Sweet Beet Farm is designed and operated with our greater community in mind. Members have the opportunity to be an integral part of the farm as a working member. We believe that a strong connection to the land equals a strong community. There are an endless amount of on farm tasks and opportunities that you are able to offer your time and/or services as a working member. As one of our working members put it- “A work share is therapy for me, farm therapy!”
We have developed “work shares” because we want to give our members the opportunity to be involved at a much deeper level on “their” farm. A “work share” is the exchange of labor for a CSA share. There is no experience necessary but folks should be prepared for a labor-intensive adventure. We want everyone to have a good time and learn lots of new things, but there’s no way around the fact that growing vegetables is a ton of work! A work share is different than volunteering at the farm. They represent an important contribution to the operation of the farm and we depend on work shares to meet our responsibilities to all CSA members and our wholesale customers. Being able to commit to the whole season is really important, as is keeping the same weekly schedule.
Attitude, dependability, and willingness to learn are everything! The jobs are physical. The work can be heavy, exhausting
e; hot, cold or wet. Good physical condition is a must! Ability to repeatedly lift 30 pounds is a must. Although you may be in great physical condition, you will still discover muscles. Attitude, dependability, and willingness to learn are everything! The jobs are physical. The work can be heavy, and you will learn about muscles you never knew you had. You may find yourself in unfamiliar or uncomfortable positions for a sustained period of time (squatting, kneeling, stooping, bending).Work is done primary with as a team especially in the more labor intensive tasks. We work in ALL weather– rain or shine.
*Safe Space Commitment- We want the farm to be a safe and inclusive space for everyone involved. We expect anyone who participates in the farm, whether as work share members, volunteers or visitors to come with an open mind and to treat everyone with respect. We strive to create an environment free of any form of oppression, prejudice and violence.
Partial Work shares
Partial work shares are 9 scheduled shifts of 3 1/2 hour shifts, out of the 18 week period between June and October. Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. Partial work shares receive in return a discount off half of a full share or receive a free half share.
Full Work shares are 18 weekly, 3 1/2 hour shifts scheduled within the month May through October on Monday’s, Wednesday’s or Fridays. Full Workshares in return get an entire full CSA share for every 18 weeks.
*Please apply ONLY if you can commit to the full 18 weeks. We due offer flexibility with other summer commitments with in reason. We consider these positions equivalent to staff positions and individuals must be committed in the same way. There will be many short-term volunteer opportunities available throughout the season for people who would like to work at the farm but are not able to commit to a regular work schedule from June – October. Contact us if you are interested in finding out more about short term volunteer positions or have questions regarding the commitments.
Work share members are selected after volunteering at the farm. This helps ensure that both you and the farm are a good fit. If you’re interested in becoming a work share member please fill out our online volunteer form and send us a statement outlining:
- your interest in the workshare and what you’re hoping to get out of it.
- Please indicate if you have access to a vehicle.
- Let us know when you would like to come in for orientation. During this orientation, we will show you the farm and the how-to’s of the task at hand!
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 will weed, trellis, transplant, and 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 and demonstrated (when applicable) by a Nick or Amelia. You must listen carefully, follow directions, work hard, and ask questions. Working hard means keeping your hands moving, not stopping and chatting with the person working next 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.?
No. It is best if one person in a household makes the commitment to work the shift. It is unacceptable to simply send another person in your place.
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). With that said, our work is sometimes dependent on weather, and therefore, being flexible is the key!
What if I need to miss a shift because of vacation, illness or other conflict?
You can make up your shift. With the exception of illness or exceptional circumstances, prior notice is required. Your options will include working a double shift or two shifts in one week. Please consult with Amelia for more details and to get approval.