Starstead Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
14460 Waterford Run Lane
Rixeyville, Virginia, 22737

Primary Contact: Amanda Day
Secondary Contact: Stephen Day

Primary Phone:
    Number: 7039090959

Secondary Phone
    Number: 5402295199



Internship information
General Farm Description: Starstead Farm is the main for-profit project at Day's End, our beautiful 55 acres of the Virginia foothills, but our garden work is concentrated around just 1 acre of intensive vegetable production, with an emphasis on high-tunnel growing. We use a low-till, permanent bed system with tight plant spacing, planting each bed about 3 times in a season to make the most out of a small space. These methods require special care be given to soil health, plant selection and timing. This type of agriculture may be of particular interest to those seeking farm internships, as it has a high per-acre value and relatively low startup costs. Key to our productivity is ~10,000 square feet of permanent indoor growing space which we have increased gradually over our 9 years of growing. This space we use for trellised summer crops and for extending the season of greens and roots. Apart from the garden, other farm projects include a flock of 150 laying hens and microgreen propagation, along with a multitude of homesteading and crafting efforts, from outbuilding construction to leatherwork. We sell our produce at two farmers markets and through our on-farm CSA. We are located midway between DC and Charlottesville, about a 15 minute drive from the town of Culpeper. For more information about what we do and how we grow please visit our website.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 3-15-2023
Internship Ends: 11-15-2023
Number of Internship Available: 1 with potential for second part-time position for spouse/significant other
Application Deadline: Until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 8 months

Internship Details:

We are looking for a fieldhand for our 9th year of market-gardening in the Piedmont!

Harvesting for and attending our 3 sales venues is a large part of the work we will do in 2023. Aside from the harvest (which includes washing and packing), weeding and garden-clean up comprise about 50% of the work we do here. These are not tasks we delegate to the new guy or gal: they would occupy the same percentage of our time as yours, as they are fundamental to the business.
The other half of your time will be divided among all other farm tasks: these include greenhouse seeding, watering, transplanting, pruning, and potentially a lot more. Once we become familiar with your interests and aptitudes we will consider them when assigning tasks, but you should expect the week’s workflow to be defined by a few routines that look something like this (remember, you have 2 days off per week, Sunday and Monday, and 5 paid vacation days that we ask you to schedule at least 2 weeks in advance):

Monday: always off for you (with possible, rare exceptions)
Tuesday: weekly meeting; prep beds and tunnels for the week’s seeding/transplanting; weed and plant
Wednesday: pick/wash/pack CSA harvest; setup for CSA
Thursday: CSA day and main planting day. Get started on market harvest.
Friday: The big market harvest. Pick/wash/pack for most of the day.
Saturday: Warrenton market in morning. Whoever stays home harvests whatever we’re missing for Sunday or finishes the week’s planting.

Please email us for a more complete job description and application.

Educational Opportunities: As long as you work at the pace and quality we are looking for, you can choose how to approach this job: as a fieldhand for a season or as a prospective farmer. Whenever we give you something new to do we will also discuss why we do it, but if you think farming is in your future and want more from your time here, it is your job to observe and ask questions. Our garden maps, seeding schedule and financial books are open to you and we are happy to show-and-tell everything we know about how to bootstrap a farm and get big production from a small space, but we are also satisfied if you simply perform your duties well and move on after 8 months.

Skills Desired: If you are typically late, unmotivated, or have never spent a full day working outdoors, you might not be a good fit. The successful applicant must be trustworthy and committed to a full season of physical work. Preference will be given to applicants who have already worked on a for-profit farm, or intend to start their own farm; however, prior experience is not nearly as important as enthusiasm for the work. Applicants should be energetic, healthy people capable of performing effectively both in solitude and on a small team, and be able to tolerate the vast array of Virginia weather conditions. A respect for safety, an ability to receive criticism gracefully and a belief in the value of a job well done are essential. *Please note: we are only considering applications from U.S. citizens with valid driver's licenses*

Meals: You are responsible for preparing your own meals, but you are welcome to all the farm vegetables and (usually) all the eggs you can eat. We do raise some small livestock for meat and will sometimes share from our freezer, but this is not available to workers at all times.

Stipend: Full-time worker receives $1,500/ month + housing with a $1,200 bonus upon completing the season and 5 paid vacation days.* If the full-time worker has an interested and available spouse (or very committed significant-other), we may make a part-time (roughly 25 hours/week) position available with very similar duties to the full time position. A separate application will be required. Inquire by email.

Housing: You will have sole use of our fully furnished basement apartment, with full kitchen, bath, king bed, laundry, high-speed internet, fully equipped iron gym and private entrance and parking. A significant other may live with you, and this person may or may not be our part-time worker, but cannot be your wayward cousin. Since you will be living in our house, we cannot allow smoking or pets. We pay all utilities and haul household waste. Housing conditions are much nicer and more private than is typical at farms, and we factor this into the full time worker's compensation.

Preferred method of Contact: please make first contact by email