Three Charm Farm

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 36 adult goats and sheep, depending on the season. We also have a few chickens, a couple of turkeys, and sometimes we raise
a few pigs for meat production. There are beautiful perennial beds, we plant about 1,000 garlic every year, and an old rhubarb bed that produces enough for us to sell.

We are considering a few options, both part-time and full-time. In the spring during our birthing season and early milking (end of March – mid-June), we need a person to be full time or close to it! From mid-June through October 1st, we would consider a part-time apprentice. The minimum stay is 2.5 months. Year-round positions are possible. We would be open to ‘sharing’ an Apprentice with another local farm!!

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. 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. It is a peaceful place with kind neighbors.

We are a small farm but really busy for 3 seasons. This year, we are expecting about 50 babies, most of which will be sold at the start of summer. We also have a few chickens, a couple of turkeys, sometimes pigs; rhubarb, garlic, and perennial beds. Our vegetable and herb garden is small, with the main crop being garlic. Much of the garlic is used in our cheese products, 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. We are expanding our marketing efforts to both on-farm CSA customers, veggie farm CSA’s, 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 in pastures or gardens. We use Western medicine for animals when prevention and natural remedies are not adequate.

The work of an apprentice depends on the season.

● March-May: Birthing Season!!! Feeding/Health Care/Management of
all the animals; spring cleaning of barn; milking 1x-2x’s/day; cleaning equipment, fencing repairs as needed, garden prep. Babies are weaned and sold. This is by far, the busiest time of year.

● June – July, August – September: Milking, cheesemaking (and everything that goes with it), animal care & management; rotational grazing; bringing in hay from local farms; harvesting/curing of garlic. Assist in packaging cheese, delivering to customers; fencing repair, and other maintenance. Planting, maintaining, and garden harvest; canning and preserving

● October-November: Same as summer plus breeding season begins! Planting of garlic, finishing harvest, putting the garden to bed; start prepping for winter.

● If Full Time you are expected to work 5-6 days per week, 40-50 hours.
● Part-Time is a conversation and is considered on a case-by-case basis.
● All positions need to be able to lift 50+lbs., work as a team and independently (once trained), be able to take direction with a positive attitude
● We prefer that you have a valid drivers license.
● Candidates that have 1 season of any kind of farm experience are given preference. This cannot be your first job.
● Food Safety Training/Certificates/Experience are a huge plus
● If you have sheep/goat milking experience, we really want to talk to you!

The milking task is something that we will need the most help with throughout the season and we will ensure that you are fully trained by having you observe, do, and be observed. There is a lot of time and training that will be provided to ensure your comfort & mastery of milking; animal/udder health; animal behavior/emotional-physical safety; milk safety/hygiene/sanitation; equipment training, cheesemaking, etc.. We will teach you whatever you would like to learn if we have the knowledge and experience!

Since we are a small farm, everyone is expected to clean stalls, scrub buckets, pull weeds, and anything else you see listed in this post. While there may be things/tasks you must do here, we will do our best to have you do the things you enjoy/want to learn, most.

This is a very physically demanding positionWe take the physical/emotional
health and safety of our animals (and ourselves) very seriously and expect an apprentice to do the same.

  • 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 am and my husband is a part-time self employed carpenter/renovation contractor

For full-time apprentices who are able to make a 3 month or more commitment, we offer $200/week per person as a base stipend, but if you have milking/cheesemaking/animal husbandry experience, there is room for negotiating a higher stipend. On-farm housing included.  $100/mo food stipend along with milk, cheese, yogurt, and meat from our farm.  You may also grow your own food in our garden.  Part-time apprentices (less than 3-month commitments) and those who do not require housing on-farm, we would be happy to have a conversation about compensation.

Yes, on-farm if an apprentice needs it.

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. We have a small, renovated camper (toilet/shower in barn/house) and/or guest room in the farmhouse with a shared bath.

Our preference is to have prospective apprentices come tour the farm, possibly spend a half day around 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 vaccinated for Covid and expect an Apprentice to be the same (though we can have a conversation about why you are not and will consider this information.)

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.

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 about 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 may 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.

If you have a resume, please include it. If you don’t – tell us about paid and unpaid work and experience that you have (in all areas.) Tell us about your education. If minimal – tell us what you liked to learn most about. How do you learn best; do you learn by reading, seeing something done? Doing it yourself, having it described? What makes it hard for you to learn and can we help with that? How? What do you want to learn by being here at the farm? What makes you a really good candidate for this position.

Three Charm Farm

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