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Host Training Plan

Many Forks Farm LLC

Name Sharon Wyrrick Email [email protected]
    Steward(s) Selected –  –
Training Start Date April 15, 2022 Training End Date October 15, 2022
Steward Training Hours per Week 30-35  
Compensation (Stipend or Wage) Yes If Yes, how much/how often? $850/month
 
Non-Monetary Compensation and Estimated Value Housing/utilities valued @ $850/month; Food valued @ $100/month; transportation support valued @ $50/month; CRAFT farm workshops valued @ $50/month
Name of your Workers’ Compensation Carrier Farm Family Insurance
Will your Workers’ Compensation policy cover the Steward? Yes
Number of Employees at training location 3 employees + farmer + farmer spouse + trainee
Number of Interns/Trainees/Apprentices at training location one
Annual Revenue $0 to $3 Million
 

[Phase 1]

Phase Name Spring: Farm Systems
Start Date of Phase April 15, 2022 End Date of Phase June 15, 2022
Primary Supervisor during this phase Sharon Wyrrick Supervisor Title Farmer/farm owner
Email [email protected] Phone Number 4132811814
 
1. Describe the Trainee/Steward’s role for this phase

Trainee receives instruction, practical application and experience with farm systems for the growing season including: greenhouses, seeding, transplanting, garden planning, bed preparation, fertilizing, drip irrigation, solar electric fencing. Intro to farm’s commitments to food access and equity.

2. Specific goals and objectives for this phase

Prepare all vegetable beds for spring and summer seeding and tranplanting including amending, fertilizing, mulching. Seeding for transplants. Greenhouse maintenance and monitoring. Review/revise garden plan, crop rotations, crop succession plans. All farm systems checked for needed repairs & put in working order.

3. Primary Supervisor’s qualifications

Began Many Forks Farm in 2012. Has farmed, tending the land and the farm business, for 10+ years. Has supervised employees, trainees, apprentices and volunteers from different backgrounds. Experience with cross-cultural exchange in previous career in performing arts.

4. What plans are in place for the Trainee/Steward to participate in cultural activities while in the United States?

Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where Many Forks Farm is located, has numerous arts and cultural activities and festivals June-September in music, theater, dance, local history, local foods and crafts markets, and more. Arrangements to support attendance of events of interest will be made.

5. Specific knowledge, skills, or techniques to be learned during this phase?

Parameters for crop planning decisions. Understanding soil types, their assets and challenges. Low/no till techniques for soil health. Soil blocking & seeding. Approaches to soil-building. Use of transplants to optimize production on the small farm. Increasing & maintaining diversity in the small farm ecosystem.

6. How specifically will this knowledge, skills, or techniques be taught? Include methodology of training and chronology/syllabus.

Daily morning goal-setting meeting with overview of approaches and their alternatives for each task undertaken. Demos and hands-on of methods working alongside the farmer. Weekly calendar of goals, handouts & discussion of priorities, additional resources made available to the Trainee.

7. How will the Trainee/Steward’s acquisition of new skills and competencies be measured?

Weekly farm walk with the farmer to observe & discuss developments in the fields, recap techniques/decisions made, their effects. Steward submits weekly summary of knowledge gained, questions and areas to follow up on. As confidence gained, the Trainee can be asked to lead the farm walk and discussion.

8. Additional Phase Remarks (optional)

Farm visits & workshops with the CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) network held once-twice/month. Steward receives overview of different farms’ practices, kinds of farming enterprises, meets other interns and trainees with mutual farming interests and for social engagement.

 

[Phase 2]

Phase Name Summer: Crop Maintenance & Distribution
Start Date of Phase June 15, 2022 End Date of Phase August 15, 2022
Primary Supervisor during this phase Sharon Wyrrick Supervisor Title farmer/farm owner
Email [email protected] Phone Number 4132811814
 
1. Describe the Trainee/Steward’s role for this phase

Participation in hands-on methods & techniques for maintaining plant health & yield, controlling weed pressure (mulches, specialized hand tools, timing, weed ID); assisting in harvesting, processing, distributing farm produce to customers; mid-season fertilizing; building compost & hugelkultur beds; cutting, raking, stacking, distributing farm-cut hay.

2. Specific goals and objectives for this phase

Understand mid-season crop maintenance, crucial timing, specialized weeding and cultivation techniques on the hand-tended farm. Recognition of plant diseases and organic management. Scouting, recognition and management of insect pests without chemicals. Harvest decision making. Learning and following food safety procedures.

