Hiring Farm Manager

Farm Manager, Boulder Knoll Community Farm, Cheshire, CT

Position Summary:

The Farm Manager manages and implements all phases of production, maintenance, harvest and distribution of vegetables to CSA members and local food charities. The farmer reports to the board of directors regarding budget and output, and is autonomous with respect to crop production. The farmer is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of machinery, tools and structures on the farm. The farmer communicates via email weekly with CSA members and provides a welcoming educational experience for CSA members to contribute to farm work including harvest and distribution. Farmer will provide guidance and education to CSA members when they are working at the farm. This position is full time from March – November (nine months).

About the farm: 

  • Approximately 2 acres under cultivation with potential additional land available
  • Two 72’ high tunnels
  • Irrigation from a deep well, spigots throughout growing area, and drip lines
  • Hoop house style distribution shed
  • Rough wash and prep station
  • Tool sheds stocked with hand tools
  • Soil with excellent structure and good organic matter
  • Lawn tractor/ trailer for mowing and hauling
  • Excellent member participation
  • Loyal CSA customer base
  • Reasonable budget for seeds, supplies and tools

IDEAL CANIDIDATE WILL HAVE:  

  • – Commitment to maintaining organic, sustainable farming standards.
  • – 3-5 years organic farming experience including farm management and CSA program.
  • – flexibility and resourcefulness
  • – experience with and ability to supervise workers of various skill levels including children
  • – mature communication and interpersonal skills
  • – self-motivated and self-managing
  • – experience with and ability to work with a variety of people of all ages

COMPENSATION:

The Farm Manager will work for FOBK as an independent contractor. Workers Compensation will be provided. Compensation is $24,000-26,000 with no employee benefits, and no taxes will be withheld.

ABOUT US:

Friends of Boulder Knoll (FOBK) is a community based non-profit corporation founded in 2006 on a belief in sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities. We work to involve local people of all ages, abilities, and experience levels in working on, understanding, enjoying and benefiting from the land and natural resources. A Board of Directors made up of individuals who share these beliefs guides the corporation and provides significant operational support. We operate a small scale, environmentally sustainable farm, Boulder Knoll Community Farm (BKCF) in Cheshire, CT which provides healthy, local produce to community supported agriculture shareholders as well as our neighbors in need.

APPLICATION PROCESS:

Please send cover letter, resume and 3 references to dgroberg@friendsofboulderknoll.com.

Seeking an Environmental Educator

Boulder Knoll Community Farm (BKCF) is a small-scale, environmentally sustainable farm in Cheshire, CT that provides healthy, local vegetables and fruit to 80 shareholders, CT Food Bank, local soup kitchens and a New Haven restaurant. Education is a central component and an essential element in the vision of the Friends of Boulder Knoll (FOBK), the farm’s sponsoring organization. Our goal is to emphasize essential links between people, plants, and the earth, to develop interdisciplinary learning, and to promote environmental responsibility.

The Environmental Educator (EE) will be an energetic, well-organized environmentalist with experience in farming and education who will provide a variety of educational opportunities, at the farm and off-site when appropriate. The EE will support the mission of the farm by working with CSA members, volunteers, and the public to enhance educational opportunities at all levels.

Responsibilities:

* Design, publicize and implement a variety of educational programs for children, youth and adults as either the presenter or facilitator.  Lessons may cover topics such as sustainable agriculture, food preparation, and wildlife habitat.

* Conduct outreach to the community beyond BKCF CSA members. Manage existing relationships and expand educational opportunities to more groups. The EE will manage educational programs both on- and off-farm to reach the greatest population.

* Create and maintain an interactive educational space, as well as prepare and purchase needed educational materials (budget provided).

  • Provide educational opportunities at farm functions, including fundraisers and special events, and at weekly share-outs.
  • Work with FOBK board to publicize upcoming educational opportunities via email, social media, and traditional media channels.

