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Currently we are transitioning the fields from conventional corn and beans to organic vegetables, fruit, and berries. This process is on going and each year more tillable ground is committed to fruit and vegetable production as our market share increases. As the taxes still have to be paid, the balance of land each year is rented to cover that governmental obligation. We market our crops through a variety of venues. We direct market our crops by exploring viable farmers markets, using our highway visibility with a road side stand, partnering with food coops and restaurants, as well as offering a viable, active CSA model. This year we will begin exploring farm to school programs, and expanding our restaurants and retail outlets. The rotation of crops, adding carbon to the soil, and being part of local food sales are just a touch of the systems we are implementing. We have planted 18 acres into a wild life habitat and filter strip to protect the two lakes on the farm. We have approximately 7 acres of woods unmanaged that we will develop better management practices this season. Last fall we spread new acorns to promote new tree growth. We will be working on the farm as a whole to make a balanced system so that the farm can sustain itself year after year. We have added season extending systems to be able to provide fresh food longer in our community.
The individual will be part of our crew family. Everyone participates in planting, weeding, harvest, packing, distribution, and every day farm chores. We will be operating a greenhouse and high tunnel that will provide data for future projects. Your duties will provide an opportunity to work with a farmer who is striving to produce crops year round. Our current crew has a passion to provide good food to the customer. The future greenhouse or hoop house structures will ultimately have alternate energy sources. The current project is small and uses conventional energy sources so we can measure the BTU and kW inputs accurately. This data will allow us to size a green energy system properly.
Everyone will be involved in all aspects of the farm, from preparing the soil, to planting, cultivating, harvesting and packaging; along with daily harvest for delivery to co-ops, restaurants, CSA boxes, and farm markets. There will be planning time set aside to evaluate the week’s current activities and prepare for the future.
Actual farm experience is not necessary, but must have basic understanding of horticultural practices. Of course, farm experience is helpful. We work in all weather, except lightning storms. Be able and willing to lift 40-50 lbs. and basically in good health. This is an active farm – we farm multiple acres – there is walking involved. Each individual will need basic work clothes (that will get dirty each day), good footwear, gloves, water bottle, appropriate sun and insect protection. Most tools will be provided but you may choose to invest in something that better suits your needs. This personal choice is usually a small tool that is worn on the belt, like a “Leatherman”. Good leg muscles are a must. At this point, we only farm crops, but anyone with animal husbandry skills could bring a new dimension to the farm. The addition of animals to the farm is mainly for soil nutrition and to increase crop values. We have poultry now and will be adding other animals as the need arises. We are looking for someone who is willing to learn, but who is not afraid to express new ideas.
We are looking for a minimum commitment of 8 weeks. Our selling season runs, mid-April through November, earlier planting and later clean up chores are also done. Any one wanting to stay for the whole season is also welcome. Late or end of season opportunities are very much encouraged. We will be offering a couple of different types of opportunities. As farmers, we are trying to consider student’s needs and interests; therefore we are trying to be creative with our offers. We are also open to part-time, those who can only offer two or three days a week. Total number of positions available will depend on the overall interest.
The first position is for our vegetable farming. Our working season runs April through November. A minimum 8-week commitment is requested, but it would be perfect for someone looking for a full-season opportunity. This position covers it all – from start to finish – preparing soil, planting, cultivating, harvesting, packaging and preparing CSA boxes for our CSA family.
The second position will be for our strawberry season –depending on the season and runs early-May to plant new fields through mid-July harvest and clean up. This would entail earlier hours, harvesting is done early in the day, sorting and packaging is done after that. The primary focus will be on the strawberries and their care. We will have 4 or 5 of these positions available. These individuals can roll from the strawberries into the farming crew if the right individual presents themselves.
The concept and portions of interning is new for us. Living arrangements and stipends will need to be discussed to make things work for the both of us. We are open to lots of ideas but most of our infrastructure is not yet created. I am looking forward to good discussions to discover what the needs are.
My wife and I have been married 30 years this summer with conservative values. We are still discovering the value and importance of nutritionally dense food and our health. This has been a steep learning curve for us. Good nutritious food has always been important. What we are discovering is how it can improve our health. My parents have a house on the back side of the farm. We are a family farm. The original farm house is what my maternal grandfather built in 1954. My Grandfather made a living here and I will too. Our dogs and cats are our “children” with some privileges but they are still pets. They are indoor and outdoor animals. Feeding people good nutritious food is my passion and driving force. We are growing and developing new systems every year. If you are interested in discovering your farming interests through testing and trying things, that is what we do all the time.
We are growing and learning each and every year. This farming operation has many marketing avenues, as well as new production opportunities with our new season extenders. A visit to The Farm is welcomed and encouraged before making any final plans or commitments. Thank you for considering a dialog with us about this coming season.