Leaning Birch Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
2388 County Highway 107
Amsterdam, New York, 12010

Primary Contact: Rose Fera
Secondary Contact: Dan Fera

Primary Phone:
    Number: 518-470-7231
    Email: rose@leaningbirchfarm.com

Secondary Phone
    Number: 518-466-8245
    Email: drfera@gmail.com

    Email: drfera@gmail.com

Website: https://www.leaningbirchfarm.com

Internship information
General Farm Description: Leaning Birch Farm is a highly diversified market garden located in Broadalbin, NY. We grow a wide variety of produce on our home property with about an acre and a half of land under cultivation. We are primarily a 3-season farm (although we have done winter grows in the past.) We grow in three high tunnels and produce all of our seedlings on site in our small propagation house. We use sustainable methods to grow intensively on permanent raised beds to ensure the continuing good health of our soil, and never use artificial sprays or fertilizers. The farm is expanding, with ongoing upgrades in infrastructure, equipment, and methods – an exciting and fast paced place to learn. We are interested in expanding our cut-flower production, so finding someone with experience in this area would be a plus. We primarily sell our produce at local farmers markets and also via a pre-pay online store we are also interested in opening an onsite farm stand. The mission of our farm is to sustainably supply our local community with as diverse a selection of fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers as we can manage, from the mundane (tomatoes, carrots and salad greens) to the exotic (fresh ginger and turmeric). Our distribution methods include a pre-order CSA, two farmers markets, and a few chosen restaurants and specialty food stores. The farm is located just minutes away from the Great Sacandaga Lake, about ½ hour from Saratoga Springs, and also about 1/2 hour from the city of Schenectady. We are just minutes away from the city of Amsterdam, as well.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Flexible, typically April 15; let us know what your needs are.
Internship Ends: Flexible, typically October 15; again, let us know if your needs are different.
Number of Internship Available: 1-2
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: We are looking for crew members who will commit to the full season. We are willing to consider applicants who need a different start or ending date.

Internship Details:

Paid position. We are looking for a Full Time Assistant Farm Manager who has a passion for vegetable farming for market. Housing is possible for the right candidate(s). Preference is given to applicants who are approaching farming as a career path and have experience on a market garden.

Additionally, we are looking for another person, part-time, who will be part of our harvest crew with the primary focus of ensuring there is sufficient product available for all of our market outlets and online order fulfillment. It is possible that this position could be expanded to full time, based on performance.

Due to the nature of farming, hours may vary over the course of the season. We sometimes adjust start/ending times based on the weather and time of season. Occasionally, longer days may be necessary in order to complete all the tasks required to bring our crops to market on time.

Educational Opportunities: Every day is a learning experience at our farm. We believe the best way to learn about growing is by getting your hands dirty while working alongside experienced farmers. Additional learning opportunities are available and encouraged through participating with us at off-farm conferences and workshops as well as Sustainable Farming Network meetings and farm tours throughout the season. In addition, interns associated with a college degree program may develop an independent project on the farm that supplements their school program.

Skills Desired: While experience working on a vegetable farm is preferred, enthusiasm, passion, can-do spirit, and proven ability to tough-it-out can substitute for some of that experience. Being able to regularly lift 50 lbs., work quickly and efficiently while maintaining the pace is required. The willingness to work in the heat or cold or rain, and the ability to work independently are important characteristics. Willingness to stick with a chore until it is completed is essential. Applicants must be in good health and physically fit, and a desire to learn about and practice sustainable agriculture is a must. A valid driver’s license and vehicle is also necessary.

Meals: Meals are not provided on a daily basis although, from time to time, we do prepare large, shared lunches for the entire crew. Crew members usually eat together, either on the spacious deck or in our home. Space is available in the walk-in for the crew to store their lunches each day and we encourage farm crew members to take vegetables home for their own use.

Stipend: Hourly pay begins at $15.00/hr but may be higher, based on experience. Raises may be given during the season, and are merit-based. All positions are "on the books" with NY-mandated Workers Compensation insurance coverage provided. Formal internships (that include a more intensive educational component) are typically paid at the lower rate, but practical experience can offset that. Applicants with higher level experience will begin at higher rates, based on their experience and what they can contribute to the farm.

Housing: Please let us know if you require housing. Currently, there is a one bedroom camper on the property that will comfortably house an individual or a couple. There are several towns and small cities well within commuting distance where affordable housing is available.

Preferred method of Contact: Please email and provide a resume. Will also need to complete our online application, found on our website.