Number of Workers Sought2
Type of FarmVegetable, Fruit/Orchard, Other
Type of Farm (Other)Organic Vegetable and Flower Seed; value added agriculture
Marketing StrategyWholesale, Other
Marketing Strategy (Other)Contract Seed and value added product
What are the dates of your position?First start date April 2022. Season finishes November 2022. Please call and we can discuss your availability.
Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?Prefer full season
Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your areaWe have a second 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house on the property. The house is wood heated, comfortable and furnished. The house is for both employees.
Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.We are a small family farm that believes in hard work and having fun. We are passionate about farming and making time to enjoy the beautiful setting we live in and enjoy paddle boarding, rafting, hiking and attending music festivals. We live in a rural community and people are spread apart this requires some driving to connect socially. We have an twelve year old and enjoy some independent family time during the summer. Farming is hard and at times stressful work and there are times when we are tired and are trying to incorporate more relaxation into our lives.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interests. What sets you apart from other farms?I, Karl, operate Fresh Roots Farm with my wife, Darci and our 12 year old daughter and are entering our 11th season at our present location. During the summer, Darci works off the farm two days per week as a therapist, while I work full time on the farm. Our employees are a critical and valued part of our farm. We believe in hands on learning and are passionate about creating an inviting and vibrant farm. We have learned farming from making many mistakes and why we love farming is that it is a continual evolution where we are constantly striving to learn more. We ultimately enjoy, although at times are frustrated, by knowing that the environment is in control of the farm and it is our job to work with the weather and our soil.
Darci and I have previously worked as wilderness guides. Our work in wilderness settings helped shape our philosophies as farmers who desire to create healthy soil, respect the ecological factors and a work towards building a healthy community.
Our daughter is an exuberant and integral part of the farm. She often runs the Polson Farmers Market stand by herself, selling our berries and paletas.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveOur farm property is 15 acres with about 6 acres cultivated. We are incredible lucky to farm in a truly stunning location. I often find myself staring in rapture at the mountains. We are located at the foot of the Mission Mountain Wilderness area. It is possible to hike and backpack from the farm into the wilderness. We are only 15 minutes from Flathead Lake and 20 minutes from whitewater rapids and world class fishing. Ample hiking, fishing, and water sports opportunities exist.
Describe your farm operation
Fresh Roots Farm is a certified organic contract seed and vegetable and small fruit farm. Eighty percent of our gross revenue is contracted Organic seed and 20% is berries and paletas (real fruit popsicles) to help cash flow the business in the summer.
We specialize in cool and warm season annual and biennial seed crops (flowers and vegetables), strawberries, raspberries, currants and a few vegetables. We market our vegetables and berries through Western Montana Growers Cooperative's wholesale and CSA. We contract grow seed for High Mowing Organic Seeds, Fedco Seeds, Botanical Interests, Fruition Seeds, Row 7 Seeds and Triple Divide Organic Seed Cooperative. Additionally, in 2017 we started a value-added popsicles enterprise, Flare Pops (https://www.flarepops.com).
We are extremely passionate about our organic seed enterprise and believe organic seed production brings a unique niche enterprise and biological diversity to our farm.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantWe believe in hard work and having fun. Farming is physical work and you can expect repetitive movements and being outside in a variety of weather conditions. Please note that farming is not a clock in and out business; there will be times when we need to get a harvest or other project completed before ending the day, but we keep to a 40 hour per week work schedule.
May is largely filled with transplanting. We use a water wheel transplanter to plant 1/4 acre plantings of seed crops. June and July is mostly water and weed management. We use an electric Allis Chalmers G to field cultivate and hand tools to clean up weeds. Clean fields are imperative to successful seed farming to reduce disease pressure. August and September is hand harvest of seed crops as well as cutting, windrowing and threshing of seed crops. October is field cleanup, harvesting of root crops for long term storage for next year's seed production, and cleaning and drying seed.