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Early Bird Farm
4220 Gay Rd E
Tacoma, WA 98443
Contact: Rawley Johnson
Last Updated: 02-04-2019
General Description: We are a small farm in the Puyallup River valley outside of Tacoma. Entering our sixth year of production, we grow about 2 acres of vegetables, manage a 500 bird flock of egg-laying hens, and tend to a few bee hives, fruit trees, and berry bushes. Our main business is a 20 week vegetable and egg CSA program along with a Sunday farmers market in Seattle. We use a tractor to prep fields and move our mobile chicken coops, but most of the daily work is done by hand using sustainable growing practices. Our farm is in a unique location with fertile, valley bottom soils just minutes from the urban centers of Tacoma and Seattle.
Internship Starts: 4-01-2019
Internship Ends: 10-31-2019
Number of Interns: 2
App Deadline: 03-01-2019
Minimum Length of Stay: full season
Meals: Cook your own meals, mostly. You'll share a well-stocked outdoor kitchen with the other intern/employees. We make an effort to share a communal lunch once a week as a crew. Eating well is part of the gig: you get free eggs and produce from the farm, plus a monthly stipend to buy extra food of your choice from the store.
Skills Desired: No farming experience is required, just a genuine interest in immersing yourself in helping make this farm run. If you do have farming experience, great, you'll have much more responsibility here than on a larger farm. Successful interns in past years have come from very diverse backgrounds, but all expressed a clear interest in someday starting their own farm.
PLEASE NOTE that having your own car is required as you'll want to get off the farm from time to time and there is no convenient public transit nearby.
Educational Opportunities: Working on a small-scale farm alongside the farm owner, you're going to learn a lot. You'll be growing vegetables seed to harvest, in the field and in a greenhouse. You'll use most every tool we have at some point: everything from hand tools, to our electric walk-behind tiller, to our 32HP tractor. Although the job is primarily hands-on learning by doing, we participate in the Washington State Farm Internship Program which means we follow a farm-created educational curriculum and take one afternoon each week outside of the workday to discuss farm related topics in more depth. There is also flexibility to pursue your own interest on the farm: you'll be encouraged to grow a crop or two of your own interest and field trips to neighboring organic farms will be scheduled throughout the summer based on what you want to see more of. I learned how to farm as an intern myself, so I am motivated to provide a great educational experience for those who participate in our internship.
Stipend: $800/month plus a $100 monthly food stipend. We encourage folks with market farm experience to apply and offer a higher monthly stipend depending on experience. LNI workers compensation coverage is included.
Housing: Housing on farm in a rustic RV trailer is provided. You can park it up by the barn and close to the communal kitchen or out back with your own private Mt. Rainier view. Or commute to the farm if you live nearby and don't mind getting up early.
Preferred method Of Contact: Email a resume and cover letter
Internship Details: You'll take part in a little bit of everything over the course of the season. About 75% of your time on-farm will be devoted to some aspect of vegetable production, 20% to looking after the chickens and our 2 adorable sheep, and the other 5% working with the berries, fruit, honeybees, or farm improvement projects, depending on interest. Expect a 40 hour work week on average--less in the spring and fall, more in the summer. In addition, you'll help out once or twice a month at our Sunday farmers market stand in Seattle.