Vegetable Manager

Location: Millbrook, New York (Dutchess County)

Term: Full-time

Salary/Pay: Competitive based on experience

Deadline to Apply: 10/31/2020

How to Apply: [email protected]

Stonewood Farm

Stonewood Farm is looking for an experienced vegetable grower to manage our 1.5-acre market garden operation located just outside the Village of Millbrook in New York’s pastoral Hudson Valley. We are USDA certified organic, grow year-round, and have been selling diversified vegetables, flowers, herbs, berries, and eggs to local wholesale accounts since 2013.

The market garden is the central feature of our 15-acre, deer-fenced farm. The relevant infrastructure includes a glass propagation greenhouse, a heated high tunnel, an equipment storage barn, a chicken house, and a newly-constructed “cookhouse” that houses our washing station, kitchen, walk-in cooler/freezer, root cellar, and event space.

Beginning in 2021, the cookhouse and our new “guest barn” will enable us to welcome visitors and overnight guests to Stonewood to learn and share common interests related to food, gardening, health, agriculture, and the environment. With the market garden as the focus, we will host on-farm educational activities, tours, events, and dinners. 

These on-farm activities, in turn, will enable Stonewood’s not-for-profit arm to continue and grow our charitable work. We currently work with local schools and like-minded nonprofit organizations to create learning opportunities and co-founded and make weekly donations to our local food pantry. Our charitable work culminates each season with a Christmas Day supper that is open to all members of our community who are in need of kinship and a good meal.

Job Description

As Vegetable Manager, you will be responsible for developing and maintaining Stonewood’s market garden to ensure that it is productive, inviting, very well maintained, and aesthetically pleasing. Given Stonewood’s small size, this is a hands-on position that requires physical labor. You will have the opportunity to recruit seasonal support to assist you as needed. The Vegetable Manager will work closely with a team that includes the property owners, our Head Gardener, our Property Manager, and chefs. 

Responsibilities:

•    Develop a crop production plan for the market garden field and high tunnel based on wholesale market demand and the needs for our on-farm events;
•    Supervise, plan and participate in all aspects of the market garden operations including propagation, cultivation, field prep, transplanting, weed and pest management, and harvesting using organic methods; 
•    Process, package, and market crops; 
•    Monitor and be accountable for the progress of all field work;
•    Install and maintain drip irrigation systems; 
•    Keep and maintain all records for compliance with our organic certification;
•    Perform repairs and maintenance of market garden infrastructure and equipment;
•    Order materials and supplies;
•    Create internship and volunteer programs; 
•    Supervise, mentor, train and work alongside junior staff and interns; 
•    Create workshops and learning opportunities for our visitors and guests; 
•    Work with chefs and the owners to supply produce and flowers for our on-farm dinners; and
•    Maintain a clean, safe, and organized work environment.

Qualifications:

•    A minimum of three years’ experience growing vegetables and managing a small scale commercial vegetable operation using organic methods;
•    Background in the operation and maintenance of greenhouses and high tunnels;
•    Working knowledge of composting systems, soil fertility management, and organic pest, disease and weed management;
•    Experience mentoring and managing interns, seasonal workers, and hourly staff;
•    Ability to safely operate a tractor and other farm equipment and tools;
•    Demonstrable experience installing and maintaining drip irrigation systems; 
•    Experience or interest in raising chickens for egg production; and
•    Comfortably able to lift 50 lbs. and a valid U.S. drivers license.

Additional Beneficial Skills:

•    Cut flower production and arranging;
•    Speaking in public;
•    Certified organic methods and recordkeeping;
•    Ability to speak Spanish; and
•    Experience with Microsoft Office.

We employ a “market gardening” approach to farming, growing on a small scale using intensive methods. We rely primarily on small machinery (we have a BCS tiller) and simple hand tools for field cultivation. We also have a compact tractor with front loader and tiller. You should have a similar small-scale farming approach and mindset.

This position is designed to lead and inspire others. You will report directly to the property owners but be largely independent. You must be:

•    hardworking, an organized manager of your time, enthusiastic about our mission, and committed to being a key player in our organization. 
•    articulate and a people-person who can build and foster relationships with coworkers, guests, customers, and the local community.
•    a self-starter, resourceful, energetic, detail-oriented with an eye for both quality and efficiency, very neat, and respectful of your surroundings.
•    able to multi-task and manage the varying intensity of work throughout the growing season. 

Your work at Stonewood Farm should lead to a sense of accomplishment and pride.

The position is full time, year-round, and requires 40 to 50 hours per week during the main growing season with reduced hours off season. Some early morning, weeknight and weekend work is required as needed. Compensation and benefits are competitive based on experience and include generous paid vacation time. A one bedroom, on-site apartment, including utilities, can be part of the package. No pets (we have a farm dog) and tobacco/drug-free. Check us out at www.stonewoodny.com and on Instagram/Facebook @stonewoodny.

If you are qualified and would like to be part of our unique venture as an emerging agritourism destination, we would like to know more about you. Please send your resume, a cover letter stating why you want to work at Stonewood, and three references to [email protected].