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Internships at farms and farmers markets and such

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I know a bright and savvy young kid who wants to get into farming. Yup. I know a lot of the farmers market kids are young and just learning the trade. Does anyone here know how a capable and lovely boy gets into this line of work? Any ideas welcome. He's a shiny penny soon to be farmer!

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  1. Lots of the regional farms that do CSA's take interns (or apprentices) for the season. Waltham and Brookfield Farm to name a few, but there are many others if he does some googling and dialing.

    Some of the local farmers markets could really use someone to do crowd control and access planning. They need one of Brookline to keep the entitled soccer moms from getting too aggressive; and in Cambridge so I don't have to watch people with brand-new iPhone 5s and designer handbags paying with food stamps.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gabatta

      My old CSA had a workshare where you could do a day per week on the farm for free food, and I am sure that they would not turn down extra help past that.

    2. Allandale Farm in JP/Brookline always has tons of youngsters working there during the season.

      1. Here's a link to a (free) subscription mailing list for food system job opportunities called ComfoodJobs.
        https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/arc/comfo...

        Many are internships in the northeast. Here's an example:

        Siena Farms is now hiring apprentices for our 2013 growing season.

        Siena Farms is an award-winning 60-acre market farm growing diversified
        produce on the fertile soils of the Sudbury River valley, twenty-five miles
        west of Boston. We distribute our produce through a 750-member CSA, the Copley
        Square farmers’ market, our Siena Farms South End farm store, and area
        restaurants including family-owned Oleana and Sofra. We grow our produce using
        the traditionally sustainable farming practices of modern organic agriculture,
        free of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers.

        We are seeking reliable, hardworking, and dedicated individuals motivated by a
        strong interest in sustainable agriculture to join our 2013 apprentice team.
        As an ambitious and innovative farm operation that has grown over seven years
        to include a four-season CSA and year-round farm store, Siena Farms offers a
        unique learning environment. Apprentices will participate broadly in the
        farm’s daily operations, including production, harvest, and marketing, and
        will work closely with the management team. Training will be both formal and
        informal, and apprentices will gain extensive hands-on experience. Those with
        demonstrated aptitude for a particular aspect of our operation will be
        encouraged to take on responsibility in that area, with the potential to
        return for additional seasons.

        As a working apprenticeship on a fast-paced production farm, this position
        requires mental and physical stamina. The ideal candidate will have some
        experience farming and will be a flexible team player who enjoys working both
        independently and under direction, maintains a good attitude, and has the
        desire to learn and improve throughout the season.

        The 2013 Siena Farms Apprenticeship is a seven-month seasonal position running
        from mid-April through mid-December with some flexibility on start and end
        dates. Hours range from 50-60 hrs per week during the peak season, 30-40 hrs
        per week in the early and late seasons. Compensation is competitive and
        commensurate with experience. Benefits include a weekly CSA vegetable share
        and discounts at Siena Farms South End, Oleana, and Sofra.

        Responsibilities

        Harvest (50-60%
        )- Daily harvest of our 200+ varieties of vegetables to meet the needs of our
        demanding market schedule
        - Post-harvest handling, including washing, curing, storing, packing, and
        transporting produce

        Production (15-20%)
        - Planting, including seeding in the greenhouse and mechanized transplanting
        in the field
        - Cultivation, including hand-weeding to reduce competition and disease
        pressure, thinning, etc.
        - Other field work and greenhouse tasks as needed throughout the growing
        season

        Market (25-30%)
        - Building customer relations and assisting with set-up, sales, and break-down
        at our Copley Square farmers’ market stand
        - Assisting with sales and customer service at Siena Farms South End
        - Preparation and packing of orders for weekly restaurant deliveries
        - Preparation and packing of CSA farm-shares for pickup and distribution

        Additional Learning Opportunities

        - In-house training sessions on harvest, production, and marketing techniques,
        farm safety, soil fertility practices, and pest and disease management
        practices
        - Introduction to our extensive array of tractors and implements
        - Access and orientation to farm planning materials including crop plans,
        field plans, soil tests, etc.
        - Opportunities to participate in bi-weekly EMass CRAFT tours (visit
        www.emasscraft.org for details

        )

        Qualifications

        - Excellent work ethic
        - High level of attention to detail and to quality standards
        - Ability to take direction as well as to take initiative
        - Desire to learn and improve
        - Willingness to work outdoors in all conditions
        - Ability to lift up to 50 lbs repeatedly
        - Interest in sustainable agriculture at a commercial scale

        If you think you may be a good fit for the 2013 Siena Farms Apprenticeship,
        please send a letter of interest and a resume to Dan Kamen at
        dan@sienafarms.com. For more information on our farm, please visit
        www.sienafarms.com.

        1. Drumlin Farm is owned and operated by Mass Audubon. I would think they would have experience with internships.

          http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Con...

          I would also call Mass Farmers Markets.

          http://www.massfarmersmarkets.org/FMF...

          They manage a number of farmers markets and have close connections with the farms. It could be one stop shopping for your quest.

          Penny
          http://www.bostonzest.com/

          1. Hampshire College in Amherst MA offers a 6 week summer program in food production and sustainable agriculture that may be of interest. http://www.hampshire.edu/academics/Fo...