2017 Summer Farm Assistant

The Farm Assistant is responsible for assisting the Farm Manager and Farm Coordinator in executing all agriculture operations at the Community Harvest Project Grafton farm sites. This position assists in creating a positive volunteer experience for all visitors. Primary job location is North Grafton, with occasional visits to our orchard in Harvard, MA.

Responsibilities

  • Assist in all farming operations:
    • Executing daily agricultural duties
    • Executing daily produce distributions
    • Monitoring of equipment and recommending related repairs/replacements
    • Monitoring of safety plan and ensuring its execution
    • Execution of skilled/restricted farm activities
    • Assisting in basic property maintenance (mowing, limbs, etc)
  • Assist in all volunteer operations:
    • Overseeing volunteer groups and overseeing their proper completion of tasks
    • Working with volunteers throughout their assigned sessions
    • Ensuring a positive volunteer experience through all of the above
  • Assist the Orchard Manager in on special projects, as assigned by the Farm Manager or Executive Director

This is an hourly, part-time seasonal position.

Requirements, qualified applicants will:

  • Have interest and/or some experience in farming or gardening
  • Be an excellent communicator and be able to demonstrate previous leadership responsibility
  • Be able to lift farm equipment and/or produce weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Be prepared for work in outdoor weather conditions, we operate rain or shine
  • Work within a team or independently, be self-motivated, with great attention to detail
  • Have reliable transportation

Community Harvest Project (CHP), a 501(c)3 organization, is dedicated to improving access to healthy foods through community engagement.  Through their volunteer farming, education, and volunteer programs and partnerships, they bring thousands of community members together each year to build an engaged and healthier Worcester County.  In 2016 working together with over 9,800 volunteers they produced significant fresh produce resources for individuals and families in need throughout our community who otherwise may not have had access.  The produce is donated through numerous partner organizations such as The Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings Jeremiah’s Inn and The Hector Reyes House.  CHP operates at Brigham Hill Community Farm and White’s Farm in North Grafton, MA and at Prospect Hill Farm in Harvard, MA.

For more information about their programs and impact, please visit www.community-harvest.org.

Contact

To apply send letter of interest and resume to Bill Harris, Farm Manager, at bill@community-harvest.org

What’s New at Winter on the Farm

dsc_0116Winter on the Farm is one month away! Our February vacation camp for 4th-7th graders takes place 2/21-2/24, from 8:30am to 2:30pm. Sign up is by the day, so you can pick the 1,2,3, or all 4 days that work best in you and your camper’s schedules. Activities are different each day, but all focus on nutrition, hands-on cooking, plants, and the environment.

Even though there will likely be snow on the ground, we’ll still go outside every day to experience the winter wonderland around the farm! There is still plenty to explore and search for, like animal tracks, evidence of seeds, and identifying the flora and fauna in our midst.

DSC_0012.JPGDuring Winter on the Farm we focus on learning, tasting, and experimentation. Knowing what foods are healthy does little use if you don’t like to eat them! So we focus on learning a few key concepts, then providing many opportunities to taste healthy foods in different forms, like raw, cooked, or in different dishes. Campers are also given the chance to develop their own creations! We might learn the basics of salad dressing or personal pizzas, then give everyone the chance to make their own. We hope this personalization and ownership of healthy food can continue at home for happy and healthy eating.

When we aren’t exploring the great outdoors or cooking up a storm, we’ll do a variety of active games and creative projects to engage all learners. Space in this program is limited, so sign up early to reserve your camper’s spot! More information and sign up on our education page. Questions? Email mailto:tori@community-harvest.org.

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

 

Top 5 Benefits of Becoming a Monthly Grower

UNUM Interns at CHP on 7.5.16

Photo by Norm Eggert Photography

Our team knows YOU are the reason CHP continues to make a wonderful impact in our community! It only takes a small commitment from each of us to make to make a big difference on our farms for the year. A monthly gift of just $5 enables CHP to provide five pairs of sturdy and safe clippers for volunteers while $25 a month supports the purchase of seeds for an entire acre of crops! Every contribution is meaningful and our Monthly Growers know the impact they have when they come together each month.

Still not convinced? Here are the top benefits Monthly Growers enjoy:

  1. Unique updates from our farms
  2. Simplified monthly budgeting
  3. Special acknowledgements in our Annual Report
  4. Hassle-free donations and a convenient year-end tax receipt
  5. Making their gift go further by streamlining the donation process and providing dependable support for CHP’s mission

Your hard work and support each season enables us to grow and donate hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to those who need them most. Monthly Growers allow their contributions to reflect their ongoing commitment to our mission. Spread your impact throughout the year and become a Monthly Grower today!

