Sylvester Manor

Contact information
Farm Address:
80 N Ferry Rd
Shelter Island, New York, 11964

Primary Contact: Cristina Cosentino
Secondary Contact: Brooke Parrett

Primary Phone:
    Number: 6313793965



Internship information
General Farm Description: About Sylvester Manor: Once a Manhansett Native American hunting, fishing and farming ground, Sylvester Manor has since 1651 been home to eleven generations of its original European settler family. Gifted to the Shelter Island community in 2014, the 235-acre historic site is the most intact slaveholding plantation remnant north of Virginia. Sylvester Manor sits on Gardiners Creek and has been transformed to an Enlightenment-era farm, then to a pioneering food industrialist’s estate and today to a nonprofit organic farm and vibrant arts and education center with programs open to all. The property includes the original Manor House built in 1737, a timber frame farmstand and a 19th century windmill. Our Farm: We grow about 6 acres of mixed fruit, vegetables and cover crops and raise pastured laying hens and pigs in marginal woodlands. Our food is distributed through a 150 member (and growing) CSA program, Farmstand, winter farmer’s market, wholesale to local restaurants, and a growing donation program in partnership with the Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation (CAST) in Southold Town and the Shelter Island Food Pantry. Our goal is to grow in a way that replenishes the health of our soil and ecosystems through the use of cover crops, crop rotation, compost, and reduced tillage. We do not use herbicides or fungicides and only OMRI-approved amendments. We produce compost on-farm using food scraps collected from staff and CSA members, local equine manure, wood chips and leaves from Mashomack Preserve, a 3,000 acre nature preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy. Our animals are raised without the use of hormones, steroids, and preventative antibiotics. We treat sick animals as needed. All livestock have access to the outdoors and are raised on pasture or woodlands.

CRAFT Member Farm? Yes

Internship Starts: late March, early April 2022
Internship Ends: late November 2022
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: We are accepting applications on a rolling basis
Minimum Length of Stay: 8 months

Internship Details:

We’re hiring a Crew Leader for the 2022 season! The Crew Leader will lead our farm crew through all aspects of fruit, vegetable and livestock production. This position begins in March/April 2022.

The Crew Leader will be the primary liaison between the Field Manager and Advanced Apprentices, leading the farm crew through daily tasks as delegated by the Field Manager. The Crew Leader is responsible for keeping the crew on track, demonstrating speed and skill, and setting a positive example for the rest of the team. This position will be primarily focused on vegetable and fruit production and will include day-to-day livestock management as well.

This is an ideal position for someone who has at least 1-2 seasons of farming experience and is looking to refine their growing skills and cultivate leadership. Though this position requires confidence and strong leadership, we are not looking for big egos or solo players. This person should maintain a strong desire to continue learning.

The farm is growing and this is an opportunity to participate as we scale up operations to grow more food for our community. We strive to keep tight systems and efficiency so we’re looking for folks who like to work hard, challenge themselves, keep a fast pace, and have fun getting the job done.

We are looking for an excellent team player with time management skills who loves working outdoors and having fun. Shelter Island is a beautiful place with access to bay and ocean beaches, nature preserves, fishing, sailing, biking and more in a somewhat isolated, small community accessible only by ferry.

– Liaise between Field Manager and farm crew, leading apprentices through assigned tasks and relaying instructions
– Keep farm crew on task and on track in a positive manner that will lift spirits and motivate the team
– Greenhouse seeding & monitoring
– Bed/field preparation
– Field seeding/transplanting
– Installing and running irrigation
– Weeding and cultivation
– Harvesting, washing and packing produce
– Pest & disease scouting and treatment
– End-of-season breakdown and field clean up
– Help ensure a clean, safe working environment by cleaning up and maintaining organization
– Livestock chores (watering, feeding, moving animals, electric fence maintenance, egg collection & processing)
– CSA distribution
– Assist with farmstand
– Optional participation in CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training); bi-weekly/monthly farm tours, meet-ups, and potlucks, to meet other farmers and apprentices from the agricultural community
– Helping with various other activities of the non-profit, including field trips, education and fundraising events

This position is about 40-48 hours, 5-6 days/week, depending on the changing needs of the farm. Weekend responsibilities are shared among farm crew. Due to the nature of farming, we work all major holidays.

How to Apply:
All interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter, three professional references, and answers to the questionnaire below to Cristina Cosentino at and Brooke Parrett at

1. Provide an overview of your farm related experience and interest in farming.
2. Describe a situation where you had to overcome a challenge at work.
3. Describe an interpersonal challenge you’ve experienced and how you handled it.
4. Describe your ideal manager and why you liked working with them. This is a way to gauge working styles, values, and preferred communication to see if we are good fits.
5. How do you spend your spare time?
6. Where do you see yourself in the future?

This position will require interviews with multiple members of staff and when possible, a farm visit/working interview is preferred. We can provide accommodations. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis.

We encourage BIPOC, LGBTQ+ candidates, and people from all backgrounds and/or other underrepresented groups to apply.

Educational Opportunities: We participate in our local CRAFT network. As a non-profit, educational farm all employees are encouraged to attend and/or participate in educational talks, events, fundraisers, and other initiatives of the organization.

Skills Desired: Required Qualifications: - A positive attitude, respectful nature and willingness to work and live well with a diverse group of people. A comfort level with communal living with coworkers is essential. Please strongly consider if this will work for you. Please take workplace dynamics into special consideration. - At least 1-2 full seasons of vegetable growing experience at the 3-10 acre scale - A willingness to cultivate clear, patient and empathetic leadership skills - Time management and awareness of staying on track - Problem solving and systems thinking - we’re looking for someone who loves systems, SOPs, efficiency and doesn’t shy away from a challenge - Ability to take and give direction - Excellent communication skills and timely responsiveness to emails - Use of Google Sheets/Excel, Google Forms and Google Docs is required - A strong interest in Shelter Island, Sylvester Manor, and our mission as an organization - This job is very physical. Employees are expected to fulfill the following physical tasks: bending, kneeling, sitting, carrying, walking, squatting, standing, sometimes up to 8 hours at a time. Employees are required to lift up to 50 lbs. - We work outdoors in all weather conditions including: cold, wet, windy, rainy, hot, humid, dry and sunny - Willingness to interact with CSA members, Farmstand customers, potential donors and the general public - Applicant must be able to legally drive a vehicle on and around the farm property - English fluency

Meals: We provide a weekly meal stipend and free fruits, vegetables, and eggs from the farm. Employees also receive 20% off all farmstand items.

Stipend: What We Offer:- $16/hour- Free shared housing: private bedroom and bathroom, communal laundry, kitchen and living room. At this time we cannot accommodate pets or significant others in employee housing. COVID-19 vaccination is required. - Weekly food stipend- 5 Paid Days Off (to be used within the season)- Professional development stipend - Free vegetables, fruit and eggs from the farm and 20% off all Farmstand products

Housing: Yes

Preferred method of Contact: email