At Vollmecke Orchards & CSA , we offer a limited number of working shares. This is not a volunteer opportunity, but a season-long commitment and a chance to become a working member of the farm. In exchange for your on-farm help or other special skills, we will provide you with a full weekly share throughout the season. The time commitment is 5 hours per week for the 23-week CSA season. Our workshare members are vital to the success of our farm—much of our labor could not be accomplished without them. As such, we come to rely on them and require a fairly regular work schedule–preferably in the morning hours during the week.
We know many people who have children would love to share this experience with them—we love teaching kids about where their food comes from! BUT, we do prefer you bring your kids on farm work days only, and not on your workshare days. We don’t always have tasks that are geared towards little hands. Plus, there are many farming implements around that are dangerous, and too many places where little ones could get lost or hurt.
Farming is a unique way of life. We have schedules we must stick to, and plans we make months in advance to have a successful harvest. Despite all the planning, we still have to be flexible because so much of our work depends on the weather. We often find ourselves having to change our plans weekly, or even daily, to accommodate weather that is happening, about to happen, or already happened. Welcome to farming!
Each and every farm task is important. Some of the jobs we may assign to you can seem odd or trivial, but much of the work we assign must be successfully completed before the next essential step can be started.
As a working share member of Vollmecke Orchards & CSA, you are an important part of our main mission, which is feeding our members. If you don’t show up when you are scheduled and your share of the work doesn’t get done, other workers cannot do their jobs and the crops and harvest schedules could be affected.
- Time commitment. We ask for 5 hours of work per week during the 23-week CSA Season. Our base season is 22 weeks, plus 1 extra week, to account for the deferred week we offer. This is a total of 115 hours for the season. 5-hour shifts may be split up over two days, or all in one day. (We prefer that you keep the same schedule each week!)
- We ask that you pick a regular day (or days), and stick to that schedule as much as possible. Anytime between Monday through Saturday, 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM is helpful for us, though most work is done in the morning hours (before it gets too hot!). Knowing how many helpers we have each day assists us tremendously in our planning. We understand that it can be difficult to maintain a strict schedule for this length of time, and we can be flexible, as long as we receive schedule changes in advance. Many work share members choose to begin their work commitments earlier than the start of the CSA season to “bank” hours before the official season starts. This can help offset any absences during vacations etc.
- Change of Schedules. As tricky as our farm schedule can be, we understand that your life can be hard to schedule as well. If changes are made to our schedule that will affect you, we promise to let you know as soon as possible. We respect your time and thank you for your hard work! Likewise, to assist us in our planning and tasks, we ask you to let us know as soon as possible if you cannot work on a day you are scheduled. This way we will have adequate time to find someone to take your place.
- Working on a farm looks casual and fun, and it certainly has these moments. But working on a farm is called “labor” for a good reason: it is hard work that requires the strength, expertise and endurance of many people in order to succeed. You will get hot, wet, muddy, tired, sweaty and cold (not necessarily in that order, and hopefully not all on the same day). Expect to help with planting, weeding, harvesting, washing vegetables, packing, cleaning, or other farm tasks.
Be prepared to work outside in the sun or rain, where you’ll be on your feet for hours at a time. Many jobs require bending over, kneeling, squatting, or lifting loads of 40+ lbs.
You’ll need to be dressed appropriately for the weather and supply your own water bottles, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, rain gear, and footwear.
If, after reading this, you are still interested in becoming a workshare member, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then set up a time to talk in person to make sure we are a good match!
Thank you so much for your interest!