Our Table Coop Apprentice

Contact information
Farm Address:
Rogue Farm Corps
Sherwood, Oregon, 97140

Primary Contact: Kait Crowley
Primary Phone:
    Number: 541-588-3550
    Email: training@roguefarmcorps.org

Website: https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/farms

Website: https://www.ourtable.us/

Internship information
General Farm Description: Our Table is entering its twelfth year of production in the Portland area. We farm on 58 acres of land about 20 miles south of Portland. We raise a variety of crops, including vegetables, blueberries, strawberries and apples. A year-round creek, a large pond, varying topography and a lovely view of Mount Hood. Our Table has the unique perk of operating an on-site grocery store and kitchen, which provide locally sourced food to the surrounding community and a venue in which to host events like farm dinners and stone-fired pizza happy hours. The farm has easy access to both town and country. Nearby are the towns of Sherwood and Wilsonville, with parks and restaurants, and also the sprawling vineyards and hills of Yamhill County. The farm crew consists of six to seven people between annual and perennial productions, and the store/kitchen employs another ten. We grow vegetables intensively on 3 acres, with an additional 3 acres cultivated in annual cover crops. We use no-till, raised bed practices in the production fields, 4 hoop houses, and 6 caterpillar tunnels. The perennial side of the farm includes fruit and nut trees, 8 acres of blueberries, 4 strawberry tunnels, and beekeeping. We supply produce weekly for a seasonal CSA, and our other sales outlets are through stores (including our on-site store) and restaurants in the larger Portland metropolitan area.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 5/1
Internship Ends: 9/30
Number of Internship Available: 1 full time, 30-40hrs/wk
Application Deadline: Rolling basis until positions are filled by early-mid March
Minimum Length of Stay: 500 training hours (~3-4 months minimum)

Internship Details:

Our Table Cooperative is a participating host farm with Rogue Farm Corps’ Apprenticeship Program.

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 here: https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/event-series.

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: Apprenticing at Our Table includes an all-encompassing vegetable farm experience. Candidates can expect to be involved in the entire life cycle of growing vegetables, including bed preparation, seeding in the propagation house, transplanting, direct seeding, cultivation, harvest of over 70 varieties, and washing/packing of produce. The apprentice would participate in practices of tarping, composting in several forms, mulching, and other methods involved in regenerative soil practices. The apprentice would have the opportunity to be trained and to use equipment such as a BCS, front-loading tractors, flail mowers, a JANG seeder, irrigation risers and pump, among others. The apprentice will have access to the seasonal planting plan, as well accounts, sales, and farm financials for a comprehensive understanding of the logistical side of farming. Finally, the apprentice would be responsible for tending the CSA pick-up tables for our members on Wednesday of every week. Our Table is offering an apprenticeship from May 1 through September. We have some flexibility on specific start/end dates. A work week will average 40 hrs a week. Daily start times vary seasonally and according to daylight, but a typical day begins at 6.30 a.m. and ends when the work is done, usually by 3 p.m. On Wednesdays from June-September, the apprentice will work a slightly later shift (10.30 a.m.-6 p.m.) in order to staff the CSA pick-up on farm. Because Our Table runs a relatively small production, members of the annual crew are often working side by side. Andrew and Karen are farm co-managers and oversee different aspects of the business. Candidates can expect to work alongside Andrew on a daily basis, learning core concepts and daily functions. If the apprentice has a desire to master a particular skill or to gain responsibility in specific areas (irrigation, cultivation, compost, etc), we welcome that sort of ownership. There are constant opportunities to ask Andrew, Karen or any of the other crew members questions pertinent to the farm operation or planning. Over the years, Andrew has developed a love for studying soil science, integrating both humor and efficiency in daily workflow, and mastering a comprehensive knowledge of systems he encounters on the farm. Karen holds a wealth of information about the cooperative model, the CSA, sales, and the history of the farm. The crew holds regular check-ins as a group. Reading material will be provided and encouraged.

Skills Desired: Our Table is seeking an apprentice who is detail oriented, enjoys working in a group, and is motivated to streamline learning and workflow. Communication and cohesion in our crew are highly prioritized, as is the ability to listen to one another. The work is mostly physical, but requires a sharp mind, good judgment, and a great sense of humor. We would prefer to welcome someone with prior vegetable farming experience and a general interest or commitment to this kind of work beyond a single experience. The apprenticeship involves daily lifting (up to 50 lb.), bending, walking, etc, with almost all of the time spent moving or on your feet.

Meals: No, but some farm fruit and veggies are available.

Stipend: We are able to offer an apprentice a wage of $16.50/hr or more depending on experience, as well as a few other benefits such as discounts from our on-site grocery store/kitchen and produce and fruit from the farm. Apprentices will accrue paid time off hourly. Opportunities are available to participate in farm events, educational activities, and various other projects at the Cooperative. No vehicle is required to fulfill an apprenticeship at Our Table, but an apprentice would be responsible for their transportation to and from the farm.

Housing: No housing is provided on the farm at this time. We are five minutes from Sherwood, OR, a town of 20,000 people, and within easy driving distance (20 miles) of the greater Portland metropolitan area. Apartments, rooms, and shared housing options are plentiful in the area.

Preferred method of Contact: email / website