Cramer Organics seeks Summer 2010 Interns

16 Dec

Location: 30 miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cramer Organics is a small, 10 acre farm in the Crow River Watershed and close to the town of Rockford. Our primary market is our 80 member CSA. We use a permanent bed system on about 4 acres, and have been certified organic since starting in 2004. Sustainable practices are at the center of our practice, as we try to model nature as best we can. On-farm composting and cover crops such as Rye, Vetch, Ryegrass, Buckwheat, and Sorghum-Sudan grass are integral to our farming operation. For 2010, we plan to increase our CSA membership to 100+ and start selling to Harvest Moon Coop opening in the community of Long Lake in 2010.

Interns will begin in May and will learn all aspect of growing fruit and vegetables organically. This will include greenhouse work, planting from transplants and direct seeding, cultivating, use of equipment (both hand and Tractor), cover crop strategies, insect management, weed management, irrigation, harvesting, post-harvest handling, composting, food safety, storage, packing CSA boxes, and delivery. Further, Interns will be involved in our learning opportunities, including outreach activities on our farm and others, and our “learn to cook” seminars we plan to have for our CSA members. Our CSA “Library” is also available to Interns.

Intern Skills/Experience:

Previous organic farm experience is a plus, but not necessary. Interns need to be self-motivating, get along with others, non-smokers, neat and orderly in their living habits, and able to rise on their own early in the morning. We are looking for people who enjoy hard physical work, and being outside all day.

Intern Start: May 1st – June1st
Intern End: October
Number of Interns: 2-3
Application Deadline: March 15th, Selection by April 15th
Minimum Duration: 3 months

Interns will be expected to work approximately 50-55 hours/week: 7-5. If the weather is very hot, we may lunch from 12 – 3, and work the cooler evening hours. In June and July, we will work many Saturdays: 8 – Noon. Sundays will be off the entire season. After July 15, Interns may take 5 days off as a single block or a number of long weekends.

Internship Stipends/Benefits:

$800/ month + an abundant portion of the weekly produce + a cookbook. Interns will be responsible for their meals. There are no boarding accommodations on the farm.

Family Information:

Cramer Organics was started in 2004 by Bob & Joey Cramer, inspired by our daughters Kelly & Katie, who have worked on organic farms in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington State, and Minnesota, and have worked side-by-side with us as we have grown.

Son Rob & son-in-law Madrone’s collective experience in the construction industry has been invaluable on many project including building our greenhouse.

Our artist son-in-law Juan Esteban was a full time farm hand in 2008, and daughter-in-law Shelley is busy producing workers. Our newest worker, Hannah, was born August 31, 2009!

And of course, our two most enthusiastic workers; 3 year old grandsons Rohan and Liam.

Additional Information:

One of the challenges of growing on small acreage is managing the tightly integrated rotation of cover crops, cash crops and fallow. We believe that if managed well, a small acreage can be as productive as a much larger farm. In addition, we have applied for a research grant from the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program to study the effects of winter killed Sorghum Sudan Grass (Sudex) as a weed suppressing mulch for our tomato production. We believe that mulch provides exceptional benefits, but difficult to manage on a large scale, and problematic for early crops in Minnesota.

Finally, we continually look to nature for the ‘secrets’ for how to grow our crops. There is significant research underway at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere, looking at how nature ‘stresses’ plants & specific cultivars, many heirloom, that produce nutrient dense foods for sustained health. We are continually tapping into this research as it becomes available.

For our interns, these areas provide excellent learning opportunities on not only how to be sustainable, but how to grow the very highest quality crops – quality that nature intended all along. We hope you will join us for the 2010 season.

If interested, please contact:

Joey Cramer

3889 Eckert Ave SE

Delano, Minnesota 55328

763-972-6647

racramermn (at) yahoo.com

Be sure to mention in your cover letter that you found this listing on the Sustainable Food Jobs website!

%d bloggers like this: