Wild Hope Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
575 Wild Hope Farm Rd
Chester, South Carolina, 29706

Primary Contact: Katherine Belk
Primary Phone:
    Number: 7047701531
    Email: katherine@wildhopefarm.com

Website: https://www.wildhopefarm.com

Internship information
General Farm Description: Wild Hope Farm is a sustainable farm in Chester, SC, using organic practices and permaculture design to grow fresh produce, flowers, and pasture raised laying hens. We are currently growing 12 acres of certified organic production that we heavily cover crop when not in production. The 220 acre property consists of greenhouses, walking trails, a 10-acre pond, and diversified natural areas. Our produce is sold through a 350 person farm share, to local chefs, and at a farmers market. We host complementary on-farm events including retreats, weddings, farm-to-table dinners, and educational workshops to cultivate community and encourage people to learn about our farming practices. We are seeking strong, efficiency-focused people with experience and passion who aspire to run their own farm some day. The apprentices are integral members of our small team at Wild Hope Farm. During the 8 month program you will get exposed to all aspects of organic farming and deepen your knowledge of our organic farming methods, produce and operations, beekeeping, season extension, cover cropping, no-till methods, compost heat extraction, pasture raised chickens, soil quality, harvesting and packing, customer delivery, and selling. You will become familiar with our modern equipment and be trained on usage. We will assess your development and coach you towards operating independently over the time with us. During your time at Wild Hope Farm, you will work directly under Mary Stone, our harvest manager.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 03/28/2022
Internship Ends: 11/20/2022
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: 3/28/2022
Minimum Length of Stay: 7-9 months

Internship Details:

The Harvest apprentice will work with our CSA Manager to learn the ins and outs of planning, running and expanding a farm share program. The apprentice will have the opportunity to join weekly field walks, learning the skills necessary to assess crop maturity and accurately gauge yields. They will be closely involved in strategizing the contents of the farm share from week to week. In addition to CSA management, the apprentice will learn how to run harvest and optimize storage for all of our vegetable crops. While our main sales outlet is the CSA program, the apprentice will also assist in managing a small wholesale program selling to local food hubs and chefs. Our goal is to have the apprentice move towards assistant management for the following year. The harvest apprentice will also assist the field manager with planting and weeding operations.
Assist with leading harvest and wash on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays
Creating weekly estimates of harvest totals based on field supply
Recording harvest records in a manner that matches sales records
Creating weekly product lists for the CSA and keep weekly content records
Sorting and grading produce
Assist with packing CSA shares on Tuesdays and Market on Fridays
Keeping the wash & pack areas clean and organized
Restocking packing materials
Managing cooler inventory
Proactive about spotting any crop supply and harvest issues

With an expanding CSA program and busy market booth, the Matthews Farmers Market is a significant sales channel for the farm. The market apprentice is responsible for all aspects of running our Saturday booth at the farmers market (8 am – noon) and CSA drop-off at the market from late April through November.
Lead the planning, preparing and packing for the Farmers Market on Fridays
Set-up and break-down of the market booth on Saturday
Record keeping of market sales using the Square App
Monday morning recap to team of market sales
Ability to efficiently manage and motivate people during harvest and packing operations
Ability to sort/grade produce for quality
Excellent organizational skills
Knowledge of harvest methods for all types of vegetables is a plus
Knowledge of vegetable storage methods and requirements is a plus
Knowledge of food safety standards is a plus
Experience with physical labor or intense outdoor activity – able to lift 50 lbs
Ability to harvest efficiently and maintain the fast pace of a production farm with a positive attitude
Ability to work in all types of weather (hot, rainy, and cold)
Experience with tractor equipment and attachments
Must have reliable transportation
Sense of humor
Comfort in interacting with farm share members or farm visitors

