Marble Valley Farm
Last Updated On: enero 31st, 2022 at 03:23PM MST
Contact informationFarm Address:
170 KENT RD
KENT, Connecticut, 06757
Primary Contact: Megan Haney
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Small-scale, diversified organic (though not certified) vegetable farm on land trust property. 2007 was our first cash-cropping year. Close to 3 acres in production. We have a wonderfully receptive community, to whom we market our veg via a farmstand with 2-3 "full-serve" sessions a week, and open on the Honor System at all other times. In addition to our produce, we market pasture-raised meats, low-spray apples and pears, herbal products and other products from local farming friends. From our inception, we've donated to the Kent Food Bank. 2021 saw the onset of a new Food Security Initiative, in which our farm and the Kent Land Trust (our landlords) raised funds from the local community to pay the farm to send Grade A, fresh produce to all the households requesting Food Bank assistance (a number which has doubled owing to the pandemic). We hope to re-create this program in 2022. Owner/operator Megan Haney has training from UCSC's organic farm school and 30 years' experience since. We also sell to some restaurants. We use a Massey Ferguson for primary tillage and an Allis Chalmers G for weed control; much work is done with hand tools. We farm on bottomland of the Housatonic River, just across from the Appalachian Trail (great swimming/kayaking/hiking opps.). For more info, check out Facebook page "Marble Valley Farm" (contains some sample newsletters and also some photos if you scroll all the way down) and our Instagram, which crew members manage.
CRAFT Member Farm? Yes
Internship Starts: first week of April (with some flexibility for a later start)
Internship Ends: end of October to mid-November (again, some flexibility there)
Number of Internship Available: 1 (normally 2-3, but 2 full-time positions have already been filled). NOW FILLED FOR 2022
Application Deadline: until filled. NOW FILLED FOR 2022
Minimum Length of Stay: 4 months, with preference given to candidates who can stay longer
Interns participate in nearly all aspects of organic vegetable production and marketing. Duties/training include: Propagation of seeds in greenhouse, soil preparation, transplanting, direct-seeding, cultivation/weeding, harvesting, marketing (farmstand/restaurant; Food Bank), cover-cropping, field planning skills all taught with “big picture” v. “do this now” approach (though some of the latter prevails at times!). There’s a lot to be learned and I love to share what I’ve learned (still learning myself). My first 10 years in farming were non-mechanized (on a CSA of 100 shares all hand-dug), and my farming style bears the imprint of this background. I am also willing to share financial aspects and recordkeeping files (including templates for seed orders, field plans, etc.) with interns.
We participate in a local CRAFT. Every 3 weeks, interns from 10 farms in the region gather at one farm for a learning and social experience. The format is: 1 hour of farm tour, 1 hour of instruction on a specific topic (e.g., irrigation systems; mechanized weed control; greenhouse propagation), followed by a potluck. Upon completion of the season, interns are paid for all hours of CRAFT attendance (excluding potluck time).
Interns, if desiring so, learn how to use our tractors and attachments (basket weeder, rototiller, plow, bush hog, etc.) Other tools include: a Japanese paper pot transplanter, a custom-made “Grim Sweeper” for control of Colorado potato beetles; wheel hoes, collinear hoes, and Hatfield transplanters. In mid-summer, work flow and training are 100% task-oriented, with some time (while thinning carrots etc.) to discuss broader issues, but with focus on work. In early spring and late fall, it is possible to devote up to an hour per week to education (in addition to the CRAFT trainings). We have an extensive library from which interns are free to borrow.
Educational Opportunities: see "Internship Description"; these includes naturally training in course of day-to-day work but also participation in a local CRAFT
Skills Desired: Looking for those who might want to farm on their own someday, with the following attributes: • Desire to work physically hard under occasionally challenging conditions (heat, humidity, dirt, bugs, cold, wet); • Cheerful attitude • Reliability (ie showing up on time, fully ready to work); • Pro-active communication skills regarding issues such as requested schedule changes as well as suggestions for improvement; • Ability to work unsupervised at times, which entails the ability to retain instruction sets, ability to seek us out and raise questions when the realities of the field and the instructions don’t jibe, and tendency to keep up efficient pace even when working alone; • Good powers of observation; • Strong basic math skills (incl. ability to use a calculator); • Love of food and produce; • Previous work experience on a farm preferred but not necessary.
Meals: No, but farm produce is part of compensation. Interns cook their own meals. Our community of local farmers has a strong potluck tradition as well as some other community events (eg the occasional bonfire) which embrace the participation of seasonal interns.
Stipend: $13 per hour for 40-hour work weeks to start (rising to $14 per hour on July 1, 2022); potential bonus at end of year (which varies according to farm profitability as well as intern performance). Organic produce from the farm is included; interns may also purchase at our cost the items we get from other farmers (pasture-raised beef & pork, etc.).
Housing: Interns may be housed on farm in a 2-bedroom apartment, at a cost of $300 a month plus a portion of the heating and electrical bill (with a $150 security deposit), or live elsewhere at their own cost if they choose. The farm owner/manager lives 4 miles away, but retains a farm office in the apartment. Day-workers may use the apartment's kitchen at lunchtime and its bathroom as needed. The apartment is currently occupied by a 2021 crew member who is returning for the 2022 season, and she will be available to connect with any 2022 candidates.
Preferred method of Contact: email stating interest and experience in farming in general and why our farm in particular; preferably also with resume and 2-3 workplace references