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Quail Hill Farm Advanced Apprenticeship Program

Quail Hill Farm serves over 250 Summer Share member families through a highly unique biweekly pick-your-own CSA model as well as a 70-family Winter Share. During the pandemic shutdown, we turned our focus to food access programming, and in so doing rolled out a sliding scale fee structure for our CSA members and also grow for a 200-family Farm-to-Food Pantry program with a local partner organization. QHF also markets produce to restaurants, natural food stores, and a farmers' market. The Quail Hill Farm crop list contains over 500 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

The farm has trained over 120 apprentice farmers, many of whom are still involved in agriculture across the US.

The farm community also includes a mature apple orchard, peach trees, raspberries, a few hives of bees, a flock of hens and ducks, and a diversity of birds on the flyway. The farm, using 3 greenhouses, 5 tractors, extensive irrigation, and a healthy collection of hoes, offers both a Summer and a Winter Share.

“I completed 2 seasons at QHF. When I started, I hadn’t ever seen certain veggies growing — I even remember crying tears of joy the first time I saw a flowering artichoke plant. By my second season, I was comfortable doing solo tractor work. I am forever grateful for the accelerated opportunity to learn in this beautiful environment with such caring and hardworking people.”

Tori, Quail Hill Farm Apprentice

The goal of the Quail Hill Farm advanced apprenticeship is to create the ideal conditions for beginning farmers to develop their farm management skills and understanding of organic farm systems. We design this position in the interest of bridging the gap that commonly exists between first or second year farm apprenticeships and the skills required for more advanced farm management positions. Our apprenticeship is designed to allow each member of our crew to experience most aspects of our farm management system, learning through the course of a full season on a diverse, multi-species fruit and vegetable farm.

We prefer candidates with a full season of mixed vegetable farming at 5-10 acres (or more!). We ask that they are hard workers, are self-motivated, and have a penchant for positivity in all weather conditions. Apprentices must be able to work and communicate well with a diverse group of co-workers, volunteers, and farm members.

Participation in mandatory tractor safety and defensive driving courses, time management skills, and a sprightly sense of humor are essential. Current driver’s license and ability to operate manual transmissions are helpful.

We value timely and direct feedback, and use pre-, mid-, and postseason self-evaluations to measure the apprentices’ individual learning goals. All staff will also participate in ongoing discussions related to racial equity and social justice issues as they play out locally, nationally, contemporaneously, and historically.

In exchange, we offer free shared housing close to the farm, an hourly minimum wage ($15/hr), produce and flowers from the farm, paid time off, and a beautiful summer close to the Atlantic Ocean. We follow a Tuesday-Saturday work week, and in the high season work approximately 42.5 hours per week. Monthly weekend duties are scheduled in advance.

We also offer many educational opportunities for our apprentices, including: Attending the NOFA summer conference, participation in local CRAFT* events, access to the farm library, and farm walks with our managers to discuss different topics in our fields. Being a project of a Land Trust, we also offer our advanced apprentices the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of various land conservation issues.

*Our apprentices participate in a vibrant CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) network now established on the East End of Long Island.

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