THE WORK SCHEDULE – early April through the end of November 2019
The work at Wild Hope Farm is seasonal and the length of the workday varies within the busy season. Apprentices work 45-50 hrs over a 5 day work week. The pay for agricultural work at Wild Hope Farm is exempt from overtime pay.
Tues, Wed, Thursday, Friday 6:00 AM – 2:45 PM during peak summer and 7:00 AM – 3:45 in the early spring/fall (periodic break 15 minute breaks & 45 min lunch break)
Saturdays 5:45 AM – 1:00 PM (taking off Mondays)
Apprentices are paid $1,100/month
Provided housing on the farm in our farm huts, with a communal kitchen and hangout space with attached bathrooms and showers
Provided fresh produce from the farm
Unparalleled learning opportunity
Opportunity to plan and host your own community event (e.g., workshop or farm-to-table event)

Safety Policies: We will review safety policies during the first week of orientation. All apprentices are required to follow safety policies at all times. Failure to do so may result in immediate dismissal.

Drugs and Alcohol: Illegal drugs are not permitted on the farm property at any time (this includes the apprentice cabins). Alcohol is permitted in moderation. It is unacceptable to work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One infraction may be cause for immediate dismissal.

Visitors: Visitors are welcome for up to 1 week. Family and friends are expected to work at least ½ days along with the farm crew, following our normal schedule. Visits longer than a week are subject to the wishes of other apprentices and the farm family.

Pets: Apprentices must leave their pets at home.

General Demeanor: It is expected that all apprentices be prompt, dressed appropriately for work, and professional in their attitude at work.

Tools and Work Clothes: The farm provides harvest knives and daily hand tools. They must be returned to the shed at the end of the day. Apprentices must provide any other desired tools or work clothes (pocket knives, rain boots, rain gear, hats, gloves).

Educational Opportunities: EDUCATIONAL VALUE Our apprentice program is a hands-on working/learning experience designed to move dedicated candidates towards farm management. We accept people from all backgrounds who want to explore agriculture as a career option. Apprenticeship Goals/Evaluation: As part of our program orientation, apprentices are encouraged to identify in writing what they hope to accomplish from their apprenticeship. After three to four weeks we will meet with each apprentice to help with the development of realistic goals and to confirm our mutual (farmer and apprentice) expectations for learning. This document will be revisited for periodic evaluation and reviewed in detail in early summer. We will make every effort to tailor each experience to the expressed needs of each participant. Daily Meeting: The farm crew convenes every morning to clarify the day's program and make alterations due to the weather and other events. Orientation: During the first week we will conduct an orientation to go over safety policies, farm policies, and the location and names of buildings and equipment. We will review the farm calendar, begin to set vacation times, go over job responsibilities (household, animals, greenhouse, distribution, etc.) and start figuring out how to live in community together. Study Materials: All apprentices have access to written learning materials to increase their understanding of Wild Hope Farm in particular and farming in general. These materials include crop plans, seed orders, planting schedules, maps, overall farm plans, and supporting information. In addition there is a small farm library from which apprentices are welcome to borrow books. TIME OFF The following guidelines on vacation and personal time assume an apprenticeship running from early April through the end of November. Vacations: Each apprentice is given one week paid vacation (5 days), which ideally will be taken at one time between late July and September 15. Vacation times will be scheduled at the beginning of the season, trying to take all needs into account. Personal Time: It is expected that there will be some need during the season for every apprentice to take some personal time, whether for car repairs, doctor's appointments, or other personal needs. Each apprentice may take up to 2 personal days each season. These personal days do not need to be taken as “full days.” It is expected that except for emergencies, a week's notice will be given about the need for personal time. Sick Time: When you're sick, please don't work. If health circumstances arise that cause you to miss more than 7 days of work during the season due to illness, there will need to be some discussion as to whether the apprenticeship is the right situation for you at this time. Sick days that are not taken as the personal day will go unpaid.

Skills Desired: Previous experience working on a farm is a plus!

Meals: No

Stipend: Yes

Housing: Yes

Preferred method of Contact: katherine@wildhopefarm.com