The Farm at Sunnyside, a certified organic farm in Virginia is offering several farm worker jobs for the 2013 growing season. Experience in organic vegetable production is helpful, but not necessary. More important is the willingness and desire to work outdoors, be a member of a small community, and learn how to grow high-quality, nutritious produce using ecologically sensitive practices. Seasonal workers will participate in and be exposed to all facets of sustainable vegetable production, and each will have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas of focus, which could include irrigation, pest and disease management, greenhouse management, packing shed management and others. Successful candidates will be enthusiastic, energetic, eager and quick to learn new concepts, positive in attitude and action, detail-oriented, and able and willing to follow directions.
The Farm at Sunnyside is a PCO Certified Organic farm and employs many techniques used by other organic vegetable operations, such as cover cropping, crop rotations, and composting. Beyond that, it is active in exploring the intersection between sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation. In addition to producing vegetables, herbs, flowers, tree fruit, blackberries, and eggs from pastured hens, the farm has recently begun beekeeping for both honey production and pollination. The farm also plants native wildflowers as pollinator beacons, restores former hayfields and pasturelands to native warm-season grass and wildflower meadows, and actively monitors species quantity and diversity as a measure of ecosystem health. Located in the picturesque rolling hills of Rappahannock County, VA, the Farm at Sunnyside sits at the foot of a mountain directly adjoining the Shenandoah National Park and is remarkably beautiful.
Beginning farm workers can expect to net around $1000/month though pay will vary depending on experience. The average workweek is 55 hours but depends on the time of season. Everyone will have a minimum of one day off per week, with one additional day off per month. The season runs from April or May through the end of November, with the possibility for some workers to start earlier and end later. Housing is provided on the farm in a shared house with private bedrooms, laundry facilities, two bathrooms and a communal kitchen. Food from the farm is also available. This position involves daily opportunities for learning by experience, but this is a production vegetable farm and while farm management enjoys teaching through working, the primary motivation will be to grow and market high quality organic fruits and vegetables with professional efficiency. Workers can expect to participate in at least two farmers’ markets in the Washington, DC area per month, but most of the effort will be farm-based. Occasionally there will be group training sessions, visits to other farms, and pursuit of other educational opportunities as workload allows, but the belief is that the best education in this type of farming lies in actually doing the work, day-by-day and month-by-month.
Interested candidates should contact Farm Manager Sean McDermott at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information but should be prepared to submit a résumé and a letter of interest. Find more information about the farm at www.thefarmatsunnyside.com. This position will be open until filled, but preference will be given to those who apply early, and farm visit and in-person interview will be required prior to offering the position.