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Common Ground is home to a charter high school and a non-profit urban farm and environmental education center. The site includes 20 acres of forested hiking trails, wildlife and diverse natural habitats, and a working farm that includes production and education gardens and a variety of farm animals. We follow strict sustainable growing practices in all areas of our site.
The primary work of farm apprentices is to assist in maintaining our one-acre farm, small livestock operation and to assist in running our weekly farmer’s market stands.
Specific skills/experience required for the apprenticeship
- Good communication and interpersonal skills with people of all ages and a good sense of humor
- Willingness and ability to work hard, physically in all weather
- Willingness to ask questions, and also take initiative, to work both with and without direct supervision
- Demonstrated commitment, reliability, punctuality, and responsible behavior at previous jobs
- An interest in learning about sustainable agriculture and local food
- Maturity, and the willingness to be a positive role-model to young people working on the farm (including teenagers ages 14 – 18)
Detailed apprenticeship description and goals
The apprenticeship will have two distinct activities and goals:
1. Working on the one-acre urban farm: Farm work will be done with the Farm Manager, caring for the farm through the growing season. Working on the farm, you will gain experience in all aspects of planting, growing, and maintaining a diversified sustainable vegetable operation. Common Ground grows nearly 10,000 lbs of fresh produce annually, including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. We also raise broiler chickens and a flock of 60 laying hens.
Specific farm tasks may include planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, preparing for market, maintaining irrigation, keeping crop records, fixing fences, and a variety of other tasks. Several summer programs for children ages 4 – 18 take place on the farm. Apprentices do not have daily responsibilities for working with these programs, but must be mature and a good role model for all children on the farm. Apprentices may sometimes lead small work groups of teenagers who are employed by Common Ground.
2. Managing an on-site farm stand and assisting with additional markets and farm events as needed. Apprentices will share responsibility for setting up and managing our on-site farm stand, assisted by the Common Ground Youth Crew. An on-site market has been in high demand by our local neighborhood, and especially by the nearly 100 summer camp families who pass through the farm daily to drop-off and pick-up their children. Depending on the interest and skills of the intern, there may be opportunity to help with off-site mobile farmstands and/or help host weekend events on the farm.
Apprenticeship logistics and details
Seasonal availability and duration: Apprenticeships are available from April through October with minimum commitment of 6 weeks at 20-25 hours per week. A flexible work schedule is possible based on individual need.
Compensation: Apprentices receive compensation based on minimum wage, a share of the harvest, admission to NOFA Summer conference, farm field trips and other learning opportunities.
Housing: Housing is not provided; however, we are happy to recommend resources for securing affordable housing.
Transportation: Parking is available on-site, as are bicycle racks. We have a bus-stop on site (take the B1 bus from the New Haven Green), and we are walking distance from New Haven’s Westville neighborhood.
Serious candidates please send a cover letter addressing your interest in this position and your resume. Previous garden experience is not necessary. Send to the Farm Manager at email@example.com or mail to Attn: Farm Manager, 358 Springside Ave. New Haven CT 06515.
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