Number of Workers Sought2
Type of FarmLarge Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Small Animal (pigs, rabbits, poultry), Dairy, Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard
Marketing StrategyFarm Stand, Farmers' Market, Restaurant
Pay Rate$15/hour work trade towards new remodeled 1BR rental on property and food allowance
Do you have a website, social media account, or job posting anywhere else?Yes
Online Listing URLhttps://www.facebook.com/Valhalla-Farm-158193251453592
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsThe farm is managed by David Max (age 48) and his son Odin (age 14). Jill Russell out of Missoula (age 42) remotely and onsite helps manage our annual gardens, established perennial herb garden, fruit orchard and hugelkultur mounds. Other friends and family are sometimes present and help out on the farm. We have been here 10+ years and been farming in some capacity for 15+ years. While not certified organic, we use no chemicals on the farm. Everything is non GMO, natural and organic and our hay, grains and legumes that we import for feed are all certified organic. We are always looking for new and more sustainable ways to manage or pasture and soil health. We use extensive cover cropping, feed crops, and fodder and this year are looking at incorporating a seed drill and trying to add some no till into our mix. Outside interests involve helping to promote, support and participate in community events as well as managing our local radio station in Hot Springs, 101.9FM KJFK, Hot Springs Community Radio.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveValhalla Farm is a 20 acre sustainable homestead/production farm located on the edge of Hot Springs and literally a stones throw from the amazing hot springs (most mineralized hot springs in the world apparently) in Hot Springs, Montana but also end of the road - so its very quiet and peaceful! Hot Springs is a funky little town that is really starting to embrace community and Valhalla Farm is a major part of that through supplying healthy delicious food and education into the community. Hot Springs Creek runs though the property and there are many quiet places along the creek to be and connect with nature. There is a swimming hole on the property. The property has 13 acres of pasture that is fenced and animals are moved often. Currently working on upgrading our fencing, plans for a barn as well as a greenhouse.
Describe your farm operation
We raise Guernsey/Jersey Dairy Cows, LaMancha Dairy Goats, Barbados Meat Sheep, Mangalitsa Hogs, Layer Chickens, Butcher Chickens, and Maremma Livestock Guardian Dogs. We also have a fenced garden area that expands a little every year and a 50 fruit tree orchard that was mostly planted Spring of 2021 (some trees were planted prior too 2021 and have begun to produce). The primary market for our meat production is private/retail sales and though our Farm to Table Food Truck, Friggnfulla, which has done farmers markets, hot springs, farm parties and last year premiered at the Under the Big Sky music festival in Whitefish. Equipment used include a 30HP John Deere tractor and Bobcat Skid Steer.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantWe are looking for a person or couple that is interested in helping feed and milk, and also interested in turning milk into cheese and other value added products. We are in the middle in a farm wide fencing upgrade project so some fencing will be involved. Additionally, time in the garden helping manage vegetable production for the farm and food truck. Interested applicants should have an interest in not just helping but utilizing the production from the farm in their daily lives and diets.
What do you expect of a worker?Work schedule is negotiable but at a minimum will need applicants to be available to cover farm duties (milking/feeding/watering) when owner is gone. Usual time for coverage is anywhere between 1-3 hours a day and usually at least 1-2 days a week. Additional work will be available throughout the season but realistically applicants should have independent income either from home or from working in the community (which I can help identify if wanted). Full worktrade for rent is possible for applicants who are wanting to work (fencing) and have skillsets outside of agriculture including carpentry and building.
Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a workerI will train workers how to machine milk cows, perform maintenance of milk equipment, hand milk goats, make cheese, prepare hog feed. Additionally, orchard and garden fundamentals will be taught and applied. Work will be both together and independent.
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 DescriptionCome for a visit and spend a morning or afternoon or better yet a day to see the farm, talk about goals and life experience, and see if its a good fit for everyone
Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your areaNon Smoking newly remodeled, private 1BR rental on the farm but with separation (creek/trees 200+ yards apart). Pets considered but as we have livestock guardian dogs will be considered on a case by case basis. Successful applicants are responsible for utilities and any rent not covered by work trade. Please no substance ABUSE issues, including cannabis, alcohol, or drugs. Whatever you do in your own time is fine, but please be responsible and don't let it affect your ability to maintain healthy boundaries, communication and your ability to complete your work.
Please attach any photos of your farm and operation
Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.I'm a social libertarian that really believes that the only sustainable revolution is through human evolution. Live and let live but lets be and strive for our best selves! I believe being open, up front and honest is the way to go. I started farming to have my own high quality food and want the same for anyone staying on the farm meaning if you're really interested utilizing what we grow and raise here - your going to be fully integrated into the farm and the vitality that it offers.
What are the dates of your position?3/1/22 or sooner. Would prefer a 1 year commitment but open to a Spring though Fall arrangement as well.
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