CHP’s Monthly Growers program is an online recurring gifts program. Members sign up online and choose their monthly donation level to be automatically charged each month. At the end on each fiscal year, Monthly Growers are sent a year-end tax receipt with each itemized donation and their cumulative gift for the year. Community Harvest Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax-exempt to the extent permitted by law. To change or suspend your donation at any time, please contact claudia@community-harvest.org.

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

Photo by Norm Eggert Photography

2017 Summer Sustainable Farming Internship

Spend your summer at the only farm in Central Massachusetts that donates all of the fresh produce it grows to support the hunger relief network in Worcester County!  Work with a leading Central Massachusetts non-profit organization as they continue to improve operations and evaluate farm production.  Learn the basics of large scale sustainable farming and volunteer organizing while you spend your summer outdoors working with a diverse group of staff and volunteers.  Be part of the solution to hunger in Worcester County while exploring your future.

Responsibilities

Our Summer Farming Interns will participate fully in all aspects of operating a non-profit volunteer farming organization.  They will have direct hands on engagement in farming, opportunities to participate in special group projects and to assist in developing new programs/systems/ideas in order to continue CHP’s future growth.

Tasks include but not limited to:

  • Assist with farm tasks like maintenance (tending, harvesting, irrigating, mowing, etc.) and lead diverse groups of volunteer farmers in daily operational activities at our farms in North Grafton, MA
  • Assist with maintaining a positive volunteer experience for all who visit the farm
  • Complete projects in specific areas of interest (Marketing and Outreach, Education, Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Nutrition, Non-Profit Management, etc.)
  • Other tasks as needed

Requirements, qualified applicants will:

  • Have interest and/or some experience in farming or gardening
  • Be an excellent communicator and be able to demonstrate previous leadership responsibility
  • Be able to lift farm equipment and/or produce weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Be prepared for work in outdoor weather conditions, we operate rain or shine
  • Work within a team or independently, be self-motivated, with great attention to detail
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be available for 40 hours per week, June through August, working primarily morning hours with an occasional late afternoon/early evening or Saturday

Community Harvest Project (CHP), a 501(c)3 organization, is dedicated to improving access to healthy foods through community engagement.  Through their volunteer farming, education, and volunteer programs and partnerships, they bring thousands of community members together each year to build an engaged and healthier Worcester County.  In 2016 working together with over 9,800 volunteers they produced significant fresh produce resources for individuals and families in need throughout our community who otherwise may not have had access.  The produce is donated through numerous partner organizations such as The Worcester County Food Bank, Community Servings Jeremiah’s Inn and The Hector Reyes House.  CHP operates at Brigham Hill Community Farm and White’s Farm in North Grafton, MA and at Prospect Hill Farm in Harvard, MA.

For more information about their programs and impact, please visit www.community-harvest.org.

Contact

To apply send letter of interest and resume via e-mail to Wayne McAuliffe, Volunteer Program Manager, at wayne@community-harvest.org

Looking Forward to Summer and Our 2017 Intern Program

dsc_0012jpgIt goes without saying that from the time we begin planting seeds in later winter/early spring until the time we get our last crops out of the fields and get the farm ready for winter rest, this is a busy place.  One question that we often get asked is what do we do in the winter months.  From a volunteer standpoint this is one of the busiest times of the year as we prepare our programming, materials and recruiting for the needs of a new year.  On top of beginning to schedule the thousands of volunteers that we will have coming out to do the work of the farm this time is particularly important in recruiting for our Summer Intern Program.  As students begin to return to school after their long winter breaks they begin to focus on planning their summer months to explore opportunities and apply more learning to their future.

It seems funny that we are thinking about our summer intern program this early in the year doesn’t it?  The fact that we have been focused on this important part of our operation led to an interesting discussion over lunch last week.  We thought that we would check in with a few of our former interns and ask how the internship experience impacted them in making future decisions.  The emails that we received speak for themselves and we are really proud of all of the students that we have been able to work with over the years.  We are also very proud of our ability to share the great resources of our farms to impact students, their understanding of non-profit work and their futures.  If you know of a college student looking for an opportunity for this summer please let them know that CHP is an option!

