SweetRoot Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
76 Bell Lane
Hamilton, Montana, 59840

Primary Contact: Mary
Secondary Contact: Noah

Primary Phone:
    Number: 406-240-1050
    Email: farmers@sweetroot.farm

Secondary Phone
    Number: 406-493-7211

Website: http://www.sweetroot.farm

Internship information
General Farm Description: SweetRoot Farm is a small organic farm run by partners Noah Jackson and Mary Bricker in the center of Montana's Bitterroot Valley. With help from an additional 3-7 people at various points in the year, we raise vegetables, herbs, flowers, and laying hens on 10 acres just outside of the town of Hamilton. Despite our cold-climate location, we are a four season farm. Using a combination of storage crops and winter greens grown in low-tech unheated tunnels, we feed locals the entire year. In 2023 we enter our ninth season of full-time farming, with about 2.5 acres in production including four stationary unheated high-tunnels (30’x60’) and six moveable “caterpillar” tunnels (16’ x 100’). We sell through a local farmers market, a self-serve farmstore, a farm membership program and a local grower's cooperative. We grow organically and with minimal tillage techniques but do not currently undergo organic certification. From May to October we attend the farmers market in Hamilton on Saturday mornings and serve a seasonal farm membership of about 110 households. Our self-serve farmstand is open year-round, including acting as the pickup point for a 75-household winter farm membership from November-April. As a four-season farm, we have opportunities for farm crew to work year-round with options ranging from half to full-time for the winter months to ensure some recovery and rest while also meeting people’s financial needs.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Range of start-date options, from early March through late April/ early May.
Internship Ends: Flexible. We prefer candidates who stay through the fall field-cleanup in early November, but have some flexibility as well. Crew may also continue on through the winter on our 4-season farm.
Number of Internship Available: up to 4 experienced farmhands, 1-2 novice farmhands
Application Deadline: Rolling until filled. First round of interviews planned for mid February
Minimum Length of Stay: Minimum of 3 month stay for novice farmhand positions, and 6-month season for full-time position. Preference given to those seeking stable year-round farming work.

Internship Details:

We are currently searching for at least 3 experienced farmhands and 1-2 novice farmhands to join our team, with both full and part-time options available. While we are a small team where everyone does a little bit of everything, experienced crew members will select one or two focus-areas in which they will have additional training and responsibility. Focus-areas are detailed at https://www.sweetroot.farm/crew-focus-areas . We are looking for people who are hard-working, motivated to learn, perform well in a fast-paced environment, and are interested in some aspect of farming as a career.

Position description: Experienced Farmhands

This job gives the opportunity to learn all aspects of vegetable production, and is best suited to someone with at least one year of farm experience and a goal of continuing in small-scale agriculture. Responsibilities will include soil and bed prep, seeding, transplanting, cultivation, greenhouse management, irrigation, harvest of a diverse range of crops, post-harvest handling, direct-sales (farmers market and farmstore, membership pickup), animal care (laying hens) and record keeping.

People applying to this position should be able to commit to a minimum work season of mid-April through early November, but crew who are a good fit are encouraged to continue on through the winter. Full-time crew can expect to work 5 days/ week, with two full days off each week.

Position description: Novice Farmhands

We have room for 1-2 people on our team with a strong interest in farming but no previous experience. This is a great starting-level position for folks interested in farming but whose food-growing experience is limited to a home garden, community-garden, or working on a non-profit or university farm.

Responsibilities may include harvesting, washing and packing produce, helping with market, transplanting, weeding, plant care, helping with laying hens. Will usually include some rotating weekend duties. We prefer to hire folks who can commit to our 6-month busiest season of May-October, but will also consider 3 to 4 month commitments, making this a possibility for college students.

To apply, please fill out the application at http://www.sweetroot.farm/employment AND email a current resume with two references, to farmers@sweetroot.farm

Educational Opportunities: We are in a constant process of evaluating and improving our farm, and we invite crew into both the learning and behind the scenes farmwork alongside us. Specific learning goals for each crew member will be discussed at the start of the season, and we'll make a plan for how you want to gain those skills, in addition to what we need crew to learn in order to farm effectively and efficiently for the season. We have close ties with many farms in the region and can help facilitate visits to other farms for motivated individuals. We also have a 7-year archive of Growing for Market magazines, and numerous farming books available for crew to check out from a farm library.

Skills Desired: ability to work efficiently both independently and with others attention to detail willingness to ask questions and ask for clarification as needed enjoy the personal challenge of working towards speed and efficiency goals comfortable working full 8-hour days in all weather (Montana’s weather can be extreme in both heat and cold) comfortable lifting 50-pound units repeatedly ability to work at least 24-30 hours per week, and a minimum of 3-4 months (strong preference will be given to those who can commit to the entire 6-month season April-October) ability to give and receive feedback work efficiently and understand pacing and sense of urgency enjoy eating vegetables!

Meals: Most days everyone prepares or brings their own meals, but often eat together in shared break areas. We periodically gather as a whole team for a farm lunch or dinner put on by the farm or provided by a farm member family.

Stipend: We have switched from a stipend model to hourly pay for all farm employees, pay scale dependent on position and experience. Full-time crew are paid hourly with a target of 40-45 hours/ week, with overtime pay over 40 hrs. Part-time crew are on hourly pay, generally 24-32 hours/ week. All workers covered by workplace comp insurance. For experienced farmhands: pay starts at $16-19/ hour depending on experience and housing choices. Quarterly evaluations with potential for performance-based raises up to $20/ hour, or $22/ hour for individuals who take on extra responsibilities. For novice farmhands: pay starts at $14-16/ hour depending on experience. Potential for performance based pay raises at quarterly evaluations as skills and familiarity with our farm systems increase in the season. Paid time off begins accruing after 30-day period, at 2 hours per 80 hours worked (equivalent to 13 days in a full year).

Housing: Several options exist for affordable/ subsidized crew housing on and near the farm, including a tiny-home style cabin, and rented rooms in a shared house on farm.

Preferred method of Contact: email