Jones' Farmer Blog

Behind the scenes and lessons at Jones Family Farms in Shelton, CT

Now Accepting Apprentices for the 2011 season!

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The Jones Family Farms Farm-to-Table Apprenticeship is a learning and working experience, focused on following food from the field to the plate. Apprentices will gain a strong understanding of sustainable farming practices through hands-on field experience. They will also work closely with the harvest-your-own retail operations to learn successful direct marketing techniques. The main focus of the apprenticeship will be in the Harvest Kitchen. There, apprentices will learn about food, nutrition, and cooking. Apprentices will learn how to preserve local food for use year-round, how to prepare produce-based meals, how to bake, and how to make food choices that support their personal health and the health of the environment.

There are two apprenticeships available for the 2011 season. One apprentice will focus on the garden, and the other apprentice will focus on the kitchen, though both apprentices will work in ALL aspects of the farm.

Dates: Full-time commitment to the farm from the last week in May through December 23 (no part-time applications will be accepted).

Qualifications: Applicants should have a college degree or equivalent education, with an interest in pursuing a career in food or agriculture. A strong interest in farming and cooking, as well as a love of fresh produce, is desired. Applicants should enjoy working outdoors and interacting with others, have a sense of humor, be willing to do a variety of tasks, and be capable of working quickly and efficiently. Applicants should be prepared for full-time, challenging work that is both physically and mentally demanding.  An on-farm visit is required as part of the interview process.

Education: Apprentices will participate in the Western Connecticut Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) program, as a part of the off-farm educational training. Field trips to other farms and educational events will also be encouraged. On-farm education will happen through structured lessons (ie. Strawberry school, learning how to drive a tractor for school tours), and through project-oriented instruction (ie. learning to harvest and handle specific produce, learning how to work in our commercial bakery). Apprentices will also have access to reading materials and will participate in a monthly on-farm book club, in addition to researching and learning on their own.  They will be expected to maintain a small vegetable garden at their house to grow much of their own produce.  Apprentices also keep a weekly blog and will be expected to complete a project that contributes to the farm as part of the program.

Compensation: The work schedule varies depending on the season, with apprentices working 40 to 50 hours per week, six days a week, with one week vacation (usually in early September). Compensation includes a private room in an on-farm house with modern amenities, an hourly wage, and a small amount of produce. Jones Family Farms provides health insurance through Worker’s Compensation for on-farm incidents, but personal health insurance must be provided by the applicant.

How to Apply: For more information or to apply, please send:
1. A letter of intent that addresses the following questions:
a. Why do you want to work on a farm?
b. What experience do you have with farming or gardening?
c. What is your favorite dish to cook?
d. What experience do you have working in a kitchen?
e. What do you hope to learn by doing a farm-to-table apprenticeship?
f. Do you have any other skills or interests (ie. painting, carpentry, education)?
g. Special considerations we should know about (diet, health, medical conditions)?
h. What are your goals for the future (short term or long)?
2. A current resume.
3. Three references (employers preferred).

Jones Family Farms
Attn: Allyson Angelini
606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd
Shelton, CT 06484

or send to: allyson@jonesfamilyfarms.com

 

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