Alex Cohen, CHP Intern Class of 2014, Clark University

Interning with CHP provided me with hands-on experience in both the nonprofit and environmental justice worlds. I had the opportunity and the pleasure of working with other employees as well as volunteers on something bigger than ourselves. I was also able to build relationships with other interns living and going to school in Worcester who I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Even though my summer internship was almost three years ago, I talked to one of the other interns as recently as last week, which I think speaks to the culture that CHP cultivates and their emphasis on people to people interaction. Because of the versatility of CHP’s internship program, I was able to farm and do research for them, which are now two things that I care about and continue to advocate for. CHP opened the door to food and environmental related policy work, which is a topic I am planning on pursuing during graduate school.

Tyler Buckhout, CHP Intern Class of 2015/16, College of the Holy Cross

In the summer of 2015, I spent most of my days serving as a college intern at Community Harvest Project with my friends and peers, teaching volunteers how to grow fresh produce, and helping to foster the community that is so vital to the project. I learned what it meant to work hard, engage with others professionally, and develop communal relations. Due to that experience, I started asking how I could get more involved in food justice and service work. I could not find a solution in many of the mainstream avenues of business or finance. So, after college I wanted to do more for CHP than just intern. Having a foundation set in community engagement and volunteer farming, I accepted a role as Partnership Fellow serving CHP through AmeriCorps VISTA. I had to come back.

My new position keeps that ethic of hard work, professionalism, and community engagement. The internship, volunteer experience, and staff provide the fabric which holds those values close to Community Harvest Project’s whole organization. Without those pieces, I would miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow in a place deeply committed to serving others with food and community. And with those pieces, my future will be devoted to impactful work and service.

Claudia Frazer, CHP Intern Class of 2014, Clark University

My experience as the Development Intern at CHP provided me the opportunity to explore my interest in non-profit management while working on a beautiful farm. I spent the summer with one hand in the dirt and the other in the office – two roles I am lucky to maintain today. When the internship ended and I graduated from college, I joined the AmeriCorps VISTA program and served as the Fundraising and Events Coordinator at CHP. Today, I am still involved with the organization, working as the Development and Events Coordinator as a staff member. Each step I take at CHP is an incredible learning experience which allows me to grow both professionally and personally. From the first day of my internship, CHP has inspired me to harness the power of community, planting seeds of positive change wherever I go.

Joel Simonson, CHP Class of 2015, Clark University

Interning with CHP during the summer of 2015 absolutely had a direct impact on my desire to pursue nonprofit work, specifically involving access to healthy food. I am currently an employee of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a Boston-based food rescue nonprofit that facilitates same-day collection and distribution of fresh food from groceries and a variety of additional vendors, and this would not have been possible without my experience at CHP.

CHP is driven by an inspirational mission, and while utilizing community volunteers and partnerships, the organization brings thousands of people together each year to grow fruits and vegetables to provide for those experiencing hunger. As a result, I was constantly interacting with community members of all backgrounds as a Sustainable Farm Intern. This influenced my desire to work for Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and I firmly believe I am better equipped for my current role as many of my daily responsibilities mirror those that I practiced while interning at CHP.

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

January 2017 – Recipe of the Month: Garlic

 

garlic

Roasted garlic is one of those wonderful recipes where the execution is easy and the results are astounding. This recipe deepens the unique flavor of this allium, while also removing some of the intensity of raw garlic. With this recipe you can eat the roasted garlic as is for a quick snack, or add your results to any dish that calls for garlic.

Whole Roasted Garlic

Adapted from Froment Free

  • One whole head of garlic
  • California olive oil
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small pan for roasting

Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare the garlic by cutting off the top of the head, so that all cloves are exposed and their tops are cut off. Take your cut head and place it in the center of a sheet of aluminium foil, cut side up. Drizzle olive oil on top of the garlic, until all gaps are filled. Then wrap the aluminum up around the head until it is completely covered. Place in your pan and roast for approximately 1 hour. Let cool in the foil for 10 minutes, and let cool for another 10 minutes outside of the foil. Peel the garlic so each clove falls from the head. Then either eat your garlic as is, or add it to your next dish!

Read the rest of the January Sprout!

The year’s end

year-end-donation-photoCHP had a fantastic growing season in 2016:

950,000 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables donated

29,000 hours of community service

10,000 volunteers hosted

4,100 hours of nutrition education provided

1,800 youth participated in educational programs

These numbers are impressive, but here at CHP we know it only takes one person to make a ­­difference. Your generosity is making an impact.

As we gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, let us also celebrate the tremendous work being done on our farms to alleviate food insecurity from the lives of our struggling neighbors. We ask you to contribute to Community Harvest Project so we can continue to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to those who need them most. Make your year-end tax-deductible donation today.

