Tumbleweed Farm Apprentice

Contact information
Farm Address:
Rogue Farm Corps, Portland Chapter
Parkdale (Portland Chapter, Columbia River Gorge), Oregon, 97041

Primary Contact: Kait Crowley
Primary Phone:
    Number: 541-588-3551
    Email: training@roguefarmcorps.org

Website: https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/host-farms/tumbleweed

Website: https://gotumbleweed.com/

Internship information
General Farm Description: Taylor and Andrea Bemis have owned and operated Tumbleweed Farm since 2012. We learned how to farm on Taylor’s family’s 60 acre organic vegetable and fruit farm in Massachusetts. We started out on our own on leased land up the road from us, then purchased this land in 2013 and have been farming here ever since. Our strongest farming value is to add more to the soil than we are taking. Our goal is to continue to produce/sell more on the same amount of land each year. We strive to achieve this by improving our strategies, infrastructure and equipment to make things easier, simpler, smoother and faster. Off the farm our interests include raising two wonderful girls, cooking, skiing, trail running, golf, pond hockey and whackin’ a few beers whenever the opportunity presents itself. We are on a 6 acre parcel on the North side of Mount Hood. We cultivate 2.5 acres of that. We have one propagation house and 2 unheated hoop houses (20x96 and 30x96). The East Fork irrigation canal is our Eastern property line and our irrigation source. We are a 6 minute drive to Parkdale and a 15 minute drive to Hood River. Lots of recreational opportunities nearby. The Mount Hood Parkdale community is fun, welcoming and supportive. We grow a diverse array of vegetables (along with melons and strawberries) for our 140 share CSA and the Hood River Farmers Market. Though we have not pursued certification we grow organically and are committed to a zero spray policy. For pest control we use row cover and crop rotation. For soil health we incorporate 150 yards of compost and 6 tons of chicken manure every Spring. For field prep we use a spader and rototiller behind a 23 horse power tractor. For final bed prep/stale bedding we use a BCS 853 with a power harrow. For weed control we use scuffle hoes, trapezoid hoes and tractor mounted basket weeders, finger weeders and sweeps. We do 75% overhead irrigation, 25% drip. Our farm crew is typically made of four members on harvest days and 2-3 on other days.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 5/1
Internship Ends: 10/27
Number of Internship Available: 2 POSITIONS, FULL TIME (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)

Internship Details:

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.

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: The primary tasks our crew members are responsible for are propagation, planting, deploying row cover, hoeing/weeding, harvesting, washing, packing and the farmers market. Irrigation, some BCS work, flame weeding and direct seeding are tasks that can be explored. Additional duties arise throughout the season including thinning carrots/beets and cleaning garlic and onions. Start and end dates are flexible within 2-3 weeks. The work day is generally 7-4 with a one hour lunch break. The focus of work is on quality initially and speed once quality is understood. Crew members are expected to be able to carry and stack heavy crates. Time off is ideally avoided but is allowed for crucial circumstances. We will be working alongside the crew a lot of the time but not always. We always include the crew in the full picture of what is going on and what is happening to the field before and after the crew’s roles. There is always time to ask/answer questions and to accompany the pre-harvest field walks.

Skills Desired: We are most excited by applicants who are enthusiastic about farming and motivated to work hard and fast. Previous farming experience is not required. Previous experience working in fast-paced and sometimes stressful situations is preferred.

Meals: Any and all produce you’d like to bring home.

Stipend: Compensation is $15/hr plus any and all produce you’d like to bring home.

Housing: On-farm housing offered for both Apprentices in a 2 bedroom ADU on 4th Ave in downtown Parkdale. It’s a 7 minute drive from the farm (5 miles away), and an extremely short walk to the grocery store, laundromat, coffee shop, and restaurants. For employees of the farm rent is $300/room, utilities included.

Preferred method of Contact: email / website