Farm Manager Job Announcement!

Keely Curliss has been our tireless Farm Manager for the past two seasons. We are sad to see her transition, but we are so excited about her plans! Keely will be sharing more information about her transition in the coming weeks.

But for now, we are looking for a new Farm Manager to join the six of us (the four of us on the Farm Crew, the Executive Director, and the Program Coordinator).

The Full Job Announcement is sharable in a PDF Here, as well as below. All questions can be directed to movementgroundfarm@gmail.com. Please help spread the word.

FARM MANAGER JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

About Movement Ground Farm: 

Movement Ground Farm (MGF) is a non-profit farm committed to anti-racism and exploring a new model of community driven agriculture. 2022 is our seventh season growing vegetables and raising meat and eggs, but only the fourth season on our permanent site in Tiverton, RI. We hope to attract candidates who believe in our vision, have a demonstrated commitment to racial justice and queer liberation, and most importantly, are excited to help lay some important foundational building blocks to move MGF forward during our next stage of growth! 

Movement Ground Farm’s mission is to recultivate the central role of food and land in nourishing our bodies, strengthening our communities, and growing a more just world. Too many communities have been uprooted through land theft, slavery, war, gentrification, poverty and environmental destruction. Movement Ground Farm is premised on the vision of a world where all people are sustained and grounded by an intimate connection to land. 

The farm is on a beautiful, 10 acre property that gently slopes toward Nonquit pond and is <5 minutes from the beach in Tiverton RI. The executive director and his family live on site and much of our farm infrastructure is built out from their home. We typically have around 2.5-4 acres in vegetable production and another 3+ in cover crop/pasture. There is a greenhouse for propagation as well as two high tunnels in year-round production. We have an 130 person weekly CSA, 1-2 farmers markets, and a few developing wholesale accounts. We raise a few hundred meat birds each season, have a small laying flock, and are raising sheep for the first time in 2022. We have a small-but-growing staff and an extended community of committed workshares and volunteers to make it all happen. We are excited that in 2022, we’ll have six returning staff members (including our executive director, farm crew, and program staff), and are entering the new year equipped with a plan born of our first-ever staff-directed annual planning process. We are not certified organic, but do our best to follow those standards and generally be loving stewards to the earth. 

Job Summary: 

The farm manager’s role is to oversee vegetable production alongside a team of four  experienced farmers. In particular, we are seeking candidates with a depth of knowledge in the following areas: crop planning, tractor work and exceptional machine maintenance, field and bed preparation, soil fertility management, irrigation (system design), disease and pest control, and cover cropping. 

The farm manager will need to hold the big picture of the farm in mind, and collaborate with the farm team and executive director to ensure that the vegetable operation functions smoothly. 

We are moving towards a collaborative style of management within our team. It is essential that the farm manager has the ability to both delegate/collaborate, and hold responsibility for the success of the vegetable operation. Our ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about teaching and sharing their knowledge with the other farmers, and about moving towards a cooperative model, in which management is shared amongst multiple farmers.

As a farm, we are in a transitional moment. Although MGF has been growing food for communities for 7 seasons, this is only our 4th season on this land, and this year will contain many new beginnings. From moving our water source from farm house to well, to the addition of new vehicles, new animals, and even potentially setting up to break ground on a barn build towards the end of the year, the farm manager will play a key role in building up new systems and infrastructure, and improving old ones. 

Pay/Salary: $42,000 – 45,000

Benefits: $300/Mo Health Stipend, 10 Paid sick days, 24 Paid days off (16 off season, 8 peak season). Produce & Eggs throughout the season as available. 

Requirements: Valid Driver’s License, Tractor Experience, Ability to lift 50+ lbs repeatedly, Reliable transportation 

  • Five-years’ minimum experience working on farm, management experience preferred
  • Significant experience supervising staff or a team of staff is strongly preferred
  • Strong knowledge of routine farm processes: plant growth, pest management, harvest and post harvest handling, crop planning, maintenance, field and bed preparation, soil fertility management, irrigation (system design), disease and pest control, and cover cropping. 
  • Tractor familiarity, exceptional machine maintenance, basic carpentry and construction skills preferred
  • Excellent communication skills, including writing and computer skills; ability to take and give clear directions as well as to ask for clarification and receive feedback
  • Flexible, creative problem-solver with a sense of humor
  • Able to work independently and stay on task, see the big picture, and develop daily task lists and workflow
  • Honest and direct communication skills and ability to navigate conflict 
  • Skill at building a team that works efficiently and effectively together
  • Personable and passionate about creating teaching and learning opportunities for all farmers
  • Ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds in terms of race, ethnicity, gender (including nonbinary), sexual orientation, class, and religion
  • Life experience living and working in low-income/low-financial-wealth communities preferred
  • QTBIPOC and/or farmers of color and food justice leaders are strongly encouraged to apply

