Listing Information

Currently Hiring

No, not at this time. Please check back next season!

Number of Workers Sought

2

Type of Farm

Fruit/Orchard

Marketing Strategy

Farmers' Market, Wholesale

Paid

Yes

Pay Rate

$16-25/hr DOE PLUS end of season bonus offered for being reliable and committed to accomplishing projects
food not included
Small off-grid camper available for lodging one person or couple

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

We are a married couple new to commercial scale farming. We love to grow plants and our educational backgrounds are in agriculture and business. We are committed to energy conservation, soil preservation, regenerative agriculture, mimicking natural systems, and providing habitat for wildlife, especially pollinators & raptors. We will expand the acres planted in future years, but this first year we will plant 3.3 acres of perennial berry bushes.

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

We are located in St Ignatius, Montana which is a small farming town with a handful of grocery stores, restaurants, maybe a bar (?) and a mechanic shop. There is a growing new farmer community as well as established farms running for generations. This town is on the Flathead reservation which is the ancestral lands of the Salish Kootenai tribe. It is a 45 minute drive north of Missoula and a 35 minute drive south from Polson.
Our 80 acre farm is a former wheat field that we are slowly replacing with berry orchards. The Mission Mountain views are spectacular as our farm sits very close to the Mission Mountain Reservoir and campground. It is an incomparably lovely wilderness, but recreation permits are required.

Describe your farm operation

We value using regenerative solar energy whenever possible and installation of these systems are part of the infrastructure build out. We are using a tractor with 3-pt implements for field prep (tillage, sowing cover crop). Ergonomic hand tools will be used for planting.
We will be using herbicides (applied by a 3rd party contractor) only once this spring in order to establish the orchard and after that we are committed to organic practices. Our goal for this year is to build the infrastructure (fencing, solar, irrigation, field prep, and planting) for a berry orchard.

Describe the work to be performed by applicant

The ideal applicant will be able to assist with the following:
Install solar panels
Build pumphouse
Planting cover crop via tractor with no till drill
Soil amendment application via tractor
Build large deer fence
Install drip irrigation system
Install fertigation system
Create rows with plastic mulch
Plant berries with ergonomic tool - perennial plugs
Weed management as necessary

What do you expect of a worker?

A full work week is required, 40 hours minimum.
Schedule is flexible and can be determined before each week begins. However, once the schedule is set, reliability is essential. Of course emergencies come up but communication is expected if you need to miss work.
Heavy physical labor includes carrying construction materials, manual post pounding for fence installation and laying pipe for irrigation installation. Farm work will be mainly mechanical via tractor and ergonomic planting tools.
The ideal candidate is a fast learner and able to problem solve. Because we are relatively new to this field, we welcome outside input especially if you are more experienced on a particular task.
Responsibilities:
Keep track of work done each day, report to employer
Keep track of hours worked, report to employer
Transportation to and from farm
Must be available via mobile phone during work hours

Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a worker

You will experience farm start up infrastructure build-out first hand! You will be working alongside the owners and other employees. We are always happy to share our research on the plants we are growing as well as explain our reasons for choosing particular cultivation methods. We are also very eager to hear feedback on considerations we may have overlooked. It’s hard to think of everything!

Are you a full-time farmer?

Yes

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

Whie it is not required that you live on site, we do have rough accommodations available for one employee and their partner. Additional employees are welcome to bring their own camper/tent. Porta Potty and potable water on site.

Intoxication during work hours will not be tolerated.

Please attach any photos of your farm and operation

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

We have dogs we will be bringing with us to the farm daily. We live offsite and will not be spending nights at the farm.

What are the dates of your position?

Early March- Mid May with some flexibility on start and end dates , 8-10 weeks approximately

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

Prefer full season