Contact informationFarm Address:
71290 Holmes Rd
Sisters, Oregon , 97759
Primary Contact: Gia Matzinger
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Rainshadow Organics is one of several host farms in the Rogue Farm Corps Internship and Apprenticeship Programs. See below for more details. Rainshadow Organics is located in Central Oregon. We are on the dry side of the Cascade mountains in a high desert climate. We get very little rain here and enjoy hot dry days in the summer with cool nights and few bugs. We are located 45 minutes from Bend, Oregon and 20 minutes from Sisters. We are 10 miles from the small town of Terrebonne and the incredible rock climbing mecca, Smith Rocks. There is no public transportation, but we do drive to Bend for farmers’ markets and wholesale deliveries about once a week. It is best to have a car if you are living at our farm. Our farm is family owned and operated and we have been here since the early 1970’s. Three generations still live on the farm. The farm is roughly 200 acres. 27 acres are under cultivation, usually about 12 in row crops and 15 in grain or cover crops. We have a 7 acre pig pasture, 60 acre cow pasture, 2 acre chicken pasture, and the rest in native habitat where we cultivate organic pollinator species. In 2017 we opened a commercial kitchen, farm store, and restaurant on the property where we process and preserve farm goods as well as serve lunch to the public 4 days a week and host many brunch and dinner events throughout the year. We are a certified organic, full-diet farm with dozens of varieties of certified organic vegetables, herbs, berries, flowers, pork, chicken, eggs, turkeys, beef, honey, and grains. We have a dairy cow that provides daily milk. All of the crops we grow are distributed within 50 miles of the farm through a CSA program, to local restaurants and grocery stores, via our farm store, and farmers’ markets. We host farm-to-table dinners, wood-fired pizza gatherings, farm tours, and other events at the farm during the summer. We also have an award-winning chef and preservation specialist working in the commercial kitchen daily to make pickles, krauts, tomato sauce, dairy products, fresh bread, jams, and other items. We raise heirloom vegetables and heritage breeds that are adapted to our harsh high desert climate, but we also have a passive four-season greenhouse for winter and early starts and eighteen larger season-extending hoop houses. We are certified organic and use only sustainable practices, no chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides. Our soil fertility is built with our composted horse, cow, and chicken manure. We also employ our chickens and an army of worms who supply castings for worm tea that we inject into our irrigation system. We foster an intricate ecosystem with companion planting, nutrient cycles, flowers, bees, riparian areas, crop rotation, and undisturbed native desert. We also save some seeds for our own use. We pride ourselves on looping our nutrients and resources into our community and back to our land. We do most of our vegetable farming by hand, but we do have a flame-weeder, finger-weeder, transplanter, and some cultivation tools for our long beds in our large field. Our 2-acre garden is almost all done by hand biodynamically. We have both a flour mill and lumber mill on the property. You can find out more at https://www.rainshadoworganics.com/
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: 3/15/2020-4/15/2020
Internship Ends: 10/31/2020
Number of Internship Available: 7
Application Deadline: ASAP
Minimum Length of Stay: 6-8 months
Rainshadow Organics is one of many host farms in the Rogue Farm Corps Internship and Apprenticeship Programs. The RFC Internship Program is a full season entry-level residential program combining hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. As an intern, you will live and train full-time on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your residential farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities.
The Apprenticeship Program is an advanced-level, full-season residential program combining hands-on training and skills-based education for those ready to dive in to the art and business of sustainable agriculture. This full-immersion program is designed for those who have completed RFC’s Internship Program, a similar farm training program, or have at least one full season (or equivalent) of farming experience already. It is for people who have a foundation of farm knowledge and skills but are looking to deepen their managerial experience with the goal of managing, owning, or operating a farm enterprise in the future. You will live and train full-time on one of RFC’s partner Host Farms, participate in a series of weekend workshops including farm tours with real working farmers,and learn in-depth skills from your mentor farmer. The Apprenticeship experience can be up to two seasons long if both apprentice and host farmer would like to continue the relationship after one season.
