Early Bird Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
4220 Gay Rd E
Tacoma, Washington, 98443

Primary Contact: Rawley Johnson
Primary Phone:
    Number: 253-355-2616
    Email: earlybirdfarmer@gmail.com

Website: http://www.earlybirdfarmer.com

Internship information
General Farm Description: We are a small farm in the Puyallup River valley outside of Tacoma. Entering our seventh year of production, we grow about 2 acres of vegetables, manage a 500 bird flock of egg-laying hens, and tend to a few bee hives, fruit trees, and berry bushes. Our main business is a 20 week vegetable and egg CSA program along with a Sunday farmers market in Seattle. We use a tractor to prep fields and move our mobile chicken coops, but most of the daily work is done by hand using sustainable growing practices. Our farm is in a unique location with fertile, valley bottom soils just minutes from the urban centers of Tacoma and Seattle.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 4/1/2020
Internship Ends: 10/31/2020
Number of Internship Available: 3
Application Deadline: 3/1/2020
Minimum Length of Stay: full season

Internship Details:

This is a great learning opportunity for someone interested in sustainable, diversified, small scale farming. You’ll take part in a little bit of everything over the course of the season. Most of your time will be devoted to vegetable production, but you’ll also help look after the laying hens and our 2 adorable sheep, and there are opportunities to work with berries, fruit, honeybees, or farm improvement projects, depending on your interest. Expect a 40 hour work week on average-less in the spring and fall, more in the summer. In addition, you’ll help out once or twice a month at our Sunday farmers market stand in Seattle.

Educational Opportunities: Working on a small-scale farm alongside the farm owner, you're going to learn a lot. You'll be growing vegetables seed to harvest, in the field and in a greenhouse. You'll use most every tool we have at some point: everything from hand tools, to our electric walk-behind tiller, to our 32 horsepower tractor. Although the job is primarily hands-on learning by doing, we participate in the Washington State Farm Internship Program which means we follow a farm-created educational curriculum and take one afternoon each week outside of the workday to discuss farm related topics in more depth. There is also flexibility to pursue your own interest on the farm: you'll be encouraged to grow a crop or two of your own and field trips to neighboring organic farms will be scheduled throughout the summer based on what you want to see more of. I learned how to farm as an intern myself, so I am motivated to provide a great educational experience for those who participate in our internship.

Skills Desired: No farming experience is required, just a genuine interest in immersing yourself in helping make this farm run. If you do have farming experience, great, you'll have much more responsibility here than on a larger farm. Successful interns in past years have come from very diverse backgrounds, but all expressed a passion for sustainable, small-scale agriculture. PLEASE NOTE that having your own car is required as you'll want to get off the farm from time to time and there is no convenient public transit nearby. Local Tacoma/Seattle residents are encouraged to apply and commuting to the farm is an option.

Meals: Cook your own meals, mostly. You'll share a well-stocked outdoor kitchen with the other intern/employees. We always share a big, communal lunch once a week as a crew. Eating well is part of the gig: you get free eggs and produce from the farm, plus a monthly stipend to buy extra food of your choice from the store.

Stipend: For the internship: $900/month plus a $100 monthly food stipend. LNI workers compensation coverage is included.ALSO HIRING ONE PERSON AS A CREW LEADER: This is an hourly wage position for someone with at least 1 season of market farm experience. $13.50/hour or more DOE

Housing: Housing on farm in a rustic RV trailer is provided. You can park it up by the barn and close to the communal kitchen or out back with your own private Mt. Rainier view. Or commute to the farm if you live nearby. We have had crew members commute from Tacoma and Seattle to the farm in past years.

Preferred method of Contact: Email us your resume and a cover letter