The Benson Place
Last Updated On: noviembre 30th, 2023 at 08:09AM MST
Contact informationFarm Address:
182 Flagg Hill Rd
Heath, Massachusetts, 01346
Primary Contact: Meredith
Secondary Contact: Andrew
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: We are a 60 acre certified organic farm growing primarily wild blueberries. We also raise and sell pastured broiler chickens, have a homestead herd of dairy goats, tend a 1/4 acre no-till vegetable garden/ small market garden, and are planting out a 6 acre chestnut orchard.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: April 1
Internship Ends: Nov 15
Number of Internship Available: 2-3
Application Deadline: Rolling
Minimum Length of Stay: 6 months
The Benson Place, a 60 acre certified organic farm growing primarily low-bush blueberries, is seeking 2-3 apprentices for the 2024 season. We are located in the somewhat remote and beautiful hills of Heath, MA. We manage the blueberry fields principally by hand and we focus on plant nutrient density to maximize crop health and boost immunity towards plant diseases and insects. In order to further support the blueberry crop as well as the health of the ecosystem, we are gradually planting out 10% of our acreage in pollinator habitat designed for native bees.
In addition to the blueberries, which are the mainstay of the farm, we run a diverse, integrated homestead with a herd of goats, a large minimally-hand tilled vegetable garden/small market garden, meat chickens (which as of 2020 we raise commercially) and a diversity of other fruits. We are also beginning to plant out a 6-acre chestnut and elderberry silvopasture.
Apprentices will participate in and gain skills in the following areas:
- Goats- milking, herding to pasture, pasture management, general maintenance, hoof trimming, basic cheese making, harvesting and processing
- Poultry- general maintenance, pasturing/fence moving, chick rearing, harvesting and processing
- Fruit and Nut Tree and shrub- establishment, maintenance, and harvesting, understory plantings
- Firewood Harvesting and Processing: Basic chainsaw use, chainsaw safety, tree felling techniques.
- Vegetable Gardening-no-till organic methods, fertility management, pest and disease management, raised-bed establishment and maintenance, greenhouse management, transplanting, cover cropping, harvesting and storage, compost making
- Blueberry- field maintenance, nutrient dense fertility management, harvesting and processing
- Tractor Use- mowing, spreading amendments, moving logs and things around the farm
- Building and repair projects; basic farm carpentry skills.
- Basic permaculture design
- Planting for pollinators- design principles
The apprenticeship entails an average of 50 hours (depending on weekend chore duty) of work per week with a stipend of $1500/month in addition to meals and lodging. The apprenticeship begins April 1st with an end date of November 15th.
Educational Opportunities: Farmers work one-on-one with interns to learn and hone specific skills. Use of extensive farm library. As desired, farmers facilitate visits to other local farms during weekly half-days off.
Skills Desired: No specific work experience or skill set necessary aside from: an able body, positive and wholesome attitude, and interest in sustainable living and sustainable land management.
Meals: Yes. Delicious and healthy!
Preferred method of Contact: Phone or email