*Perennial Fruit Manager-In-Training*
Hutchins Farm, in Concord, Massachusetts, is looking for candidates for a
newly created position to help manage our 10 acres of certified organic
apples and one acre of certified organic blueberries. Following the
retirement of John Bemis, who established our orchards and managed them for
the past 40 years, we are seeking a motivated, inquisitive and reliable
individual to step into a management role over the 2016 season with the
assistance and guidance of the other managers at Hutchins Farm.
*Responsibilities will include:*
*Apples:* Management of the apple orchards comprises four major tasks
during the 2016 season – pruning during the winter, mechanical application
of organic spray materials during the spring and early summer, mowing in
the summer and fall, and harvest of the crop. The Manager-in-Training will
receive assistance for the labor-intensive tasks of pruning and harvest,
but will be ultimately responsible for the efficient management of these
*Blueberries:* Management of the blueberries follows a similar pattern –
pruning in late winter, application of organic spray materials in the
spring mainly to suppress winter moth, deployment of bird netting in the
late spring, and mowing and perennial weed removal in the fall. Management
of the harvest will be a collaborative effort between the
Manager-In-Training and the other managers at Hutchins.
*Developing a Management Plan:* The Manager-In-Training will be responsible
for developing a management plan for the orchards and blueberries in
collaboration with the other managers at Hutchins Farm. This will include a
detailed orchard map, notes on spray applications, and other relevant
information, and could also include a plan for the removal of undesirable
varieties and the addition of new trees.
*Combination with other roles at Hutchins Farm:* The time commitment of
perennial fruit management is quite variable, requiring a lot of work in
the early part of the season for pruning and spraying, and (hopefully) a
lot of work late in the season for harvest. In the mid-season the
Manager-In-Training could move into another role in vegetable crop
production. This could mean that the Manager-In-Training would periodically
join the field crew to assist with the routine tasks in row crop
production, or could play a more specialized role, such as machinery
operation, marketing, or greenhouse management. The details of this
arrangement can be negotiated, and would depend on the interests of the
candidate and the requirements of the vegetable operation.
The Manager-In-Training will be provided with guidance and instruction from
the other managers at Hutchins Farm. However, the position will also
require self-directed learning through a variety of resources, including
reference literature on the farm, and conversations with other local
producers. The Manager-In-Training will be responsible for synthesizing
relevant information in order to develop efficient practices that will
allow the orchards to be run both responsibly and profitably.
The Manager-In-Training will be trained to operate our John Deere 5400N
orchard tractor, blast sprayer, and mowers, and other tractor-drawn
implements and to safely use a chainsaw for limbing and tree removal.
The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in organic perennial fruit
and vegetable production. The position will require a considerable amount
of independent work and decision-making, so candidates must be reliable,
responsible and have the ability to communicate well with the other
managers at Hutchins Farm both to receive instruction and critiques, and to
provide relevant information to the other managers about the perennial
Preference will be given to candidates who have some background in organic
agriculture and/or experience operating machinery.
The Perennial Fruit Manager-in-Training position is seasonal, running
from January 1, 2016 through November 15, 2016. Provided that the
Manager-In-Training excels in their role, we would consider offering the
Manager-In-Training a Manager position for the 2017 season onward with
additional independence and compensation.
We are still trying to determine compensation for the Manager-In-Training
position. However, it will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
Compensation will also depend on what kind of supplementary
responsibilities the applicant would like to assume in the vegetable
production operation during the periodic lulls in perennial fruit
All employees at Hutchins Farm are welcome to harvest vegetables and fruit
for themselves throughout the season.
Housing is not available.
Please send a resume, cover letter and contact information for two
references to Brian Cramer at br...@hutchinsfarm.com
aka 'Mr Honeycrisp'
UMass Cold Spring Orchard
393 Sabin St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
apple-crop mailing list