Join the NSO Team!
We work as a team with a great bunch of experienced and newer/exploring farmers, and are always interested in talking possibilities with motivated sustainable farming and food-interested folks.
Positions at North Star are not internships, but employment for a reasonable wage. There are certainly opportunities to learn while working, especially for motivated individuals who are willing to read industry-specific material, ask questions of the farm owners, and attend area grower-specific meetings. Many of our helpers have gone on to further education in sustainable topics/agriculture or to their own farming projects. Opportunities exist for long-term employment.
Please note: North Star Orchard is a smoke-free and drug-free environment.
We are looking for some part-time help at the Phoenixville, West Chester, and Oakmont markets, as well as at our farm store in Cochranville on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Opportunities for on-farm employment are currently full, although we may need help in fall (mid-August until early November). If you have availability for the fall, please let us know by submitting the employment application. There is space there to indicate you're look for fall employment.
About our Helpers:
1. Most helpers start out as Seasonal Full- or Part-time Helpers. Becoming a Year-'round helper (with winter work) and/or a returning helper for subsequent years are possibilities for the right people. Most new helpers start in spring; start date may be flexible depending on position and individual need, but usually is between March and mid-May.
2. Regular on-farm work hours are M-F from 7AM to 3:30PM. Work schedules may vary somewhat depending on position and whether or not a helper works at a weekend farmers' market or the farm store, etc.
3. All helpers may be required to work from time to time on any project on the farm, be it gardening, orcharding, grounds maintenance, fruit thinning, fruit/vegetable breeding projects, CSA & market prep, or helping with special building projects. Full-time helpers should be willing to help at a weekend farmers' market in fall.
4. Many helpers are assigned one or more AoR “Areas of Responsibility” based upon their interests and skills. AoRs enable the helper to truly focus on and become responsible for specific tasks. Sample AoRs include: Washroom Leader, Planting Manager, Greenhouse Manager, Harvest Crew Leader, Cider Making Assistant, Farmers' Market Manager, Landscape Maintenance, Marketing Assistant, CSA Manager, etc.
Requirements for applicants:
1. Be highly motivated, efficient, and detail-oriented with strong work ethics and the ability to work well with both staff and customers.
2. Be physically fit: able to repeatedly lift 40-50 pounds, climb a short ladder on a frequent basis on orchard work days, squat and bend repeatedly on garden work days, and work in all weather conditions. (All employees, regardless of specific role, may have to help in various tasks all around the farm, depending on need)
3. Have a license with a good driving record.
4. Supply their own work boots, clothing, gloves, and sunscreen.
5. Not smoke or chew tobacco on the farm premises.
Pay and Benefits:
1. Most helpers start at $10/hr, with some exceptions for those coming with particular skills or taking on particular roles with already existing experience. Pay raises are based on performance, taking on more responsibility, and staying on from year to year.
2. All helpers working more than 20 hours a week receive a 50% price discount on first-quality produce and free second-quality produce. Helpers working under 20 hours a week receive a 20% discount on first-quality produce.
3. On-farm shared housing in a large house or two bedroom apartment at reasonable rent is a possibility if there is space available. Rent includes heat, A/C, trash, water, and wifi.
4. 401(k) plan with matching employer contributions is available for helpers who work a minimum of 1000 hours and are employed for at least a year.
5. Long-term disability coverage is provided for full-time helpers who work at NSO for a year or more.
If you'd be interested in helping at a farmers' market only, please email a letter of introduction.