Contact informationFarm Address:
Talent, Oregon, 97540
Primary Contact: Sebastian Aguilar
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Chickadee Farm is a certified organic family farm specializing in high quality vegetable, herb and flower seed grown using organic methods. Located in Talent, Oregon, Chickadee Farm is owned and managed by Kelly Gelino and Sebastian Aguilar who have been farming since 1997 and have trained many new farmers along the way. We take our role in the apprenticeship model seriously and we dedicate ourselves to being valuable educators and mentors for our apprentices. Our farm is 20 acres spread over three fields of which 5 acres are cropped, 5 are cover-cropped and the rest is in pasture. We grow open-pollinated vegetable seed for seed companies including tomato, pepper, lettuce, brassica, melon, onion and many more. Our farming style is small-scale intensive using tractors for tillage and cultivation. Our farm goals include enhancing the farm's ecology, making the farm efficient and profitable and doing all this while having a good time!
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: Before 7/15/19
Internship Ends: Flexible but usually early to mid November
Number of Internship Available: 1-2
Application Deadline: until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: full season
Our goal each year is to help our apprentices develop their understanding of and practical skills in all aspects of our farm operation – in the hopes that by the end of the season, they’d be ready to start planning and working on their own small farm. To accomplish this, we take weekly farm walks where we observe and discuss the changes in the fields and the needs of the farm as well as teach weekly classes where we discuss the concepts that guide our practical work. Classes cover a wide range of farm production and farm business topics, including organic soil management, irrigation design and management, crop planning, financial planning, record keeping and more. In-field demonstrations and discussions for each new task ensure that apprentices understand the goals, factors, strategies and potential challenges of each farm task. Our goal is for apprentices to feel confident and adept in accomplishing all farm tasks efficiently and successfully. If apprentices want, we can also help them develop a personal business plan that they can use to map out their own future farm business.
In exchange for our efforts to train and educate, we expect apprentices to be passionate about farming and dedicate themselves to working hard to ensure the farm’s success, learning as much as possible and contributing to creating a positive farm atmosphere.
Educational Opportunities: We have many years of educator experience and have trained 46+ apprentices over the years. Many of them return for a second year and many of them have started their own farms. For three years, Sebastian was the lead instructor and farm manager at the Organic Farm School, an 8-month new farmer training program located in WA state and he continues to teach through OSU Extension. Those who are interested can also sign up for the Organic Seed Alliance /MESA seed training program and we will facilitate that opportunity.
Skills Desired: As an advanced apprenticeship, we give priority to applicants who have some farming experience though experience is not required. The most important qualifications are a passion for learning, a dedication to working hard, good social skills and a positive attitude.
Meals: Apprentices live independently and generally cook for themselves. Farm produce and personal garden space is available.
Stipend: Apprentices receive a living stipend in addition to housing, education and farm produce as well as workman's comp coverage. Stipends start at $500/mo and increase to $1000/mo mid-season.
Housing: We have a barn loft apartment and a camping trailer for personal space/bedrooms, a separate shared kitchen cabin and bathroom/laundry facilities in the main house.
Preferred method of Contact: email or phone