Peachwood Orchard Apprentice
Last Updated On: enero 22nd, 2024 at 07:28AM MST
Contact informationFarm Address:
Rogue Farm Corps, Portland Area Chapter
Hood River, Oregon, 97031
Primary Contact: Kait Crowley
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Peachwood Orchards is an organic peach orchard located in traditional lands of Wasco, Wishram, and Chinook- known as Hood River, Oregon. With a stunning view of Mt. Hood along a small creek are 3.5 acres of peaches and our home. We’re about 5 miles from downtown Hood River and a short drive to many hikes, swimming holes, and waterfalls. An e-bike is available for trips to town or around the valley. Our house is on the property as well as a large shed for tools, cold storage, a shop for woodworking and repairs, and a small greenhouse/shed. There is an outdoor common kitchen and shower, next to a parked ¾ size school bus. Indoor bathroom with storage. David and Alma live and work on the farm with their sweet dog Whoopie. Alma and Whoopie dog work in the orchard full-time in the summer, while Dave works in the local hospital full-time but somehow manages to put in full-time work in the orchard as well. Alma is first-generation Xicana, her passion for agriculture launched her into orcharding for the past 4.5 years. As a child, she watched her grandfather work in his milpa in Zacatecas, Mexico following through the fields and always asking questions– wanting to emulate him. We like to host family and friends in our house in the summer and Alma loves to cook traditional foods and share meals whenever there’s a chance. Alma is involved in social and environmental justice organizations in the community and is on the board of a food access non-profit. Typically we host between 2-4 volunteers through WWOOF and other organizations. The orchard is largely run by us, we may have support from 1-2 part time employees during the busy parts of the season. We have been certified organic through Oregon Tilth for the past 5 years. There are about 300 peach trees on the property along with 20 blueberry bushes, Tayberries, plums, and several 25x15ft garden plots. We sell at farmer’s markets, through a local farmer’s cooperative, restaurants, grocery stores, to CSAs, and breweries- even had a beer named after Alma this season made with our peaches! We particularly enjoy being part of the Portland BIPOC market and welcoming other people onto the farm to learn. Opportunities for growing seed for saving heirloom varieties. We make donations to several food banks, and many other groups/organizations.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: June 1
Internship Ends: September 15
Number of Internship Available: 1-2, up to 40 hrs/wk
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 knowledge and the food system.
7-10 farm tours which showcase practical skills and individual farmers’ stories, as well as 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 farmers. Scholarships are available.
Apprenticeship applications are accepted on the Rogue Farm Corps website on a rolling basis until positions are filled (usually by early-mid March), but early applications are considered first. Approved applications are passed onto the host farmer. Peachwood Orchard will decide which applicants to interview and offer placements to.
Rogue Farm Corps seeks to train an inclusive next generation of farmers and encourages applicants of all backgrounds and identities to apply.
Educational Opportunities: We expect an Apprentice to be respectful of the land and community we work with. We expect you to be on time and keep your commitments. Work week will be an average of 40 hours, 5 days a week, including Saturday. Expect to work between 8-10 hours during the peak time in June, and August with other times of the season to average between 6-8 hour work days in July. We ask that you be available to help with Saturday farmer’s markets each week during August and September. June through September will have plenty of opportunities to thin fruits and learn how to harvest peaches at peak ripeness. There are opportunities to learn about accounting, record keeping, and account management. Alma typically cans, freezes, ferments, dehydrates peaches and is happy to share her knowledge. June-July: Thinning fruits, management of orchard floor. This is a time to learn irrigation repair and maintenance for the rest of the seasons. July will be focused on gardens and seed-saving projects, as the peaches ripen. We work on the small gardens and experiment with no-till management. August-September: Peach harvest, packing, record-keeping, and managing sales/accounts. Preparing for market and other sales. Preparing and running farmer’s markets. Processing harvest. Optional: Restoration projects along the creek that runs through our property include: mitigation of opportunistic plant species, establishing pollinator habitat, and planting of native shrubs. We intend to work alongside Apprentices, there will be specific demonstration and training at the beginning and we will make ample time to be available and work together to allow for questions to come naturally. Independence of work will be gained with experience and based on the comfort developed with each task. The extent of supervision will depend on experience and on the nature that we’ll often be working together.
Skills Desired: Some experience working in agriculture is preferred. We’re looking for people who are interested in and/or already engaged with orchard work. Good work ethic is important for long days of work as well as ability to work well in a team, and clearly communicate. We ask that you are open to working with people of diverse races, gender, sexual orientations, and cultures. A phone call and visit to the farm are required prior to placement, we are open to doing a Zoom tour in case you’re not able to physically visit. Some flexibility on dates if communicated clearly and early. Ability to lift 50lbs and be on your feet for hours at a time.
Meals: A list of basic food staples will be provided and resupplied throughout the season as well as access to food grown in the garden and all the peaches you can eat.
Stipend: We are still determining our exact wage for 2024, which will take into consideration cost for on-farm housing.
Housing: Housing is in a ¾ size school bus parked on the farm with light and heat provided, next to an outdoor communal kitchen and shower. There is an enclosed bathroom with toilet and potable water. Kitchen has a propane stove, hot water kettle, sink, food storage, and small fridge. There is cell service and access to WIFI and our laundry/dryer. A list of basic food staples will be provided and resupplied throughout the season as well as access to food grown in the garden and all the peaches you can eat. No smoking, please be responsible about drinking. Visitors may be welcome but please check with us and others living on the farm beforehand. We love to share meals but are limited to our availability/schedules.
Preferred method of Contact: email / website