Desired Passions or Skills:

  • Experience with integrated crop/livestock systems 
  • Sales and marketing of farm products 
  • Multi-year commitment and investment in farm and community growth 
  • Passionate and experienced with developing farm organization systems for a relatively new, emerging operation
  • Knowledge or enthusiasm to grow crops that are culturally relevant to the communities that we are connected to (e.g. Cambodian, Dominican, African American, Latinx, Indigenous, and other BIPOC communities in Providence, Dorchester)

Schedule: 5-6 days a week during main growing season (April-December) 50-60 hours a week, and 20-30 hours a week during the rest season (January-March). Hours should average to 40 hours per week on an annual basis. 

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Manage all aspects of the farm production work: crop planning, greenhouse and high tunnels, field prep, soil amendment, bed preparation, seeding, transplanting, irrigation, weeding, disease and pest control, soil fertility management, and cover cropping.
  • Supervise and support the farm team who will be coordinating different aspects of farm production to ensure high standards in cultivating, processing, and distributing of all produce
  • Keep an inventory of supplies, including tools, seeds, fertilizers, packaging, harvest materials, and any other things that keep the farm operation running. Play a key role in ordering, submitting receipts, and overseeing the yearly farm production budget.
  • Execute farm sales plan and ensure that all distribution outlets, including farmers markets and wholesale, meet annual sales goal
  • Collaborate during the off season as needed with the executive director on grant applications, annual report, and organizational goal setting as it relates to the farm. 
  • Prioritize communications with and gather feedback from ED, Board, and community stakeholders during the off-season to create a transparent picture of what is happening on farm. 
  • Report to the Executive Director through monthly or as needed one-on-one check-in meetings, and periodically to the board of directors 
  • Maintain tidy and clean workspaces/wash/storage/supply areas
  • Conduct periodic tractor and implement repair and maintain excellent machine health. Train farm team how to use machines safely and skillfully.
  • Collaborate as necessary with the Livestock team around rotational grazing and animal wellness. Act as a fill in and back up for chores. 
  • Represent the farm professionally in a way that is affirmative of the vision, mission, and values of Movement Ground Farm to customers, CSA members, visitors, worksharers, neighbors, and other stakeholders
  • Conduct and schedule annual mutual review/evaluation with supervisor and supervisees 

How To Apply: Send resume and cover letter to our executive director, Kohei, at movementgroundfarm@gmail.com. Questions about the position can be directed to the same address. 

We will be accepting applications until November 15.

Desired start between January 3-14, 2022

 

FRIDAY DRIVER

Movement Ground Farm Driver Wanted

Movement Ground Farm is searching for a driver to help get more farm fresh produce to food-insecure families. The driver will pick-up produce at the farm in Tiverton, RI every Friday and deliver CSA boxes of produce to our drop off sites in Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.

This is temporary position which starts on October 8 and runs through December 17. There are 10 deliveries in total, and two weeks where there will not be any deliveries. For a Boston-based (ideally Dorchester or JP-based) driver, the hours would be approximately 9:00am – 2:30pm.

Applicants should have a:

·         good driving record & insurance

·         large vehicle – such as a pick-up truck, SUV, or mini-van, or a car w/ A LOT of space

·         ability to lift 30 lbs repeatedly

·         Passion to support and be connected to BIPOC-led movements for food justice, land sovereignty, racial justice, Queer and Trans liberation, immigrant rights, youth organizing, affordable housing, prison abolition,

Compensation & Perks

  • $15/hour
  • mileage reimbursement at the federal rate
  • a weekly supply of fresh farm produce
  • get connected to our beautiful farm, our awesome farm team, and our Movement Ground Farm community!

To apply, fill out this 4-minute questionaire.   

If you have any questions, please email movementgroundfarm@gmail.com.   For more information about us, visit www.movementgroundfarm.wordpress.com.   

·         

Fall Tea Pop Up on 9.26.2021

If you haven’t been around our awesome farm crew,

Or been to the farm this year…

If you need an escape from the 24 hour news cycle

If you have a date,

Or want to spend time with your family,

If you are inspired by our work and want to contribute!


All good reasons to come out and feast with us on the farmcoast!

Farm Coast.jpg

Join us for our second annual farm-to-table Fall Tea Pop Up for Movement Ground Farm on the fields overlooking the Nonquit pond!  Proceeds from the event go to supporting our costs during the slower winter months as well as our growth towards becoming a fuller-season farm.  We know that investing in our workers by offering year-round employment and higher wages will be key to the overall sustainability and vital growth of Movement Ground!

