Three Charm Farm
FULL FOR 2021 SEASON
Three Charm Farm is located 30 miles from Portland, Maine, and approximately 18 miles from Kennebunkport, Maine. The farm is situated on 5 acres of land (with another 10 acres leased).
We are a small farm currently with 18 adult goats and 10 sheep, depending on the season. We also have a few chickens, a couple of turkeys, and seasonally we have been raising pigs for meat production. There are beautiful perennial beds and an old rhubarb bed that produces enough for us to sell.
For the 2021 season we need an apprentice to start no later than April 1 and to stay until at least November 1. Depending upon how the 2021 season goes, we may have a year-round position available.
We are located in one of the fastest growing counties in Maine, although our community is predominantly rural farmland with a classic New England historic village. We are located 30 miles from Portland, Maine, and approximately 18 miles from Kennebunkport, Maine. Our farm is located on 5 acres of land (with another 10 acres leased). The house and barn were originally built around 1790 with many additions over the centuries. The barns house our animals a milking parlor, cheese kitchen, a retail space/product pick-up area/office, and bathroom. We have lake access through our neighbors with the opportunity for boating and swimming. We will provide extensive learning and experience in a beautiful and supportive environment on a peaceful, historic farm.
We are a small farm currently with 18 adult goats and 10 sheep, depending on the season. This year we are expecting about 50 babies, most of which will be sold by the end of the summer. We also have a few chickens, a couple of turkeys, and seasonally we have been raising pigs for meat production. There are beautiful perennial beds and an old rhubarb bed that produces enough for us to sell. Our vegetable and herb garden are small with the main crop being garlic. Much of the garlic is fed to our animals as a natural dewormer/medicine; as well as for us and some for sale. An apprentice has the option of planting their own vegetables. We are focused on building our cheese and yogurt business and have purchased equipment to make that possible. We are expanding our marketing efforts to both on-farm and vegetable CSA customers, online, retail markets and restaurants.
We are not organically certified (we were for crops at one time and have not changed practices, but have changed our focus). Our animal feed is not organic but we purchase the best quality (and when possible, non-GMO certified) grains and hay. We use NO chemicals on pasture or gardens. We use medicine for animals when natural remedies are not adequate.
Your primary task will be milking up to 25 goats and sheep and ensuring their holistic health and well-being (we will show you how); be the farmers assistant during birthing season, helping/supporting mamas and babies, cleaning and re-bedding stalls, moving animals around the property/in the barn; learning how to repair fencing, installing new fencing; feeding and watering animals; helping to load and stack hay in summer; tending the property and gardens as needed. The apprentice will learn how to make basic fresh cheeses, package, label and display cheeses; interact with the public as needed (though not a primary responsibility), and learn organizational systems for tracking animals, milk, cheese and sales.
The candidate must be able to lift/move 50+ lbs, have a natural affinity for working with sheep/goats, must be both a team player and be able to work independently, be flexible in an environment that has structure, and also competing priorities that shift with weather/conditions, animal health, market demand, and more.
Candidates that have the following will be given additional consideration:
- Dairy/cheesemaking/animal experience or education
- Food Safety Training, Certification, Experience
- 1+ season of full time farm work (of any kind)
- Construction/Mechanical experience
We are looking for someone who is passionate and wants to learn about goat/sheep dairy and cheesemaking! While we don’t expect you to have experience in this specific field, we do expect you to be excited about learning, working hard, and helping us produce healthy, happy animals for safe, delicious products. An apprentice will work 5.5 – 6 days per week 40-50 hours per week (during birthing season, it could be more). There is no such thing as ‘that’s not my job’ on this farm. We all do it all. We expect you to be healthy, willing to follow all Covid-19 guidelines put forth by the CDC and other food safety related agencies.
- 1:1 hands-on training with the farmers
- We have a full library of books on all things farming/cheesemaking
- Connections for learning opportunities with other farms & industry associations in the area (MOFGA, UMaine Cooperative Extension, MDGA/AGDA, MFT, etc)
- Specific YouTube videos and other learning sites for specific tasks
- We will use a model of ‘See it, Do it, Teach it’ as often as possible
Yes. I, Ingrid, am full-time and my husband is part-time. He is a renovation contractor and carpenter.
Most of the day, every day.
We will provide a monthly stipend ($700-$1200) based on what a candidate brings to the table (and this is a conversation). We have a newly renovated camper for housing, (though you do not have to live here if you are local) we will provide our dairy products/meats/produce that is produced here at the farm and 2 dinners with the ‘family’ per week. There is a shared vehicle that you can use if you have a valid driver’s license.
During the cold start and end of the season, the apprentice will have the option of staying in our guest room in the farmhouse and we would be sharing the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc. We have a newly renovated camper for housing with electricity, Wi-Fi, mini-kitchen, hot water and a queen-sized bed. Toilet and shower are separate – (though you do not have to live here if you are local) we will provide our dairy products/meats/produce that is produced here at the farm and 2 dinners with the ‘family’ per week. Apprentices are welcome to plant their own produce as well. There is a shared vehicle that you can use if you have a valid driver’s license.
Our preference is to have prospective apprentices come tour the farm, but will do FaceTime/Zoom tours if necessary. We will require a minimum of 2 meetings with any prospect prior to making a decision. We will not have a trial period; it is our greatest hope that we and you will make a carefully considered decision and commitment.
We do not have a Farm Employees manual but would like to use this year as an opportunity to build one and to put SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) in place throughout the season with help from an apprentice. We provide ongoing verbal feedback. We will have a weekly check-in meeting.
We are a middle-aged, married (M/F) couple with 4 adult children (and 1 adult niece) who live off the premises. We love good food, cooking, and a neat environment. We have excellent neighbors and friends that often come by the farm when out for a walk. We do not use any alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes. No illegal drugs/activities permitted on farm property. Please see our website for the ‘how’ of our farming.
We are omnivores, but respect vegetarian/vegan or other eating differences. It would be safe to call us middle of the road liberals, non-religious, but having deep spirituality and a strong conviction that life in its many forms deserves respect. We do not care your age (as long as it’s more than 18), we do not care what color your hair is, who you love, your gender, religion, color, your past mistakes unless criminal, (we will do a criminal background check). We live and let live and would hope for the same in you. We welcome your human-ness, abilities/disabilities, provided you are physically, mentally/emotionally and intellectually able to learn and do the job as it is offered.