Listing Information

Currently Hiring

Yes

Number of Workers Sought

4

Type of Farm

Vegetable

Marketing Strategy

Community Supported Agriculture

Paid

Yes

Pay Rate

Starting wage is $20/hr.

We are a year-round farm so there is always free food to be had.

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

We are a worker cooperative of three co-farmers, sharing in the benefits & challenges of small-scale market farming. Barret, Katie,Max are our names, &we intend to grow food our whole lives, &work alongside many aspiring farmers in the process.

Work & life on the farm isn't always glamorous but working with a great, tight-knit group of people appreciation from customers, especially in the winter months, works to balance the scales.

We prefer to work 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 on a farm w/ workers comp insurance, & you're interested in season extension winter farming work, we encourage you to join this farm. We provide reasonable reliable working hours & several days off each week.

Please visit our website to learn more about the farm:
www.missoulagrainandvegetable.com

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

Our farm is 15 acres total, 1 acre of greenhouses, 5 total 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 6 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 operate three- 13'x150' moveable caterpillar tunnels 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.

Describe your farm operation

We strongly believe in filling voids in the food system. That's why we grow high quality produce for the deepest, darkest months of the year. We're the only farm that pushes fresh sales of greens into February and March.

In this wild winter farming effort, every part of our farm crew is incredibly important, especially part-time employees and full-time employees. All these folks help the farm grow big and strong and organically! Workers are the reason the farm provides winter chow

We grow thousands of pounds of cut greens, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, & countless root crops w/ an additional mix of hot crops, alliums, etc. We do majority direct sales through Spring & Winter CSA programs that feed over 310 members. We also sell through 2 online stores (one we manage; the other hosted by a local non-profit).

Our farm uses organic practices & we do not spray toxic applications. We do NOT, however, certify since we incorporate municipal leaves into the soil, which cannot be certified organic bc they are of "unknown origin". Also of note: we prioritize soil health thru our growing practices to create a resilient system from the ground up w/ acres of cover crops.

Describe the work to be performed by applicant

We are hiring 4 full-time positions beginning in March and April.

These positions are for 32 hours per week. 4 days per week.

These positions are for a variety of farm work. We work very hard as farm managers to tailor farm tasks to fit the skills, abilities, areas of interest, and aptitudes of each employee at the farm. Often each employee is trained on harvesting several crops. In 2022, we are focused on training everyone to harvest cut greens, because in the wintertime when the sunny/thawed hours are scarce, we hope to have everyone on deck ready to harvest greens together for our Winter CSA.

Generally our weeks follow a familiar pattern in the main growing season:
Weekday mornings are for focused transplanting and harvests before the heat forces us to take up other farm tasks. Afternoons are for general field work such as irrigating, weeding, pruning and trellising, and indoor wash-station work such as hydrocooling, bagging, and packing vegetables.

What do you expect of a worker?

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.

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, 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 repeatedly lift 50lbs or more.

Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a worker

Our primary job as farmers is to provide youthe co-farmer with everything you need to succeed at anything you're tasked with. We take this very seriously.

We are a relatively small crew & 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 & show the most interest in the farm. We are happy to show you most any part of the business. We need you to communicate this & work with us to make this fit into the farm schedule though.

Crew members working 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 & changes year after year.
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If you are interested in attending any farm-related workshops, trainings, &/or CFAC field days we are happy to pay for these & 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 & can serve as helpful reminders for crew members.
We have a variety of farm books & 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 Description

We 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 area

There 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.

Please attach any photos of your farm and operation

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

N/A

What are the dates of your position?

YEAR-ROUND. Starting: we have positions starting different months. Please ask whether we've filled the March, April, and May positions. End Date: N/A

Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?

Prefer full season