Plowshare Farm is seeking an experienced organic vegetable gardener to grow food for 50 people in our anthroposophically-guided lifesharing community in Greenfield, New Hampshire. This gardener will coordinate with other gardeners who work with people with special needs in our gardens. The gardener will share an interest in the community's festival life, biodynamics, and human beings. Good candidates will have biodynamic training or strong interest. If you’re someone with a pioneer spirit, there is room here to make a real difference in building an inclusive and sustainable community.
About Plowshare Farm
Plowshare Farm is an attempt to be responsive to the social, human, spiritual and ecological challenges of our times. At Plowshare, people with a wide range of capabilities – including people with special needs – live and work side by side to build an inclusive and sustainable community. As an anthroposophically-guided lifesharing community, we are innovators creating a model of social and ecological renewal.
Our gardens are an integral part of the Plowshare community, both for the bounty they produce to meet the community’s food needs and for the meaningful work they provide for community members. The gardens currently occupy about half an acre of land but impressively produce more than one quarter of the community’s produce needs, with the potential to continue building on this. We aim to create as much hands-on work as possible for community members while preserving balanced rhythms.
Live-In Vegetable Gardener Role and Qualities
We seek a knowledgeable and experienced organic vegetable gardener, ideally one trained in biodynamics (and if not, with strong interest in undertaking this training), to carry forward our gardening operation growing food for our community of 50 people (including in-ground beds for summer production, three high tunnels for year-round production, berry patches, a small apple/pear/plum orchard, and pollinator flowerbeds).
This person must have the experience, vision, motivation, and planning/execution skills to maximize production of healthful organic produce to meet community needs both in the summer and throughout the year (following priorities articulated by the Householders Circle at Plowshare), while using organic and biodynamic principles to care for the earth and leave the land better than we found it.
While other long-term lifesharing coworkers have both their work realms (such as bakery, kitchen, farm, garden, land and firewood, etc) and household responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, laundry, personal care, and more that are all part of living in an integrated lifesharing home with people with special needs), this position is designed with a central focus on the garden realm. It is essentially “lifesharing with the garden realm”.
Good communication skills, the ability to see the role of the garden realm in the bigger picture of the overall community, and the willingness to take guidance from Plowshare’s Carrying Circle and Householders Circle in shaping garden priorities will be critical to success in this role. The gardener must be a good communicator who enjoys the educational aspect of training in new volunteers, helping members of the garden crew build their skills, and introducing visiting school groups to the hands-on realities of gardening (up to 3 weeks each spring).
In addition to having organic and/or biodynamic growing experience, the person who will find a fulfilling match in this role will:
- be passionate about living and eating harmoniously with the land
- work well both independently and with others
- have good communication skills
- be interested in living and working in a striving community with its foundations in Anthroposophy
- have some experience with animal husbandry and be able to carry farm duties, especially during the head farmer's vacation times
- be interested in humanity in all its many varieties
Life at Plowshare Farm and Coworker Benefits
At Plowshare Farm, almost everyone lives in extended family households that include people with developmental challenges, yearlong service volunteers, coworkers, and often children. The gardener, in keeping with the idea of “lifesharing with the garden realm,” will most likely live in a separate small house on the Plowshare property. We have room for an individual, a couple or a small family to join us. Plowshare is a great place to raise children!
Plowshare Farm seeks to meet living needs so that energy may be freed for vocations. To that end, Plowshare Farm provides on-site housing, most food, health insurance (including a Health Saving Account contribution for expenses not covered by the insurance), a retirement plan (after one year), a ‘cash benefit’ income, and a contribution toward Waldorf education for coworker children. This position will have 4-5 weeks annual vacation and two free days per week. Plowshare Farm also supports completion of biodynamic trainings.
Our Broader Community
Plowshare Farm is nestled in the woods of southern New Hampshire where there are thriving Waldorf Schools, a vibrant local food scene, an active Anthroposophical Society, and much to explore in the great outdoors. We are an hour and a half northwest of Boston.
To start a conversation, please email email@example.com or call (603) 547-2547. More information about Plowshare Farm is available on our website at www.plowsharefarm.org. Visit this link for short videos about life at Plowshare: www.plowsharefarm.org/videos.