Contact informationFarm Address:
4218 M 32
East Jordan , Michigan ,
Primary Contact: Mary Brower
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: "Bluestem Farm is a year-round diversified organic farm in northern lower Michigan. If you're using your left hand to picture it, we're located in about in the fingernail of the ring finger. Our farm is made up of 80 acres of gardens, woods, and pastures, with about 9 acres in certified organic vegetable production. We also have four hoophouses that produce both summer and winter vegetables. The core of our business is our CSA. Members bring home what they want from our certified organic vegetables and pasture-raised eggs, pork, and chicken. We also have wholesale accounts, sell at one of the best farmers markets in the state, and produce our own line of naturally fermented vegetables. This part of northern Michigan is known for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. It's a summer and winter tourist destination for hiking, boating, skiing, and fishing. Situated in the countryside among rolling hills, woods, wild rivers, lakes, and fields, Bluestem Farm is within close driving distance of several picturesque towns. We don't have year-round work for everyone who's part of our summer crew, but our farm is located just a few miles away from a premier Midwestern winter sports resort. Finding winter work to complement the growing season is usually no problem. "
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: 5/1/2019
Internship Ends: 11/1/2019
Number of Internship Available: 3
Application Deadline: Open until filled.
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months.
“This growing season, we're looking to add 2 extraordinary people to our team. You'd be working sometimes alone, sometimes joining in with a crew of people. Primary duties will involve morning harvests, handling and cleaning vegetables, as well as sowing, transplanting, and weeding.
One sort of ideal person will have a year of experience being happy at working hard on another farm doing similar things. Another sort of ideal person will have a perfect sort of disposition for this work: a willingness to be quick and hardworking and efficient with time, to be proud of the work and to honor it, excited to absorb all the tiny and big lessons this sort of life teaches, and to have a positive attitude.
Educational Opportunities: "As a new farmer starting out, what do you need to spend money on, and what can you get by without? What can you do on a shoestring? How do you build soil fertility in a hurry? How do you go about finding a market niche for your new farm business, and go after it with everything you've got? We're first generation farmers with very recent experience starting from nothing and building a farm business we're proud of. In this job, there will of course be countless on-the-job opportunities for seeing everything from organic crop rotation to sowing and transplanting to successful crop varieties up close. But you'll also be with us to talk about the differences between the several models of beginning farms we've been part of: there was a non-profit farm in Europe, and a big raw milk dairy in New England. And here at Bluestem Farm, while not a direct focus of this position, other important aspects of our farm, from pasture-raised animal husbandry to social justice, community events, and fermented vegetables, might also be of interest. A word more on the community context up here in terms of farming: - Crosshatch is a local farming and arts organization that holds workshops & twilight farm tours. It's like a local version of CRAFT, here called the Small Farm Guild: www.crosshatch.org - Martha Wagbo Farm & Education Center holds monthly community potlucks, opportunities to learn about orchards + goats + maple sugaring: www.wagbo.org "
Skills Desired: "Position Details - Our main growing season lasts from May through late October or early November - Hand-harvesting vegetables in the early morning hours - Sowing, transplanting, trellising, and weeding organic vegetables - Washing and packaging vegetables for sale to our CSA, wholesale accounts, and farmers market - Field-related tasks like moving irrigation and temporary fencing - Produce washing and processing - General farm labor as needed Qualifications -It's not a must, but a year or more of experience working hard and being happy at another farm would be a very good indication of all the below. If you haven't worked on a farm before, some sort of outdoor, physical job would be a good equivalent. Special consideration will be given to applicants with prior experience and education in organic vegetable production. - Punctuality and strong time management skills - Positive and energetic disposition with strong interpersonal skills - Maintain a clean and sanitary working environment - Strong back with the ability to lift heavy and awkward objects - Willingness to be hardworking and efficient at a physically demanding job - Excited to absorb the lessons involved in this sort of life, and be proud of it - To be interested in the idea of working alone sometimes, sometimes part of a larger farm community of half a dozen people Physical Requirements - Ability to repeatedly lift 50 lbs - Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat - Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions - Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking - Ability to handle small objects by hand in a repetitive way"
Meals: "We know that everyone cooks and eats differently, so we can discuss anything from a full locavore board plan to just vegetables or nothing at all from the farm. In general meals are on your own, but we do like to provide community lunches for the team from time to time. "
Stipend: "Compensation and Benefits This is a full time, seasonal position. Pay is based on experience and performance. - Expected starting range is from $11-15 per hour. - We don't ask or expect crew members to work more than 40 hours per week, but there are often overtime opportunities for paid overtime if you want. - We work Monday through Friday, starting in the very early morning and continuing through the early afternoon. - Paychecks arrive bi-weekly via direct deposit. - There's potential for management responsibilities in future seasons. In a few short years, Bluestem Farm has gone from duct tape and bubble gum to being asked to speak at farming conferences. We've got recent experience turning a neglected 80 acres into a growing and successful farm business, and also have significant experience farming on leased land as well as being workers on a non-profit farm: three of the most likely scenarios for farmers just starting out. Bluestem Farm is a year-round organic farm offering build-your-own CSA shares, engaging community events, value-added foods, and social outreach programs."
Housing: "Housing is not available for this position. On the other hand, we pay well. In addition to a fair living wage, full time employees receive a weekly share of vegetables. Eggs, pork, and chicken are also negotiable. All workers are covered by worker's compensation."
Preferred method of Contact: Email