See details about the two programs at https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/programs
Educational Opportunities: The Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program is a full season (6-8 month) entry-level residential internship program. Along with the hands-on field training you will receive from your Host Farm the Internship Program also includes classroom learning, tours of local farms, and a farm-based independent study project. At Rainshadow, on-farm training is Monday through Friday and often for 8-10 hour days. We rotate through weekly animal chores, including weekend duties, where the farmer in training is in charge of all animal husbandry, irrigation, and generally keeping an eye on things. The reason we do this is to prepare you for the reality of farming with animals. If you are on weekend duty you are expected to be at the farm. You will likely be on weekend duty once a month through the course of the 7 month season. Otherwise, you will have 2 days off a week. Breakfast needs to be eaten and cleaned up before work at 7am. In the morning time we train as a team, planting, prepping beds, weeding, harvesting, processing chickens, cleaning manure, training tomatoes, managing pests, building irrigation systems, laying out drip lines, washing and packing produce, packing meat for market, harvesting lettuce mix, etc.… One apprentice/intern works in the commercial kitchen Monday-Friday on a rotation with the other interns and apprentices. Monday and Tuesday they are in the kitchen independently with a list from the chef. They will be responsible for making lunch for the crew, misc. projects, and cleaning chores. Wednesday thru Friday the intern will be working alongside the chef to prepare meals, prep for events, processing farm goods, assist customers in the store, etc. This is an incredible opportunity to learn about truly bringing the food that you grow to the table. The farm store and kitchen is an important new element of the farm and potential interns must be willing and excited to cook and participate in food preparation and preservation. The kitchen has become an important part of our business and you will be dealing with customers regularly. This kitchen is also where you prepare your own meals, breakfast and dinner. Because it is a commercial space, we have many guidelines regarding food safety, sanitation, etc… even on your own time. You will be learning customer service, cash handling, beverage making, wine service, proper table setting, sequence of serving, catering, a la carte cooking, cheese making, fermentation, pickling, bread baking, beer brewing, cider making, etc. One of the great bonuses of this kitchen is that we sit down as a crew to a farm style lunch every day. Working evening and weekend farm events are optional and paid extra by the hour. All interns and apprentices are required to have their food handlers card and alcohol servers permit prior to arrival at the farm. Half of the cost will be reimbursed. We take a long lunch break, and depending on the heat, start again between 2-4pm, which means we sometimes work until nightfall. Interns/apprentices often use their afternoon break to dip in the farm swimming pond or nearby river, run errands in town, or find a shady spot to rest. We take turns going to farmers’ market and working independently on projects. RFC classes, tours, and discussions are not part of your on-farm hours. We endeavor to be very respectful of your time, setting a predictable schedule and holding to it. Farming is project and weather dependent and sometimes requires more time than we predicted. We also schedule any vacations or time off at the beginning of the season collectively to make sure the farm is covered. Each intern will receive 5 vacation days over the season. Only two people are allowed to be off at once.
Skills Desired: Interns and apprentices should be physically fit, have high emotional intelligence, and respect our culture of teamwork; ideal candidates will have a can-do attitude, be self-motivated, and have a capacity for growth as an adult learner. You should be able to be on your feet for 8-10 hours a day, squatting, kneeling, lifting 50 pounds repetitively, as well as other repetitive movements. We expect a full-season commitment from everyone, with an optional second- year to be discussed.
Meals: Staple foods are provided like rice, oats, beans, sugar, salt, and fresh ground flour… and then all the vegetables you can eat. Farm meat is available daily. We trade for bread, beer, cheese, fruit, etc. at the farmers’ market. All other food is up to you. The culinary experience at a full-diet farm is an adventure and a challenge and has been a favorite element for many of our past interns.
Stipend: Details of our stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.
Housing: Apprentices and interns will live on the farm in a communal setting. Apprentices will have their own room in a dorm style bunkhouse. We have a shared lounge and bathroom with a shower. Internet is available at the commercial kitchen and cell service is good. You will also have access to a lounge area/guest space upstairs of the farm store. This area must be kept clean and is not available when guests are visiting. Responsible drinking and smoking is allowed. Farmer should be notified of all potential visitors. We are flexible and can make most things work.
Preferred method of Contact: email