Summer Farm Workers support the overall farm operations at Chewonki, including garden and pasture management and animal husbandry. Summer Farm Workers help to integrate summer Camp Chewonki participants into the daily functions of the farm.
THE CHEWONKI FARM
The Chewonki Farm, on Chewonki’s Wiscasset property, is a small and diversified saltmarsh farm; its primary goal is to educate program participants while producing food, firewood, and fiber for our campus community. There are approximately 26 acres of open land; one acre is cultivated for vegetable gardens, and 25 acres are pasture and hay fields. The managed woodlot is approximately 150 acres.
We raise livestock for meat, eggs, and fiber. The farm keeps a small herd of beef cows and a flock breeding ewes that produces lambs for meat each spring. We raise around 200 laying hens, free-ranging most of the year. Up to three hundred broilers and 15 turkeys are pasture-pen raised in the late summer/fall. Two batches of two to eight pigs are raised annually for meat.
Two draft horses provide much of the power for the farm operation including plowing and garden cultivation; hay cutting, tedding, and raking; winter logging and wood hauling; and a wide variety of other tasks. We are always looking for ways to expand our knowledge and to effectively and safely utilize draft horsepower. Whenever possible, horsepower is emphasized as a sustainable and rewarding method of accomplishing valuable labor. We also have a tractor that we use primarily for moving material, turning compost, cutting hay, and clipping pasture.
As mentioned above, we use two horses to log in the winter months. With the help of a professional forester and the Chewonki community, the farm is responsible for managing 150 acres of woodlot. We harvest about 20 to 30 cords of firewood annually. The majority of the work is timber stand improvement and firewood production, and may include maintaining and improving woodlot roads, tree pruning, felling, limbing, slash management, and limited production of sawlogs and pulpwood.
We cut three to five acres of our own hay with a sickle bar mower and bring it in loose. We buy in the remainder of our hay in bales from a local farmer.
The farm crew, in cooperation with the Facilities staff, maintains the majority of the farm buildings, grounds, and machinery.
Education is central to Chewonki’s mission statement and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement: any individual that works on the farm must consider themselves a teacher as well as a farmer. Because our working farm is the context for our education rather than a traditional classroom setting, the farm crew needs to be comfortable and adept with teaching as they work alongside students and program staff. Education about farm and food systems happens both formally and informally at Chewonki and may be grounded in a work experience, a classroom experience, and/or a food preparation and dining experience.
Our primary approach to education on the farm is to integrate young people into meaningful production systems. Additionally, we articulate the “why” behind our systems and build context for how our approach to work and land management fits into the broader scope of farm and food systems nationally and globally. Because the farm acts as a support department to all Chewonki programs, farmers work with young people ages 7 to 18, creating developmentally appropriate and program-specific farm intersections that complement and further a participant’s broader Chewonki experience.
THE CHEWONKI FARM CREW
The farm crew includes three tiers of positions:
Leadership positions (year-round): Farm Manager and Assistant Farm Manager
Crew positions (year-round): Farmer/Educator and Farm Apprentice
We seek to hire a diverse crew of curious and dependable people committed to food production, farm-based education, land management, and community. We hope to hire seasonal crew members who represent a range of experiences and identities. We work to support individuals in growing their capacity for engaging in meaningful work. A successful applicant may have farm- or education-based work or life experience or may be new to farming and teaching; we value potential. We hire with an eye towards building a synergistic crew, not just a collection of individuals.
Summer Farm Workers:
Help with tasks necessary for the production of crops and care of livestock
Help with maintenance and care of pasture and harvesting of hay
During the Camp Chewonki season, integrate campers into various work projects and tasks on the farm
All Chewonki Farm Crew:
Thoughtfully prioritize within interconnected systems and a full, physical season
A willingness to work as a team member among the farm crew and the greater Chewonki community
Work on the Chewonki campus and share meals with the community
Contribute to and collaborate with the Chewonki community through foundation wide events
Share the collective responsibility within risk management (physical, behavioral, institutional, etc.) by:
Using sound judgment
Operating within your skill set and Chewonki protocols
Responding to and/or alerting the appropriate person(s) when you see something that may compromise safety
Recognize and celebrate the farm’s historical context and have the flexibility to grow and adapt systems based in that context
Act as facilitators of Chewonki’s food system
Make mission-driven decisions
Share the workload and responsibilities equitably
Balance production and education within the farm context
Work with intention to build a thriving crew culture
Work to honor and uphold the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and a lens of anti-racism in the best interest of participants, constituents, and staff across the organization
Required Skills/Experience/Abilities of the Summer Farm Workers:
At least 17 years of age
Interest in education-based, diversified farming
Ability to work long hours in a physically demanding setting
Good communication skills
Willingness to responsibly live and work in a small community
Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
Must pass a criminal background check
Daily Farm Schedule:
Chores to care for livestock are done at the beginning and end of every day throughout the year. Farmers (year-round and seasonal crew members) are expected to be present for morning chores beginning around 6:00 am through afternoon chores beginning at approximately 4:00 pm. We alternate holding morning chore responsibilities; if an individual is not assigned to morning chores on a given day, their workday starts at 8:00 am. The bulk of the summer work day (between morning and afternoon chores) is spent working in gardens and on pasture, sometimes with Camp Chewonki participants. Usually, our workday is between nine to ten hours daily, five days a week, and can be more during certain seasons. Each farmer is responsible for weekend chore responsibilities in a regular and scheduled rotation; generally, an individual farm crew member works one weekend per month.
IMPORTANT DATES AND COMPENSATION
Arrive at Chewonki: Sunday, June 4
First day of farm work: Monday, June 5
Last day of work: Sunday, August 20
The salary for this position is $333 per week.
Incentives include: travel stipend, room & board (shared housing with other Summer Farm Workers), and a $200 Refer-a-Friend bonus. Academic internship credit is possible.
All applications are due by 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 19. Please include a resume and cover letter with your application. The hiring committee will begin to assess the applicant pool in late February. Please visit Chewonki's website at www.chewonki.org and our Employment Page to apply.