Red Shirt Farm is Hiring Interns for 2018
Contact: Jim Schultz
Farm Description – Red Shirt Farm is a 13-acre (3 leased), diversified, sustainable farm in Lanesborough, Massachusetts in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains operated by Jim and Annie Schultz. We began developing the farm in 2000 and have run it as a commercial operation for the last 6 years.
We use ecologically-based, regenerative methods to grow 2 acres of mixed vegetables which we provide to a 65-family CSA, several wholesale accounts and a farmers market. No pesticides, herbicides or chemicals of any kind are used on the farm and we practice permaculture-based, Biodynamics-inspired no-till methods in our vegetable production and orchard and pasture management. We make the majority of the compost that we use on the farm and are actively engaged in remineralizing our soil. A small, multi-species permaculture orchard is just coming into production.
Our infrastructure is constantly evolving but we currently have a barn with vegetable wash area and walk-in coolers, a heated propagation house, two large greenhouses and a mobile high tunnel. The farm is solar-powered and we use a climate battery to heat one of our three greenhouses year-round. We use a wide spectrum of tools appropriate to the task at hand including a tractor, a BCS walk-behind tractor, and a variety of human-powered implements and hand tools.
Animals are an integral part of our operation. We selectively breed, hatch and raise heritage, pastured chickens and turkeys for meat and eggs. Our poultry is processed humanely on-farm under a Massachusetts state license. We also raise heritage feeder pigs on pasture. Several bee hives are kept for pollination and honey production. Our dog, Jansen, and two cats keep a watchful eye on the farm and keep us company.
Job Description – Our interns participate in all aspects of the farm’s operations, including the philosophy of sustainable methods, the logistics of managing a diverse vegetable and animal farm, and marketing. Interns will be exposed to greenhouse propagation, soil amending, cover cropping, bed preparation, weed control, pest management, harvesting and season extension, as well as animal husbandry and humane processing. The internship entails about 45 hours of work per week, including marketing at the CSA or farmers market for half a day on Saturdays.
Start/End Dates – Early April – Late November
Application Deadline – Rolling Admission until positions are filled
Desired Skills – Although prior farming experience is not strictly necessary, our apprenticeship program is designed for those with a serious professional interest in agriculture. Aside from demonstrating a strong interest in sustainable agriculture, you are our ideal candidate if you are honest, responsible, respectful and reliable. You should be self-motivated; take pride in doing high quality work; work well with others and individually; have a good sense of humor and a desire to have fun; and be excited about living in community with others. Good people skills are important—you should display a friendly, energetic and engaged demeanor when interacting with CSA members and customers farmers markets, and be comfortable interacting and leading volunteers, student work groups and WWOOFers. Finally, you should find pleasure in physical work in all weather conditions, be able to lift 55 lbs and have a valid driver’s license.
Compensation and living arrangements– Apprentices receive room and board on the farm as well as a $200/week stipend. Housing is available as either a room within the farmhouse or in an adjoining studio apartment. Both housing options offer a private bathroom. Other amenities include workers compensation insurance, wireless internet, laundry facilities, and farm produce for personal use.
Meals are typically cooked and eaten communally, with rotating responsibilities both in the kitchen and around the farmhouse. We eat a primarily veggie-centric diet supplemented with protein raised on the farm.
Education – Interns receive substantial education in all aspects of running a small-scale, diversified farm, and enjoy access to the farm’s large agricultural library. Interns are also given the opportunity to participate in CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), which includes regular half-day visits to other farms in the area and in the annual NOFA Summer Conference. If there is interest, interns can learn about and participate in food preservation, yoghurt making, bee-keeping and harvesting honey.
The Berkshires is a cultural mecca and a paradise for outdoors enthusiasts. The area boasts over a hundred cultural attractions, many of them world renowned. Take in a concert at Tanglewood; see a show at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Shakespeare and Company or the Barrington Stage; or enjoy art exhibits at the Clark Art Institute, Mass MoCA or the Norman Rockwell Museum. We’re located right at the base of Mt. Greylock, the state’s highest peak—just head out the door to go for a hike, mountain bike or trail run. A number of other state parks dot the area. Take a dip at Pontoosuc Lake, Wahconah Falls or Margaret Lindley Park, all just minutes away. Three other farms in the area host apprentices—make some new friends and hang out after work. Grab a book from our extensive sustainable ag library and add some book learning to your new-found hands-on skills.
How to Apply
Email is our preferred method of contact for questions or if you are interested in working with us: firstname.lastname@example.org Please send a cover letter and a resume if you have one. For more information about the farm check out our website: https://www.redshirtfarm.com