Community Harvest Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit farm with locations in North Grafton and Harvard, Mass. Our mission is to build healthy communities through volunteer farming and nutrition education. Each year our sites host over 8,000 volunteers who work together to grow and donate an average of 270,000 pounds of produce each year to local hunger relief agencies such as the Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings, and more.
We are currently seeking an Orchard Assistant to work under the direction of our Orchard Manager at our Harvard site, the Prospect Hill Orchard. This 75-acre property includes approximately 30 acres of apples, an acre of peaches, an acre of asparagus, and a small hops yard. The vast majority of our apples are grown for donation and harvest from late August to late October, with a small portion sold to select wholesale partners.
The right candidate will have experience in orchard and/or other agricultural work, will be self-motivated, have a friendly personality, and enjoy working with individuals of all ages and abilities. See below for more information.
Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and 2-3 references to Orchard Manager Susan Conant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Orchard Assistant is responsible for assisting the Orchard Manager by executing all agriculture operations at the Prospect Hill Orchard site and by creating a positive volunteer experience for all visitors.
This is a year-round, blended position with the following hours:
- 40 hours per week September to April
- 20 hours per week May to August
Duties and responsibilities
- Assist in all orchard operations:
- Execute daily agricultural duties
- High-density maintenance
- Equipment maintenance
- Execute harvest duties
- Processing and packing
- Assist with distribution partners
- Execute skilled/restricted farm activities after necessary training
- Assist in all volunteer operations:
- Work with Team Leaders to plan volunteer sessions
- Oversee and work with volunteer groups
- Provide a positive volunteer experience
- Compensation: $14 per hour
- Time Off: 15 days of paid time off / 5 days of paid sick time / paid holidays from September 1 to April 30
- Employer-sponsored health insurance with 50% of coverage paid by CHP
- Employer-sponsored 401k plan (no match)
- 2 years of agricultural experience, preferably in an orchard setting
- 1 year of tractor experience
- Knowledge of IPM and a Pesticide Applicator License a plus
- If you do not have a PAL, training will be provided
- Ability to lift 50 pounds
- Ability to work in all types of weather including rain and snow
- Excellent communication skills
- Positive, self-starting attitude
On Tuesday, June 12th Bob Dascanio, his wife Jo, their daughter Maria and Wayne McAuliffe our Volunteer Program Manager were guests of the Kraft Foundation at Gillette Stadium where Bob was awarded a 2018 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award. Bob was selected from a list of over 400 submissions as one of the 26 New Englanders recognized by the Kraft Foundation for exemplary service to their communities. A luncheon and awards ceremony was held to honor and pay tribute to each individual and their contributions to service. We are really proud of the fact that Bob was selected and that we are able to hold up one of our own as a shining example in our community.
If you don’t already know Bob he is our longest serving Team Leader and has volunteered countless hours over the years leading groups in the field. In addition, he has helped to recruit individuals and volunteer groups that continue to give back here at our farms. Like all of our Team Leaders he is always willing to talk about the work that we do and we appreciate having him as an advocate for our work. On top of all of this he has been instrumental in helping his church with a feeding program and regularly can be found volunteering at both the Treasure Valley Scout Reservation and the Ecotarium. How he has found time for all of this work is beyond us, but we are really lucky to have him on our team.
Please join us in congratulating Bob on this momentous award and for all that he has done to advance our mission over the years. Great work Bob!
The beginning of June is always an exciting time here at the farm as our newest crop of interns arrive for the summer. Some of these students may have ended classes one day and the very next day find themselves here at the farm. That’s the type of commitment and drive that these students apply to spending their time here learning while they help us drive our mission forward. Over the summer they will not only be able to dabble in their specific area of interest on our farms but they will also have the opportunity to learn from our staff, partner agencies and many of our regular volunteer visitors. Our hope is that they will leave us with a much more thorough understanding of our work and a vision of how they will apply that to their future.
This year’s group comes to us from as close as Clark University and the College of the Holy Cross right here in Worcester. Also represented this year are Middlebury College, University of Virginia, University of Vermont and Rhode Island School of Design. Ranging from rising sophomores to recent college graduates we are really proud that this group of students chose to spend their summer with us. After two weeks here on the farm this team has already seen quite a bit of action and met many of our diverse volunteer group. If you are on the farm please say hello to Haley, Amy, Sarah, Scott, Sara, Allyson and Steven and help us welcome them to the Community Harvest Project Team!
