Hands on Vegetable Production Training with Three Part Harmony Farm
This year we will launch an inaugural cohort of trainees to participate in a full-time, vegetable production training.
Apply here. Deadline August 12 at 11:59 pm.
Trainees will be paid for working while they learn because the program is generously funded by a grant from the JustTransition Power Force which was launched by Emerald Cities Collaborative and the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program in relationship with Microsoft Cloud Operations & Innovation (CO+I), the team responsible for Microsoft datacenter operations. This is not a low or no-paid apprenticeship. Your pay will not be reduced in exchange for food or housing. You will work alongside our team and learn about farming.
Applicant Requirements: Priority will be given to applicants who identify as Black, and who want to own and operate production farms in the DMV; in collaboration with other Black farmers. You do not need to have prior experience, but please mention any relevant job and classroom experience you have. You do not need to be currently engaged in any DMV-based growing activities or communities, but please mention it if you are.
Applicants must demonstrate their ability to commit to a full season (February-November 2023) of on-farm training, in addition to a three month on-boarding during the preceding season (Sept – Nov 2022.)
During the winter, trainees will have the opportunity to learn winter office and planning tasks as well as be encouraged to attend winter farm conferences and other learning opportunities.
There is no classroom instruction as part of this program. Hands-on training will happen as part of farm work days at Three Part Harmony Farm located in Washington, DC. Program participants along with farm trainers will take field trips together to satellite sites in Brandywine, Maryland to learn different farm techniques on a larger scale.
The deadline for applications is FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2022 (at 11:59 pm).
Zoom interviews will be done on a rolling basis. Selections will be made by the end of August.
The program will begin after Labor Day of this year. There are 3 spots in the program. Please include as much information as possible in your application.
To learn more about the program visit our FAQ page
For additional questions, please contact Gail Taylor at: gail@threepartharmonyfarm dot com
What is the Hands on Vegetable Production Training with Three Part Harmony Farm?
Launched in 2022, this farm training program focuses on sustainable agriculture methods used to grow and sell vegetables, herbs and flowers for profit. It is designed to provide hands-on training to people who live in or near Washington, DC. Priority is given to Black applicants, though applications from other socially disadvantaged groups will be accepted and considered. (see USDA 2501 definition)
This inaugural cohort training program is a project of Three Part Harmony Farm, in collaboration with Juniper’s Garden and the Black Dirt Farm Collective and is funded through a generous grant from the JustTransition Power Force which was launched by Emerald Cities Collaborative and the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program in relationship with Microsoft Cloud Operations & Innovation (CO+I), the team responsible for Microsoft datacenter operations.
What will we be learning?
Sustainable agriculture methodology such as: cover cropping, composting and low till methods. Introductory farming techniques: crop planning, bed prep, irrigation, planting, pest and weed management, harvesting, post harvest handling and storage. Marketing and management, especially managing a CSA (community supported agriculture) as a primary marketing outlet..
How many trainees will be accepted?
What is the time frame?
September 2022 – November 2023
What are the days and times I need to commit to?
This training program will occupy the time of a full-time job in your week. The work is seasonal, meaning that we have a different schedule based on the temperatures and sunrise. Most work will take place Monday – Friday but trainees will rotate through shifts on Saturdays to get market experience (exchanging that for another day off during the week.)
You can expect a weekly hourly commitment of 35 hours. There will never be homework, but you can study during your time off. Trainers can make recommendations and offer access to subscription only resources during the program (i.e. Growing for Market and other industry publications.)
During the full season, we will take breaks for vacation and travel during the season. December 15 – January 31 (unpaid) and 1 week taken between July 4 and Labor Day (paid as a bonus at the end of the year.)
What is the compensation?
Trainees will be paid every other week with the rest of the staff. The hourly rate is $17.75/ hr. There is one paid sick day and 1 week’s paid vacation (received as a bonus at the end of the season.) Additional time off can be negotiated with the owner. Everyone receives 1 CSA share each week, plus access to extra seconds.
Is transportation provided?
Transportation can be provided when we travel from Washington, DC to farm visits to Brandywine, MD. However, trainees must have reliable transportation to work each day.
Who are the mentor farmers?
The primary mentor farmer is Gail Taylor, owner/ operator of Three Part Harmony Farm. Taylor (she/ her/ hers) started Three Part Harmony Farm in 2012 after spending 5 years at a training farm in Upper Marlboro, MD. At Three Part Harmony Farm, she has turned a soccer field into a highly productive urban farm feeding 100 CSA families weekly from May – November. In previous years, she managed a multi-farm CSA that had at one point 280 members, by sourcing products from farms owned and run by BIPOC and/ or women, or non-binary folx.
In this program, trainees will have the opportunity to work and learn from: D’Real Graham, farm manager of the Brandywine Farm; Blain Snipstal, equipment and tractor operator for the Brandywine farm; and Samaria Marley, herbalist, seed keeper, educator and event coordinator at Juniper’s Garden. Trainees will also have access to our extensive network of Black growers in the DMV.
Will we be visiting other farms?
Yes. Trainees will visit at least 3 other farms, all located along the Black Agrarian corridor currently being developed by the Black Dirt Farm Collective and its members. Other field trips are likely, but will not take place until 2023.
What will the days be like, working on a farm?
Each week has a very consistent schedule based on our distribution days. Harvest happens most Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. There are deliveries on Tuesday evening, Thursday mornings, and a market on Saturdays.
Each season also has its own unique schedule. Nursery work happens in February, March and April. Most bed prep happens in March, April and May.
All farm work happens outside, except for rare greenhouse work on bad weather days. During the on-boarding process we will talk about clothing, rest, self-care, nutrition, and other important parts of sustaining physically demanding work.
Will I be able to start my own farm upon completion of this program?
Sadly, no. Working full-time at a farm for less than 2 years is not long enough to start your own farm, unless you have other experience beforehand. This experience is really designed to give an opportunity to folx who have no experience and therefore find themselves unqualified even to apply to entry-level positions as a farm hand. Each trainee will have a different experience based on your own investment in learning and how hard you work. At the end, you will be more than qualified to apply to work at any diversified vegetable operation you desire, and possibly even in a leadership capacity. You will receive a recommendation upon completion.
Of course, you are also welcome to apply to be on staff full-time at 3PH and continue your learning that way, and be given more responsibility as a return staff person.
Additional questions contact: Gail Taylor
gail@threepartharmonyfarm doc com