Employment

Farm Helpers, 2008-2015

Do you want to get your hands dirty?

We have some openings for farm hands nearly every year. On-farm positions are not internships, but employment for a reasonable wage. There are certainly opportunities to learn while working, especially for motivated individuals who are willing to read industry-specific material, ask questions of the farm owners, and attend area grower-specific meetings. Many of our helpers have gone on to further education in sustainable topics/agriculture or to their own farming projects. Opportunities exist for long-term employment.

Please note: North Star Orchard is a smoke-free and drug-free environment, and dogs live on the property.

2016 Openings:

We are in need of harvest season help from now through mid-November. PT/FT (3 days minimum per week, from 7 to 3:30 M-F available). Help with harvest, cleaning, packing, and delivering produce, plus other miscellaneous tasks. Potential for long-term employment (except the winter months). If you are interested in joining us, please fill in an Employment Application AND email us a resume with your education and work experiences.

Also - we will have several FT full-season openings in 2017, so please read on about the opportunities.

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 bedroom apartment at reasonable rent is a possibility if there is space 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, please fill in an Employment Application. In addition to filling in the Application, you must email a letter of introduction and resume.

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