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Radical Roots Organic Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
3083 Flook Lane
Keezletown, Virginia , 22832

Primary Contact: Lee ONeill
Primary Phone:
    Number: 540-810-2587


Internship information
General Farm Description: Radical Roots Farm grows high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruit, and nursery crops in a sustainable way. We farm five acres of intensively cultivated beautiful garden soil and grow nursery crops in a 3,000 square foot greenhouse. We also have two 5,000 square foot high tunnels and a many smaller tunnels for extending the vegetable growing season in this climate. We sell vegetables, herbs, and nursery plants at the Charlottesville Farmers Markets, state-wide plant sales and sell to restaurants, grocery stores, wholesale accounts and have a 60-member CSA. Using and teaching organic methods and permaculture design is central to our farm.

CRAFT Member Farm? Yes

Internship Starts: March 1, 2020
Internship Ends: October 2020
Number of Internship Available: 6
Application Deadline: Rolling until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 6 months

Internship Details:

The Radical Roots Farm Apprenticeship is an exchange of time and learning between experienced and new farmers. Apprentices learn the art and craft of organic farming through hard work in the fields, observation of successful farm ecosystems and participating in a mentoring relationship with experienced farmers. This immersion into all aspects of organic vegetable production gives new farmers valuable skills and experience to begin their career in organic agriculture. Whether they start their own farm or go on to work in public gardens, landscaping, school gardens or farm to table restaurants, apprentices gain a firm foundation and confidence to succeed.

Radical Roots Community Farm is located in the Shenandoah Valley seven miles outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Harrisonburg is a fun college town that has a vibrant downtown with lots of restaurants, yoga, and unique shops. The farm is four miles away from the George Washington National Forest which has hiking trails and nice swimming holes and three miles away from the great mountain bike trails at Massanutten Resort.

Dave and Lee started Radical Roots in 2000 after apprenticing on similarly successful small scale farms for four years. Now with over 40 years of combined farming experience we enjoy passing on the craft of farming to those who are keen to learn. Lee is passionate about growing herbs and offers classes in herbal medicine. Lee is also active in state wide organic movement and is on the board of directors of VABF. Dave teaches permaculture design and organic gardening classes for community groups and has experience in landscape design. We are both committed to farming in a sustainable way that creates connections between the people and the land.

Educational Opportunities: Our program is highlighted by a series of formal learning opportunities. Each week we offer a one and a half hour class or field trip to another farm. The class topics cover a wide range of topics including all aspects of organic production, business management, permaculture and herbalism. This is a great way to explore new techniques and compare different farming methods. Once apprentices learn one farming system it very beneficial to contrast how other farms system are similar or different. We participate in the regional CRAFT alliance and also have a deep network of experienced and new farms that we will visit. A farm design project will be assigned to apprentices to encourage them to begin thinking about their own farm. During the presentation of the farm design project apprentices will receive personal feedback on their farm designs which can help them formulate future goals.

Skills Desired: We select candidates who are seriously considering organic farming or gardening as a career. A positive attitude and communication skills are essential. Must be able to work as an integral part of a team as well as take on responsibility and work independently. The work we do involves a lot of hand labor. Our time will be spent with the work of sowing seeds, potting up young plants, setting out transplants, mulching, weeding, watering and harvesting. We work hard; 40-60 hours per week and five and a half days week. Attainable benchmarks will require effort and sweat. Applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds. A positive attitude, a willingness to work hard and a passion to learn are the most important skills. All apprentice positions have the potential to return for additional seasons and turn into staff and crew member positions for candidates that have the drive to excel. An on farm interview is strongly preferred.

Meals: We share a group meal once a week with the entire farm crew and volunteers. We rotate cooking for the weekly meal. Vegetables that we grow will be available in abundance to supplement other meals. This is a great opportunity to eat healthy and try new foods.

Stipend: We offer a $1000 monthly stipend plus housing which includes all utilities and wifi. Our program is unique in it's emphasis on systems training, weekly educational classes and the demonstration of 20 years of successful farming. The housing provided is in a beautiful straw bale apartment with big windows and lots of natural light and beautiful outdoor patios. 5 vacations days and sick days as needed. Workers compensation insurance provided.

Housing: The housing is in a beautiful straw bale studio apartment. Simple rooms with shared living space in the straw-bale studio which has a full kitchen and bathroom. There is a lot of outdoor living space on the the two large patios and outdoor kitchen. All utilities and wifi are provided.

Preferred method of Contact: email