Valley Flora Farm Apprentice
Last Updated On: enero 22nd, 2024 at 07:51AM MST
Contact informationFarm Address:
Rogue Farm Corps, Satellite Farm Location
Langlois (Southern Oregon Coast), Oregon, 97450
Primary Contact: Kait Crowley
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Valley Flora Farm is a diversified produce farm located 2 miles outside of the small town of Langlois (population 300) on the southern Oregon coast. We own 90 acres in a beautiful, quiet river valley, 4 miles inland from the Pacific. Of that acreage, 40 acres are upland forest, 30 acres are in pasture, and the remaining 20 acres is rich river bottomland where we cultivate over a 100 varieties of annual and perennial vegetable crops, berries (strawberries, blueberries), grapes, herbs, flowers, and an extremely diverse orchard (apples, pears, plums, Asian pears, quince, cherries). The farm is nestled in a special microclimate where cool-weather crops thrive, but where we also have warmth enough to grow eggplant, sweet corn, peppers, and tomatoes outdoors - in spite of our proximity to the ocean. We’re surrounded by natural beauty, with numerous coastal rivers running undammed from the coast range to the sea; uncrowded beaches; wild dunes and forests. The farm is 20 minutes from the picturesque coastal towns of Port Orford (to the south) and Bandon (to the north). We’re five miles from Floras Lake, an epicenter of kite and wind-surfing. There is also nearby mountain biking, surfing, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. Floras Creek, which runs the entire length of the farm, offers numerous summertime swimming holes and wintertime salmon spawning grounds. Valley Flora’s production is highly diversified, and so is our marketing. We distribute our food via four distinct sales channels: - Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): we operate a 130-member CSA from June through December during our main season, and a 60+ member winter CSA January to May. -Farmstand & U-Pick: We have a bustling onsite farmstand that’s open from May to December, and a busy strawberry and flower u-pick that’s open to the public from June through October. -Direct Sales: We harvest and pack orders for local stores, co-ops, and restaurants year-round. -Foodbanks: Thanks to an Oregon Foodbank grant and some awesome local partnerships, we distribute produce to four local foodbanks and community fridges every week.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: 4/1
Internship Ends: 12/1
Number of Internship Available: 1 APPRENTICESHIP, FULL TIME (32-40 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 satellite farm event series includes:
24 classes focused on foundational sustainable agriculture concepts, skills, and knowledge and the food system.
4-6 farm tours which showcase practical skills and individual farmers’ stories, as well as provide insight into diverse production and marketing systems. Mainly via 3 weekend intensives.
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. Valley Flora 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 “train-by-doing,” so there is training built into every day, particularly when new employees are diving into a task for the first time. We always try to ensure that our crew members feel confident and capable before being set loose solo on a project, so new employees spend a lot of time working alongside our seasoned crew and mentors first. Because our farm is so diverse, we rarely get stuck in a single task for too many hours, which helps mix up the physical and mental demands of the job. That said, it is very physical work, with certain seasonal peaks (for instance, harvesting the heavy storage crops of fall, or the intense weekly transplanting of spring/early summer). To help build strength and physical health, we train our employees not only in farming techniques, but also in proper body mechanics (we rely heavily on a set of body weight exercises called Foundation Training to keep our backs healthy and strong). The Apprentice will work as a member of the field crew on all manner of tasks involved in operating a diversified produce farm: -Daily harvest for our 130-member CSA, farmstand, and direct sale accounts. -Post-harvest handling -Weekly Fieldwork -Weekly Delivery -U-Pick Management Farmstand Management
Skills Desired: - Have previous outdoor physical work experience - Be reliable, honest and kind - Have strong communication and listening skills - Have a keen attention to detail - Have a strong awareness of efficiency and know how to hustle. - Have a good sense of humor - Be equally comfortable and productive working on a team or independently. - Be calm and adaptable in the face of the unexpected. We don’t require previous farming experience but a passion and deep curiosity about sustainable agriculture is very useful. Applicants should be in good physical condition, capable of safely lifting 50 pounds, and able to squat, bend and kneel for prolonged amounts of time over an 8-10 hour work day. Ability to drive a stick shift is VERY helpful, since our primary farm truck has a standard transmission.
Meals: all employees have access to farm produce, and between June and December get a weekly CSA share from the farm, valued at $950+/season. Employees also have unlimited access to “house” produce (seconds or grade B produce that doesn’t meet our sales standards), as well as gleaning opportunities throughout the season.
Stipend: The starting wage is between $13.50 and $15/hour, DOE. We work closely with our local Small Business Development Center, which offers a three month On-the-Job Training wage subsidy for new hires. Applicants who qualify for that program will start at $15/hour. Otherwise, new hires typically start at the local minimum wage (currently $13.50/hour), with a wage reevaluation after 6 weeks to assess the possibility of a mid-season performance-based raise. For employees who complete the entire season we always aim to give an end-of-year bonus, calculated based on the farm’s profitability and the number of hours worked. The farm will also cover half of an Apprentice’s RFC tuition if they complete the season.
Housing: We do not currently have housing available at the farm. Local housing options are somewhat limited, however we are well-networked in the community so it’s very possible that we could help a new employee find housing.
Preferred method of Contact: email / website