Number of Workers Sought6
Type of FarmVegetable
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Farm Stand, Farmers' Market, Restaurant, Wholesale
Pay RateGeneral field crew members will be paid $15/hr, while positions with added responsibility (CSA manager, Greenhouse Manager, Packhouse manager will start at $16/hr. See our employment listings at Twobearfarm.com for more info on positions available.. Average work week is 45 to 50 hours with weekends off. Housing is available on farm for discounted rent amount.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsTwo Bear Farm is co-owned and operated by Todd and Rebecca Ulizio. This is our 15th season in production. We both love farming, and believe that access to healthy foods free of ag chemicals is one of the most important things our society needs right now. We have built a strong following in our community by consistently producing high quality produce and providing friendly customer service. We take a lot of pride in our work and our farm business, and we seek motivated people who are passionate about good food and farming. Our goal each year is straighforward....grow as much high-quality, nutritious produce as possible for our community, with as little stress as possible, while teaching and inspiring young people to farm. We emphasize training and empowering our crew to help them become proficient and take on responsibility, with the hopes of preparing them to become farmers themselves in the future, and we've put lots of systems in place that allow us to be efficient and to use machines to reduce the physical strain on the farm team.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveTwo Bear Farm is located in a quiet and beautiful agricultural area 5 miles west of Whitefish, Montana along the Stillwater River. We have 100 acres, with approximately 14 acres in vegetable production, and the remainder in cover crops and small grains that we use for compost production, straw production, and growing our own cover crop seed. We are located in a rural area, yet close to Whitefish, which is a small yet popular town due to Whitefish Mountain Resort ski area and it's proximity to Glacier National Park. This area has strong outdoor recreation vibe to it, with many opportunities for fishing, mountain biking, trail running, backpacking, etc, including the Spencer area trails right out the front door.
Describe your farm operation
Our farm has 14 acres in raised bed intensive vegetable production. We have a 250 member CSA program, attend 2 farmers markets each week, sell wholesale to 35 restaurants through Wicked Good Produce, and co-own and operate a retail food market in Whitefish named The Farmers' Stand. For a farm our size, we use a small number of people, but make up for that by being relatively mechanized and efficient where possible. All our crops are grown in a raised bed system using a tractor mounted bed shaper. We have a large propagation greenhouse for starting all our crops from seed, six large high tunnels for season extension, and a state of the art processing barn for washing, packing, and storing our produce. We are moving towards no-till/minimal till systems to minimize soil disturbance and maximize soil biology. Peak season can be a fairly frenetic pace, where we are harvesting and selling a lot of food, so it makes for very full and productive days. I would definitely describe our farm as bustling, as opposed to sleepy or laid-back.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantThe farm consists of the two farmer/owners, a pack house manager, and a field crew manager who oversees 4-6 general field crew members. That said, everyone contributes to all of the tasks, so everyone gets broad experience and serves as a integral role in the success of the farm. Responsibilities will include greenhouse seeding/transplanting, field transplanting both with a water wheel transplanter and by hand, moving irrigation pipe, weeding with hand tools, harvest, setting silage tarps/hoops/row covers, washing/bagging produce, packing CSA shares, and working farmers markets. During the 18 week CSA season, everyone harvests all morning, and then we split up in afternoon with some people working in the packshed washing and bagging produce, while others will be in field moving irrigation, planting, or weeding. We do our best to set people up for success by assigning them the tasks where they do best.
What do you expect of a worker?A good attitude. A desire to learn and become proficient at tasks. A passion for fresh local food and the community we serve. A team mentality, and an understanding that the farm is depending on each member to contribute each day to achieve our goals. We try really hard not to overwork our team, and we try to keep our days at 8-10 hours...but, this is totally dependent on how much effort and efficiency the team contributes. Employee success and farm success are linked, and so we try to make it a win/win scenario. We want folks to enjoy their time here, and we want to enjoy our farm as well, so we're in it together.
Employees will work 5 days a week, including at least one farmers market each week, with weekends off (unless unexpected circumstances require an occasional weekend day to be worked).