Contact informationFarm Address:
P.O. Box 297
Westtown, New York, 10998
Primary Contact: Keith Stewart by email or telephone
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: We grow approximately 16 acres of vegetables, herbs and fruit on an old dairy farm in Western Orange County, NY. We are certified organic by NOFA-NY (The Northeast Organic Farming Assn. of NY) and have been for 30 years. The farm is 88.5 acres in size with about 25 tillable acres. The balance of the land is pasture and woods. Most of the property (85 acres) is protected by a conservation easement. My wife and I have been living on the farm for 32 years and I have been operating the farm business for all of that time. It started as a one-man operation but grew rapidly. We hire a crew of six to eight workers each season. Some have stayed for several years and assisted with management. We market our produce at the Union Square Farmers Market in New York City twice weekly from late May until year end and, on a call-in basis, during the winter months. We have three tractors and assorted farm implements, a greenhouse, two high tunnels, good worker housing and some storage facilities. In addition to regular crew members, we are looking for an experienced individual or individuals who, within one to two years, can assume management responsibility and partnership with owner. A long term lease agreement and transfer of ownership of business are also options.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: April or May 2019
Internship Ends: late November or Dec. 2019
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: No deadline, but the early bird gets the worm.
Minimum Length of Stay: Strong preference given to those who can stay until late late November 2019.
Employees are involved in all aspects of transforming seeds and plants into marketable vegetables. This includes soil preparation, seeding in greenhouse or field, transplanting, thinning, weeding, watering, protecting, mulching, harvesting, packing and selling the over 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and fruits we grow. Our produce is sold at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Usually, employees spend one day each week at this thriving market in the heart of New York City
The work week: Before we begin our farmers markets, each person puts in 45 hours per week (five 9-hour days). After the markets begin, the work at the farm drops to about 38 hours per week, per person, plus one day at the market. Most of these hours are put in during a five-day work week, though about a half hour is needed of 4 to 5 people each Sunday, to unload the truck and clean up after our Saturday market. Those who work at the Saturday market take Monday off.
For the right people, a season on the farm could lead to long-term employment, management opportunities and increased compensation.
Educational Opportunities: Beyond maintaining profitability, our aim is to prepare those, who have the desire, to pursue careers in local and sustainable farming. Learning is mostly hands-on and employees are expected to take responsibility for many tasks and projects (greenhouse and high tunnel management, irrigation, record keeping, marketing, etc.). Reading material is available for those who are interested and there is informal discussion of organic methods and philosophy, with emphasis on soil health and management, cover crops, crop rotation, irrigation, and fertility.
Skills Desired: Strong preference given to mature applicants with one or more years of commercial vegetable farm experience (with references) and interest in pursuing a career in sustainable agriculture. Other physical and outdoor work experience is a plus. Farm work requires fitness, stamina and moderate strength. Crew members should be able to lift 50 lbs. without undue stress. Speed and efficiency are also critical to our success. It is important that each crew member is able to work cooperatively with others and function well in a team environment. The application process starts by emailing Keith your resume and references, along with a cover letter telling about yourself and why you want to work on an organic farm and this farm in particular. An in-person interview on the farm is the next step and is required.
Meals: Prepared meals are not provided but employees can eat whatever is grown on the farm.
Stipend: First year employees will receive $530 per week in the early part of the season; then $675 per week once they start going to market.
Housing: Good housing provided, with shared bathrooms (3), kitchens (2), and private bedrooms, at no cost (includes heat, hot water, utilities, landline telephone, and internet service).
Preferred method of Contact: E-mail or telephone