Kings Valley Gardens is a very small farm located in the tiny rural community of Kings Valley, Oregon, which is about twenty miles northwest of Corvallis. The farm is run by Andrea Davis and John Madsen. They emphasize self-sufficiency, growing most of their own food and also providing for much of their energy using solar and wood. Andrea has a small business selling her homemade jams, all made from ingredients grown on the farm, and also selling fresh blueberries in season at the Corvallis Saturday Farmers Market. Andrea and John host volunteers in the summer through the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms) program. Andrea is seeking an intern to be her right-hand person during the WWOOF hosting season, which is late April through the end of October.
The WWOOFers are expected to work from 9:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, help prepare for farmers market for about an hour on Friday evenings, and help at the farmers market booth on Saturday as needed. WWOOFers are also expected to take turns being in charge of and/or helping with lunch and dinner preparation. During blueberry harvesting season (early July through the end of September), Andrea and the WWOOFers sometimes work past 5 pm sorting blueberries. It is understood that this is “going above and beyond” on the part of the WWOOFers and if a person is too fatigued they can opt out, though this is rare.
The intern that we are seeking will work alongside the WWOOFers and provide Andrea with some additional help. Many weeks this might just mean an additional half hour of farmers market preparation. Once we get into the blueberry harvest months, more work may be needed: some weeks this could mean a few extra hours helping clean up after making jam in the kitchen we rent, preparing meals with WWOOFers who are inexperienced at cooking so that Andrea does not need to cook every night, and helping Andrea put things away after a late blueberry sorting session. Andrea is looking for an intern who would enjoy the experience of being in charge of the farm for a few days at least twice during the season so that she can have a couple of backpacking trips with John. In return, Andrea would provide an equal amount of vacation time to the intern. The work that Andrea and her helpers do here varies with the season. In May they do a lot of planting, weeding, and soil preparation. In June they are fertilizing, weeding, and mulching the 400 blueberry bushes. They make jam to sell for two and a half days every other week when school is out as we rent a school kitchen for jam-making. Starting around early July, they harvest and sort blueberries for the farmers market every Thursday and Friday. They do quite a bit of harvesting, storing, and preserving food for the household, especially in September. They may spend time at some point scraping and painting one of our outbuildings. John keeps bees and honey is harvested and processed for 1-2 days in August. Volunteers may also help with cutting and storing firewood. It is possible that an intern could take on a special project if time allows, such as constructing a chicken coop or rocket stove. But once blueberry season hits in early July, our farm work generally becomes all-consuming.
Some farm experience is preferred but not absolutely required if the applicant has had other work experience that Andrea thinks would prepare him or her for the demands of farming. It is not absolutely essential for an intern to have his or her own transportation but it can be nice for him or her to be able to get away from the farm for some trips. It also could be possible for a particularly motivated and capable intern with his or her own vehicle to do the Wednesday farmers market and earn some of the profit from it.
Interns are provided with all food as long as you are happy eating what we eat which is simple homegrown and homemade, mostly vegan food. We do not buy or provide meat or dairy products except a small amount of butter. We do buy some eggs from neighbors. Most people who come here love our food. We also provide on-farm housing which is likewise simple; either a small trailer or a room in our house, or if you like you could live in a tent that you bring. We all use an outdoor kitchen during the busy season and there is also an outdoor bathroom and shower, though interns may at times use our house bathroom and shower. The Kings Valley area is beautiful and there are some lovely walks and bicycle rides we can direct you to. We have one bicycle here available for farm helpers to use. There is also a great place to swim in hot weather.
An intern with who comes to the farm with relevant experience will receive the following stipend: $200 paid at the end of July; $300 paid at the end of August; $350 paid at the end of September, and $150 paid at the end of October. May and June are considered training months. Andrea works with farm helpers most of the time and is always available for questions. She shares fifteen years of growing experience, wonderful recipes and traditions for farm cooking, and a listening ear for ideas and concerns. She also has books and some educational materials that she commonly makes available to farm helpers. John has in the past provided some mechanical advice to farm volunteers with cars as well as instruction in chainsaw use, welding, and beekeeping. He also loves to play hackeysack!
Applicants will be required to submit a cover letter, resume, personal statement, dates available, and at least two work references. These can be emailed but Andrea prefers that they be mailed to her:
Kings Valley Gardens
23719 Tatum Lane
Kings Valley, OR 97361
Potential interns can email Andrea at email@example.com, or call at 541-929-4054 if they would like to communicate with her before submitting a full application. Applications will be taken on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.