Now Hiring: Orchard Manager

Community Harvest Project is a 501(c)3 non profit farm that engages volunteers to grow fruits and vegetables to provide to those experiencing hunger. Through our volunteer farming programs and community partnerships, we bring thousands of community members together each year to improve access to healthy foods for individuals and families across central and eastern Massachusetts.

We are currently seeking an Orchard Manager to work under the direction of our Executive Director at our Harvard site, the Prospect Hill Community Orchard. Our current Orchard Manager will be leaving CHP in 2022, so this role will work in tandem with her for part of this season and then take over the role. This 75 acre property includes approximately 27 acres of apple trees, an acre of peaches and an acre of asparagus. The vast majority of the crops are grown for donation to our hunger relief partner agencies.

Schedule: This is a full time, year round position at our Harvard Location working 40 hours per week. Monday through Friday schedule with occasional night/ weekend events and occasional work at our Grafton farm (all communicated ahead of time).

Location: On-Site at 115 Prospect Hill Rd, Harvard, MA, 01451

Job Description: The Orchard Manager is responsible for executing orchard tasks both individually and with volunteer groups to grow fresh produce for hunger relief. The right candidate will have experience working in an orchard, be self-motivated, have a friendly personality, have strong written and verbal communication skills, be comfortable public speaking, enjoy working with individuals of all ages and abilities, and be able to thrive in a dynamic non-profit organization working in support of our mission.

Duties and Responsibilities

● Execute and oversee all orchard management activities including:
○ Mowing, spraying, pruning, scouting for pests and determining appropriate
control strategies, fertilizing, irrigating, planting, thinning, harvesting and post
harvest storage
○ Yearly planning and record keeping of crop planting, crop nutrition, and pest
management plan
○ Inventory control and ordering of all needed tools, supplies, and plants
○ Safely operate farm vehicles and equipment
○ Oversee mixing, loading, and application of pesticides in accordance with label
required rates and procedures
● Staff management
○ Hire, train, schedule, and manage orchard staff (Orchard Coordinator, Orchard
Equipment Operator, Orchard Interns)
○ Complete annual staff reviews
● Volunteer coordination
○ Work with Volunteer Program Manager on volunteer activities and scheduling for
labor needs
○ Work directly with volunteer groups and volunteer Team Leaders to teach farm
skills and accomplish farm tasks
● Produce distribution and sales
○ Manage produce distribution with hunger relief partners, vendors, and volunteers
○ Maintain distribution records
○ Oversight and management of orchard stand sales
● Equipment and property maintenance
○ Oversight and management of property and facilities including brush clearing,
snow plowing, tree removal, fence repair, minor building maintenance, scheduling
of facilities maintenance needs, and cleaning of facilities
○ Troubleshoot and perform basic maintenance and repairs to farm equipment, and
schedule any other needed maintenance and repairs
○ Oversee equipment replacement by researching appropriate equipment for farm
tasks, collecting vendor quotes, preparing proposals for purchase, purchasing
approved equipment, and selling used equipment
● Yearly budget planning in conjunction with the Executive Director and monthly expense
reporting
● Community outreach
○ Represent CHP at workshops and community events
○ Maintain relationships with community groups
○ Participate in tours with donors and public figures
○ Help with CHP and community events
● Occasional work at our Grafton location (events, training, team building)
Qualifications:
● Bachelor’s degree with agricultural focus OR equivalent experience
● Enjoy working with and teaching volunteers of all ages and abilities
● Massachusetts Pesticide Applicator License and experience making safe chemical spray
applications compliant with the law
● Experience with Integrated Pest Management practices
● Working knowledge or tree fruit production (apples and peaches) and crop care
practices
● Knowledge of best harvest practices and post harvest storage practices of apples and
peaches
● Experience using and maintaining farm equipment (pick up trucks, tractors, fork lifts,
mowers, sprayers, fertilizer spreaders, mowers, power tools, cultivation equipment)
● Excellent communication skills
● Ability to lift 50 pounds
● Ability to work in all weather conditions
● Flexibility to work some weekend days
Benefits:
● Compensation: $22-24/hour, depending on experience
● Time off: 20 days PTO (160 hours), 5 days of paid sick time, and 13 paid holidays.
● Potential health care stipend if candidate is enrolled in eligible Health Connector
insurance
● Employer-sponsored 401k plan (no match)
● Education/workshop fees for necessary licensure and credits
Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and 2-3 references by May 30th to susan@community-harvest.org.

Community Harvest Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with locations in North Grafton and Harvard, MA. Our mission is to engage and educate volunteers to grow fresh fruits and vegetables for hunger relief. Each year our sites host over 7,000 volunteers who work together to grow and donate an average of 270,000 pounds of produce to local hunger relief agencies such as the Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings, and more.

Now Hiring: Seasonal Farm Assistant

2022 Seasonal Farm Assistant – Community Harvest Project, North Grafton, MA

We are currently seeking a Farm Assistant to work under the direction of our Farm Manager at the Brigham Hill Community Farm site, located in North Grafton.  The ideal candidate will have at least one year of experience in agricultural work, will be motivated, have a friendly personality, and enjoy working with individuals of all ages and abilities. This unique position includes daily physical/agricultural work as well as effective and  friendly volunteer engagement.  Working with the public is a daily responsibility.  Leadership and group communication are regular and required aspects of this position. See below for more qualifications.

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and 2-3 professional references by March 7, 2022 to dave@community-harvest.org.

Schedule:  This is a blended, seasonal position, spanning April through October —  20 hours per week during months of April and October  (days flexible) / 40 hours per week May through August (Tuesday through Saturday).  

