Contact informationFarm Address:
363 Durgintown Road
Hiram, Maine, 04041
Primary Contact: Molly Griffin McKenna
Secondary Contact: William Johnson
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: 2021 organic farming, carpentry, music and business internship! 2021 will be a unique year at our organic fruit farm in southern Maine due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We own a 60 acre farm in Southern Maine which hosts a 2 acre organic pick your own fruit orchard, a farm store, restaurant and bar, weddings, tour-bus visits, school tours, and is expanding to also maintain veggie and pollinator gardens, guinea hens, a disk golf course in our woodlands, farm to table dinners, tree house Air Bnb rentals and more! Apprentices will work alongside the owners to learn about the difficulties involved in being one of the only organic fruit farms in New England, and will participate in all aspects of the property to gain a deep understanding of the work and energy required to run your own business and farm. We work six days a week, and the apprenticeship will be physically and mentally tiring, but also rewarding. We function as a family unit and support each other.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: 5/01/2021
Internship Ends: 11/25/2021
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: 3/31/2021 or ASAP
Minimum Length of Stay: 5-6 months
This year is unique because of Covid-19, but we are currently accepting applicants. Unlike any other farm apprenticeship–rather than being in the field and then doing a CSA, you will do everything from orchard work, to care taking animals, to building an Air Bnb Treehouse, to kitchen, bar and customer service work, to business management, hosting musical gatherings, and meet a vibrant community of independent and creative people. In past years we have run a large summer music festival, which is now cancelled for the second year running because of the pandemic, but we still plan to incorporate smaller musical events in some way.
Apprentices also work on a small independent project which they present at the end of the term. They also get books, handouts, and attend Maine Organic Farmer Association Workshops.
Farming tasks may include: picking apples, hand thinning, fertilizing, watering, weeding, planting, pest scouting, pest trapping, weed whacking, mowing, grafting, learning to drive forklifts and tractors, painting bark, making and spreading compost, installing a pollinator garden and bee boxes, and taking care of animals (most likely Guinea Hens this season).
Carpentry tasks may include: using hammers, drills, nail guns, saws, and painting, and building a tree house to rent out on the property. There may be additional light carpentry work off-site available for $16/hour for those who are interested and skilled, looking to make some extra $ while at the farm.
Business Tasks may include: using quickbooks and excel to track expenses and profits, inventorying store product, working with consignment, and running profit analysis.
Farm stand Tasks may include: grading apples, bagging apples, shipping apples, working at cash register, making doughnuts and pies, serving ice cream, cooking and serving food, learning to hand toss pizza dough, making sauces from scratch, restocking shelves, working at the cider bar, and learning about and maintaining cleanliness for health code, working with other employees.
Music Festival–we are assuming at this point that the music festival we have run in past years will be cancelled again due to Covid (attendance of over 8,000). So–our board of directors for the music festival will be thinking outside the box for ways to host safe outdoor smaller gatherings for our musical community this year. These may include concerts, workshops, etc. Our festival/community is centered around roots, americana, bluegrass and folk music-mainly acoustic.
Weddings–Covid-19 dependent, we also still have four weddings booked this year for the farm which apprentices will help manage.
We work with your strengths, and we offer a very diverse experience and try to get you doing as many different things as possible.
We also make sure to take breaks, have fun, etc like kayaking, having BBQs with other farms, and seeing live music (or maybe this year it will just be going to the drive in movie theater!) You may also get the opportunity to do work swaps with apprentices from other farms, and work on a flower or veggie or animal farm for a few days during the term! ”
Compensation includes $250/week plus lodging and food supplement, as well as tips during open season in the fall, and bonus at end of year.
Educational Opportunities: Additional opportunities to attend MOFGA organic farm association workshops and lectures, as well as one day/month to work on an independent project. Former independent projects have included designing and implementing a local wine tasting event for the farm, fermenting hard cider from local wild apples, designing a home-scale orchard, designing high-school level educational school tours of the orchard, creating a radio segment, researching food deserts in Maine, and assessing store profits in an excel sheet. We also have a big binder of handouts for you to read which we sometimes discuss, and books as well. We also try as much as we can to teach you about the ecosystem and the life cycle of pests and diseases, soil health, and more, as we are planting and working in the orchard. The idea is that by working close alongside us you will have not only farm knowledge, but also business, time management, and construction skills when you leave.
Skills Desired: no skills needed! But ability to lift 50lbs and be in physical shape is necessary. It would be great if you had mechanical or carpentry skills, or skill with hand lettering signs. The ability to work self-guided without succumbing to distraction, and the ability to understand how repetitive and menial tasks work towards accomplishing our bigger goals, are both a must (basically--a positive attitude!) We also do not allow the use of cellphones during the workday. In the interview process we will encourage an honest, friendly conversation about how our work schedule and physical and mental demands on your person might interact with your current health and wellness.
Meals: CSA share of veggies to share with other apprentice, plus semi-monthly potlucks, we also sometimes go to see movies or to a local trivia night, covid-19 dependent. Garden space available as well.
Stipend: $250/week, plus a weekly veggie and egg CSA, a small garden plot to share, and housing. Transportation not provided, but we are close to town if you want to bike in. We also offer random perks such as a meal out every now and then, a yoga class, an end of year bonus, etc. when available.
Housing: You will share an open plan loft with kitchen and living room and shared bathroom. It has big picture windows looking over the Saco river valley and the orchards, a gorgeous setting. There are two apprentices each year, and we become a little family unit. Please note that the apartment is above a farm garage and it is very rustic and basic, but functional. We are happy to send pictures upon request.
Preferred method of Contact: email