Listing Information

Number of Workers Sought

1

Type of Farm

Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard, Other

Type of Farm (Other)

Organic Vegetable and Flower Seed; value added agriculture

Marketing Strategy

Wholesale, Other

Marketing Strategy (Other)

Contract vegetable and flower seeds and value added product (popsicles)

Paid

Yes

What are the dates of your position?

Flexible with the ideal of starting in the first week of May 2023 with the season finishing in November 2022. Please call or email and we can discuss your availability.

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

Housing

Yes

Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your area

We have a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house on the property for the employee. The house is wood heated, furnished and quite comfy (with a full bathroom and complete kitchen). The house is for the one employee. If an individual currently has housing nearby we can discuss adjusting the wage since they would not be using this benefit. We ask that no illegal drugs be used on our property and there is no smoking of tobacco. The worker will live independently from our family and eat in an independent fashion. In exchange for the housing the worker is asked to maintain the lawn behind their home and scheduled weekends (one per month) where they stay at the farm to take care of the animals while we are gone. We have two dogs, two cats and one horse. All of our animals are extremely friendly to humans.

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 a thirteen year old and enjoy some independent family time during the summer. Farming is hard, tiring, magical, fun and at times stressful work. We have been striving to incorporate more relaxation into our lives and are making progress in this, taking time during the summer to just be.

Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interests

Darci and Karl operate Fresh Roots Farm with our 13 year old and are entering our 12th season. During the summer, Darci works off the farm two days per week as a therapist, while Karl works 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. We are passionate about organic seeds and watching others learn more about seeds.
We have both 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 child is an exuberant and integral part of the farm. They often runs the Polson Farmers Market stand independently, selling berries and paletas.

Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you live

Our farm property is 15 acres with about 6 acres cultivated. We are incredibly 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 complete with numerous lakes with outstanding fishing opportunities. It is necessary for the worker to purchase a Tribal permit to recreate within the Flathead Indian Reservation, where our farm is located. We are 15 minutes from Flathead Lake and 20 minutes from whitewater rapids and world class fishing. Ample hiking, fishing, and water sports opportunities exist. We are equidistant (20 minutes) from the towns of Polson and Ronan, these are both small towns that offer coffee shops, breweries, music coops and grocery stores. We are about 2 hours from Glacier National Park and 1.25 hours from the vibrant Missoula. Polson has a variety of Mountain Biking trails. We live in a rural community and enjoy spending time in the wilderness and playing in the lake. This is a perfect opportunity for an outdoor enthusiast and/or someone who enjoys quiet time.

Describe your farm operation

Fresh Roots Farm is a certified organic seed, vegetable and small fruit farm. Eighty percent of our production is Organic seed and 20% is berries and paletas (real fruit popsicles).
We specialize in cool and warm season annual and biennial seed crops (flowers and vegetables), strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries. We market our berries through Western Montana Growers Cooperative's wholesale and CSA. We have contracts for the organic seed we grow with 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, not to mention amazing flowers and smells. Due to our seed production we have a wide array of pollinators that are fabulous to watch while harvesting.

Describe the work to be performed by applicant

We 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. We feel that it is important to keep our employees to a 40 hour per week work schedule. 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 makes this up by ending short on another day. We believe in incorporating people in all aspects of the farm and training individuals on a variety tools that we employ, this includes a variety of seed cleaning tools we have (including but not limited to belt thresher, winnow wizard and clipper).

May is largely filled with transplanting. We use a water wheel transplanter with the tractor to plant combined with some hand planting. June and July are 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. All tools are provided; however, many people have brought their favorite clippers or other tools that they are fond of. Clothing, water bottles and gloves are the responsibility of the worker, we highly recommend clothing layers as the mornings are usually cool and the afternoons hot/warm.

What do you expect of a worker?

We are seeking one full-time employee who is excited to work and learn in an outdoor setting, in variable weather, has attention to detail and wants to work on an organic vegetable and flower seed farm. Seeds are our future! We have one employee who is returning from last season. We typically work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. We do our best to employ mechanical advantage to limit heavy lifting; however, we do need an employee who can lift 50 lbs, e.g. moving hand line for irrigation. Time off can be arranged in advance. The work we do includes spending hours bending, employing hoes to weed, riding behind a mechanical transplanter and bending over while putting the plants in the ground, kneeling to harvest strawberries and being outside in variable weather conditions ranging from smokey to hot and rainy and cold.

Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a worker

Employees will work side-by-side with us and independently on transplanting, weed management, irrigation management, harvesting and post harvest handling of seed crops, and preparing biennial seed crops for long term storage. Employees will be expected to work efficiently and independently once they are trained and aware of the expectations. Our farm partners with the Organic Seed Alliance, which offers an online seed internship curriculum, which fills quickly and our employee is unfortunately not guaranteed a spot. This interactive, cohort-based course is designed to supplement an on-farm seed production training experience. The course includes six modules over six months, and is focused on the biological, technical and economic aspects of organic seed production.

Are you a full-time farmer?

Yes

Please attach any photos of your farm and operation

Pay Rate

$13 hr starting with a potential mid season raise. This is a full-time position (Monday through Friday). Flexible but ideally starting the first week in May and ending in November. Housing is available on the farm. The house has a full bathroom, a well outfitted kitchen and bedroom. There are couches, dining room table and bed. It is heated by a wood stove. The individual is welcome to harvest what we grow for their own use (including but not limited to raspberries, strawberries, currants and gooseberries and of course Flarepops, fresh fruit popsicles made with our berries and vegetables.

Currently Hiring

Yes

Do you have a website, social media account, or job posting anywhere else?

Yes

Online Listing URL

https://www.flarepops.com