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North Star Orchard

Employment Opportunities

2016 Openings:

We have one FT/PT on-farm opening for this year (M-F 7 to 3:30 in general). Read on below for information and to apply!

We may need extra part-time farm help in late summer through fall. Harvesting help would be the primary task.

We are in need of one helper at our West Chester Growers' Market stand on Saturdays, and at our stand at the Headhouse Square Farmers' Market in Philadelphia on Sundays. Market work can be very fun and challenging as well. Customer service is our prime consideration.

About our On-Farm Helpers

1. Most helpers start out as Seasonal Full- or Part-time Helpers. Becoming a Year-'round helper (with winter work) and/or a returning helper for subsequent years are possibilities for the right people.

2. Regular on-farm work hours are M-F from 7AM to 3:30PM. Work schedules may vary somewhat depending on position and whether or not a helper works at a weekend farmers' market, etc.

3. All helpers may be required to work from time to time on any project on the farm, be it gardening, orcharding, grounds maintenance, fruit thinning, fruit/vegetable breeding projects, CSA & market prep, or helping with special building projects. Full-time helpers should be willing to help at a weekend farmers' market in fall.

4. Many helpers are assigned one or more AoR “Areas of Responsibility” based upon their interests and skills. AoRs enable the helper to truly focus on and become responsible for specific tasks. Sample AoRs include: Washroom Leader, Planting Manager, Greenhouse Manager, Harvest Crew Leader, Cider Making Assistant, Farmers' Market Manager, Landscape Maintenance, Marketing Assistant, CSA Assistant, etc.

Requirements for On-Farm Helper applicants:

1. Be highly motivated, efficient, and detail-oriented with strong work ethics and the ability to work well with both staff and customers.

2. Be physically fit: able to repeatedly lift 40-50 pounds, climb a short ladder on a frequent basis on orchard work days, squat and bend repeatedly on garden work days, and work in all weather conditions.

3. Have a license with a good driving record.

4. Supply their own work boots, clothing, gloves, and sunscreen.

5. Not smoke or chew tobacco on the farm premises.

About our Market Helpers

1. Helpers work a regular schedule at their assigned market location.

2. Hours depend on market location and specific work assigned (including set-up, tear-down, display, customer service, etc.)

3. Some helpers meet us at the farm to help with loading and unloading and go to market from there. Others simply meet us at the market... so if you live far from the farm, that's ok!

Requirements for Market Helper applicants:

1. Be highly motivated, efficient, and detail-oriented with strong work ethics and the ability to work well with both staff and customers.

2. Be physically fit: able to lift fruit crates, stand for long periods of time, and work in all weather conditions.

3. Have a working knowledge of various types of produce and the basics of how to use/store them (we can teach you finer details!), and have excellent people skills. Communications with customers is a very important aspect of this job!

4. Not smoke or chew tobacco at the market.

Pay and Benefits

1. Most helpers start at $10/hr. Pay raises are based on performance, taking on more responsibility, and staying on from year to year.

2. All helpers working more than 20 hours a week receive a ½ price discount on first-quality produce and free second-quality produce. Helpers working under 20 hours a week receive a 20% discount on first-quality produce.

3. On-farm shared housing in a large house or two-person apartment at reasonable rent is a possibility if there is room available. Rent includes heat, A/C, trash, water, and wifi.

4. 401(k) plan with matching employer contributions is available for helpers who work a minimum of 1000 hours and are employed for at least a year.

5. Long-term disability coverage is provided for full-time helpers who work at NSO for a year or more.

To Apply

If you are interested in an on-farm position (either as a potential helper in fall or if we have another seasonal opening, or if you'd like to be considered for full-season work in 2017), please fill in this Employment Application. In addition to filling in the Application, you must email us a letter of introduction and resume.

If you'd be interested in helping at a farmers' market only, please email us with a letter of introduction.

North Star Orchard • Ike & Lisa Kerschner
Email: • Phone: (610)-593-0314
3226 Limestone Rd. • Cochranville, PA 19330
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