The EE will be responsible to and will communicate periodically with the FOBK board regarding activities and success of the programs and will submit a written annual report on the educational program. The farmer must approve the timing and content of workshops.

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate for this position will be able to demonstrate experience and basic theoretical knowledge in organic and sustainable farming. This is a position for someone seriously interested in sustainable farming, food, and community education. We offer the candidate the opportunity to be integrally involved in a small organic farming operation and in farm-based education.

Specific skills include, but are not mandated:

  • Excellent work ethic and communication skills with a demonstrated ability to get along with and communicate with all ages and abilities;
  • Background in Environmental Science, Agriculture, Education or related field;
  • Willingness to teach and learn sustainable growing techniques;
  • Familiarity with farming and farm-based education;
  • Demonstrated experience in working in formal and/or informal education programs including working with people with special needs;
  • Experience educating in an outdoor setting;
  • Ability to prepare and distribute visually appealing publicity for educational programs;
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively to enhance FOBK and BKCF while following the leadership of the farmer;
  • First aid /CPR certified or willingness to obtain the training;
  • Well organized, flexible, with an ability to take initiative and adapt to new situations.

Hours and Compensation:

In general the EE is expected to work an average of 10 -12 hours/week. Seasonal, 40 weeks, March through November. Some work is required on evenings and weekends, depending on timing of educational programs and distribution. Attendance at occasional FOBK board meetings will be expected with prior notice.

The EE will work for the Friends of Boulder Knoll as an independent contractor. The position offers no benefits, and no taxes will be withheld.  Compensation of $6,000-8,000 depending on experience, hours worked and documented. The position requires a full season commitment.

Send any questions and inquiries to (info@friendsofboulderknoll.com).

We’re Hiring: Environmental Educator/Harvest Manager

Environmental Educator/ Harvest Manager

Boulder Knoll Community Farm, Cheshire, CT

Boulder Knoll Community Farm(BKCF) is a small-scale, environmentally sustainable farm in Cheshire, CT that provides healthy, local vegetables and fruit to 65 shareholders, local soup kitchens, and a New Haven restaurant.  Education is a central component and an essential element in the vision of the Friends of Boulder Knoll (FOBK), the farm’s sponsoring organization. Our goal is to emphasize essential links between people, plants, and the earth, to develop interdisciplinary learning, and to promote environmental responsibility.

The Environmental Educator(EE)/Harvest Manager (HM) will be anenergetic, well-organized environmentalist with experience in farming and education who will provide a variety of educational opportunities, at the farm and off-site when appropriate. The EE/HM will assist the farmer in the overall operation of the farm including managing all aspects of the weekly CSA share distribution.

The EE/HM will work with the farmer to develop programs that provide hands-on experiences for children, youth and adults, including people with special needs. Programs will enable people to understand where their food comes from, what it takes to get it there and the importance of eating healthy, whole foods.

Job Description

The EE /HM will support the mission of the farm by providing assistance in the farm operation and by working with CSA members, and volunteers to enhance educational opportunities at all levels.

The EE/HM will design, publicize and implement a variety of educational programs for children, youth and adults. Lessons may cover topics ranging from sustainable agriculture, food preparation, to wildlife habitat. Programming may include, but is not limited to, fall and spring school programs, field trips, community groups (youth and adult), community events, adult classes, and summer programs on the farm. The EE/ HM will create an educational space, prepare / and purchase needed educational materials (budget provided). The farmer must approve the content and timing of educational programming.

The EE/ HM will assume responsibility for harvest and share distribution. Responsibilities will include communicating with share holders, outside suppliers, member work coordinators, and harvesters to assure that each CSA member is getting a share out that is of excellent product quality and quantity and has a positive pick- up experience.  The EE/HM will model good harvesting, prep, washing, display , clean- up techniques. He/she will respond to CSA sharers’ needs in terms of pick-up times and changes.

