Farm Helpers, 2008-2015

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, and we are not a certified organic farm. Please review our growing practices if you have strong feelings regarding organic production. 

2019 Openings:

We are looking for:

1. On-farm staff (FT/PT) to help with fruit and vegetable production, harvest, and marketing, particularly from August until Thanksgiving.
2. Part-time helpers weekly or every other week at farmers' markets

ALL applicants should be able/willing to help with direct-marketing of the farm's products, either at a farmers' market stand or in our farm store. Good communication skills and interest/experience in customer service are key.

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 April and mid-May, and continues until Thanksgiving (or beyond).

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 Farming 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 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.

To Apply:

If you are customer-service oriented, love real food, and are looking to join us as a farmer, please fill in an Employment Application AND email us a resume with your education and work experiences.

If you are interested in helping on a part-time basis only at a farmers' market only, please email a letter of introduction.