Thank you for being part of the healthy solution to hunger in our community. We couldn’t do it without you!

Read the rest of the December Sprout!

Thank you for supporting CHP on #GivingTuesday!

product_28717707_1475259083Thank you to everyone who donated to CHP on #GivingTuesday! You helped CHP meet and exceed our fundraising goal of $3,000 and raise $3,430 to support our mission! Thank you for supporting CHP and engaging with a local non-profit organization on #GivingTuesday.

Across the world, #GivingTuesday is growing as an incredibly impactful day of giving back. 2016 results are still being compiled, but we already know:

  • Over $168 million raised globally, a 44% increase over 2015
  • 1.56 million gifts averaging $108
  • 98 countries and territories participated

The $3,430 that you helped us raise this #GivingTuesday means a lot to CHP. This contribution will allow us to do things like donate 30,000 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, order 75% of the seeds needed to start our 2017 crops, or provide supplies for all of our nutrition education programming. Thank you to everyone who supported CHP on #GivingTuesday by sharing, liking, and donating to our fundraiser. This community efforts allows CHP to increase our impact on the community and continue to bring people together to donate fresh fruits and vegetables to those who need them most.

Read the rest of the December Sprout!

December 2016 – Volunteer of the Month

wegmansAs we wind down the final days of 2016 the team here at Community Harvest Project would like to thank our thousands of volunteers that volunteered with us this year.  It is no small feat to produce the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that we do here, but as always our volunteers make it look easy.  This year we hosted over 10,000 volunteers that served over 29,000 hours in a variety of capacities on our farms.   We could not be prouder to have this great group of people supporting us and are already looking forward to getting back out into the fields in the spring.  All of this effort is a gift to our organization and the community at large as we continue to try to help our neighbors improve their access to fresh and healthy food that is grown locally.

orchardIn 2016 we hosted 19 student interns from colleges and universities as close by as Worcester and as far away as Pennsylvania and Maine.  Our intern program is designed to give students an inside view of the non-profit farming world but in the end they leave a lasting impact on our staff and volunteers.  Their hours of work on behalf of our community is greatly appreciated.  We also could not to the work that we do without the support and guidance of a fantastic volunteer Board of Directors.  This mighty group works tirelessly on our behalf here and throughout the community.   Our dedicated group leaders do the hard work organizing and communicating with the large groups that they organize from their respective organizations.  Year after year we have hundreds of people working on our behalf within organizations throughout Worcester County and beyond.  In addition we have countless teachers, professors, chaperones, program managers, troop leaders and parents to thank for their support in getting their respective groups out to the farm.

lindaIf you are familiar with us you recognize the many different roles that come together but there is one that stands out for their level of commitment day in and day out.  Our Team Leaders allow us to run this organization seamlessly by providing the knowledge, guidance, expertise and general order to the work that we do.  This small but mighty group stood strong with 42 active members in 2016 as they helped to manage each day with an exceptional amount of spirit and grit.   We could not run our farming operation without this group of committed volunteers coming from all parts of Worcester County to help ensure a great experience for all volunteers that visit our farms.  Please join us in offering a hearty thank you for all that they do, their hard work on our behalf is the secret sauce that is the main ingredient of our success.

blueberriesWe therefore would like to thank the over 10,000 volunteers, interns, Board of Directors, group leaders, teachers, professors, chaperones, program managers, troop leaders, parents and Community Harvest Project Team Leaders that selflessly gave their time throughout 2016 in order to help our community.  We could not do this work without your support and stand humbled to be in your presence.  Thank you all!

Read the rest of the December Sprout!

December 2016 – Veggie of the Month

butternut.PNGButternut squash are a champion storage squash, and were our final vegetable to go out for donation in November (even though most were picked in September!). One serving of butternut squash has 25% of your daily value for vitamin C, an especially sought after nutrient in these cold months! The real kicker is almost 70% daily value of vitamin A, plus about 10% daily value of vitamins B6 and vitamin E. They are great to buy from local farms now to store and cook through the winter.

Butternut Squash with Tahini

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cut into ½ inch wedges
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water (more if needed)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar (or dried thyme)

Preheat your oven to 450F. Toss the butternut and sliced onion with the olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes. While the butternut is roasting, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, and garlic. If the mixture seems too thick (it should be about the consistency of honey), add a little more water. When the squash can be easily pierced by a fork, remove it from the oven. Allow to cool a bit, then serve with the sauce and sprinkled with za’atar.

Read the rest of the December Sprout!