Hiring: Two Full Time Crew Members for 2017
Next Barn Over is a 40-acre, organic vegetable farm in Hadley, MA. We grow for our 500 member CSA and several local wholesale customers. Field crew positions run from April to December 2017, 45-50 hours per week. Crew are involved in various aspects of crop production from greenhouse, to field, to washroom, and delivery responsibilities. This includes but is not limited to transplant production, transplanting by machine and by hand, hoeing, hand weeding, managing row cover, harvesting, and operating farm vehicles. This employee will also assist the washroom manager with washing, processing, and packing all farm produce; and will make local and regional deliveries. Valid drivers license and competent driving skills are required, along with the ability to repeatedly lift 50 lbs. Pay starts at $11/hour and is commensurate with experience. Applicants please send resume and references to email@example.com
If you have never done farm work before, you should know that it is hard, healthy work. It requires a lot of steady output of energy at as fast a pace as you are able to maintain. Your ability to meet such a demand will grow as the season progresses, provided that you stay committed to the effort. We do everything we can to provide a fun, challenging, and loving environment, where such a commitment can be met. We believe as deeply in fun as we do in hard work.
While prior farm experience can be helpful, the primary qualifications are enthusiasm and dedication to the work, a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, reliability, and an interest in farm systems. An openness and enthusiasm for learning the systems we use, as well as keen observation of what is going on around you will serve you well in this work. A good sense of humor is always helpful. We are constantly shifting tasks, but the ability to perform repetitive work steadily, efficiently, and with a positive attitude is essential. We believe that it’s possible to be both hardworking and easygoing (we like to think we are!). While the work is rewarding and can be fun, it is also very physically demanding. Applicants must be in good physical condition and able to work long hours, outdoors, in any weather.
Education at the farm is very much a hands-on experience. Employees will learn by doing. We all work side-by-side in the fields with leadership from the managers and more experienced field crew. There is a wide range of daily tasks throughout the season including (but not limited to): harvesting, hand-weeding, hoeing, transplanting, moving row cover, tractor cultivation, working in the share-room, washing vegetables, laying irrigation, tractor and truck maintenance, cleaning, and seeding and watering in the greenhouse. Less frequent tasks include: small construction or carpentry projects, errands, occasional computer projects, and other miscellaneous projects.
Each crew member also takes on specific area(s) of the farm for which they are responsible (for example: u-pick field, washroom, the shop, pepper harvest, Boston box share delivery, etc). We welcome and encourage folks to take on more responsibility as they get comfortable and familiar with the operation.
Most of the crew begins work the first week of April and ends the last week of October. Field work begins as soon as the soil is dry enough to plow, usually in early April. Distribution to share-members begins around the first week of June and continues for 22 weeks until the last week of October. Depending on each employees’ goals and performance, there may be opportunities to continue working through mid-December and/or for multiple seasons.
Our work week ranges from 40-60 hours and the schedule varies throughout the season. While the spring and fall will carry a lighter load, during the height of the season, we will work from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm on Monday through Friday and from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays. We will take a half hour-long lunch together each day around 12 pm in the field or at the barn and will also take fifteen minute breaks in the mid-afternoon and mid-morning. During July-September, most crew members work a half day on Saturday mornings.
Starting wage is $11/hour, commensurate with experience. Staff are eligible for a $.50 raise every 6 months. Staff have unlimited access to farm produce and may purchase other shareroom items (dairy, bread, meat, etc) at the wholesale price that we pay for it. Most employees are eligible for Massachusetts’ free health care program. No housing is provided.
Next Steps for Prospective Employees:
Folks interested in employment should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org between August and March. If it is possible we would like to have you come for a visit and spend a day or two during the prior season (April-October) working with us. Interviews and hiring will be conducted between February and April. Contacts after May are welcome for the following year or short-term positions.