Live and Work on the LICKING CREEK BEND FARM in Needmore, PA. LCBF is a WORKER-RUN sustainable farm, operating for over 50 years, growing pesticide-free produce to low and moderate income neighborhoods, food co-ops and universities in the DC/Baltimore area. We are certified through Certified Naturally Growers (CNG), that goes beyond USDA certification requirements.
If you work with us, you’ll have a great opportunity to learn the basics of raising sustainably grown, pesticide-free vegetables, fruit, and Christmas trees in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains. Located two hours from Washington/Baltimore/Pittsburgh, our beautiful farm sits in a valley, near the C&O Canal. Cool off in our creek, and enjoy biking, hiking, and the Appalachian Trail. Bluegrass, county fairs and folk festivals are nearby, in Berkeley Springs, WV
The farm consists of 60 acres located about 10 miles north of Hancock, MD (where PA, MD and WV join together). We are approximately 100 miles from Washington, DC.
We welcome WIC, local subsidy programs and farmers market food stamp recipients to our markets. We are active in family farm-related issues such as food insecurity, keeping up with pesticide-free techniques and GMO labeling. We have about a 75-family CSA and 3 weekly markets. We also wholesale to food co-ops, small restaurants, several universities and as often as possible donate produce to non-profits helping families in need. While we work hard, we’ve have had amazing people at our farm, musicians, poets, chefs, college professors, serious environmentalists, etc. The team works well together, understands the work and have fun.
Our farm is worker-run with a philosophy of growing pesticide-free produce at affordable prices. Staff live on the farm and together make decisions about hiring and how to accomplish the work. We have several rooms in the main house and three cabins. All utilities are covered. The food provided on the farm comes from the farm, from lots of canning and freezing along with the fresh harvests. We maintain a vegetarian kitchen. We supply essentials, flour, grains, rice, pasta, eggs, milk, etc., but for specialty items, staff provides themselves. There is plenty of food and amazing cooking on the farm.
Staff meets every morning to go over what needs to be done that day, and together figure out how to accomplish the short-term and long-term tasks.
The season you spend on our farm gaining hands-on experience should easily exceed the education you’d receive at a decent college or university. A farm experience is an opportunity to apply and expand existing knowledge as well learn and integrate new skills into your life. We also work with universities and colleges to accept as credits, your work on the farm.
Generally, people who work on the Licking Creek Bend Farm are college graduates and 21-45 years old. They’ve worked at a variety of jobs – some of them boring, unchallenging and uncreative. Farm work, at least on our farm, should give you an opportunity to fully use all of your resources – intellectual, physical and creative. It all depends on how seriously you take the challenge, and how ready you are for it. The opportunity gives many people a chance to refocus their life’s direction. It also opens the door for employment in an environmentally-connected occupation. (Farm experience also usually registers a positive addition on resume).
STAFF and SALARIES
We are looking for 1-2 additional staff for this season. Salary starts at $1,000/month, plus room and board with monthly increases of $100. There is an end of the year bonus based on 25% of income earned. Staff have their own room in the main house or live in one of the 3 cabins on the farm. Everyone has full access to the main house with 2 full bathrooms and modern kitchen. Staff enjoys cooking together and food/snacking throughout the day. Bedding, towels, etc. are provided. Staff works 6 days a week, with Sundays off. Other needed time off is discussed individually.
FARM PHILOSOPHY AND ACTIVISM
We emphasize food justice and make every effort to provide low and moderate income communities and non-profits with affordable or donated produce. We also encourage and offer the option of engaging in local social justice issues, for example anti-CAFO organizing and increasing awareness of gender and racism issues in our area.
WHO SHOULD APPLY
Folks who are eager to learn about small scale chemical-free farming or who have had some prior experience and want to consider multiple-year commitment.
We have had several interns who are able to include their internship on the farm as part of their academic requirement.
And, we especially appreciate candidates who are seriously considering a multiple-year commitment and opportunity to develop farm management skills.
Some folks have idealized ideas about what farming is really about. It is not for everyone and we hope that the interview process helps bring a realistic understanding of this work. Farm positions are not easy to fill and the loss of staff during the farm season or before their scheduled end date can have a devastating effect on our ability to get produce out to the public. So, prior to accepting a position, we expect people to seriously consider any obligations, plans, unresolved relationships or circumstances that could impact the duration of their stay on the farm.
*We prefer candidates who can commit to the full season – APRIL – DECEMBER, although that timeframe is negotiable. However, because it takes time to train new staff, a commitment of at least 6 months is preferred.
*Candidates must be US citizens or have a valid green card to work in the US.
*Have a valid driver’s license and safe driving record.
*Be in good physical shape to be able to handle hard, manual, hands-on work in a wide range of weather conditions.
*Out of courtesy to the staff and our customers, we require our staff to be fully Covid vaccinated. If you object to this, stop here and don’t apply, but also, please don’t argue with us with your objections to vaccinations. Our concern is the people who live together on the farm and our exposure to our customers. We prefer people who are concerned about other people.
*Be ready to learn and do a wide-variety of tasks and understand the need to get the work done – planting on time, preparing for markets and CSAs, etc. Farming is not a “9-5” job – it is “getting the job done” experience.
*Ability to work as a team and also be a self-starter and self-motivated. Be excited about opportunities for learning and building skills.
*Understand that farming involves patience, adapting to changing tasks and needs as the season progresses.
*Enjoy living and working in a group setting, have a sense of humor and find ways to have fun and enjoy the work. Dips in the creek is a favorite along with group meals, outings to the county fair, hikes, etc.
*Enjoy working with our customers at farmers market. We learn a lot from our customers, and they from us.
EXPECT TO LEARN
*We provide guidance to staff to the basics of apple, pear and other fruit production without the use of chemicals.
* Preparing the fields for planting, starter seeds in our greenhouse, transplanting, weeding, harvesting and preparing for markets and CSA, fruit tree pruning, maintaining of farm equipment and many more tasks.
*Subtilties of pest management, specific issues related to different plants, pesticide-free techniques.
*You will get exposure to what it really takes to start and sustain a small farm. The business end as well as the many many aspects of how to grow enough pesticide-free produce to, at minimum, break even and work towards a sustainable farm. It is amazing what goes into this kind of business! The cost of equipment and their maintenance, staffing, dealing with what Mother Nature hands us (drought, too much rain, blight, etc.), deer, groundhog and other critters, finding market outlets and building a customer and wholesale base, etc.
*Bee keeping (but you need your own gear – we can discuss)
*For staff that stay through the winter, we offer paid participation in various farm conferences held during the winter and early spring.
*And many other skills.
HOW TO APPLY
If you’ve read to here, you must be interested! So, we’d love to hear from you.
Email us an introductory letter explaining why you are interested in our farm.
Include a Resume and References.
We will also need to know what your availability time frame is (when you can start work and for how long.)
1. If you are local to the DC area, we can arrange to meet.
2. We will then send you an information email with more detail and how to contact our staff.
3. Then you will contact our farm staff to arrange to first meet by phone or zoom.
4. If possible, plan to visit the farm to get a better sense of the farm and surroundings.
This visit will give you a better sense of whether this is a good fit for you.
5. If you are not local, and cannot visit the farm, the interviewing, etc. will be done via zoom
and discussions with the staff. Ask as many questions as you need to.
6. Then the staff makes a determination about the fit based on your input as well.
7. The staff will contact you.
We look forward to meeting you and hope you will become a happy member of our farm staff community.
Jobs, Internships & Opportunities
706 Erie Ave.
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912