Why do we have an Apprenticeship Program?
Learning about agriculture has been a tradition ever since humans began to domesticate animals, plants and the landscape around us. Rarely has that educational practice happened solely in the classroom. Throughout history, farmers learned by working alongside their elders and by participating in agriculturally based communities.
In the present day, only about 2% of the American population has any connection to a farm. At the same time, the Community Supported Agriculture ("CSA") movement is growing by leaps and bounds, farmers' markets are essential parts of the urban experience, and almost everyone supports the local food movement. We at Liberty Farms are trying to do our part, through an intensive and educational Apprenticeship Program, to offer an opportunity to explore and learn about all aspects of farming, from daily chores to seasonal overviews and discussions of managerial decisions.
Is this a real working farm that will count on me to fulfill my responsibilities to the team?
Yes. Farm work can be, and often is, very physically demanding. It can be both fast paced and slow paced in ways that our high tech society does not prepare us for. Farming is rewarding and fulfilling, and it can also be difficult, repetitive, and challenging.
Why should I consider this Apprenticeship Program?
If you are experienced, you will be part of a team that will integrate you into all aspects of the farm. If you haven’t worked on a farm, you may be starry-eyed about farming, maybe even intellectual and theoretical in your support of farming, and an Apprenticeship will give you a sense of reality through your own hands. One cannot solely think through farming. It has to be experienced, over and over again, in the cold, the rain, the mud, in the August heat, in addition to more comfortable weather. It has to be experienced when everything works perfectly, and when a piece of broken equipment is fixed on the spot with bailing twine and duct tape. But on all days, challenging and not, you will be working on a team with your fellow farm crew members. The work of a farm never ends and always needs to be done. It is one of the best things in the world to experience.
What type of schedule will I have?
Work weeks are five and a half days per week.
Schedules must be adhered to. Punctuality is a important in order to be respectful to fellow farm team members and to the importance of the work at hand.
Vegetable work days are typically nine hours long, with meal breaks.
Will I have scheduled opportunities to learn and ask questions?
Sit-down, concentrated educational opportunities will be part of the Apprenticeship Program and are concentrated in the early and late seasons. During March and April we cover an overview and introduction to farming practices and theory, and during November there is a review of the season and looking toward planning for the next year. You will work alongside our head farmer who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of farm operations. Questions are discussed anytime the work flow allows, which is most of the time.
Does the Farm provide housing, meals and a stipend?
Apprentices will each have their own room in an apartment with a kitchen and bathroom.
Apprentices and interns are responsible for cooking their own meals. Some staples will be provided.
Once a month or so, the whole farm team will have pot luck dinners together.
Farm food in season is available to apprentices and interns. Please note, the field harvest season begins with salad greens in late May. Meat is available when the supply is plentiful.
Apprentices do not need to pay for rent or utility bills.
Full season farm apprentices are paid a monthly stipend.
Apprentices are responsible for paying their own personal bills, such as car insurance, gas, cell phones, health insurance, non-farm provided food, farm gear, etc.
Having a car is recommended, not for farm work, but for cultural and social outings and for personal errands. Liberty Farms is in the middle of Columbia County, NY, with many other farms and activities nearby, but there is no public transportation, and there is no farm car available for personal use.
Who should I contact with questions, and to apply for this apprenticeship?
Please email Katy, at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I would like to apply but for a period other than the full season, March to Thanksgiving?
Requests for shorter term Apprentices will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Full season stays are preferred.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2018 Farm season. Liberty Farms is a 300 acre NOFA-NY certified Organic, socially responsible, family owned farm in the heart of the Hudson Valley, 2 hours North of NYC.
Organic Farming/Gardening APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM