garden-related programs and projects through after-school programming, summer and holiday programs, etc.
  • Serve as lead staff person and supervisor for 7-week, summer teen internship that combines hands-on farming with educational workshops exploring the intersection of Judaism and food justice, agriculture, sustainability, race, class, gender and spirituality, and collaboration with Gardening the Community (GTC), a youth urban agriculture project in Springfield, MA.
    •  Foster healthy and vibrant community and learning environment
    • Provide hands-on agricultural training
    • Lead field trips to other local farming and food justice projects

○     Facilitate and organize educational workshops on variety of topics mentioned above

Required Qualifications:

  •     A minimum of 2 years of full-season agricultural experience, preferably in an urban and/or educational environment
    ●     Demonstrated success in vegetable production on a scale of 1 acre or larger
    ●     Interest in organic orchard and berry management
    ●     Demonstrated experience in project, program, and/or organizational management
    ●     Experience working with youth and interest in youth education, leadership and youth development
    ●     Experienced in cross-cultural environments
    ●     Able to perform hard and repetitive physical work outside in all weather
    ●     Available for occasional evening and weekend hours, as needed
    ●     Current driver’s license and clean driving record
    ●     Highly organized, with excellent attention to detail
    ●     Ability to plan ahead, be prepared, and stay flexible
    ●     Ability to file and organize electronic and paper documents
    ●     Internet literacy, and proficiency using Microsoft Word and Excel
    ●     Positive and productive team player
    ●     Reliable self-starter, with excellent ability to prioritize multiple responsibilities, follow-through, and meet deadlines
    ●     Experience, familiarity, and/or passion with urban agriculture and local food systems.

Preferred Qualifications:
●     Experience managing mixed fruit orchards and working with berries
●     Permaculture certification and experience working in permaculture systems
●     Experience with operating and maintaining irrigation, farm machinery, trucks
●     Basic carpentry skills
●     Experience working with children in farm setting
●     Interest in the intersection of Judaism, the environment and agriculture
●     Strong literacy of Jewish tradition including holidays, rituals and ethics
●     Working knowledge of the Hebrew language
●     Experience working in the field of Jewish education and/or Jewish communal settings
●     Interest in and history of engagement in issues of food justice

Hours and Compensation:

  • Part-time, 20hrs a week from March-October
  • Preferred work days are TuesdayThursdayand Sunday
  • Hourly rate based on experience

To Apply:

Please send a resume and cover letter along with two, recent professional references toinfo@abundancefarm.org.  Please put “Farm Manager” in the subject line and submit all documents in a PDF format.  Position will be posted until filled.