Here at Holiday Brook Farm we are training farmers the old way- through hands-on work. You do what we do- work long hours in the hot sun, in the rain, in freezing wind or snow- but that is the best way to really learn how to farm or even whether or not farming is a life path for you. Understand also that this is still a job and you are accountable just like in any other, more so, at times since our whole farm crew is a team unit that we depend so much upon to make this all work as efficiently as we can.
We have two position types, Intern and Apprentice.
An internship is for those who want to experience and learn about food & farming, while an apprenticeship is a more in depth opportunity to learn how to farm. We provide room and board, education, and a weekly stipend. We expect interns and apprentices to engage and participate in all aspects of the farm – fieldwork, haying, animal chores, farmstand staffing.
Farming is a lifestyle as much as a business – there is no hard line drawn between farmwork and household duties. Interns and Apprentices work six days a week with a weekday off.
While you can peruse the website for more detailed information on all aspects of our farm, here is a short synopsis of what we do. Holiday is a 1500 acre farm- 1000 acres of which is sustainably managed woodlot and the rest is a mix of pasture, hayfield and vegetable fields. It is still a big place- but for the most part, it has a lot of small farm enterprises on a larger landbase. We rarely run out of grass. The farm is owned by the Crane family, but the farm business is owned by Dicken Crane who also works daily on the farm. He runs the forestry and compost operations. He also oversees the rest of the farm (the livestock and vegetable operations) but leaves the day to day decision making and planning to Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois, the farm managers. They are also the crew bosses and live on the farm along with the apprentices.
Internships are for three to six months. They are suited to those with limited or no prior farming experience, who are interested in organic, sustainable food production but who may or may not have decided that farming is a life they wish to pursue. The primary goal of an internship is to introduce people to farming. Interns can expect to be given an opportunity to experience everything that we do during the season. An intern will not be expected to perform independent work until later in the season. Internships are only available April through October, and we have one positions available per season.
Apprenticeships are typically six months or longer in duration. Apprenticeships are available for those with previous experience farming, who are looking to learn skills that will enable them to manage a farm on their own in the future. Apprentices will be able to and expected to take on some responsibilities based on their specific area of interest. Two apprenticeships are available during the season.
Internships or Apprenticeships may be extended (by mutual agreement) for a second season Apprenticeship. This allows for participation in the winter planning process, when much of the business decisions and production planning for the year get made. During the second season, significant management responsibilities are possible.
We are a member of the CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) program. The CRAFT program is a group of farmers who host workshops on the member farms, designed to teach aspiring farmers vital information and skills. The CRAFT program also creates a social network of like-minded apprentices in the area. Both Interns and Apprentices are encouraged but not required to attend all CRAFT visits.
People who join our crew as interns or apprentices may expect to be exposed to all of the following:
Basic livestock care, including managed rotational grazing using/installing both temporary (polywire and electric net) and permanent fencing (woven wire and hi-tensile). You will also, depending on arrival time, participate in lambing, including lamb watches, tagging, docking and tattooing.
Herbal tonics and treatments for animal health.
Greenhouse seeding, watering, and management of transplants and cool house season extension.
Seeding and transplanting in the field, weeding and hoeing, harvesting, washing, and packing vegetables.
Selling at Farmers’ Markets, Farm store, managing CSA distributions.
Tillage and field preparation.
Cover cropping, crop rotations, fertility building.
Tractors & Equipment use, maintenance, and repair.
Seasonal activities that happen early or late in the season including, shearing sheep and trimming hooves, and building projects.
Extracurricular household activities that are part of our lifestyle and that we are happy to share our knowledge of can include milking our family goats & dairy processing, bread making, lactofermentation, canning, drying, seed saving, along with woolcraft, including spinning, knitting, weaving.
As an initial application, please email us a resume with references as well as a cover letter in which you answer the following questions:
Who are you? Describe yourself: background, interests, future hopes or plans.
What attracts you to farming? What about our farm is most appealing to you?
What do you hope to gain from your experience? What do you want to learn during your time at our farm?
What physically demanding experiences do you have? Please describe your physical condition, abilities and limitations. Any other health or dietary considerations we should know about?
What sort of interpersonal interactions do you most enjoy? Do you enjoy working in groups, working alone, interacting with coworkers, interacting with strangers, etc.?
Have you lived closely with other people before? Have you lived on your own? Do you have experience preparing meals for yourself and others?
What skills do you have that would be of benefit to our farm?
Are you applying for an Internship or an Apprenticeship (as we define them)?
When would you like to Intern or Apprentice?
For the next part of the application we would like to have a phone conversation so please indicate in your email your availability for such a conversation. Ideally, a visit to the farm is also desirable, although we understand that not everyone lives close enough to do so.