Compensation: $16.00 per hour; 5 days paid sick time; paid holidays May through August

Role Description: This position focuses on providing a positive volunteer experience and growing high quality produce suited for donation to area hunger relief agencies.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Assist in all farming operations:
    • Execute daily agricultural duties
    • Basic property maintenance (mowing, brush removal, etc)
    • Monitor equipment and recommend related repairs/replacements
    • Execute daily produce distributions
    • Execute skilled/restricted farm activities
  • Assist in volunteer operations
    • Set up and support volunteer activities and projects as directed by Farm staff
    • Oversee and lead volunteer groups, ensuring a positive experience as well as proper completion of tasks
  • Assist with special projects (ie pruning, light construction, etc), as assigned by the Farm Manager or Executive Director
  • Adhere to all safety guidelines and ensure their execution

Qualifications

  • 1+ year of agricultural experience
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Ability to work in all weather including rain and snow
  • Excellent personal and communication skills
  • Positive, self-starting attitude

Community Harvest Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with locations in North Grafton and Harvard, MA. Our mission is to engage and educate volunteers to grow fresh fruits and vegetables for hunger relief. Each year our sites host
over 7,000 volunteers who work together to grow and donate an average of 270,000 pounds of produce to local hunger relief agencies such as the Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings, and more.

Community Harvest Project celebrates certification as a Service Enterprise.

We are pleased to announce that CHP has received our certification as a Points of Light Service Enterprise sponsored by the Massachusetts Service Alliance and the MetroWest Nonprofit Network. Service Enterprise certification is a prestigious accomplishment for an organization. In fact, organizations that certify join the top 11 percent of nonprofits nationwide in volunteer management and organizational performance. Service Enterprise certification indicates that the organization has the capability and management expertise to strategically leverage volunteers to improve the performance of their organization.

“This Service Enterprise Program has highlighted our success in organizing volunteers in support of our mission while challenging us to think differently and explore additional opportunities for growth. It has refocused our staff and board on the importance of leading with volunteerism and on expanding our reach with all programming. In addition, the certification process has provided us with tools and training resources that will continue to be useful as we evaluate all facets of our operation and grow for years to come.” said Wayne McAuliffe, Manager of Volunteer Programs at CHP.

Nutritional education and access to fresh produce changes lives.

Photo Provided by The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.

As we look forward to everything that 2021 has in store for us, our partners, and our volunteers, we want to take a moment to take a look back on some successes of 2020. One such success is the nutritional education and farm share distribution program run by our hunger relief partner, The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden. The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden is a cancer support center dedicated to providing cancer support, therapeutic services and education to all people facing cancer.


For a fifth consecutive year, participants of the LiveWell Program received monthly boxes of food pantry items including grains, spices, legumes and some of our produce, paired with specialized instruction from local chef Amy Noordzji to help incorporate the novel nutrition into their regular diets. 
Over 68% of participants in the LiveWell program reported that their consumption of healthy, fresh produce was limited by the cost of that produce.


“Due to COVID-19 and income uncertainty earlier this year, we cut down monthly spending by buying less perishable food.” – A LiveWell Program Participant.


Because of the food shares provided by the LiveWell program from our farm, participants experienced an up to 65% reduction in nutritional concerns and a 50% improvement in overall being, showing that ACCESS to fresh produce paired with nutritional lessons and group support solves a vast range of nutritional concerns and problems. 


Because of the access to fresh foods, 84% of the LiveWell Participants ate all of the vegetables provided in the biweekly shares and formed a healthy eating habit – almost all participants more than doubled their original fruit and vegetable consumption! 

311,500 individual servings to feed our neighbors.

July was an extremely busy month at both our locations! Over 69,000 pounds have been donated for hunger relief so far this season! Our farm team has been working day in and day out to harvest all the produce still in our fields. Just this week, okra, cucumbers, cabbage and tomatoes have been picked, washed and packed with the help of our wonderful volunteers. Our orchard has started their harvest season as well!


Thank you to the following July funders for their support of our mission to provide fresh, healthy produce for individuals in our community experiencing hunger. Ludcke Foundation, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Bridging Peace of Tides Foundation, Fletcher Foundation, Mathworks, The Vela Foundation and Bristol Myers Squibb have granted critical funds that will help us continue to harvest for hunger relief throughout the 2020 season.

Volunteers Needed!!

Your help is needed at our Harvard Orchard, It’s apple season! 


It’s time to begin getting our apples off the trees and all we need now is some group volunteers to fill in our schedule. There is no better activity than being outside in an apple orchard on a fall morning. These apples will be donated directly to hunger relief partners throughout Central Massachusetts making your time a great way to support our community. We have strict social distancing protocols in place and the work is outdoors in the orchard or in our open air packing room to keep you safe during your visit. 


We have a significant amount of volunteers needed from now through the end of October. Consider organizing a group visit with your colleagues, neighbors, family and friends. To sign up and request a volunteer date please fill out and submit this form. Any questions, please email Wayne McAuliffe directly at wayne@community-harvest.org

Over 36,000 Lbs Harvested For Hunger Relief So Far!!

We are in the middle of our busiest season around the farm – harvest season! Our farm team and volunteers have been harvesting vegetables everyday including eggplant, tomatoes, okra, tomatillos and zucchini. Carrots and beets were planted just last week and our second planting of summer squash and zucchini has germinated and will be ready for harvest in late August and into September.


To date, our team has harvested over 36,316 pounds of vegetables; that is over 166,565 individual servings going to neighbors in our community currently experiencing hunger. And there are still thousands of pounds of produce in the fields to harvest. If you are interested in volunteering with us this summer – we would love to have you! We are now holding early shifts from 7am to 9am on Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition to our 9am-12pm shifts Monday-Saturday. We are also now accepting group volunteer requests (25 people or less) for our orchard schedule starting August 28 through October 9th. For more information and to signup, click here.