The EE/HM will work collaboratively with the farmer and will report to the FOBK Board. The EE/HM will communicate periodically with the board regarding activities and success of the programs and will submit a written annual report on the educational program.

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate for this position will be able to demonstrate experience and basic theoretical knowledge in organic and sustainable farming, and ideally will have worked an entire season on a CSA farm or garden project. This is a position for someone seriously interested in sustainable farming, food, and community education. We offer the opportunity to be integrally involved in a small organic farming operation and in farm education. There is the potential for a successful individual to assume the farm manager position in 2014.

Specific skills include, but are not mandated:

  • Excellent work ethic and communication skills;
  • Background in Environmental Science, Agriculture, Education or related field;
  • Willingness to teach and learn sustainable growing techniques
  • Demonstrated experience in working in formal and/or informal education programs including working with people with special needs;
  • Experience educating in an outdoor setting; create an educational space, prepare / and purchase needed educational materials (budget provided);
  • Demonstrated ability to get along and communicate with all ages;
  • Familiarity with farming and farm-based education;
  • Ability to assist with physical and organizational farm tasks;
  • Ability to think strategically about the weekly harvest and balance the needs of the farm, CSA members and food donation recipients;
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively to enhance FOBK and BKCF while following the leadership of the farmer;
  • First aid /CPR certified or willingness to obtain the training;
  • Well organized, flexible, with an ability to take initiative and adapt to new situations.

Hours and Compensation:

The EE/HM position is seasonal, 34 weeks, April through November. In general the EE/HM is expected to work an average of 24 hours/week, to be allocated as follows:

12 hours/week – EE:  see description above

12 hours/week – HM: April/ May – assist farmer in a variety of tasks including planting, cultivation, bed preparation and weeding  (2 six hour days requested)

June – October – Assume responsibility for harvest and share distribution on Saturday.

Some work is required on evenings and weekends, depending on timing of educational programs and harvest/ share out. Attendance at occasional FOBK board meetings will be expected with prior notice.

The EE/HM will work for the Friends of Boulder Knoll as an independent contractor. Worker’s compensation will be provided. The position offers no benefits, and no taxes will be withheld.

Salary range: $12,000- $15,000 depending on experience, hours worked and documented. The position requires a full season commitment.

Thank you for your interest. The position has been filled.

Upcoming Educational Events

9am-12:00pm, Wednesday, July 25 th
Let’s Build a Birdhouse (Workshop for kids ages 6-12)

In this workshop we’ll discuss the role of birds in the environment and then assemble one birdhouse per child.  The houses will be kits that will have previously been fabricated by our own Environmental Educator. Due to the nature of this workshop, we ask that you register for this event in advance so that the proper number of assemblies can be fabricated.  Walk in will only witness the event. Free event but please RSVP!

1-3pm, Saturday, July 28st
Organic Gardening:  Beyond the Basics (Teens and adults only please!)

Building on Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners this workshop goes beyond the basics of organic gardening.   We’ll discuss lead in our soils, taking soil samples, succession planting, companion planting, crop rotation, cover crops, etc.  Free event but please RSVP!

We’re in the New Haven Register

Thank you to the New Haven Register for your story on our upcoming Casual Evening on the Farm!

Community farm in Cheshire in the market for members, money
Luther Turmelle, New Haven Register, July 9, 2012

CHESHIRE — Now in its fourth growing season, the Boulder Knoll Community Farm is continuing to expand its membership in much the same way it grows its vegetables: organically. Read more ->

Farm Reunion and Membership Dinner

Farm Reunion Potluck Dinner +
Annual Meeting

Join us for a potluck farm celebration on Sunday, October 2nd from 4 to 7 pm.

Festive food, including cheese from Caseus Fromagerie and Bistro, and a silent auction will be set up in Bob Giddings’ barn, next door to the farm. We’re planning for live music and/or a dance on the second floor. Sound like fun? Put it on your calendar, plan a yummy dish, and bring an empty stomach and any libations you may desire.

