Contact informationFarm Address:
25 Peacemeal LN
Dixmont , Maine , 58554
Primary Contact: Mark Guzzi
Secondary Contact: Marcia Ferry
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Peacemeal Farm is nestled in the rural hills of Dixmont, Maine, which is a 30 minute drive to Belfast and Bangor. Our goal is to grow quality organic vegetables and sell them at local farmers markets for a price that everyone can afford. We raise approximately 17 acres of mixed vegetables including carrots, beets, tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, melons, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, mixed greens, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, parsnips, potatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, winter squash, herbs and many more. The vegetable crops are rotated each season with a variety of cover crops. We have a heated greenhouse for growing our own seedlings and four hoophouses for extending the growing season. Most of the planting, weeding and harvesting in done by hand. Tractors are used for field preparation, cultivation and some planting. We sell the majority of produce within an hour of the farm at markets in Belfast, Camden, Orono and Bangor and at our farm stand. The main marketing season is May through November, with the addition of two winter markets December through April. Our crew consists of Mark, Marcia, 2 to 3 apprentices and a handful of local commuters.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: April/May
Internship Ends: November
Number of Internship Available: 3
Application Deadline: email us for an application
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months
The season begins in the spring with greenhouse work. Apprentices will learn seed starting techniques and how to grow seedlings on to be transplanted in the field. This time of year we also work in the hoophouses preparing and planting beds for early crops.
In summer, the vast majority of our time is spent in the field, beginning with transplanting seedlings, followed by lots of weeding and harvesting. Apprentices will learn how to use a variety of hand tools to effectively control weeds, along with pulling weeds by hand.
Once harvest season is in full swing, we are picking almost every morning. Everyone will learn harvesting techniques for each crop and will work in the washroom to prep produce for market. Apprentices go to at least one market every week and will learn all aspects of selling vegetables at a farmers' market.
In the fall, we continue with our weekly harvests for market in the field and hoophouses, along with bringing in all the various crops for storage and managing the hoophouses for late greens. The full farmers market schedule continues until Thanksgiving at which point we switch to our winter market schedule.
We work 10-15 hour days Monday through Friday and a half day on Saturday. In the spring we start a bit later, but once the season is in full swing, we start at 6 am and aim to eat dinner at 8 pm. We take a 1 hour lunch break in the middle of the day and a late afternoon break before transitioning to evening tasks.
Vegetable farming can be both physically and mentally challenging. There is heavy lifting, working on your knees, repetitive hand movements, working in the rain and in the cold. Despite the challenges, we have fun accomplishing the many jobs we have each day and take pride in the vegetables we bring to our appreciative customers. Apprentices inevitably take ownership of their work on the farm and at the markets they attend each week.
Educational Opportunities: We want apprentices to learn how to become successful farmers and marketers. Many of our former apprentices have gone on to start their own farms after working here. All our hard work creates a hands on learning experience, which is the essence of our apprenticeship. We explain why and how each job is completed and work along with apprentices to make sure they understand. There is always time for questions, further instruction and discussions on topics of interest. Many projects are accomplished as a group which provides opportunity to talk with returning workers who are also knowledge in many areas. Skills and techniques are mastered throughout the season by performing tasks with focus and intention. We have a Crop Walk every Monday in which we scout each field, discuss what is happening and create a work plan for the week. For most apprentices, this time contributes to the greater understanding of farm management as a whole. In addition, we have many books and publications on farming topics available.
Skills Desired: The ideal candidate for working a season on our farm will possess the following: 1. A strong work ethic. 2. Physical and mental endurance for working long hours in all types of weather. 3. Ability to maintain an efficient work flow for extended periods. 4. Excellent attention to detail. 5. Ability to work with a group or alone. 6. Ability to maintain a positive attitude under stressful conditions. 7. Good communication skills with the farm crew and market customers. 8. The burning desire to live an all encompassing vegetable driven existence.
Meals: Everyone living on the farm shares the kitchen in the farmhouse. Apprentices have one night during the week to come in early and make dinner for the crew. Since we try to eat as much local food as possible, meals usually include meat or dairy. In addition to fresh veggies from our farm, we trade with other farmers at market for yogurt, cheese, milk, chicken, beef, pork, fruit and baked goods.
Stipend: $350-$400/week plus a room, basic foods listed above and a hands on, full immersion learning experience.
Housing: Apprentices have their own room in either the barn or cabin and share a bathroom. The kitchen is in the farmhouse and is shared with us, our two kids, age 10 and 13, and two big dogs. Everyone helps keep the kitchen and farm bathroom clean.
Preferred method of Contact: email or phone