Number of Workers Sought1
Type of FarmVegetable
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Farmers' Market
Pay RateStarting wage is $14/hr, and after training there is opportunity for wage increases.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsWe are a worker cooperative of three co-farmers, sharing in the benefits and challenges of small-scale market farming. Barret, Katie, and Max are our names, and we intend to grow food our whole lives, and work alongside many aspiring farmers in the process.
Work and life on the farm isn't always glamorous but working with a great, tight-knit group of people and appreciation from customers, especially in the winter months, works to balance the scales.
We prefer to work and live with folks who can adequately communicate their needs, such as asking for time off in advance. Our general workplace culture is centered around getting a lot done on the farm together, with a dash of humor along the way. We like to think of ourselves as a merry band of vegetable farmers.
If you're seeking full-time employment at $14/hour, and you're interested in season extension winter farming work, we encourage you to join this farm. Our ambition is to provide reasonable working hours, several days off each week, and to increase wages as people's skills for greens harvesting and general crop production increase.
Please visit our website to learn more about the farm:
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveOur farm is 15 acres total, with 5 acres in vegetable production, about 5-7 acres in cover crops, and the remaining acreage in a mix of harvest roads, buildings, and shelter belts (a mix of shrubs, fruit trees, and conifers that act as a wind break when fully grown). We have 5 high tunnels, a seedling greenhouse, and a barn used for storage, the cooler, the dry storage, and the wash/pack station. We have 4 stationary caterpillar tunnels, 12'x146'. We also have some 13'x150' moveable caterpillar tunnels, we set up 4-6 of these depending on the time of year.
Our farm looks out over the Bitterroot mountains and we are a 5 minute drive from fishing and swimming sites along the Bitterroot river.
We are 2 miles south of Stevensville, a small town with most necessary amenities and many community events. Missoula is 45 minutes away and Hamilton (another small but vibrant town) is 30 minutes away.
In 2021 we will be building two 30'x156' high tunnels and installing improvements like garage doors to our current high tunnel fleet.
Describe your farm operation
Our farm grows a large amount of cut greens and root crops, with an additional mix of hot crops, head brassicas, herbs, alliums, etc. We do majority direct sales at 2 summer farmer's markets, 1 winter farmer's market, a Spring, Summer and Winter CSA, and to a handful of chefs.
We strongly believe in providing high quality produce as consistently as possible by attending farmer's market nearly year round and providing CSA shares 40+ weeks of the year. Additional focus is placed on maintaining direct contact with our customers through great customer service and personal connection.
Our farm uses organic practices and we do not spray. We have chosen not to certify since we use leaves from our local municipality, which are technically not considered organic as they are of "unknown origin". We prioritize soil health through our growing practices to create a resilient system from the ground up.
Every part of our farm crew is incredibly important, including our part time employees, full time employees, co-farmers, and landlords. All these folks help the farm grow!
Describe the work to be performed by applicantWe are hiring 1 part-time position for our Wash Station Crew beginning sometime in June-early August. This position will be year round, hours and days will vary from 2-3 days per week depending on the time of year. Approximately 15-25 hours per week.
Days of the week:
July-Sept: Monday/Friday or Monday/Thursday/Friday
April-June: Tuesday/Friday, some Mondays
This position will include a variety of washing and packing work in our wash station. Tasks include cleaning and organizing the wash station at the beginning and end of wash days, cutting/dunking/washing/drying/bagging/bunching various vegetables, packing CSA shares and online orders, maintaining quality standards, and updating harvest records. The position may include some greenhouse work, such as seeding, organization, and watering. We try to tailor farm tasks to fit the skills, abilities, areas of interest, and aptitudes of each employee at the farm.
We will also be hiring 3 part-time positions for the Fall storage crop harvest. These positions will be 3 days/week, about 20-30 hours, from the middle of September through the first week of November. Please inquire if you are interested: 518-572-1233, Katie.
What do you expect of a worker?We put out a biweekly schedule with each crew member's hours. We expect crew members to be punctual and to give us advance notice of any schedule changes. Minor schedule changes, such as an appointment you need to leave work early for, 1 week in advance. Major schedule changes, such as a day off or vacation time, 2 weeks in advance.
We are harvesting three days a week, attending farmers markets on Saturdays, and conducting many farm tasks the other days of the week, including transplanting, flame weeding, weeding, trellising, and more. Crew members must be able to work in variable weather conditions and be able to repeatedly lift 50lbs or more.
Above all we expect crew members to communicate with us. This means asking questions when you're not sure or don't know something, telling us pertinent observations related to work, letting us know if you are having difficulty with something, and clarifying rather than assuming. We expect crew members to be able to receive constructive criticism, although we welcome any instruction and/or feedback about how you like to receive this. We have walkie talkies and cell phones to communicate with.
Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a workerWe are a relatively small crew and frequently work alongside crew members. We generally follow the idea that the more you put in, the more you will get out. We find those who learn the most at our farm are those who ask the most questions and show the most interest in the farm. We are happy to show you most any part of the business, we do need you to communicate this and work with us to make this fit into the farm schedule though.
Crew members that stay with us for more than one season take part in our annual farm review meetings in January. These are a great learning experience to see how a farm improves and changes year after year.
If you are interested in attending any farm-related workshops, trainings, and/or CFAC field days we are happy to pay for these and work them into the schedule.
For many tasks on the farm we have a manual or standard operating procedure sheet, these are helpful tools for the farm and can serve as helpful reminders for crew members.
We have a variety of farm books and online resources crew members are welcome to use
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 DescriptionWe do a two week trial period with most new employees to ensure it's a good fit for both parties before committing to anything long term. We will work by your side, providing a space to ask and answer questions when we're working on particular tasks in order to assess in two week's time, whether it's a good fit. If you are coming from out of the area we can provide temporary housing for you during the trial period.
Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your areaThere are rental options throughout the Bitterroot and in Missoula. Some of our employees who live in Missoula carpool to work. We can provide you with temporary housing while you look for a place, too (just a camper, nothing fancy). Some past employees have rented a house together to live in, this is sometimes easier to find than an apartment.
We have dinner, play board games, go to the river or brewery, and/or have a bonfire about 1-2x per week with crew and other farm friends.