Organic Farming Internships in California at Mountain Bounty Farm in Nevada City – 2018
Mountain Bounty Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Interns are a core element of our 12-14 person farm crew and they participate in all farm activities from greenhouse work to harvest, field work, and farmer’s markets. Interns work closely with the farm managers to maintain our complex and dynamic vegetable farm. This includes driving tractors, seeding, transplanting, lots of weeding, irrigation, harvest, washing and packing produce, driving deliveries, and other crop care.
Organic Farming Internships in California
Interns work Monday through Friday, 8+ hours per day, and are also responsible for two Saturday farmers markets per month, and occasional irrigation duties after-hours. We average a 40-hour work week over the season, with slightly shorter weeks in spring and fall, and slightly longer weeks at the height of summer.
Internships at Mountain Bounty Farm are challenging, highly sought after, and immensely rewarding. The vast majority of Mountain Bounty alumni go on to either work at other farms or start their own farms. Interns who excel in their first season may be offered management positions and permanent employment here at Mountain Bounty.
Prior farm experience is preferred, but not a requirement. Successful candidates usually have experience with some type of outdoor labor and/or a strong athletic background. We are also looking for people who are serious about farming as a career. This is a top-notch training opportunity for someone who is ready to take on the challenge and responsibility of farming.
We are looking for people who are organized, curious, outgoing and personable, wacky and fun, and very motivated. Applicants should be able to work hard and fast in all weather (it can be cold and wet here in spring and fall, and summers are very hot), do heavy lifting, repetitive grasping, standing, bending, and lots of walking. Although we keep the work varied, farming is inherently challenging. Ideal candidates are committed to the farming lifestyle and all that it entails.
The majority of the educational component comes through the experience of working directly on the farm: learning by doing. Over the years, we have developed a successful system that is also relatively simple and elegant. One benefit as an intern is reaping the bounty of our many years of learning, passed along to you over the course of your internship. Interns are gradually given more and more responsibility, to the extent they are individually ready. We believe that being allowed to take charge of something important, and also being allowed to make mistakes, is one of the richest and most effective ways to learn.
Additionally, each intern is responsible for a project of their own: managing chickens, irrigating crops, greenhouse care, farmers markets, etc. Toward the end of the season, we occasionally take field trips to other farms in the area, and periodically we take time to sit down after work for intern-directed Q&A discussions (topics like “farm business management”). We love to teach and are stimulated by people who are excited about learning. Long hours in the field provide the perfect opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t, as well as plenty of discussion about why.