Number of Workers Sought6
Type of FarmVegetable
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Farmers' Market, Restaurant, Wholesale
Pay RateField crew members start at $10/hr and can increase to $14/hr based on performance. 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 13th season in production. We both love farming, and we are dedicated to doing it well. Our goal is to provide high quality, organic produce to our community while being good land stewards. We are firm believers in the "work smarter, not harder" method of farming, and our operation has many systems in place that promote efficiency. We are Certified Organic. Given our cold climate, we use a lot of season extension techniques such as floating row covers and high tunnels. We also do a lot of cover cropping to build soil health, and stale bedding/tarping to control weeds. Our success has primarily stemmed from maintaining high quality produce for the past 12 years, and providing friendly and professional service to our customers.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveTwo Bear Farm is located in a beautiful agricultural area 5 miles west of Whitefish, Montana along the Stillwater River. We have 100 acres, with approximately 13 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 13 acres in vegetable production, and we have a 250 member CSA program and attend 3 different farmers markets each week. 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, and we use cultivating tractors whenever possible to handle the weeding. We have a large propagation greenhouse for starting all our crops from seed, five large high tunnels for season extension, and a state of the art processing barn for washing, packing, and storing our produce. We take farming seriously, and our farm is very much a work environment with high expectations. We have always focused on producing high quality food and providing good customer service, and we have earned a strong reputation in our community. We have a strong following, and our markets our thriving, which makes our farm a rewarding and exiting place to work.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantThe farm consists of the two farmer/owners, a pack house manager, and 4 field crew members, so everyone plays and integral role in the success of the farm. Field crew members will be involved in all aspects of farmer, even though specific tasks will change across the season. 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, packing CSA shares, and working farmers markets. Those employees with past farming experience may be given more defined roles and job titles.
What do you expect of a worker?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).. Hours average between 8 and 10 each day of work, but can stretch a bit longer on days with evening markets. We are a production based farm, so we need to get a certain amount of work done each day. Effort, efficiency, and proficiency all affect the length of the work day. We get a lot done with a few people, so we have high expectations for our employees. They need to have a strong work ethic, self-motivation, attention to detail, the ability to labor for an entire day, and the understanding that they need to pull their weight. Our enjoyment of farming is super important to us, so poor attitudes and drama are not tolerated. Ideally, employees will have prior experience farming, or at least know that they are well suited to this type of work before applying.
Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a workerEmployees will almost always work side by side with either Todd or Rebecca, and if working alone will get thorough instructions and frequent supervision. Employees will get broad experience in all aspects of vegetable production and will always get trained in the task at hand so they are set up for success. The farm can only succeed and thrive if our employees do the same, so we take great care in making sure our employees feel comfortable and confident in their roles.
Are you a full-time farmer?Yes
Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your areaWe have three really nice cabins (two bedroom, one bath, shared kitchen) that were previously used for vacation rentals, and are available as worker housing for a subsidized rate of $350/mo. Seasonal housing in Whitefish can be difficult to find, and is much more expensive. No smoking, and preferably no pets. Employees are responsible for cooking all of their own meals, as we feel it is less pressure and allows everyone to cook/eat the way they want. Vegetables are available from the farm all season for meals. Whitefish is less than 10 minutes away, and offers many shopping, dining, and recreational amenities.
Please attach any photos of your farm and operation
What are the dates of your position?April 15th, 2020 to approximately October 15th, 2020
Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?Prefer full season
Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.Our farm is definitely a production-based business, rather than a homestead-type farm. We enjoy our work, but this is certainly a work environment with schedules and deadlines. We try to maintain a very positive vibe on the farm, and provide many opportunities for learning and responsibility. We try to keep our management style professional, direct, and respectful, and keep drama to a minimum. While housing is available on farm, we try to keep things quiet and low-key so that we can enjoy the surroundings and recharge after a long day of work. The farm is located in a beautiful setting, close to a fun town and many amenities.
Currently HiringNo, not at this time. Please check back next season!
Do you have a website, social media account, or job posting anywhere else?Yes
Online Listing URLhttp://twobearfarm.com