California: Ocean Air Farms seeks Interns

28 Apr

General Description: Ocean Air Farms is a 15-acre “mixed operation” farm located ten miles south of the California/Oregon border, and just two miles east of the ocean.

Ten acres of produce goes to our 80 member CSA in addition to 4 weekly local farmers markets. We serve our northern neighbors in Brookings, OR. and our community just south of us, Crescent City.  Both of which are within 20 miles from our farm fields in Fort Dick.  We grow a large range of temperate climate vegetables, culinary herbs, a dabble at fruit (strawberries, raspberries and a young apple orchard), and fresh flowers too that not only we enjoy but our honeybees do too.

In the remaining acreage we grow pasture where we raise Icelandic sheep for wool, and a variety of milking goats.  We also hand milk a cow for cream and the “extra” milk we use to feed up some bull calves for beef and pigs for pork. Every season we raise a flock of meat chickens (1-2 hundred on pasture).  We hope to reintroduce a small flock of laying hens on our farm in 2011 for personal consumption. 

Not only does the farm offer a lot of diversity, so does the surrounding area. Home of the “Wild Rivers Coast” there are lots of outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, biking, fishing, surfing and kayaking near by. The beautiful Smith River is 3 minutes away, old growth redwoods are all around our region, and the Tolowa State Dunes Park is just down the road from us.

Internship Starts: May

Internship Ends: Nov. 15th

Number of Interns: 3-5

App Deadline: until positions are filled

Minimum Length of Stay: 6.5 months


There are shared lunches twice a week, on our harvest days (Tues and Fri). We all rotate cooking responsibilities on these days.

We provide some locally grown organic whole grains, home raised grass fed meats, all the produce grown in our fields, and our own organic milk (goat and cow).

Skills Desired: We are looking for hardworking individuals who love being outdoors and don’t mind getting dirty. One who can work alone and also in groups, is trust worthy, and has good communication skills. At times this can be a very high pace work environment and which always needs to be efficient. Attention to details, ability to listen and ask questions are all good attributes to bring with you.

Farm experience is not necessary, but the true desire to engage in hands-on learning and willingness to physically work hard is essential. Please note any specialized experience you may have (i.e. mechanic, plumbing, wood work, cement, natural building, chef, and or direct marketing, quick books, etc). Running a small-scale farm requires the work of a Renaissance man/woman.

An ideal intern would be one who takes joy and pride in this line of work and loves the life style it requires, one who works well with their hands, head, and heart.

Educational Opportunities: This is predominately a hands-on educational opportunity. We learn from doing, though we do read a lot of agricultural books, magazines and newspapers. Our library will be available for your use.

 We also highly encourage you to keep a journal. Our journals we keep are one of our most valuable tools. It is a great place for your observations, notes on daily/weekly tasks, and a great way to remember questions. In the end it becomes priceless info that you can reflect upon and refer back to in the future.

 During the season we will also have a movie night or two, showing titles like “The Real Dirt on Farmer John”, “King Corn” and/or agricultural and foodie flicks.

 We will schedule at least one farm field trip during the season. This is a fun opportunity to visit other small-scale farms to get a glimpse of different operation layouts and techniques.  Field trips have featured our fellow farmers and mentors and their respective fields of interest including coastal grains & poultry, whole sale organic potatoes & direct marketed dry beans, organic pasture based dairy, educational farms, farm stands, nurseries, and other CSA’s.

 Additionally if you show an interest in a particular facet of the farm, we will encourage it, and would make arrangements for you to explore/take the lead role in that area (i.e. working at the farmers market, building a cob oven, being the compost specialist or the morning milker). Let your interest guide you and keep communications clear with us so we can all work it out together.

Stipend: $100/week, Food (see “meal” section above) and Housing (see below)

Housing: 5th wheel slide out trailer (double occupancy), one 23 foot travel trailer (single or couple occupancy), loft space in the new building and plenty of tent space, or hay bales in the barn. Accommodations are rustic. Communal kitchen, and bathhouse are under construction. Currently we’re designing the septic system = out house only. Think of it as something like luxury camping meets rustic country living.

Preferred method Of Contact: Email

Internship Details:

We are in need of 3-5 interns for the 2011 season.  Commitment and communication is key.  Interns will become an integral part of the farm operation and lifestyle we have come to love. Jobs include but are not limited to, animal husbandry (a.m./p.m.); sowing seeds, transplanting, weeding, mulching; harvesting, washing and packing vegetables; setting up irrigation, making soil mixes, turning/creating compost, cover cropping some tractor work and marketing at the farmers markets

If you are thinking about farming as a career, and are especially interested in the relationship between row crop vegetables, livestock, and direct marketing consider this internship. We also enjoy the opportunity to “introduce” farming to people who haven’t yet had field experience. As young farmers ourselves, we have a lot of energy, inspiration, and experience to share with the right future farmers.

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