Moodytown Gardens

Moodytown Gardens is located on 75 acres of land in Palmyra. Palmyra is a rural town but the interstate is close and you can reach Waterville in 30 mins and Bangor in 40mins. We are also within 6 miles of both Pittsfield and Newport and 25 mins from Skowhegan. There is a small variety store just down the road from us and a community center less than 5 miles from our house.

We have 16 acres of open land that is used for cropping and pasture and the rest is wooded. We have a large farmhouse, a 100ft barn, an equipment shed, one polycarbonate greenhouse, and several smaller hoop houses.

May through October is ideal. 

Minimum length of 1 month and we do not have year round opportunities.

Moodytown Gardens is located on 75 acres of land in Palmyra. Palmyra is a rural town but the interstate is close and you can reach Waterville in 30 mins and Bangor in 40mins. We are also within 6 miles of both Pittsfield and Newport and 25 mins from Skowhegan. There is a small variety store just down the road from us and a community center less than 5 miles from our house.

We have 16 acres of open land that is used for cropping and pasture and the rest is wooded. We have a large farmhouse, a 100ft barn, an equipment shed, one polycarbonate greenhouse, and several smaller hoop houses.

We grow an average of 5 acres of organic mixed vegetables and a small amount of cut flowers. Apprentices will primarily work in the field on these crops. We also produce hay, grass-fed beef, and pastured pork. Apprentices will help with livestock and haying as needed.

We do tilling and some field cultivation with tractors but most of the planting, weeding, and harvesting is done by hand.

Our crops are all certified organic. Our beef cattle and pigs are not certified. The grain we feed to our animals is not certified organic. 

Apprentices help in all aspects of growing, picking, washing, packing, and selling produce. In the spring we focus on planting, seeding, transplanting, potting-up plants. By mid June we are busy maintaining crops and harvesting. During the height of the summer it seems like all we do is harvest, wash, pack, and sell while trying to get as much crop maintenance and planting in as possible. In the fall we continue to harvest but start cleaning up the gardens, plant cover crops, and shore up the farm for winter.

Apprentices will also help us during haying. Mostly that entails unloading hay wagons and stacking hay in our barn. 

Apprentices will be asked to do daily animal chores and will be involved in livestock projects as they arise such as fencing, rock picking, and rotating pastures.

We like to get a sense of what an apprentice would like to learn and where their interests lie. Depending on what the apprentice would like to participate in, there are opportunities to market, to preserve food, preform light carpentry, cut and split firewood, learn accounting, cooking, help with childcare and more.

Having a drivers licence and being comfortable driving a range of vehicles is a huge plus. 

We ask apprentices to work 5 days a week with two days off. We try to give apprentices two consecutive days off if possible. We start our day at 6:30 on Tuesdays and Fridays and 7am the rest of the days. We end at around 4pm. We have a communal lunch where everyone takes turns preparing the meal. Apprentices prepare their own breakfast with food provided and  they are invited to eat with our family for dinner on the days they work. Apprentices will be provided with basic kitchen necessities in an outdoor kitchen so they can cook for themselves for breakfasts and whenever they want. Apprentices are housed in wall-tents. We have three on the premises, so each person can have their own. 

We ask apprentices to help with animal chores, meals, and basic kitchen clean-up. We create a weekly schedule where apprentices can sign up for these duties.

We provide instruction in the field on the go primarily. We love talking about agriculture and are happy to answer questions and provide resources on particular subjects during lunches and after work. There is no classroom time or required reading. 

We  provide an opportunity for apprentices to design and implement their own project on the farm, however they will need to be self-directed and driven to accomplish this. We are willing to provide and resources and can accommodate a specific request for labor but it will be primarily an independent project.

We are both full-time farmers.

We work alongside apprentices most of the time. There will be times where another crew member is in charge and we are not out in the field, but we are always close by and available for questions and to help. We are all together at lunch and then at dinner. We see a lot of each other!

Apprentices are paid minimum wage for the hours they work. We subtract $112.50 each week for room and board. In addition apprentices are asked to help with cooking and chores as part of living here and that time is not paid.

We have a two week probationary period. After this time both parties can decide if the arrangement is going to work or not. 

Apprentices are provided with unlimited food. We try to accommodate everyones dietary needs but if an apprentice needs/wants items we do not usually buy we may ask them to purchase it themselves. 

Apprentices live in wall-tents on the property. They are provided with basic cooking utensils in a simple outdoor kitchen so they can prepare breakfast and dinners for their days off. Our kitchen is used for lunch and dinners for their days on. We all eat together as a crew for lunch and apprentices are invited to eat dinner with our family on the days they work. 

Apprentices use our shower and laundry. 

Apprentices are asked to take shifts preparing lunch and dinner. On average an apprentice will cook 2 dinners and 1 lunch a week.

We prefer to meet apprentices in person if possible before they come for the season but understand that is not always possible. There is a two week trial period so both parties can assess if the arrangement is going to work after the two weeks.

We have a basic handbook that outlines our expectioans, routines, pay schedule etc. 

We can share this handbook with interested apprentices upon request. 

We are both rather progressive and left leaning in our political views. However we are very open minded and we welcome folks with all different views to come to our farm. We are very used to and enjoy being with people who share different ideology and ways of life. It is also important that apprentices also feel the same way. Our crew and the people who come to the farm do have differing political and religious views and tolerance and acceptance is very important to us.

Education and Relationship Building: As mentors we will get a sense of what an apprentice wants to learn while on our farm and commit to creating the opportunities and experiences for them to gain that knowledge. We will answer any questions an apprentice may have and will be willing to explain why we are doing something a certain way and what our thought process is in making a certain decision. If an apprentice has a specific interest or curiosity we will help them explore that either through providing suggestions to additional resources or linking them up with someone who knows more. Apprentices will be supported to take any of the Mofga workshops they would like and will be given time off to attend these as long as arrangements are made ahead of time.

Equity and Inclusion: We welcome folks no matter their race, gender identity, religion, political views, or socio-economic background. We make decisions on who is a good fit on our farm based on work ethic, attitude, punctuality, level of commitment, and group dynamics. 

As an apprentice you are invited into our home and into our family. We do need our own family time that is separate from apprentices but are clear with those boundaries and feel apprentices are still a part of our family unit while they are here and they remain important to us even once they have left.

Environment Sustainability: We farm using organic and sustainable methods. We still use plasticulture and farm with tractors but are always trying to find a good balance between efficiency and sustainability. We are open to apprentices ideas and their observations and are always trying to improve our methods so they continue to foster a healthy farm ecosystem.

Safe and Fair: We know working on a farm is very hard and being an apprentice is a lot of work. We value your labor and your commitment to our farm. We show you this through fair compensation and try to provide bonuses and little acts to show you we appreciate your hard work. 

Baillie Stein | Former apprentice reference
[email protected] | 508-596-8654

Austin Butera | Former apprentice reference
[email protected] | 914-588-8711

Faith Croteau | Employee, Personal reference
[email protected] | 508-577-0728

Moodytown Gardens

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