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Many Forks Farm

Massachusetts, United States
MESA Notes – Public
Website :
https://manyforksfarm.com
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
http://www.facebook.com/manyforksfarm
Public Contact Information:
[email protected]

About the Placement:

Detailed Placement Description

We are predominantly a hand-tended, small vegetable farm, and also grow berries, herbs and flowers using practices that promote soil health, are environmentally attentive, and support a diverse eco-system on the farm with approximately 2 acres in cultivation. We do not use GMOs or chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We continually strive to include practices that are low-impact and conserve resources such as growing and cutting our own hay for mulching, are low and no-till to maintain soil health and microbial life, reusing materials as much as possible, composting, and more. Our vegetables are distributed through our Community Supported Agriculture farm shares, a weekly farm stand, and other markets. We work to remove barriers to participation in our farm share program by collaborating with community partners and organizations (approx. 25% of our farm shares are reduced in price) and we deliver produce to a food pantry and free lunch program. Our new farm processing kitchen goes into operation in 2022 and will produce baked goods using farm fruits and vegetables and value-added products. The North Berkshire community is filled during the summer months with numerous cultural activities, events and festivals in music, dance, theater and has numerous art museums. The area is known for its natural beauty and many hiking trails. Several libraries are nearby. Being a small farm, our staff is small – the farmer, an assistant farmer, a full-time intern/Steward, several additional part-time support staff for harvest days.

Primary Production :

Berries, Flowers, Herbs, Vegetables, baked goods using farm vegetables, value-added products


About the Internship

Availability:

Accepting Stewards

Training Hours:

35-40

Training Expectations :

The Steward should have at least some prior experience on a farm and/or growing vegetables and have a serious interest in farming. Be willing and able to work outdoors in all kinds of weather with good humor. Physically fit, able to lift 55 pounds, and able to accomplish repetitive actions such as bending over, lifting, kneeling required in a hand-tended farming operation without undue discomfort. We work Monday – Friday and a half day on Saturday. Hours are scheduled during those days. Weekly hours will average 35-40 hours/week and flexibility on the Steward’s part is required as exact hours each week are scheduled around weather and pressing tasks and at times adjusted last minute to respond to those. There are occasional evening hours and we rotate a weekend greenhouse and irrigation monitoring duty between the farmer, assistant farmer and the Steward. The Steward would always work under the direction of the farmer or assistant farmer, and, to the greatest extent alongside one or both the farmer and assistant farmer. The farm is a member of a regional CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) network. Workshops at the network farms are scheduled once-twice a month on Monday afternoons and the Steward is encouraged to attend as this is an important educational opportunity. The CRAFT farm visits give an overview of many different approaches, kinds and sizes of farms, systems and methods, as well as provide social engagement with other interns from all those farms. We have a farm library with many resource books for small farming, and current periodicals. We will have regularly scheduled check-in times for how the training, work, and living situation are going for all.

On-Site Training, Steward’s primary activities :

Since we are a small staff, the full-time staff perform in all areas of farm duties. Activities will include: seeding, transplanting, weeding, irrigation, cultivation, harvesting, washing, packing, mulching, composting, fencing, greenhouse management, staffing for CSA distribution and farm stand sales, pest and disease management, fertilizing/amending/foliar nutrition, bed preparation, vermi-composting, record keeping, and more.

Climate and Location Description

During the training period, the weather can range from near frost temperatures in April and October to ninety degrees in the height of summer. The Clarksburg area is best described as semi-rural, a small town of approximate population of 2,000. There are houses nearly, across the road, etc. with shopping amenities approximately 4 miles away in North Adams (pop. 14,000), while small, has an urban feel with grocery & drug stores, coffee shops, restaurants. No easy access to public transportation from the farm – though there is in North Adams that may be helpful for day trips to southern Berkshire County, for example.

Compensation :

$850/month, private bedroom and study in the farmhouse, shared bathroom, kitchen and other living spaces. Utilities all included – internet, heat, water, garbage pickup, electricity., Farm vegetables available for the Steward’s use, Workers compensation insurance, Pay MESA for Steward Health Insurance*

Accommodations and amenities provided :

Private bedroom and study in the farmhouse, shared bathroom, kitchen and other living spaces. Utilities all included – internet, heat, water, garbage pickup, electricity. Accommodations are fully furnished. Computer use can be arranged on a limited basis. A vehicle is not available, but support with transportation can be arranged. A bicycle for nearby errands can be provided.

Preferred start date :

April 15

Preferred length of internship :

6 months April 15 – October 15