Apprenticeship at Horton Road Organics: 93851 Horton Rd., Blachly, Oregon 97412At Horton Road Organics, they cultivate 5 acres of exceptional vegetables for local farmer’s markets, natural food stores, restaurants, and a 70-member CSA. Their location in the forested coast range of Oregon provides wonderful access to the culture of Eugene’s university town life, as well as the beauty of the Siuslaw National Forest and ocean ecology. The farm community includes apprentices, staff and farmers who all live, work, and experience the season closely together. The fields are tended with much hand work going into intensively cropped raised beds and greenhouses. Expectations: The Horton Road Organics apprentice program is predominantly hands on. Apprentices spend much of their time planting, weeding, harvesting and preparing vegetables. They also dig and fertilize raised beds, go to farmers markets, do deliveries, keep records, choose projects to pursue, and write for the CSA newsletter. Throughout the season, students are expected to gain mastery over different tasks and develop an understanding of the working farm that comes with working closely with past graduates and being an important part of a seasonal crew. What is learned in the field is contextualized by classes and field trips that introduce students to the basic subjects involved in small scale organic farming. Both farm owners have been in agriculture for over 20 years and have a very good sense of the balance of skills and inspiration required to create a working farm or garden project.
Apprentices do well if they are open to what there is to learn and not necessarily attached to a specific agricultural philosophy or technique. Prior field experience can be very helpful but not as important as a willingness to meet the demands of the farm each day. It is essential that apprentices: (1) Are able to commit to the entire season mid-April through October and have a good work ethic, (2) Are physically able to do field work, which involves a combination of stamina, strength and flexibility, and (3) Are able to work well with others in a team, have good communications skills, and are prepared to contribute time and energy to community building activities. The season culminates in each apprentice’s presentation of their “Faux Farm” – a project presented to the group for review, designed to integrate the season’s learning.
Education: Our program is framed by a series of informal classes designed to introduce major topics and resources for exploration. Classes are broken up by field trips to a wide array of local farms that demonstrate the diversity within alternative agriculture. In addition to classes and field trips, apprentices have access to their own garden plot for experimentation and off time to pursue interests not specifically covered in our syllabus. By the end of the season, apprentices will have developed necessary field skills, have a good idea of what it takes to create and operate an organic farm and determine some direction for the next step of their training.
Meals: In addition to the bounty in the fields, the farm supplements the community pantry with a number of basic organic bulk beans, grains, and oils. Barn living includes a mix of having your own private food area and participating in group meals that are arranged frequently each month.
Stipend: $700 month minus federal and state withholding; Extra pay for Saturday Market shifts; Worker’s Comp Insurance; Sick days as needed & limited Vacation time
Housing: Private rooms in a renovated barn with kitchen, bath, outdoor solar shower & community room. Access to main dwelling for laundry. Phone and internet access available.
To apply, please fill out the online application at: http://hortonorganics.com/apprenticeship/application/
Apprenticeship Duration: April 15-October 31, 2015
Application Deadline: Open until filled – Apply November onward
Contact: Bill Booth
Phone: [Office] 541-925-3019