Number of Workers Sought2
Type of FarmVegetable, Other
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Restaurant, Wholesale, Other
Pay Rate$2,000/month stipend, free room and board, wi-fi, utilities and farm produce provided. There is also the possibility of advancement to a position of greater responsibility after successfully completing a season's internship with us.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsLowdown farm was started in 2007 by Jay and Kristi. Jay is currently completing his D.O. residency, and as a result have hired us, Ian and Caitlin, to manage the farm for the next few years. Ian started at Lowdown as an intern in 2017, and began managing the field the next year. While traveling and farming on a two year adventure in South America, Ian found his passion for organic agriculture. Caitlin began her farming career in Boulder, Colorado where she spent two years working on a larger scale vegetable operation, and later moved to North Idaho to help a friend start a small market and CSA farm.We enjoy spending our free time backpacking in the Mission Mountains, Bob Marshall, and other wilderness areas near by. We spend many summer afternoons swimming and floating in the river. Ian forages for wild edibles, experiments with fermentation, and bakes sourdough bread. Caitlin is an avid reader, and a lover of poetry. Our ever developing farming philosophy is centered around improving the land, building healthy soil, and providing quality organic vegetables to the Western Montana Community.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveThe Moiese Valley is an incredibly beautiful agricultural valley located about an hour north of Missoula, Montana. Our 40-acre farm offers breathtaking views of the Mission Mountains to the east and is only a half-mile walk from the gorgeous Flathead River; perfect for swimming, floating, and fishing. The Mission Mountains are a half-hour drive to the east and offer endless opportunities for hiking and exploring. We are also only about 45 minutes south of Flathead Lake, and a few hours drive from Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. While this is an immensely beautiful and very diverse area, with much to see and do, we like to stress the relatively remote nature of our location. The nearest town of any size is a 15-minute drive away. We do provide wi-fi for our interns, but cell phone reception can be spotty here, depending on your service provider, although texting is usually possible. In short, employees should expect to adjust to a slower, rural, pace of life. If you think you'd be interested in coming to work and learn organic farming skills in an incredibly beautiful part of the world, we'd love to hear from you!
Describe your farm operation
We are a Certified Organic farm located in the beautiful Moiese Valley. We currently grow a variety of vegetables and herbs for wholesale markets, as well as for a multi-farm CSA operated by the Western MT Grower's Co-op. We also grow a large seed garlic crop that is marketed through a retail seed company. In addition we have 25 acres of pasture that we lease out for cattle grazing. We have a greenhouse for starting seeds in spring, 3 large heated hoop houses primarily used for growing tomatoes and basil, and 3 unheated hoop houses used for general season extension purposes. We also have a large garden for home/intern use in which we grow many other vegetables, a small chicken flock, as well as assorted fruit trees and berries. We have 4 tractors and various farm implements that we (and employees) use whenever applicable. We are one of the few vegetable farms in MT that irrigate with a pivot, which saves us a lot of time, energy, and water. Employees will be working with managers Ian and Caitlin, and independently at least some of the time.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantWork primarily involves helping with the seeding, planting, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, cleaning, and packing of produce for wholesale, the CSA and seed crops. Although other farm tasks such as moving irrigation pipe, driving tractors and other equipment, moving pasture fencing (we lease our pasture out to a neighbor's beef cattle herd), and various miscellaneous farm projects, including minor carpentry and mechanical jobs, will also be included. It's important that employees be able to both take direction and be self-motivated as well as work happily both as part of a team and independently. We ask that successful applicants be fully prepared to commit to the entire growing season.
What do you expect of a worker?We ask employees to work an average of 40 hours a week, except during our two week garlic harvest where it is closer to 50 hours a week. Our work schedule tends to vary a bit throughout the season, but we like to work 4 x 10 hour days Monday - Thursday when possible. During heavy harvest periods work may (temporarily) shift to some Friday mornings and/or Sunday evenings. We take an hour break for lunch every day and weekends are free. Each employee is given 5 consecutive days of paid vacation time, with the stipulation that crew vacations must not overlap. Employeees must be able to lift 40-50 pounds repeatedly and must be willing to work outdoors in all weather. It seldom rains in our corner of MT, but it can get very hot, windy, smokey (from forest fires), and frosty on occasion. Some degree of physical discomfort while working outdoors should occasionally be both expected and acceptable. While farming experience is desirable, it's not necessary—we can teach all the skills needed, much more important to us is that crew members have a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, be able to take direction well, and to work well with others and independently.
Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a workerIn addition to learning how to run a successful, profitable, small organic family farm, we encourage our crew to attend the CFAC field days that occur monthly throughout the growing season. We also sometimes take field trips to friends' farms to learn how other folks do things, as well as host field trips to our farm. Each season we spend time with our crew going over our farm's financial records so that they get a basic grasp of the book and record keeping required to run a successful small farm. All that said, we believe the most valuable learning experience we have to offer lies in simply doing all the various day-to-day farm-work and learning how that changes over the arc of the season.
Are you a full-time farmer?Yes
Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your areaHousing is a shared 2-bedroom, 1 bath, house with a full kitchen, a large shared living area, and washer and dryer. We also have a small (14ft. diameter), but quaint, yurt with electricity and a wood stove. Anyone electing to live in the yurt shares the kitchen, bathroom, and washing machine in the house. If crew members smoke, we ask that they do it outdoors. Pets are negotiable, but they absolutely must be kid and livestock-friendly, no exceptions.
Please attach any photos of your farm and operation
What are the dates of your position?We are looking to hire two crew members from May thru October. Weekly schedule changes throughout the year. When daylight permits we prefer to work 4 days a week 10 hour days, In July we usually switch to 4 nines and a half day on Sunday.
Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?Shorter periods of employment possible, Prefer full season
Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.There are many other farms around us that also hire interns, so there's opportunities for socializing, and endless recreational options and opportunities to explore between the Mission mountains and the Flathead river. We have found that persons who enjoy such outdoor activities as camping, hiking, fishing and hunting, and swimming and floating tend to most enjoy living in Moiese.
Type of Farm (Other)seed garlic
Marketing Strategy (Other)Member, Western MT Grower's Co-op; seed garlic sold through retail distributor
Do you have a website, social media account, or job posting anywhere else?Yes
Online Listing URLhttps://www.facebook.com/LowdownFarmMoieseMT/ https://www.instagram.com/lowdownfarm/