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Caretaker Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
1210 Hancock Road
Williamstown, Massachusetts , 01267

Primary Contact: Don Zasada
Primary Phone:
    Type:
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    Number: (413) 458-9691
    Email: don@caretakerfarm.org

Website: www.caretakerfarm.org

Internship information
General Farm Description: Caretaker Farm, established in 1969, is a community supported farm, that provides vegetables and fruits for 300 families during a summer CSA and 125 families through a winter CSA. We also provide food weekly to a community hot meals program. Annually, we train apprentices within the framework and principles of sustainable agriculture. The farm, while primarily dedicated to vegetable production, has mixed livestock (Pigs and Chickens), 1 greenhouse, 4 hoophouses, 2 caterpillar tunnels, an orchard and a bakery. Nestled in a picturesque valley, Caretaker Farm covers 34 acres of forest land, meadow, pasture, vegetable fields, two ponds, and is bisected by a meandering stream. The farm uses a mix of no-till and low-till methods that are managed to enhance the relationship between the land and our farm members. The farm is located near a college town that provides all types of opportunities to apprentices: hiking the the nearby Appalachian Trail, swimming in the local ponds and rivers, an independent movie theater, local art museums, theater and music festivals, etc. Many hundreds of families visit the farm each week to pick up their CSA shares and the connections made have provided past apprentices with all types of opportunities to engage with community activities. Apprentices also choose to use their free time hanging out next to the stream that runs by their cabin and delve into selections from our extensive agricultural lending library. For over 35 years Caretaker Farm has trained more than 140 apprentices that currently manage farms across the country and around the world. Caretaker Farm's mission is to provide nourishment to all who come into contact with the farm. Through connection with the land that grows our food, our community learns about care for each other and the earth. For more information, check out our website at www.caretakerfarm.org

CRAFT Member Farm? Yes

Internship Starts: April 1st, 2021
Internship Ends: October 31st, 2021
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: Rolling Admission until Filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 7 Months

Internship Details:

The apprenticeship at Caretaker Farm includes full immersion into the inner workings of a small scale family farm from soil preparation and greenhouse propagation to weed control and harvesting. There is a vast amount of education derived from the active participation in all of the farming systems throughout the season.

Another component is CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), a seminar and farm visitation program for the apprentices from Caretaker and eleven other farms in the region. The objective of CRAFT is to enable the apprentices to study the diversity of farm design and agricultural technique found within the 12 collaborating farms and to form long-term friendships and a supportive community with their peers.

We also share all of our farm planning materials developed over the winter, provide weekly farm tours for apprentices, share literary resources that support out work, distribute weekly farm management information, teach fall workshops specific to the interests of the apprentices, facilitate monthly feedback sessions on both field work and community life, and provide support as apprentices develop the dreams of their farming future.

Internship Details:::
The farm workweek of 5.5 days is challenging and the work itself is attuned to, and dependent upon, qualities of caring, persistence, efficiency, initiative, teamwork, and social justice. The apprentice’s responsibility and work experience covers all phases of sustainable crop production. We present a wide foundation of education through sharing of management materials, farm visits, workshops, weekly farm management task lists, weekly farm tours, structured feedback sessions(visit https://www.caretakerfarm.org/apprenticeships to learn more), agricultural lending library, etc., that gives apprentices the tools to move toward their own farming dream.

The mentorship provided through the apprenticeship includes both the practical understanding of how to manage a small scale sustainable farm and assistance to integrate the connection of the work with ones individual values.

Check out our website for more information www.caretakerfarm.org

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Email don@caretakerfarm.org

If you are curious about the apprenticeship at Caretaker Farm, first visit our website to learn more about our farm and our apprenticeship program (https://www.caretakerfarm.org/apprenticeships).

If you would like to apply for one of our apprenticeships, please email a cover letter explaining why you are interested in an apprenticeship at Caretaker Farm and sharing applicable past experience, a resume, and contact information for 3 references.


Educational Opportunities: Educational Opportunities: The education includes full immersion into the inner workings of a small scale family farm from soil preparation and greenhouse propagation to weed control and harvesting. There is a vast amount of education derived from the active participation in all of the farming systems throughout the season. Another component is CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), a seminar and farm visitation program for the apprentices from Caretaker and eleven other farms in the region. The objective of CRAFT is to enable the apprentices to study the diversity of farm design and agricultural technique found within the 12 collaborating farms and to form long-term friendships and a supportive community with their peers. We also share all of our farm planning materials developed over the winter, provide weekly farm tours for apprentices, share literary resources that support out work, distribute weekly farm management information, teach fall workshops specific to the interests of the apprentices, facilitate monthly feedback sessions on both field work and community life, and provide support as apprentices develop the dreams of their farming future.

Skills Desired: While previous farming experience is not a prerequisite, the program is most suitable for those who feel they have a serious vocational interest in farming and/or agricultural development. We seek apprentices who are self motivated; take initiative; are reliable, responsible, and professional; work well with others and individually; have a good sense of humor; appreciate high quality work/products; are excited about living in community with others; possess a deep respect for others and the land; work hard; and are able to lift 55 lbs.

Meals: Apprentices have their own private kitchen. They are welcome to use farm vegetables.

Stipend: Compensation: $1100/month. In addition to the stipend, apprentices receive room and farm vegetables, workers’ compensation, high speed internet, clothes washing facilities, access to an agricultural library, a week of paid vacation, and two additional paid days off. The farm also pays for the apprentices to attend the Summer NOFA(Northeast Organic Farming Association) Conference.

Housing: All apprentices live on the farm in heated cabins.

Preferred method of Contact: email