Certified Organic Vegetable Farm in Search of an Assistant Grower. April-October. Monthly Stipend and Housing Provided.
The Assistant Grower position at Black Kettle Farm is step up from an apprenticeship, and is an opportunity to delve deeper into organic agriculture as a career path. Assistant Growers will be delegated certain essential responsibilities and the job is ideal for folks with previous experience who want to increase their practical skills, develop greater confidence in growing and actively contribute to a successful and vibrant farm business. Assistant Growers will work closely with the Farm Manager in all aspects of production for over 30 different vegetables from seed to harvest to sale, and will also have opportunities to manage specific elements of the farm, such as the seedling greenhouse, pig care, record keeping, produce packing and donations.
ABOUT THE FARM
Black Kettle Farm is a 4.5 acre diverse, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) certified organic vegetable farm in Southern Maine, with a strong focus on it’s CSA, and also supplies produce for farmers€™ market and restaurant accounts. The farm practices season extension in 2 high tunnels, raises pigs on pasture, and participates in a Low Income Senior CSA Share program and actively donates to the local food pantry. Black Kettle strives to produce beautiful vegetables, give back to our soil, feed friends, share food and create a space rich with gratitude and appreciation for the abundance that the farm provides.
The Black Kettle Crew consists of Laura, farm owner/manager, 2 Assistant Growers, 1-2 part time employees and several work-trade CSA members. There is currently one Assistant Grower position available.
The Assistant Grower positions are mid-April-October 2017, with potential to extend later into the fall and into subsequent seasons. Exact start and end dates are flexible, but applicants must commit to the full season. We work Monday-Friday, from 7:00 AM-5:00 PM (6:30 AM on harvest days) with an hour break for lunch. Saturday animal, greenhouse and farmers market chores are shared amongst the crew on a rotational basis. All crew members are expected to be on-time and mentally present, with the expectation that they are invested in their work on the farm and focus on the tasks at hand. Black Kettle is an open, communicative atmosphere and questions are highly encouraged when clarification is necessary.
Assistant Growers will be a part of all tasks on the farm, such as:
Animal Care (pigs!)
Direct marketing though CSA and Farmers’ Market
Pest and Disease ID and management
Season extension in High Tunnels
Harvesting for CSA, market and wholesale accounts
Assistant Growers will develop expertise through practical experience in the field, with additional exposure to crop planning, nutrient management, tractor skills and CSA management.
We also grow Fresh Ginger in a high tunnel and collaborate with a local, organic mushroom farm.
Compensation includes monthly stipend ranging from $1000-$1400 depending on experience, and on-farm housing in rustic, yet charming off-the-grid accommodations, as well as all you veggies you can eat and staple dry goods like eggs, rice, beans, oil etc.
The full-time farm crew lives in the back meadow of the farm, which is quiet and private. Each crew member has their own camper for living and cooking and there is also a yurt, which serves as a community space in the meadow, with a sofa, wood burning stove, solar panel and additional cooking space. There is also a fire pit, hammocks, a super clean outhouse and an outdoor deck overlooking the veggie fields. There is no electricity or running water in the meadow. Crew members shower in the farm house and use the staff fridge in the barn. The crew shares 2 lunches a week in the farm house, other wise, folks are on their own for meals.
NO pets of any kind or kids. Please do not ask.
It is highly recommended to have a reliable vehicle for the season.
The farm is situated 45 minutes from Portland, Maine to the north and 45 minutes to Portsmouth, NH to the south. It is 25 minutes to the coast and just over an hour to the White Mountains. The farm is also close to a small bulk food store, a large “conventional” grocery store, a local bar/restaurant, a library and a coffee shop, as well as other, similar organic vegetable farms. There is a beautiful lake right down the road, perfect for a bike ride and a dip after work.
Please submit a farm focused resume, via email, highlighting previous experience in agriculture or physical, outdoor labor, along with a cover letter stating expressing your interest in the Assistant Grower position at Black Kettle, specific goals that you have for the season and why you think that you are a good fit for the job. Other desirable skills on the farm include, experience with carpentry, basic mechanics, painting, food preservation, customer-service, and marketing.