Girard Farm

Girard Farm grows 4 acres of mixed vegetables and raises laying hens on pasture. We are entering our seventh season in 2022. We use a permanent raised-bed, no-till system and certified organic practices. We do all planting, cultivation, and harvesting using hand tools. We make our own potting mix, and use soil blocks to start seedlings. The laying hens are housed in an Eggmobile that moves over a 6-acre pasture. We sell at a local farmers’ markets, at our farm stand, CSA programs, and wholesale accounts.

We are currently adding a number of perennial crops including fruit trees, cane fruit, asparagus, blueberries, herbs.

Girard Farm

May 2021 through September 2021, opportunity to stay longer, arrive sooner.

The farm is split between two locations, one on leased land in Lyman, the other at our new permanent location in Waterboro. The area has plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, especially the four ponds in town. We are about 10 minutes from Biddeford which is a developing historic mill town, 15 minutes from the beach, 30 minutes south of Portland, and 1.5 hours north of Boston.

Girard Farm grows 4 acres of mixed vegetables and raises laying hens on pasture. We are entering our seventh season in 2022. We use a permanent raised-bed, no-till system and certified organic practices. We do all planting, cultivation, and harvesting using hand tools. We make our own potting mix, and use soil blocks to start seedlings. The laying hens are housed in an Eggmobile that moves over a 6-acre pasture. We sell at a local farmers’ markets, at our farm stand, CSA programs, and wholesale accounts.

We are currently adding a number of perennial crops including fruit trees, cane fruit, asparagus, blueberries, herbs.

Girard Farm is certified organic. We use no-till practices for our vegetables.

Early Season:

*Mixing potting soil and seeding transplants, caring for seedlings

*Setting up irrigation

*Preparing beds and transplanting seedlings

Mid Season:

*Cultivating with hand tools

*Setting up trellises for tomatoes, pruning tomatoes

*Harvesting, washing, and packing vegetables

*Attending farmers market with the farmer

*Running our CSA drop-off and on farm pick-ups

*Laying hens: feeding, moving fences, collecting and packing eggs

Late Season:

*Clearing and mulching beds for winter

*Seeding cover crops

We are committed to the principles of organic growing and are certified organic by MOFGA.

Applicants should have a license, preferably their own vehicle, previous experience performing physical labor. A positive attitude and an understanding that vegetables are heavy, the sun is hot, and the wash water can be very cold.

May-June:

7am-4pm Monday through Friday.

CSA/Market Season:

7am-4pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday

6am-4pm Tuesday and Fridays, harvest days

Rotating duties for CSA/Market:

Manage farm stand 2-6pm on Tuesdays and Fridays

Attend farmers’ market 6am – noon on Saturdays

Farm chore rotation to be completed outside normal working hours: chicken duties, wash pack area cleanup, market/farm stand duties, greenhouse watering

There will be many opportunities for one-on-one training and conversations with the farmer because the farm is so small. You will have the opportunity to meet other local apprentices and attend MOFGAs apprentice workshops. In 2021 we worked with another local farm to organize farm visits between the two farms/crews and participated on-farm lectures, workshops.

New skills are explained and demonstrated in the field. Weekly lecture nights go in depth discussing why we use certain practice on the farm.

The farmer lives and works on the farm. He attends both market with the apprentices and assists in setting up the farm stand. He participates in both weekly harvests. At least one, sometime two days a week returning apprentices take the lead in completing field tasks when the farmer is not available.

Apprentices receive a $1000 per month stipend, outdoor kitchen and large canvas wall tent, communal area, veggie extras. Seasonal bonus.

Yes, On-farm.

The farmer stays on the farm. Two apprentices will returning in the spring of 2022 and we hope to welcome four new apprentices to the crew.

New apprentices will be provided:

* ‘Glamping’ style wall tent, bed, bureau, table

*An outdoor kitchen with hot/cold running water and electricity

*Wi-fi

*Outdoor toilet and shower

*Outdoor communal area with picnic tables

Eating meals together is not formally scheduled since there are many dietary programs to accommodate. Impromptu potlucks are not uncommon. We could formalize weekly meals if the crew is interested.

There are currently no children on the farm, we have two cats.

Apprentices are expected to keep communal living spaces tidy, some individuals on the farm are vegan, gluten free and we accommodate these choices. Maintaining the tents, grass around outdoor spaces, garbage, etc. are the responsibility of the apprentices and should be done regularly.

It is recommended that a visit is made before committing to the season, if possible.

We each review and commit to an apprentice agreement which covers the specific expectations of the farmer and apprentices. Open communication of any grievances throughout the season can be done informally or in a formal check-in.

I grew up in Lyman. My family lives nearby and my mother and father are frequently helping out on the farm.

I apprenticed for two year at Frith Farm in Scarborough, worked part time on a few other farms before starting Girard Farm in 2015.

I went to college and grad school for engineering and lived in Zambia for two years with the Peace Corps.

Rather than working in industry I decided that the life of a farmer was the best fit for me. In a world that is politically uncertain and experiencing an unfolding climate crisis I believe we need more small-scale farms producing food locally and integrated with their community.

We encourage apprentices to be open-minded and ask the difficult questions posed by the world around us. We appreciate conversation and debate. We do not take people at face-value and recognize that we are at different places in our social and intellectual journeys.

The political and ideological spectrum of people who are a part of our community is wide. We do not tolerate alienation of others based on their social/political identifiers.

Former apprentice references:

Jason Huska, [email protected], 908-507-3022

Zoe Schwidock, [email protected], 203-939-5929

Personal reference:

Daniel Mays, farmer mentor, [email protected], 207-730-9077

Girard Farm

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