We’ll also be officially selecting our new Friends of Boulder Knoll board for next year.

It’s our last fundraiser for the season; we’re suggesting a donation of $20/adult and $5 for kids over 5 yo. All who are part of our farm community in any way are welcome regardless of ability to make a donation.

RSVP

Let us know if you are coming and if you have guests.

Support Friends of Boulder Knoll

 

Friend,

With your help, we can build on our spectacular year of successful farming and environmental education at Boulder Knoll. Let’s look at what we have achieved this year and some future directions.

This year’s accomplishments include:

  • 16+ weeks of fresh vegetables each week to 50 CSA shareholders
  • Donating produce every week to local soup kitchens
  • Obtaining a $26K grant from the Cheshire Nursery School
  • Hiring Julia Meurice, our new environmental educator
  • At least 20 environmental programs and events involving more than 190 people (50+ youth!) demonstrating the vast educational richness the Farm has to offer
  • Involvement from many local organizations in Farm activities
  • With help from the Town of Cheshire, restoring a reliable water supply to the farm
  • Two very successful fundraisers: Delightful Day at the Farm and the 3rd Annual CommunityTag Sale

Next year we seek to:

  • Purchase new/used farming equipment
  • Expand our infrastructure, improve our soil
  • Further involve the community with the nature of the Farm
  • Find new ways to provide healthy food to those less fortunate

Can you help us achieve these goals? Please become a supporting member today.

As a special thank you for your support, the members of the Friends of Boulder Knoll are offered the first opportunity to sign up for shares in the CSA, before shares are offered to the wider community. CSA shares sold out in less than four weeks this year, and the demand is tremendous.

Support Friends of Boulder Knoll by becoming a member for the coming year (Oct 2011-Sept 2012).

Send us your thoughts, ideas, and dreams for the Farm through our website. Then, come to the Farm, see what we have built together, and help us keep it growing.

Sincerely,

The Friends of Boulder Knoll Board

 

Educational Workshop in the News

Patch.com writes about our “Patterns in Nature” workshop, part of our “Springing into Nature” educational series. We hope you can join us at one of our upcoming events!

The farming season is well underway at Boulder Knoll Community Farm. Along the rows of vegetables and herbs, participants in Saturday’s “Patterns in Nature” workshop looked for examples of shapes and lines in the plants.

Environmental Educator Julia Meurice explained how patterns such as concentric circles, spirals and hexagons can be found throughout nature; in water ripples, star galaxies and beehives, respectively.

The two-hour long workshop also included a study of items collected by Meurice for their intricate patterns; rocks, a butterfly wing and even a snake skin (hexagons). Participants then used that insight to create pattens on paper.

 

Boulder Knoll Gets New Five-Year Lease

The Cheshire Herald writes about our new five-year lease for the Boulder Knoll Farm property! The new lease will allow us to pursue great new opportunities and expand our efforts!

The Friends of Boulder Knoll has used some acreage on the farm to build a community garden, and has harvested vegetables the last two seasons. The Town initially approved a one year lease, then changed it to a three-year rolling lease for the Friends, extending it one year every spring.

However, a request was made by current Friends of Boulder Knoll President Bob Giddings to extend the lease to five years. Giddings explained the extension would help in two ways. First, the Friends of Boulder Knoll would like to plant perennial crops, such as raspberries and blueberries, but to justify those plantings “a longer look forward is needed,” he wrote in a letter to the Town Council. Secondly, a longer lease term will help the group secure grant money from organizations like the United States Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Services.

“It is much easier to obtain grants if you have an established track record, which we now have, and a good prospect for long-term stability, which the lease term extension would help provide,” Giddings told the Council.

Councilman James Sima explained that the amended lease will allow the group to obtain more funding and a new clause was added to protect the Town. The new provision added is a surrender clause that would be invoked at the termination of the lease. The clause states that the lessee, the Friends of Boulder Knoll, would need to leave the property in good condition and cannot remove any plantings on the property.