You are here

CSA Farm Manager at Forge Hill Farms - 13916

Job Title: 
CSA Farm Manager
Forge Hill Farms
404 Creek Road
19335 Downingtown PA , PA ,
US
Job Type: 
Job
Employment Type: 
Full-Time
Job Description: 

About Forge Hill Farms

Forge Hill Farms is CSA located on a 36-acre property with 1.5 cultivated acres, and online farm store, in Downingtown, PA. The full-time team includes the farm manager and farm manager assistant. The part-time team includes 1-2 seasonal workers from April to November. Forge Hill has been in operation as a CSA for five years and an online farm store for two years. We have increased our production and sales each year. We are a 75+ member CSA with a 23-week season and grow over 30+ varieties of vegetables, melons and berries and a cut flower garden. We also sell perennials and maintain an ornamental tree nursery. We raise laying chickens, lambs, and bees on property. We sell beef and pork from our other family farm, and we partner with neighboring farms to sell cheese and broiler chickens. We are looking for a dedicated, creative and enthusiastic farmer to help us grow our CSA.

Forge Hill Farms was founded to support a vocational program for young adults with neurodevelopmental disorders. The establishment of the vocational program is still forthcoming and is the responsibility of the owners. We are proud to partner with the Discover Program at the Chester County Intermediate Unit and are looking forward to expanding this relationship.

Position Summary:

The CSA farm manager oversees all aspects of garden planning and maintenance in concert with organic and sustainable agricultural practices. This position requires someone with significant agricultural experience and knowledge of small-scale farming as well as a desire to grow farm production. Due to the nature of farming, flexibility with work schedules is required. This position is a full time, year-round position. The weekly hours vary in and out of season.

Compensation:

This is a salaried position commensurate with experience, approximately 40 hours/week with seasonal fluctuation. Benefits include health insurance, two weeks accrued time off, plus 7 paid federal holidays (that can be used as comp time), 3 personal/sick days, share of farm produce, discounts on value-add items and the opportunity to work with an engaged and supportive team.

Work Schedule:

Winter: 12/1-2/28: 13 weeks @ 30 hours (4 days/week)
Spring: 2/28 – 4/30: 9 weeks @ 40 hours (5 days/week)
Summer : 4/29 – 9/30: 22 weeks @45 hours (5.5 days/week includes half day Saturday and occasional Thursday evenings)
Fall : 10/1 – 11/29: 9 weeks @ 40 hours (5.5 days/week includes half day Saturday and occasional Thursday evenings)

Hours based on weather

Duties & Responsibilities: 

Primary Responsibilities:

-Develop and oversee annual crop plans consistent with organic farming methods, including cultivars, quantities, timing, rotation and use of growing structures
-Order seeds and amendments in a timely manner in conjunction with crop plan
-Develop and oversee planting operations including bed prep, direct seeding with seeders and by hand, greenhouse starting, transplanting
-Develop and maintain detailed record keeping of garden map including crop rotation, transplant schedule, and yields so that the information can be used to make improvements for the next season.
-Manage and participate in all daily field maintenance operations, including but not limited to soil improvement, fertilization, water quality control, maintenance of drip irrigation, plant propagation, planting, pest and weed control, and cover cropping.
-Develop and monitory irrigation systems and hand-water as needed, create and manage a watering schedule for greenhouses and all other plants.
-Supervise and participate in the weekly harvest including creating harvest lists, utilizing proper techniques for harvesting, washing, and preparing food for market style CSA pick up.
-Share responsibility of monitoring weekly CSA pick up with farm owners.
-Develop plan and assist with end of season clean-up of garden beds, paths, and materials.
-Oversee farm maintenance, machinery, and tools (i.e. BCS walk-behind tractor and attachments, John Deere tractor with implements, mowers, weedwhackers and full size pick-up truck).
-Provide and assist with care for lambs and laying chickens.
-Safe and effective handling of machinery including gators, BCS two-wheel tractor, compact utility loader, tillers, seeders, shredders, and mowers
-Maintain farm facilities including high tunnel, nursery hoop house, greenhouse, cold frame, chicken coop, sheep shed, barn with storage areas, walk in coolers, freezers and food processing area.
-Coordinate basic plumbing, electrical and construction work as needed
-Assist farm owners with total property maintenance including care of landscaping, and ornamental tree nursery
-Candidates with Apiary experience are preferred. We are also seeking candidates with a willingness to be trained in beekeeping.

Management Responsibilities:

-Supervise and manage year-round farm assistant, and up to two seasonal farm assistants. Use excellent time management and organizational skills to assign tasks to the crew on a daily basis
-Create and manage weekly farm task lists for student volunteers from the Chester County Intermediate Unit
-Assist with the development of the annual farm budget, ensuring appropriate purchases of materials and supplies
-Keep in touch with current horticultural practices; find scientific solutions to horticultural challenges and problems. Attend annual farm conference and seek out additional continuing education opportunities.
-Share responsibility of staffing the pick-up table on Thursday and Saturdays with owners
-Note: CSA member and farm store customer relations, coordination with vendors for add-on sales, budgeting, special farm events and all office administration is the responsibility of the owners.

Education & Experience: 

Experience:

-Minimum of 3-5 years of successful production of growing produce with sustainable practices, including greenhouse, high tunnel propagation experience and garden planning.
-Supervisory experience, or three years of progressively responsible experience in a leadership role.

Preferred:

-Bachelor's or associates degree in sustainable agriculture
-Apiary expertise or experience with beekeeping.

Skills and Abilities:

-Willingness to have a flexible schedule with weekend hours required during the growing season.
-Strong knowledge of the principles of sustainable agriculture, soil biology, crop production, permaculture, growing perennials, using cover crops, and utilizing living mulches, incorporating stale/false seed beds, composting, soil testing, and other growing methods
-Experience working with a wide variety of crops
-Familiarity with drip irrigation, IPM, and organic practices to build soil (composting, cover cropping, rotation, mulching, green manure)
-Familiarity with farm equipment and machinery and their safe use. Experience with upkeep and maintenance of facilities and farm equipment
-Excellent interpersonal skills including a strong work ethic and positive attitude, collaboration, receptiveness to feedback, and conflict management
-Ability to balance time management in self-directed and collaborative work, and to prioritize tasks efficiently
-Detail-oriented with considerable attention to order, tidiness, and an ongoing commitment to improving systems
-Strong problem-solving skills and ability to adapt to changing conditions
-A desire to produce food of the highest nutritional, culinary, and ecological quality
-A desire to continue to learn and grow as a person and farmer. Continuous personal and professional development is encouraged and supported
-Email communication (timely and proper etiquette) and knowledge of Google Drive.
-Farm record keeping and using Microsoft Excel
-Construction, plumbing and electrical skill and experience is a plus
-Must be comfortable working outside including during hot, cold, and inclement weather
-Must be able to lift 50+ pounds regularly.
-Ability to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time.
-Clean driving record and access to reliable transportation

Application Instructions: 

The target start date in mid-January 2022.
Please send resume and cover letter to jennifer@forgehillfarms.com

Job Categories: 
Farming/Agriculture