Support healthy eating and engaged minds by supporting our Intern Program!
Did you know that we grow more than fruits and vegetables on our farms? Through our leadership programs we’re also growing the next generation of healthy eaters and hunger relief advocates! Our farms are classrooms where lessons come to life. Students come to us as interns from local colleges where they learn many farm skills, but also they visit our hunger relief partners, take cooking classes, and learn the inner workings of a small nonprofit. They then take their newfound knowledge and skills out into the community to make a difference.
Their internships are shaping their careers and the future of our community.
Our recent interns have gone on to do incredible work. Joel, Claire and Matt are just three of many interns making a difference at local nonprofits today. Joel is now the Development Coordinator at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, an organization dedicated to facilitating the rescue and distribution of fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. Claire is now the Outreach Coordinator at Community Science Institute, helping to foster and support environmental monitoring to educate the public about natural resources. And Matt, is now the Marketing & PR Coordinator at Oldways, working to preserve and promote traditional foods.
As you read this letter our 2018 interns are arriving and beginning their summer of learning and discovery. Please donate today to support this and our other farm and nutrition programs.
Together we can create healthy and engaged communities through volunteer farming and nutrition education.
We hope to see you on the farm soon so we can introduce you to our new crop of interns. Thank you for your support!
DONATE ONLINE! bit.ly/SupportCHP2018
All donations are 100% tax deductible.
Join us for our first Sunflower Festival at the barn! This summer event will celebrate one of our favorite summer flowers with activities for all ages, including:
- A Sunflower Maze in the fields for families to find their way through.
- Pick your own sunflowers and zinnias to take home.
- Summer activities for the kids.
- Take photos with the sunflowers as a gorgeous backdrop.
- Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with fun lawn games, or grab a bite from on-site food trucks.
- And of course, ice cream!
Tickets are $10 per adult and include 5 sunflowers or zinnias (additional sunflowers are $1 each). Adult tickets do NOT include kids activities; a $5 Kids Pass will be available for purchase the day of the event.
BUY TICKETS ONLINE: http://bit.ly/CHPSunflowerFest
-Farm to Table Dinner-
Join us for a beautiful evening in the fields for our very first Farm to Table Dinner!
Attendees will be treated to a delicious dinner by Struck Catering using our local ingredients and drinks. Start the evening with a tour of the neighboring William’s Brigham Hill Gardens, and a chance to take a sunset stroll through our flower fields. Best of all your ticket purchase will give back to your community; each ticket includes a $40 donation to support our hunger relief efforts, all year long.
Groups of friends are encouraged, and we hope to see you there!
BUY TICKETS ONLINE: http://bit.ly/CHPFarmToTable
The theme for last month’s cooking class for 9-12 year olds was The Nutrient Games! We played a board game made by Leanne Matthews, who was an intern last fall. Leanne’s game focuses on different ailments you may encounter in life, like breaking a bone on the playground, having dry skin, or getting hungry halfway through the morning. A certain nutrient is suggested to help with the ailment, and you also collect different foods as you progress around the board. So to heal after a broken bone find foods with calcium, to help your dry skin you look for foods with beta carotene, and to stay full all morning you find foods with fiber. Pairing the ailments with the nutrients that helps cure them advances you around the board towards a healthy future!
For the cooking portion of the class we cooked with superfoods and made a chickpea salad, chia pudding, and fresh rolls. The chia pudding is always a favorite: all it takes to put together is stirring, and you get to watch the magic as the chia seeds absorb the liquid to make a pudding texture. Chia is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium which make for a super-powered, plant-based pudding.
Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
- 1 ½ cups milk (almond, soy, or dairy milk)
- ⅓ cup (63 g) chia seeds
- ¼ cup (24 g) cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch sea salt
- optional: ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- optional: ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- Add all ingredients except maple syrup to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Add maple syrup and whisk again until combined.
- Let rest covered in the fridge overnight or at least 3-5 hours (or until it’s achieved a pudding-like consistency).
- Leftovers keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days, though best when fresh.