Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment
Wolfe’s Neck Farm is located right on the coast in Freeport, Maine. On 626 acres of diverse ecosystems, we farm, educate, conduct agricultural research, and invite visitors to engage with the food system and the role we all can play in building a more just and sustainable future.
Our apprenticeship runs from May 1st- Nov 1 and we hope that apprentices can stay the entire duration, but exceptions can be made.
Wolfe’s Neck Farm is located right on the coast in Freeport, Maine. On 626 acres of diverse ecosystems, we farm, educate, conduct agricultural research, and invite visitors to engage with the food system and the role we all can play in building a more just and sustainable future. We are only 25 minutes from Portland, 15 minutes from Brunswick, and less than 10 minutes from downtown Freeport. WNC has three miles of nature trails, a campground, and a great estuary to swim in. We sit right next to a state park full of great hiking trails.
Fruit & Vegetable Farming apprentices help care for 5.5 acres of MOFGA certified diversified fruit and vegetable production and collaborate with our educational programming. We are chemical-free, so we use no pesticides or herbicides, and we work to farm as ecologically as possible.
Yes, we are MOFGA certified, and we are also chemical-free
This is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring farmers with little to no experience who are interested in farming, diversifying farm revenues through programming and value-added production, and agricultural education. Apprentices will learn the ins and outs of organic farming. Everything from crop planning, seeding, transplanting, cultivating, harvesting, preparing for market, marketing products, organizing a CSA, hands on equipment experience and much more! We also produce a value-added product line that apprentices will engage with (jams, pickles, tomato sauce). Since we have an environmental mission, apprentices will also participate in cover cropping, soil research, and other on-farm initiatives. This experience is 70% production farming, 10% formal classroom sessions, 10% Value-Added/Canning production, 5% off-farm educational site visits.
Comfortability working with youth and the public. Strong work ethic, attention to detail, and ability to work quickly. Must work well with a team and be willing to work alone. Friendly and passionate about seasonal and sustainable food, must be able to lift at least 50lbs as heavy lifting is a daily practice. Ability to work long days outdoors during the summer. Valid driver’s license is required. Farm work can be extremely rewarding, but it also can be tedious, exhausting and frustrating. A good sense of humor and a positive outlook on life is always appreciated.
Apprentices are expected to be punctual, hard-working, courteous, kind, and professional. Must have a passion for sustainable farming and interest/experience in sharing this passion through education. Labor will be physically demanding, and hours will be flexible in both directions (e.g. there will be times when we’ve powered through transplanting and will get off early to go swimming and other times when we put in long hours to harvest all the strawberries). Farming is not a 9-5 job, and there will need to be an understanding of the demands of the bigger picture. At least 40 hours and a 5-day work week will be expected. A work plan will be reviewed during a weekly meeting, and there will be regular check-ins. Following training, apprentices will be expected to perform some tasks independently. Apprentices are expected to be comfortable performing on-farm tasks when managers are absent.
The apprenticeship is 70% production farming, 10% formal classroom sessions, 10% Value-Added/Canning production, and 5% off-farm educational site visits. We prioritize education, and most tasks are done as a group, especially in the first few months. We have classroom time at least twice a month where we will focus on different farm-related topics (pest management, season extension, orchard care and maintenance). We also have bi-weekly check-ins to make sure that apprentices learning goals are being met.
Yes, I work full-time at WNC farming and running this apprenticeship program.
Apprentices will receive a stipend of $500/ week and we have low-cost communal housing available. Apprentices also have access to free usage of bikes, kayaks, and canoes, discounted or free ocean front camping, free fruits and vegetables, and discounted farm products (meat, eggs).
Yes, On-farm. Many employees also live in Portland or Brunswick.
We recommend an on-farm visit if you are local but zoom works just as well!
We have bi-weekly check-ins to make sure that apprentices learning goals are being met. We have a written employee manual, an HR employee, and all apprentices are familiarized with our organizational structure so they can seek assistance from any employee if needed.
I am passionate about sustainable, ecologically friendly agriculture and sharing that knowledge and experience with others! I love hiking, camping, and skiing and spending time outdoors.