Three full season apprenticeships are available at the farm each growing season, from the first Monday in April through the Friday before Thanksgiving. A full season commitment is required. Applications are accepted year round, but the fall is a great time to apply. Apprentices participate in all aspects of crop production, including planting, cultivating, harvesting, market sales, and CSA distribution. Practical training in organic crop and overall farm management is offered, as well as training in tractor operation and maintenance. Our goal is to give apprentices the opportunity to learn the skills they will need to manage their own farm. In addition, Fort Hill Farm is a member of CRAFT of Western Connecticut. Apprentices will have the opportunity for monthly visits to area farms to tour the farm and hear about that farmer’s area of expertise. Apprentices who complete a growing season at Fort Hill Farm may apply for a Grower position on the farm for a second season. Growers take on higher level farm management tasks such as managing work crews, harvests, greenhouse production, and farmers’ markets, as well as more skilled farm operations such as seeding and spraying. More information on the Grower position is available here. We also keep a small layer flock for egg production for the crew, and raise chickens and Narragansett turkeys.
Previous farm experience is helpful, although not required. While we have trained apprentices with no previous farm experience, we find that apprentices who volunteer or work on a farm for a short time before making a full season commitment have a better experience. Our apprenticeships are geared toward folks with a desire and ability to do outdoor, physical work in all kinds of weather, a sincere interest in farming, and a desire to learn more about it. The work schedule varies over the season, generally five and a half days a week, 45 to 50 hours per week in peak season. Work weeks are shorter in early spring and late fall. Apprentices are paid an hourly wage of $10.50 per hour for farm labor and on the job training. We offer merit based raises, and overtime pay. Craft visits and other on-farm educational opportunities are not paid. Apprentices can choose to live next door to the farm for an affordable rent, plus a share of the electric bill. Or they can find housing on their own. Apprentices completing the full season earn a $500 year end bonus. To apply, please send a resume and a letter of intent to Paul Bucciaglia and Rebecca Batchie, Fort Hill Farm, 18 Fort Hill Rd., New Milford, CT 06776, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.