3. Primary Supervisor’s qualifications

Began Many Forks Farm in 2012. Has farmed, tending the land and the farm business, for 10+ years. Has supervised employees, trainees, apprentices and volunteers from different backgrounds. Cross-cultural exchanges in previous career in performing arts.

4. What plans are in place for the Trainee/Steward to participate in cultural activities while in the United States?

Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where Many Forks Farm is located, has numerous arts and cultural activities June-September in music, theater, dance, local history, local foods and crafts markets, and more. Arrangements to support attendance of events of interest to the Steward will be made.

5. Specific knowledge, skills, or techniques to be learned during this phase?

Use of specialized hand tools for cultivating/weeding crops. Observation, ID sleuthing, evaluating soil tests to assess crop challenges and solutions. Non-chemical pest management. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for food safety procedures. Foliar nutrition for fertilization.

6. How specifically will this knowledge, skills, or techniques be taught? Include methodology of training and chronology/syllabus.

Daily morning goal-setting meeting with overview of approaches and their alternatives for each task undertaken. Demos and hands-on of methods working alongside the farmer. Weekly calendar of goals, handouts & discussion of priorities, additional resources made available to the Steward.

7. How will the Trainee/Steward’s acquisition of new skills and competencies be measured?

Weekly farm walk with the farmer to observe & discuss developments in the fields, recap techniques/decisions made, their effects. Steward submits weekly summary of knowledge gained, questions and areas to follow up on. As confidence gained, the Steward can be asked to lead the farm walk and discussion.

8. Additional Phase Remarks (optional)

CRAFT farm visits & workshops continue once-twice/month. The farm has a new farm processing kitchen for value-added products in the 2022 season. If of interest, this could be a part of skill development offered. Trainee attendance of NE Organic Farming Assoc. conference in August can be supported.

 

[Phase 3]

Phase Name Fall: Harvest, Store, Put to Bed
Start Date of Phase August 15, 2022 End Date of Phase October 15, 2022
Primary Supervisor during this phase Sharon Wyrrick Supervisor Title farmer/farm owner
Email [email protected] Phone Number 4132811814
 
1. Describe the Trainee/Steward’s role for this phase

Assist in ongoing harvest and distribution of farm produce through farm share program, farm stand & markets, value-added products. Assist with end-of-season needs from harvest celebrations, to preparing beds for winter, to closing down farm systems, to planting cover crops.

2. Specific goals and objectives for this phase

Harvest, clean, grade and store fall crops. Winter readiness and soil protection of all beds. Plant garlic for next season’s harvest. Plant fall/winter crops. Move high tunnel structures to next season’s site. Organization and care of tools and supplies. Cut, rake, and distribute hay in designated beds.

3. Primary Supervisor’s qualifications

Began Many Forks Farm in 2012. Has farmed, tending the land and the farm business, for 10+ years. Has supervised employees, trainees, apprentices and volunteers from different backgrounds. Cross-cultural exchanges in previous career in performing arts.

4. What plans are in place for the Trainee/Steward to participate in cultural activities while in the United States?

Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where Many Forks Farm is located, has numerous arts and cultural activities June-September in music, theater, dance, historical sites, food festivals and markets, and more. Arrangements to support attendance of events of interest will be made.

5. Specific knowledge, skills, or techniques to be learned during this phase?

Selecting and planting cover crops for specific needs and goals. Crop parameters for successful long term storage. Techniques for successful garlic planting. Winter soil protection. Season extension methods such as Low & High Tunnel growing in unheated structures. Preparation of all farm systems for wintertime.

6. How specifically will this knowledge, skills, or techniques be taught? Include methodology of training and chronology/syllabus.

Daily morning goal-setting meeting with overview of approaches and their alternatives for each area undertaken. Demos and hands-on of methods working alongside the farmer. Weekly calendar of goals, handouts & discussion of priorities, additional resources made available to the Trainee.

7. How will the Trainee/Steward’s acquisition of new skills and competencies be measured?

Weekly farm walk with the farmer to observe & discuss developments in the fields, recap techniques/decisions made, their effects. Trainee submits weekly summary of knowledge gained, questions and areas to follow up on. As confidence gained, the Steward can be asked to lead the farm walk and discussion.

8. Additional Phase Remarks (optional)

CRAFT farm visits & workshops continue once-twice/month. Possible extension of ending date an additional 2-4 weeks (Oct. 15 – Nov. 15).