A “worker share” is the exchange of labor for a vegetable share. Worker shares work together with the full time crews; about 24 people each day working on the farm. The opportunity to participate as a worker shares is a unique way to be involved on the farm. Please don’t view this as a recreational experience. It’s hard work.
Our expectations are high! The jobs are demanding and physical. The work is heavy, exhausting and repetitive; hot, cold or wet. Good physical condition is a must! Ability to repeatedly lift 30 pounds is a must. Although you may be in good physical condition, you will still discover muscles you never knew you had. You will likely find yourself in unfamiliar or uncomfortable positions for a sustained period of time (squatting, kneeling, stooping, bending). We work in ALL weather.
A worker share makes a serious commitment of 4.25 hours of work per week for 20 weeks (in exchange for a Weekly Share).
You commit to a shift and work that shift for the entire season.
Shift options: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 6:45 - 11:00 or 12:15 - 4:30
Thursday 6:45 - 11:00 (packing the shares)
Friday 6:45 - 11:00
Frequently Asked Questions:
What will I be doing?
You will be involved in all aspects of vegetable harvest and post harvest including washing, bagging, bunching, weighing, counting and sorting vegetables. You may weed, trellis, transplant, mulch. Each shift has its own rhythm. There are many one time jobs; some jobs repeat themselves week after week.
I’ve never done farm work before. How will I know what to do?
Each job will be explained. You need to be able to listen carefully, follow directions and work hard. Working hard means keeping your hands moving, not stopping and chatting with the person working next to you.(This doesn’t mean you can’t talk, you just have to keep working).
Can I share the responsibility with my spouse, partner, housemate, etc.?
It is best if one person in a household makes the commitment, but if you need a sub you can certainly send another household member to work your shift.
Is there a difference between the morning and afternoon shifts?
Yes, morning shifts are spent primarily in the fields harvesting (but sometimes there is work in the packing shed). Afternoon shifts are spent primarily in the packing shed working with the vegetables that were harvested in the morning (but often there are outside jobs as well).
Can two of us come each week for 2 hours?
No. Leaving in the middle of a shift is not very satisfying for you and not helpful for the farm.
When does the worker share begin?
The work begins the second week of June and continues through the third week of October. It coincides with the vegetable delivery season.
Can I work for a bi-weekly share?
The worker share is a 20 week commitment, which will earn you a Weekly Share. If you want to receive a bi-weekly share you can also donate a bi-weekly share to our Assistance Fund.
Can I do a worker share for the Spring Share or Storage Share?
We have a very limited number of opportunities for each of these. They fill quickly and priority is given to returning worker shares, but do let me know if you are interested.
Can I bring my child along?
No. We are working hard. The work is not geared for children. The farm offers lots of opportunities for families to come out and have fun.
Can I bring my dog out with me?
What if I need to miss a shift because of vacation, illness or other conflict?
You can make up your shift. You can do this by working a double shift or two shifts in one week. We will work out the details. If you know you will miss more than two shifts during the season, this may not be a good commitment for you.
Can I work evenings or weekends?
No. We do the farm work during the day, during the week.
What if my schedule changes mid season?
If you know your schedule will be changing mid season we can talk about it and plan accordingly. If your schedule changes unexpectedly mid season, we will work with it. In either case you will be able to switch to another shift that fits your schedule.
I am a teacher/student and can only work during summer vacation, is this possible?
No, we really need workers for the entire 20 week season.
After looking at all of this I would like to do a worker share. What should I do next?
Please answer these questions and e-mail them to Barb at firstname.lastname@example.org
- After reading the Worker Share description,
- How do you think you will be an asset to the farm?
- What do see as your possible weak point?
- What do you do? (employment, hobbies, volunteer work, etc)
- What physical activities are part of your life?
- Which shift would you like to work? Please list two or three possibilities, in order of preference. If only one shift will work for you, let me know.
- Please give me one or two references. (someone who can best speak to your abilities as a potential worker share).
Each year there are more people interested in participating as a worker share than we have the ability to accommodate. Thanks for taking the time to read the information and answer the questions. You will hear back from me shortly after I receive your e-mail.
Vermont Valley Community Farm owner and Crew Manager