Camas Swale Apprentice
Last Updated On: enero 22nd, 2024 at 08:27AM MST
Contact informationFarm Address:
Rogue Farm Corps, South Willamette
Eugene (Willamette Valley), Oregon, 97408
Primary Contact: Kait Crowley
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Camas Swale is owned by Amber and Jonah. Our farm grows vegetables for wholesale (grocers, restaurants, food hubs, distributors) and for Community Supported Agriculture (200-250 CSA families per year). With about 14 acres in rotation– about 10 acres are producing food at any time during the main season. To get this work done we use hand tools and four small tractors. We use a John Deere, a Kubota, an Allis Chalmers and a Farmall– the latter two are from the 1930s and have belly mounted implements for cultivating. The JD and Kubota pull primary soil working tools, we mostly use a spader and bed shaper for that. The JD has forks to move pallets around the farm which saves our backs! However most of the work is still done by hand. All harvesting is by hand and about half of the cultivation is with a variety of hoes. We are certified organic with Oregon Tilth and have always grown with awareness of organic because we value and enjoy use of natural materials, growing habitat for beneficials, cover cropping and not being around harsh chemicals! During the work week six to ten employees work on the farm from 8:00 - 5:30. In addition, about four volunteers are on the farm two mornings per week. Our sixteen acre farm is located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon on river bottom loam. We are grateful to be located just 1 mile north of Coburg and 15 minutes to Eugene. All three of our neighbors have similar sized farms selling produce, nursery crops and/or flowers. You can see the Coburg hills from our fields and a big open sky. Migratory birds and birds of prey frequent the farm as well as small animals– some friend, some foe of the vegetable crops. We are a few miles from swim spots on the Mckenzie River. Owners Jonah and Amber along with their two children aged three and seven live on the farm.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: April/May
Internship Ends: October/November
Number of Internship Available: 2 APPRENTICESHIPS, FULL TIME (36-40 hrs/week)
Application Deadline: Rolling basis until positions are filled by early-mid March
Minimum Length of Stay: 500 training hours (~3-4 months minimum)
An Apprenticeship is part of Rogue Farm Corps’ beginning farmer training program. Hands-on field training at the Host Farm is complemented by a series of classes, farm tours, discussions, and networking events organized by Rogue Farm Corps.
Apprentices join other beginning farmers for an Educational Event Series facilitated by Rogue Farm Corps.
The full event series includes:
24 classes focused on foundational sustainable agriculture concepts, skills, and the food system.
7-10 farm tours which showcase practical skills and individual farmers’ stories and provide insight into diverse production and marketing systems.
3-5 discussion circles with topics including Food Justice / Food Sovereignty, and Next Steps for Beginning Farmers.
RFC strives to make all educational events inclusive and welcoming to people from all backgrounds and identities. Classes, tours, and discussions are led by Rogue Farm Corps staff, agricultural professionals, and expert farmworkers/farmers.
For more information on these events, please visit our event series page and sample schedule.
Apprenticeship applications are accepted on the Rogue Farm Corps website until positions are filled (usually by early-mid March), but early applications are considered first. Positions are beginning to fill, please apply ASAP if you’re interested! Host Farms decide which applicants to interview and offer placements to. Applicants must be 18 years or older and have authorization to work in the U.S.
Educational Opportunities: Everyone learns planting, cultivation, harvesting, washing/packing, and use of relevant tools. Rogue Farm Corps Apprentices will also get exposure to seeding, irrigation and some farm business management skills. Depending on strengths and interests of the Apprentice and the farm’s needs, staff often have the opportunity to take on special duties once adapted to the farm. We prefer full -time employees over part -time, but there is a place for part-time work. For this Apprenticeship we think that our typical full time schedule would best meet the needs of the program. Our full time employee schedule during the months of May - October is M-F, 8am - 5:30 with a 30 min- one hour lunch break daily. Training will be woven into the work day and we will make a schedule for dedicated training check-ins and trainings with specific experienced staff. We will provide mentorship and training by teaching core concepts/skills, working alongside participant(s), demonstration, opportunities to gain independence, offering time for questions or field walks, regular check-ins/meetings, and two evaluation sessions.
Skills Desired: We expect all employees to come to work on time and be a good listener during morning meetings and during training, to ask questions as needed and to stay focused on the goals of the day. Respect, kindness and good communication are very important as are the ability to learn and do the job efficiently. Our product is certified organic local produce that looks and tastes good and is very fresh. Providing this product requires good attention to detail balanced with efficient methods of production and harvest. If you take pride in doing a good job and love working on a team outside – this could be a good place for you. There is often an acclimation period, that's understood - and we are extra supportive during the onboarding time. But, we expect to see progress and to see that there is an interest in being an effective employee and apprentice. As for experience, we know that experienced employees come in the door with more dexterity in their hands and more understanding of what a good bunch of turnips looks like. Experience in related jobs or personal experience with vegetables should also be valued and expressed. We’ve had employees demonstrate plenty of transferable skills from working in restaurants and produce stores, for example.
Stipend: $14/hr (and up to $15 depending on experience– for example, if you have a full season or more of experience on a farm, we will adjust the starting wage). Our benefits include a gear stipend of $200, PTO, reimbursement of half of the RFC Apprenticeship fee amount if/when they complete the season, any farm-produced food).
Housing: No housing is offered. We are 10 minutes from Eugene and Springfield. Seasonal workers in the past have had good luck with finding housing via the traveling nurses portal and finding rooms in houses in Eugene where there are college students coming and going.
Preferred method of Contact: email / website