Organic Fruit and Vegetable Apprenticeship in Colorado for the 2014 Farm Season
Learn to farm from a pioneering organic farmer of 40 years! Learn to grow on a diverse, certified organic farm with orchards, high tunnels and fields!
STORY BOOK PLACE TO FARM
White Buffalo Farm is Colorado's oldest organic farm and is a virtual paradise of fruit trees nestled in the foothills of the West Elk Wilderness, yet is an easy bike ride to Paonia. The farm is USDA certified organic. Our farm's story book setting is traversed by the North Fork of the Gunnison River and and is an ecological haven for wildlife. They protect our critical riparian corridor from permanent development and hope to soon establish a conservation easement. They have bear, elk, deer, eagles, hawks, and owls.
With careful stewardship, our 53 acre organic farm allows us to also grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs. They have an 11 acre orchard, 5 acres of pasture, scenic trail and riparian habitat and 4 acres of vegetables. They also lease a 5 acre peach orchard. They specialize in organic cherries, apricots, plums peaches, pears like d'Anjou and Asian and a variety of apples! They grow heirloom tomatoes, squash, flowers, greens, root crops, and much more to meet the growing demand for local and organic. They have three grow tunnels, two of which utilize a geo-thermal heating system. Depending on the year, the farm may also raise chickens, guinea hens, peacocks and turkeys.
Besides being pioneering organic, their claim to fame is boutique quality organic fruit! Their fruit is tasty and pure! They have very clean water and air! They need your help because they produce tons of certified organic fruit, veges and greens each year. You'll join up with five to fifteen apprentices and interns depending on the time of year! Fun environment and beautiful, peaceful setting!
HOW IT WORKS
Interns (2 months and ongoing) experience a range of farm activities. Apprentices (6 months or more) develop proficiencies in all farm operations. The longer you stay, the more They can teach you in both fruit and vegetable production.
The farm relies on volunteers to fulfill the promise of each growing season. Our work week is Monday through Saturday. Sunday is a rest day. Everyone generally works 50 hours a week and sometimes more or less depending on the number of other folks living and working on the farm while you are here. You might be working in the orchards, gardens, kitchen, housing and numerous other projects that make the farm a wonderful place to grow food and spend the growing season! They do not provide stipends for interns, but they do provide a very small stipend for apprentices after two months plus a bonus. Our staff positions offer a small monthly stipend, housing and a bonus for excellent project results. They have a community kitchen and a kitchen manager to prepare and coordinate delicious mostly organic meals!
For folks with solid farming experience, we also have farm partnerships! Spread the word! Farm partnership and work-exchange staff opportunities exist for people with farming skills and complimentary skills like online
marketing, natural building, artisan foods and non profit management! http://whitebuffalofarm.org/organic-farm-partners/
This year we have a great starter position as CSA Coordinator Apprentice for someone with growing skills already!
INFORMAL ORGANIC FARM SCHOOL FOR DECADES
Experiential learning on this farm profoundly deepens your knowledge and farm “skillfulness” in order to run your own farm or work with others in a communal farm operation. They teach organic market farming from the elementary to advanced levels including tree pruning, planting, irrigating, cultivating, harvesting, preserving and marketing of organic vegetables and fruits. This is a diverse farming operation. Farm activities include planting, tending and harvesting in our fields and high tunnels; irrigating, thinning and harvesting in our orchards; egg packaging; compost and soil enhancement; noxious weed management; grounds keeping and housekeeping; farmers markets and our CSA. They also forage on the farm and in wildland highlands surrounding the farm.
Farming is a complex and fascinating business; learn from a time-tested master. Farm co-founder, Wayne Talmage, has almost four decades of experience in organic agriculture, policy, education, and marketing. He has taught numerous emerging farmers how to make a living as farmers. Wayne contributed to the USDA organic standards and served on Colorado’s first organics advisory board as an appointee of the governor. Before coming to the farm, Wayne taught university courses in political philosophy and history. He learned to farm from long-ago farmers now passed away and added a pioneering organic focus to growing fruit and vegetables in Colorado!
For interns and apprentices, White Buffalo offers a wonderful place to resource yourself in nature and to tune into the rhythm of the land. They provide camping areas along the river with beautiful views! If you are invited to join the farm, they will send you a supply list. For starters, you’ll need to provide your own tent and bedding. The farm has some indoor housing to accommodate individuals arriving during the colder months when camping is not possible.
Farm Partner and Staff Positions provide housing until they run out. The farm has seven residences on the farm.
All living arrangements provide shared resource use and laundry facilities, utilities, wood, electric, water, internet (can be sporadic due to our rural location).
Spending time on the farm is a great step in learning about communitarian agriculture and sustainable living. They are actively strengthening the farm so that it might become a farm-based eco-village. This involves staff development, business planning, communication training as previously mentioned renovation of existing structures and new natural buildings.
White Buffalo accepts inquiries year round. We need more or less help at different times of the growing season. We definitely need lots of help for planting time and harvest time! Tell us a little bit about yourself and we’ll send you an info sheet to review and complete. So, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. For staff position or farm partnership inquiries, please send a letter of intent and resume. Positions open until filled. Thank you!