Witte Flower Farm Apprentice

Contact information
Farm Address:
3941 Vitae Springs Rd S
Salem, Oregon, 97306

Primary Contact: Nitza Bernard
Primary Phone:
    Number: 818-269-9036
    Email: nitza@roguefarmcorps.org

Website: https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/host-farms/witte-flower-farm

Website: https://www.witteflowerfarm.com/

Internship information
General Farm Description: Witte Farm is located on 25 acres in South Salem, Oregon. The farm has beautiful views of a pond, our neighbor’s vineyard and the Cascades. We grow cut flowers for weddings, events and the Portland Flower Market on 2+ acres with the remaining acres in pasture. Our crops include a wide variety of flowering shrubs, perennials, bulbs and annuals – with flower crops blooming from March through October. The farm connects to walking/riding trails along the ridge line. We are just 4 miles from town, 10 minutes from the Willamette River, 45 minutes from Portland and an hour from the ocean. It is a beautiful spot, and we love sharing our farm with others. The Farm has a diversified sales approach that includes wholesale flowers delivered to our local grocery and the Portland Flower Market, direct sales to the public and bulk orders direct to floral designers for weddings and events, as well as on farm workshops. We provide subscription floral arrangements to local restaurants, businesses and homes, as well as floral design for events. We host a large dahlia tuber sale in the spring and a large bulb sale in the fall with local and shipped products. We grow many heirloom varieties of blooms and dry volumes of seed heads and flowers for winter sales. Although not certified organic, we use organic practices and a no-till biodynamic approach to build healthy soil and ecosystems. We are pollinator certified. We arrived on this land 10 years ago. A former Christmas tree farm, the soil was depleted and lifeless. Much of our work has focused on healing the ecosystem. We have a deep interest in rehabilitating farmland to create diverse habitats, healthy soil biology and water retention capabilities. Our farm crew consists of two owners, a farm manager and two farm hands. Apprentices are involved in all aspects of farming, and receive mentorship in sourcing seed, soil health, growing, harvesting techniques, and developing wholesale and retail sales. We supplement our farm income with agritourism and farm stays. Apprentices will help us with hosting and sharing our farming activities with guests in the summer. Kristin is a 4th generation farmer, starting with her great-grandparents’ homestead in the late 1800s. She has been growing flowers for decades and started this flower farm 8 years ago. She has a deep interest in rehabilitating farmland to create diverse habitats, healthy soil biology and water retention capabilities. Mike was a builder before farming, and he has an amazing collection of tools and the knowledge to build or fix anything. He loves working with interns to share his building and mechanical skills and there will be many hands-on projects throughout the season. In an earlier life, Mike owned a bakery in Corvallis and he loves to share his creations.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: March 1 - April 15
Internship Ends: Oct 1 - Nov 30
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: Rolling applications until early to mid-March
Minimum Length of Stay: 500 training hours (~3-4 months minimum)

Internship Details:

An Apprenticeship at Witte Flower Farm 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.

Educational Opportunities: Apprentices receive training on all aspects of cut flower farming: seed sourcing, propagation, planting, cultivation, irrigation (overhead and drip), harvesting, processing, floral design, wholesale and retail sales, agritourism including glamping guests and workshops, construction, livestock fencing, honeybee hives care (if interested), and general farm maintenance. Weekly planning sessions and daily mentorship with our farm manager will give you a broad introduction to a market garden style of farming. Expect to work in most weather conditions and occasionally lift/carry 50 lbs. The farm is open 7 days a week and we can accommodate most work schedule preferences as long as the schedule remains stable during the season.

Skills Desired: A kind person who has a passion for growing flowers, an interest in learning no-till and biodynamic farm practices and habitat creation, as well as a strong desire to share this world with the public through on farm workshops and activities. We love our farm, and we want to share it with happy people who will collaborate to make this a wonderful place to live and work. You need a strong work ethic, a creative approach to solving all manner of challenges and a love of working outdoors. It helps to have a strong body that can manage bending and kneeling, good stamina, and the ability to lift 50 lbs. occasionally.

Meals: Apprentices can share our veggie garden and there is additional space to grow crops if interested.

Stipend: $15/hour, step increases possible on quality and quantity of production work. We have excellent cell service and internet on the farm. Free and fast Wi-Fi provided.

Housing: No on-farm housing offered.

Preferred method of Contact: email