Contact informationFarm Address:
20482 Skagit City Rd
Mount Vernon, Washington, 98273
Primary Contact: David Mackie
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: We are a 12 acre diversified farm in the beautiful Skagit Valley, growing market veg, tree fruit, broilers, and hogs. Our goal as a farm is to create a regenerative network of enterprises that feed the ecology of the land, and yield a profitable farm income. We are 4 years into that goal and have plenty to share, as well as plenty to learn. We tend to about 1.5 acres of veggies, 100+ fruit trees of apples, pears, plums and prunes (learn the difference between a plum and a prune!). We raise about 600 birds though the season, and process them on-farm in our WSDA certified facility. Our farm also enjoys 3 large riparian zones that are home to the many species of birds found in the Skagit Valley, as well as frogs and other wildlife.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: May/ June
Internship Ends: flexible,usually Sep/ Oct
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: March 1
Minimum Length of Stay: flexible
You will be hands-on with all aspects of farming; from the seeding, transplanting, cultivation, harvesting, packing, and selling. To the feeding, moving, fencing, and processing of birds, and some experience with the piglets we get in the fall.
A typical day will start with chicken chores of feeding, watering and moving birds, then it’s onto field work of transplanting, irrigation, or harvesting. Afternoons can be anything from construction projects to orchard work, or fence moving, then in the evening we do a lot of the weeding. I like to start early (5:30 in Jul) and take a longer lunch break to avoid working in the heat. We sell at 3 large markets around Seattle, and you will have the opportunity to sell at each of them, and may even become the primary salesperson at one of them depending on your interests. While most of our work is hand done, you will get plenty of time working weed whackers, various hand tools, and our large tractor. We run a poultry processing plant on the farm, and you will have the opportunity to work in the plant with me if that is something that interests you. I process anywhere from 10-25 birds a week and we sell them fresh at the markets- it’s an amazing product we are becoming well known for. We do not force anyone to watch or participate, but you must be comfortable with on-farm slaughter.
Throughout the season you will be working side by side with the owners and get to see what it’s like to balance a farm and a life together. We also talk about finances and the legal hoops we jump though to run this business, as well as our grand visions of agriculture and how we as humans need to change our relationship with the land.
Housing is provided in our solar cabin with a fantastic view of the Olympic Mountains over prime Skagit Farmland. You also have access to the amazing produce we grow, and the freezers full of pork, lamb, beef and chicken grown by us or our neighbors. We grow good food, so eating good food is a big part of farming with us! If you like goat milk, you will be able to milk our doe a few times a week to keep your supply up as well! Staple food items are also provided- we buy though Azure standard, and you can add to our orders.
Educational Opportunities: You'll learn side by side with us, as well as experience all of our farming methods. We practice minimal tillage, so you will get to see the benefits and struggles that brings to a market garden. You will also be selling at one or two of our Seattle markets with us, so you get to see what a market season is like in a City that respects it's farmers. Other skills you can learn are up to you. I have a background in electrical systems design, metal fabrication, drafting, construction, plumbing, and am happy to share that knowledge with interested folks. As well as, we are increasing our compliance with the new Food Safety Laws (FSMA), so you will get to see what a small farm is now required to do under the new regulations. In the same regard, our Poultry plant is inspected each June, so you can be around to see what inspectors look for, and how they interact with producers.
Skills Desired: Some farming or gardening experience is a plus but not required. Observation skills are what we are looking for the most in an intern. The more eyes we have in the field looking for bugs, stressed plants or animals, the better our farm runs. So an eye for detail helps in farming. The more experience you have, the more responsibilities you'll get. If your interested in adding something to our farm that you have a passion for, and it benefits the ecology of our farm (maybe your great at growing flowers and want to add pollinator strips around the farm) we can discuss addition pay for these projects. It should be said that we also work outside in the elements, and have some long days. A strong work-ethic is required, but it's rewarded in this industry more then most. We do our best to not work in the afternoons on the hottest days, but somedays it can't be helped. We also work some odd hours. We collect chickens after sunset, so in July that can be 10:30pm. Then some days we need to be harvesting salad mix by 5:30am. Those days are balanced so your only working an average of 8-10hrs a day.
Meals: Your working on a diversified farm, so good food is part of the gig! We try to do some communal meals, and offer to keep you stocked up on basics. We use Azure Standard for most of our shopping, and you get to add to our order items you need.
Stipend: $200-$300 DOE a week
Housing: Yes, you even have a second camper for a nap station closer to the fields!
Preferred method of Contact: email