Number of Workers Sought3
Type of FarmHay & Forage, Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Vegetable
Marketing StrategyFarmers' Market, Restaurant, Wholesale, Other
Marketing Strategy (Other)Direct to consumer, local grocery and restaurant, wholesale
Pay RateI am seeking potential partners to join worker-owned cooperative initiated around garlic enterprise. Should translate to approximately $20/hour work investment.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interests. What sets you apart from other farms?Eric founded Groundworks Farm with first growing season in 2010. He has a BA in biology and MEd in science education. Native to Montana he has done diverse work over the years.
Eric describes farming as the "confluence" of his understanding and interests in economy, ecology and energy. Philosophy is that to affect positive interaction in the world, we can work to build models and relationships that reflect our values.
Long term goals are to contribute to cooperative food production and economic systems that accommodate integrated health for ourselves, the landscape and neighbors.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveGroundworks Farm is a 40 acre irrigated farm located in the fertile prairie of the Sun River Valley in Central Montana. Some additional organic acreage is leased for pasturing cattle. The farm is located 25 miles west of Great Falls (pop. 55,000) in the small village of Fort Shaw. There are no retail businesses in Fort Shaw. The nearest convenience store/gas station is 5 miles away and the nearest other services are 13 miles away.
We are within an about an hour from the public wildlands of the Rocky Mountain Front and there is plenty of other outdoor recreation to be had in the region. Great Falls has all expected features of a small city.
Describe your farm operation
Groundworks Farm has, to date, been built on direct to consumer marketing of vegetables and livestock products. 2010 will produce certified organic garlic and grass fed cattle with a Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) model. All practices are organic with a focus on integration.
We utilize a tractor and other mechanization as applicable to our scale, but there is much hand tool work to be had.
We value conservation and regenerative practices along with low-input and other approaches that allow for economic viability.
Our current crop portfolio requires a relatively low-level of processing.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantCurrently seeking partners ready to assume ownership of a farming enterprise under a worker-owned cooperative model. This is being organized around the seed garlic enterprise and may expand from there. Work includes weeding, harvesting, topping, sorting and planting garlic along with other land and business management needs. The garlic enterprise is not full-time work, but other opportunities may be available on farm or otherwise. Current owner has garlic crop planted, good markets developed, land, equipment etc.
What do you expect of a worker?Garlic production involves pulses of work over the course of the year. "Popping" and planting occurs mid-October to early November; Weeding May through early July; Harvesting and curing late July; Topping, sorting and shipping to buyer(s) late August to early September.
Worker must be able to lift and carry at least 50 pounds, be able to work from a kneeling and/or crouching position, and walk, accumulatively, 5 miles/day. Please contact me to discuss details.