Each dish will feature ingredients sourced at the farm or from within a one-mile radius!  Susan Yao (CSA member/ educator/ homesteader) will show off her other skillset – that of a chef, inspired by seasonal produce and traditional Chinese cuisine.  Between courses we will share information about the farm’s vision and a bit about opportunities to connect more.   

fallteapopup.jpg

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO BUY TICKETS 

Sunday, September 26

  • Seating One: 12 to 2PM
  • Seating Two: 3 to 5PM

Tickets are considered sliding scale donations – your choice to pay between $300 and $500 per table, accommodating  up to four persons, although it is quite okay for a couple to attend or someone to come solo.

Menu Highlights

Winter Melon Soup 冬瓜汤

Hainanese Chicken 海南鸡

Candy Roaster Ice Cream (Custard Base) 冰激淋

Steamed Egg with Littleneck Clams 蛤蜊蒸蛋

* Full Course Vegan Options available!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO BUY TICKETS 

Want to Volunteer for this event? We have two volunteer shifts (10 – 3:30 and 3 to 8pm) – and YES, we will feed you lots of snacks plus the actual meal being prepared for the event! Email Shirley if you are interested. shirleymark@gmail.com

Top 10 Reasons why the Fall CSA is Better Than the Summer CSA!

#10

As farmer’s markets close and as produce in grocery stores start transitioning from local and fresh to imported and wilted, you can continue to eat produce harvested just 24 hours ago!

#9

You have more time to cook and more time inside and in the kitchen, than the bustling rush of the summer

#8

You still experience some of the Summer!  The start of the Fall CSA comes with the last of the tomatoes, peppers, husk cherries and maybe a few melons.

#7

The cold and frost actually make greens taste better, and sweeter!

#6

Things we couldn’t grow in the summer THRIVE in the Fall, such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cilantro, and all kinds of lettuces. 

#5

Asian greens, specifically in the brassica family, abound – think bok choy, tat soi, komatsuna, chinese broccoli, mustard greens, daikon, and hakurei turnips!

#4

Everything that we bulk harvested in September and October has cured and is now ready, such as onions, shallots, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.   

#3

Carrots, watermelon radishes, routtabagas, and radishes of all kinds bring bitterness (raw) and sweetness (if roasted) into your meals!

#2

Eggs and pasture-raised chickens will be available!

#1

Your continued support as a CSA member will help small scale farmers, and us at Movement Ground Farm, become more sustainable with year-round income.

MGF Poultry

 

DIY Chicken Processing Event Update:

How many times have your Thanksgiving plans changed already?!    Well, if you’re looking to do something different, consider helping us process the last of our broiler chickens and bringing one home for the ultimate pasture-to-table meal!

When: 9am on Sunday Nov 22 or Tues Nov 24th (your choice)

We saved the biggest ones for this occasion- they should all be between 6 and 7.5 (or even 8 Lbs), great for a small Thanksgiving for 4 to 10 people.  Or get two of them!  

$60 per each hefty chicken – price includes the bird itself plus the professional instructions, coaching, tools and set up we will provide.  

Maximum of three people per bird.    If doing two birds, bring up to six people.   

If doing three birds, please bring at least two people (you plus someone else who is going to be able to roll up their sleeves).

We expect that the crew you bring is in your COVID safety pod – the people you trust and have established shared COVID safety practices, testing, communications, etc… 

Kids can come but they must participate and follow COVID safety rules.

Here, go ahead and Fwd this video out to your family and friends – it shows how we have been rotating them across our pasture, every day this Summer!  

https://youtu.be/gbNKqOGo9ZY

RSVP https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16M11KMfDwACC2aCLx1X6ZGsnOUDz9OB1QXzjngtUoXY/edit?usp=drivesdk

 

Chickens

Oftentimes we’ve been asked the question “Which chickens are for meat and which are for eggs?

The short answer is that currently there are laying-type, meat-type, and dual purpose-type or utility chickens. Just like dog breeds exist because they were originally kept for specific purposes in specific places in the world, the same goes with chickens. Only there’s three uses for chickens- laying eggs, fighting and ceremony, and meat. While all chickens can be eaten for meat, for millennia the chicken’s primary role globally has been fighting and egg laying. Typically male birds were separated from the hens and fattened for the table. Today, chickens are raised primarily for meat and eggs in large indoor operations in flocks numbering in the thousands.

For the long answer:

It is important to understand that chickens and other poultry are the most efficient converters of grain calories to ‘food.’ In the past, chickens did not generate wealth like livestock (literally living wealth) did and were looked down upon in the past as peasant food. After all the chicken is still a staple and necessity for subsistence farmers and peasants around the world.

