Number of Workers Sought2
Type of FarmVegetable
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Farmers' Market
Pay RateStarting wage is $15/hr, and after training there is opportunity for wage increases.
We are a year-round farm so there is always free food to be had.
We provide a gas stipend if you are the driver and carpool with other employees.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsWe 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 at $15/hour 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, & wage increases as people's skills for greens harvesting & 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 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.
In 2022 we will be building one 30'x96' high tunnel and installing improvements to our current high tunnel fleet.
Describe your farm operation
Every part of our farm crew is incredibly important, including our part-time employees, full-time employees, co-farmers, &; landlords. All these folks help the farm grow!
grows a large amount of cut greens &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 & Winter CSA, & to a handful of chefs. We also sell through two online stores, one of which we manage & another hosted by a Bitterroot non-profit organization.
We strongly believe in providing high quality produce as consistently as possible by attending farmer's market nearly year round & providing CSA shares 40+ weeks of the year. Additional focus is placed on maintaining direct contact with our customers through great customer service & personal connection.
Our farm uses organic practices & we do not spray toxic applications. We do not, however, 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 thru our growing practices to create a resilient system from the ground up.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantWe are hiring 2 full-time positions beginning in April and May.
These positions are for 32-40 hours per week. 4-5 days per week. Days per week may include Monday through Saturday, Sunday is typically an off day for all.
These positions are for a variety of farm work, and may include some hours at the farmers market in Hamilton or Missoula. Not everyone is interested in farmers market work, but for folks who are interested, there are plenty of techniques and vegetable arrangements to learn. We try 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. Thursdays and Fridays deserve special note. These are focused harvest and packing days for the entire crew as we prepare for multiple farmers markets.
A note on being a year-round operation: There is definite work through the end of February 2023 as our Winter CSA continues through February. We may have work available in the month of March 2022, but this depends on our supply of greens in the high tunnels and storage crops in the cooler at the end of February.
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, 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 repeatedly lift 50lbs or more.
Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a workerOur 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.
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 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.