Farm-to-Home Harvest Crew

Applications now open for the Spring 2019 harvest season.

Important Dates:
Spring Harvest Season:  April 29 – June 28 (9 weeks)
Application Deadline:  Monday, April 15.
*Returning Crew members must re-apply.*
Tuesday Crew Orientation:  Tuesday, April 23
Friday Crew Orientation:  Friday, April 26

The Farm-to-Home Harvest Crew is a therapeutic-vocational program in which individuals receiving services at the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health harvest and pack these produce bags in a supportive environment and have the opportunity to socialize with peers and staff during lunch.

Is this a job?

A position on the Farm to Home Harvest Crew is voluntary, but treated like a job.  There is no pay, but there are benefits:

  • A bag of farm produce to take home each week
  • Vocational skills training
  • Resume builder
  • The opportunity to give back to the community by making nutritious food accessible to others
  • The opportunity to connect and collaborate with other clients on the crew
  • Lunch as a group and the opportunity to practice cooking skills.

How is the program structured?

  • A single crew of 2-3 individuals works together each week for the entire season.
  • Crew members arrive 10 minutes before 9AM for a brief gathering, announcements, and settling in.
  • Harvest is completed in a focused manner between 9-11:30AM.  
  • At 11:30, crew gathers in farmhouse for lunch, preparing one item from today’s harvest together.  Lunchtime is an opportunity to relax by yourself or catch up with one another.
  • At 12:30, the harvest is pulled from cold storage and packed into produce packs for delivery to other clients by UNC CECMH staff.
  • Clean-up, wrap-up, and departure by 2PM.

What are the requirements?

While no experience is necessary to apply, applicants must meet certain requirements.  Crew members must be able to:

  • Make a weekly commitment for the full 9-week season
  • Be on your feet for up to 3 hours at a time, including some bending and squatting and light lifting
  • Work outdoors in all weather
  • Have a reliable way to get to the Farm or be able to get to Carr Mill Mall to access the Farm shuttle.

What skills will I practice?

Hard skills:

  • Recognizing crops and judging their readiness for harvest
  • Harvest technique as practiced by market farmers
  • Post-harvest handling for shelf-life and food safety
  • Bunching, bagging, and packing CSA-style produce shares
  • Weighing and record-keeping

Soft skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Following verbal directions and step-by-step processes
  • Working as a team
  • Accomplishing a task on a time budget
  • Punctuality and reliability

How can I apply?

Print out the file below, fill it out and return in person, via postage or email to our Program Manager below:

A paper application is also available and can be sent via postage or email.

Matt Ballard
Program Manager
matthew_ballard@med.unc.edu
Office: 919-445-0665
Cell: 919-533-9397

Upon receipt of your application, you will be contacted for an in-person interview with Jessamine Hyatt, Farm Manager, and Matt Ballard, Program Manager.