So how did we get to chicken being the most widely eaten meat in the US?While the processes of agricultural intensification, selective breeding, and industrial agriculture began on 18th century English agricultural estates and primarily focused on cattle, sheep, and to some extent pigs, chicken farming did not begin its transformation until the early 20th century on the East coast of the United States. The meat chicken of today is a very recent innovation created by poultry companies for ever-increasing profit. For an in-depth look check out this this article in The Guardian explaining much of the recent history of the industrialization of meat chicken farming in the United States.

A very important piece missing in the article is the role of women in chicken raising in the United States. Until the industrialization of chicken farming, almost all chicken farmers in the US were women, and in the South there were many successful Black women engaged in small flock raising. The industrialization of chicken farming can be seen as a gendered and racialized takeover of women’s economic agency in agriculture.

Broilers

Since mid-August, we have been raising 180 medium growing hybrid broiler chickens from Moyer’s Hatchery in Pennsylvania (see link here). This variety of chicken offers a compromise between the fast-growing Cornish Rock hybrid created by poultry companies and the traditional chicken of rural and peasant communities around the world.

The person accustomed to the Cornish Rock Cross would find a ‘traditional’ chicken somewhat of a disappointment because they have much less meat (the muscle- remember organ meat is delicious, extremely nutritious, and most respectful to the life taken!). A person accustomed to ‘traditional’ chickens would find the Cornish Rock Cross packed with meat, but devoid of flavor, mushy (overly tender), and make a lackluster chicken stock. We chose a broiler hybrid that falls in the middle- slower growing means more flavor for soups and broths, and faster growing means a meatier bird. Because they don’t develop metabolic and joint issues and are less sensitive to weather conditions these chickens can be raised much longer, do better on pasture-based systems, and experience a quality of life similar to a ‘traditional’ chicken.

We raise our chickens in mobile pens on a half-acre section of white clover. White clover is both relished by the chickens and is quite nutritious. Since the chickens are moved every day, we distribute their manure across the entire half acre section, leaving it fertilized and replenished for future crops. We have both pullets and cockerels, with the cockerels being on average about a pound larger than the pullets.

 

Our birds will be 4 to 6 lbs at $7 per pound. This means a bird could be anywhere from $28 to $42. Because they take longer to grow to size we have to feed and take care of them about three weeks longer than conventional broilers. This explains the higher cost. They will be available chilled (not frozen) for pick up at the farm on Thursday October 29th between 3 – 6pm, and available frozen thereafter. We recommend you age the chicken in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating, this ensures it becomes tender. We are also letting twenty live longer for a processing workshop at the farm on Sunday November 22nd. We expect these to weigh between 6 – 9 lbs.

Order our broilers here

meat pullet and cockerel

Cockerel and Pullet

Cornish game hens

Cornish game hens are the same conventional broiler chicken raised throughout the global food supply.   The only difference is that are typically processed at week 4 or 5 instead of the typical 8 weeks!  In fact, for every two pounds of feed given to these birds, you get one pound of meat.  Bred over the years by poultry companies for a larger breast size and more white meat, these birds unfortunately develop health problems later on in life if you let them reach maturity.   But with hatcheries running out of stock, we secured these birds quickly, and as we are processing them early on, they won’t experience any health problems.  In fact, out of the 200 day-old chicks we’ve ordered, we currently have 201 of them!

Cornish

They are happy and tame and friendly!   We’ve been throwing them bugs at night, and when one latches onto one, the hen immediately tumbles down the pen, dodging other chicks that are quick to take advantage of the situation.   That is, until the running chick is blocked by a team of four or five, loses control of the bug, and it’s snatched up by another – who then runs with the bug the opposite way, and the game is on!

Our first batch will be available FRESH for pick up at the farm on Friday, August 7, between 5 – 8pm.  We expect these hens to be between 1.5 – 2.0 lbs.   Our second bacth will be available FRESH for pick up at the farm on Monday August 17 between 5 and 8pm.  After that, our hens will be available FROZEN, and can be picked up at the farm or delivered with your CSA.

Out on pasture in our mobile pens they are filling up their bellies with white clover we planted for them in early April.   This (and the critters such as grasshoppers and moths) supplements their diet of certified organic chicken feed, consisting of primarily corn, soybean, wheat and minerals.  Every morning (and eventually every afternoon too) we carefully move their pen onto a set of fresh clover, ensuring a clean and hygienic environment as well as a whole new clover salad bar.

Our Mixed Flock of Layers

gray and friends

Our breeds:

  • Americaunas
  • Rhode Island Reds
  • Midnight Majesty Marans
  • Sapphire Olive Egger

Pasture-raised Cortunix Quail

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