Fresh Roots Farm Organic Farming Internship in Montana – 2018
General Description: Fresh Roots Farm is a certified organic vegetable, small fruit and seed farm located seven miles south of Polson, MT at the base of the Mission Mountains. We are a family farm run by a husband, wife and our eight-year-old daughter. We are entering our 7th season at our present location. We specialize in cool and warm season annual and biennial seed crops, strawberries and a variety of vegetables. We market our vegetables and strawberries directly at the Polson farmers market as well as through Western Montana Growers Cooperative’s wholesale and CSA. Additionally, in 2017 we started a value added popsicles enterprise, Flare Pops. In 2018 we will have an on-farm commercial kitchen to produce our popsicles from our fruits, vegetables and herbs that are marketed at three farmers markets and multiple festivals.
While vegetables and strawberries are significant contributors to our business financial picture, we are extremely passionate about our organic seed enterprise. We believe organic seed production brings a unique niche enterprise and biological diversity to our farm. We also see organic seed as a critical and often missing link in vibrant regional food systems. We primarily grow seed for contracts but also are founding members of a regional seed business, Triple Divide Organic Seeds Cooperative, which currently direct markets packet seeds at several retail outlets and online. Seed production brings an entirely different rhythm to our farm, and creates unique challenges, especially later in the season during harvest and cleaning.
· Position 1: May 1, 2018 – Oct 1, 2018
· Position 2: June 1, 2018 – Nov. 1, 2018
· Position 3: August 1 – Nov. 15, 2018
Apply: ASAP. Prefer to have internship filled by mid-February (see contact information below)
Number of Interns: 3
Minimum Length of Stay:
· We are seeking individuals committed to the entire duration of the position period.
Meals: We eat one dinner together per week. Interns will be responsible for preparing their own meals, though we will provide the farm fresh goods.
Skills Desired: Applicants do not need to have previous farm experience. Applicants, though, do need to possess a strong work ethic, timeliness, positive attitude, flexibility, problem-solving skills, perseverance and ability to work hard for long hours on tasks that sometimes can become tedious. Applicants need to be prepared to work in all weather conditions. Summers can be hot so applicants need to be prepared to work early in the morning, 5:30 am starts during the hot summer months is not uncommon. Applicants need to be or plan to be non-smokers.
Educational Opportunities: We believe strongly in hands on learning. Interns will work side-by-side with us starting plants, transplanting, weeding, setting up and record keeping of field trials, harvesting vegetables, processing a value added product, selling at farmers markets, managing irrigation and harvesting, threshing and winnowing seeds and preparing biennial seed crops (carrots and beets) for long term storage. Interns also may choose to participate in the Organic Seed Alliance / MESA seed internship. The internship contains monthly webinars and farm-based independent study.
Work Requirements: We believe in hard work and having fun. At Fresh Roots Farm we seek to provide our interns with a sense of what it is like to work/run a small organic farm. Interns will have the opportunity to work at Farmer’s Markets and along side us. Farming is physical work and you can expect repetitive movements and being outside in a variety of weather conditions. Please note that farming is not a clock in and out business; there will be times when we need to get a harvest or other project completed before ending the day. We expect approximately 40 hours or work per week and the work week will most likely be staggered, Sunday through Thursday and Monday through Friday. Mondays and Thursdays are harvest days for wholesale and Fridays are market days. We will discuss exact scheduling on the phone.
In addition to the hands on farming experience, Fresh Roots Farm is at the foot of the Mission Mountain Wilderness area and we are only 15 minutes from Flathead Lake and 20 minutes from whitewater rapids and world-class fishing. Ample hiking, fishing, and water sports opportunities exist.
Stipend: In addition to a furnished farmhouse with paid utilities, interns are paid $200 per week. Compensation is legal and the above amounts reflect gross pay before taxes. Additional marketing opportunities at festivals and other weekend events may arise with Flare Pops that are separate wages from the farm internship. Furthermore, interns that complete the entire season are eligible for a bonus, which is contingent upon the farm’s financial performance.
Housing: We have a second 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house on the property that is very comfortable, spacious and furnished. Individuals must be comfortable with communal living. No smoking allowed.
To apply for an internship at Fresh Roots Farm, contact: Karl Sutton and Darci Jones
Phone: 406-885-1188 (cell)
To learn more about farming jobs and internships or to post an opportunity on beginningfarmers.org, go to: http://www.beginningfarmers.org/internship-and-employment-opportunities/