Listing Information

Currently Hiring

Yes

Number of Workers Sought

2

Type of Farm

Small Animal (pigs, rabbits, poultry), Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard

Marketing Strategy

Community Supported Agriculture, Farm Stand, Farmers' Market, Restaurant, Wholesale, Education, Other

Marketing Strategy (Other)

We have a wide variety of on-farm programs and events, including a large newsletter.

Paid

Yes

Pay Rate

For full-time positions: $400/ week stipend with an increase to $450/ week stipend after a 3-week work trial, and a $500 end-of-season bonus for completing the full season with us. Performance-based raises possible. For part-time positions: $9-$10/hour, depending on experience, with potential for increase through the season.

What are the dates of your position?

Start: as soon as possible; End: The fall season ends when the fall field cleanup is complete. Usually this is between October 31st and November 10th.

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

Individuals in full-time farm crew positions will each have one of the two small but private cabins on site (110 and 160 square feet), equipped with power, heat, wi-fi access, refrigerator, composting toilet, and kitchen sink with water supplied by refillable jugs. A sauna/ bathhouse building next to the cabins has a heated shower and washing machine available for everyone on the farm.

Housing is not provided for part-time positions.

Plenty of farm produce is available for crew to use, plus abundant seconds for preserving. Core staples (organic whole grains, legumes, cooking oils etc.) are stocked for the farm crew monthly through the season. Individuals are responsible for most of their own meals, but we'll occasionally prepare group meals to foster a team discussion, celebrate an accomplishment or special occasion, or thank the crew for an extra work-push.

Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.

Who Should Apply?

We are looking for farmhands who are hard-working, eager to learn, able to communicate effectively, work in a fast-paced environment, and learn quickly with hands-on instruction. Previous farming experience is highly favored, but not required. Applicants without farm experience should at least have experience working in some kind of physically demanding, outdoor-based work.

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

Yes

Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interests. What sets you apart from other farms?

This position gives people the opportunity to fully try on the lifestyle of a small organic farm; this is work that can be exhausting, demanding, but also exhilarating and rewarding. We strive to give farm crew real responsibilities in order to learn from experience, and we have high expectations for performance from the whole team, both in our production as a farm, and in learning and skills gained. Crew must be able to work well as part of a team, and also be able to apply their experience and to work independently.

For more information on our farm and philosophy, see: http://www.sweetroot.farm/noah-and-mary

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

We grow about 50 crops for direct sales (market, farmstore, and farm members), and a smaller sub-set of crops for wholesale accounts. Those wholesale crops include baby greens mixes (salad, arugula, baby kale, spinach), head lettuce, radishes, onions, and cucumbers. Our production is about 70% for direct-sales and 30% for wholesale. We grow using all organic methods, are certified by Montana Homegrown (Montana Sustainable Growers Union) and are beginning the process of applying for USDA organic certification in 2020. In 2019 we altered much of our soil preparation methods to transition to minimal tillage on permanent beds; we use both a BCS walk-behind, and a four-wheeled Kubota tractor for various farm tasks.

From the farm, the town of Hamilton is a flat bike ride of less than 2 miles; the larger university-town of Missoula is about a one-hour drive. There are multiple trailheads for accessing the Bitterroot National forest and other public lands within a 5-10 miles drive, and a good swimming hole on the Bitterroot River about a half-mile from the farm.

Please see photos and read the farm newsletters at www.sweetroot.farm

Describe your farm operation

SweetRoot Farm is a small organic farm run by partners Mary Bricker and Noah Jackson in the center of Montana's Bitterroot Valley. We raise vegetables, herbs, flowers, and laying hens on 10 acres just outside of the town of Hamilton. We are entering our sixth season of full-time farming, and in 2020 we will have about 2.5 acres in production including 7,200 square feet of space in stationary unheated high-tunnels, and another 5,000 sf of season extension through moveable caterpillar tunnels. We sell our produce through a local farmers' market, a self-serve farmstore, a membership program of approximately 90 households, as well as through a grower's co-operative and 3 local chef accounts. Part of our motivation as farmers is to be an integrated part of our community, giving people a place to connect with and a better understanding of the process behind their food. We are very open with the community about our practices, our farm development, and our challenges, and encourage farm members and customers to tour the farm throughout the season as we host seasonal farm events. Because of this high degree of outreach, farm crew will find themselves welcomed by highly engaged members.

Describe the work to be performed by applicant

We are hiring for one full-time farm crew member and one part-time farm crew member. Farm Crew will work as a team alongside the farm owner/ operators, and learn all aspects of vegetable production, from bed prep, seeding, and transplanting to cultivation, greenhouse and nursery management, harvest, post-harvest handling, and sales (farmers market and farmstore, membership pickup) and record keeping. We are looking for people who are hard-working, motivated to learn, perform well in a fast-paced environment, and are interested in some aspect of farming as a career.

HOW TO APPLY: Visit www.sweetroot.farm/farmcrew and follow the instructions at the bottom of the webpage.

What do you expect of a worker?

We try to have the team work 40-50 hours per week, on five-days/ week schedule, but we also want to give a realistic experience of farming, so we do expect that everyone stays at it until the day's tasks are done. Each individual’s speed, efficiency, and focus directly impact the length of the workday for the whole team. Farm crew can expect to work 5 days per week, with two full days off each week; generally the crew work-week is Monday through Friday (although some weekly schedules may be altered to fill in with market help or weekend farm duties in exchange for a weekday off). Our farmers market is Saturday. For in town farm deliveries, we require a valid drivers license.

For the part-time position, hours are somewhat flexible.

Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a worker

We are in a constant process of evaluating and improving our farm, and we invite crew into both the learning and behind the scenes farmwork alongside us. Specific learning goals for each crew member will be discussed at the start of the season, and we'll make a plan for how you want to gain those skills, in addition to what we need crew to learn in order to farm effectively and efficiently for the season. We have close ties with many farms in the region and can help facilitate visits to other farms for motivated individuals. We also have a 6-year archive of Growing for Market magazines, and numerous farming books available for crew to browse.

Are you a full-time farmer?

Yes

Do you require a trial period or require a prospective worker to visit your farm before hiring?

Yes

Trial Period Description

In person or phone interview.

Please attach any photos of your farm and operation

Online Listing URL

http://www.sweetroot.farm/farmcrew