Farm Hand Intern

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Marble Mountain Farm is an off-grid, 4-acre certified organic family vegetable farm started in 2013 offering hands-on experience in all aspects of market farming. We grow a wide diversity of annual and perennial plants on the farm from traditional food crops to a few medicinal herbs. The focus of our farm is on creating a small-scale sustainable farmstead with healthy functioning systems and a diversified income. We attend farmer's markets throughout the week from May to November, deliver to several grocery stores, distribute through two local food-hub organizations, and work with local non-profit organizations that facilitate community food distributions and farm-to-school programs. Additionally, Marble Mountain Farm is currently collaborating with the Karuk Tribe on several projects, including the distribution of our produce to elder tribal members in both Happy Camp and Yreka and consulting with the tribe concerning their various food security projects such as community gardens and farm to school projects.

Internship Description

--This internship begins as early as March 1st and runs through November 1st. It is a full time position. Hours vary throughout the season, but generally speaking spring and fall hours are between 35-40 hours a week while summertime hours are 50-55 hours a week. Interns engage in all aspects of farming throughout the season so there is a lot of variation in the day to day tasks as the growing season progresses. In the spring there is nursery work in the greenhouse (filling trays with soil and sowing seeds), preparing beds in the fields (mowing, discing, spreading compost, etc.) and maintaining the perennial beds (weeding, applying compost, mulching). In the late spring we are doing lots of transplanting, irrigation set up and the farmers market season gets going. Harvesting and going to market and making deliveries are major summer activities along with the many succession plantings needed to keep it going through to mid-fall when we start turning under crops, planting cover-crop and cleaning up for the winter. Of course, weeding (hoeing, shallow rototilling, and some hand-pulling) is a major activity throughout it all. Interns are welcome to learn about and participate in value added product production. We care for chickens and pigs on a non-commercial level and interns can learn about our animal systems as well if they are interested. We strongly believe in the power of small-scale, organic agriculture as a force for positive social change and feel that part of this is passing on the knowledge of how to farm to others who are actively pursuing a career in agriculture. For this reason we prefer to host people with a strong passion for farming and a desire to learn and build experience rather than employees who are just looking for work and lack a commitment to the profession. Educational Opportunities

--Interns learn or improve on many different farm management skills: Tractor and implement operation, crop rotation and farm planning, drip and overhead irrigation, soil management, field prep, propagation techniques and nursery greenhouse management, direct sowing, transplanting, organic certification, seed saving, harvesting and packing, marketing, etc. We attend farmers' markets and interns are required to help at the market. This involves learning and refining experience in sales and working with people. This also involves cleaning, processing, packing and transporting vegetables to preserve their fresh-from-the-field quality.

--Due to our remote location and off-grid status, there is also a homesteading aspect to life at Marble Mountain Farm that one might not be exposed to at a more centrally located farm, These activities include: forest management, chainsaw operation and tree felling, firewood, water system maintenance, fencing, small-scale animal husbandry, food storage techniques, basic herbalism etc.

--Additionally, While we are not enrolled as a host farm through Rogue Farm Corps because we are located in California and they are based in Oregon, they have graciously agreed to let our interns enroll in their "Beginning Farmer Educational Event Series" which is a "series of educational events including farm tours, classes, and discussion groups for aspiring and beginning farmers" (www.roguefarmcorps.org/event-series).

Required Skills/Experience:

--The main qualities we are looking for in an applicant are a positive attitude and an ability to work hard. In our experience, if you don't have these two basic characteristics, farming isn't for you! Prior experience is preferred but not necessary. The only required skill is the ability to focus on a task over a long period of time with an ATTENTION TO DETAIL as this is important in most farm tasks.

--We have observed that there are generally two types of people that the intern position at our farm is geared towards. First are people who are actively working towards owning their own farm one day and are looking to gain experience and develop skills toward achieving that goal. The second group are students who are studying something that is agriculturally adjacent (sustainable development, community food systems, etc.) and are looking to get some hands-on experience to supplement and flesh-out their studies. The sort of person that this position does not typically work well for is someone who is simply looking for any type of job they can get or who just doesn't have anything better to do. Compensation:

--The intern position comes with a weekly stipend of $200/week plus housing and food (described below). Interns who show dedication and commitment will be considered for a $100/month raise after a period of two months.

--Sleeping: "Glamping" style canvas bell tent. 10' diameter, 8' high in center. These tents come with a wood stove for use in the colder months and a simple solar panel/inverter set up for 110 ac power for lighting, device charging, etc.

--Kitchen and Common Space: An old cabin on our property has been retrofitted with a kitchen and a living room. The kitchen is fully equipped with a propane stove/oven, sink and counter, refrigerator, pots, pans, cutting boards, knives, shelving etc. This building is equipped with a wood stove for the colder months of the season.

--Bathroom: There is a bathroom reserved for people working on the farm located in the basement of the main house on the property. The basement is a "walk-in" style and accessed by a door directly to the outside (in other words, one does not need to go into the main level of the house and down stairs in order to access the basement). The bathroom has a sink, shower and flush toilet.

--Laundry: There is a laundry room in the basement of the main house with a standard washer and dryer setup

--Food: We provide some food for our interns and wwoofers. This includes:

--Staple foods - eg. grains, beans, pasta, oil, vinegar, spices, etc.

-- Meats and eggs from a local source, whether from our farm, a local ranch or wild game

--Veggies from the farm

-- Examples of food we do not provide: Snack foods, coffee/tea, sugar, dairy

-- An additional "fringe benefit" we like to offer to our interns is a one day rafting trip on the Klamath River with one of our neighbors who is a rafting guide.

State/Province
City
Happy Camp
Name
Ross Husted
Email
marblemountainfarm@gmail.com
Phone
(707) 499-3642
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