The upcoming 2017 growing season sees us making some additional change while providing opportunities for budding farmers. For one thing, we’re offering a turn-key garden lease opportunity to a qualified leaseholder (see a recent Post for more details). At the same time, we have two Pastured Poultry internship positions available. (All positions have currently been filled for the 2017 growing season.)
Over the years, we’ve noticed a dearth in real farm job opportunities for the very same young farmers that we’re training. We teach, “At the end of the summer, you’ll be able to grow food and raise animals either on your own farm, someone else’s farm, apply for another apprenticeship program, or take over the family farm business.” But the reality is that it’s a huge step from apprenticing for a season at a farm and then feeling the confidence, and having the skills and resources to actually start one’s own enterprise.
Of course, many of our apprentices have been able to do just that. They’ve gone on to eventually start their own farms or have taken over for their families. For that we’re so grateful and proud. That’s just what this country needs right now: more food grown on small family farms that sustain and nurture communities throughout the land. But we’re also aware that real job opportunities for budding farmers are not that plentiful.
It’s that apparent gap that got us to thinking a couple summers ago: “let’s create a job opportunity model right here at the farm that can complement everything else we’re doing, including maintaining a scaled-down version of our apprenticeship program”. Why heck, we’ve had a full-time, seasonal farm employee in the past, and it worked out great. The bakery has also had grand success with employees who are paid a living wage for their incredible skills and contributions. Our bakers are the fabulous duo of Fumie Hiromitsu (a former two-year apprentice!) and Paula Robinson (another former apprentice!). So, we know the model works. And we know there’s a demand out there for farm jobs. Sustaining economic vitality in our community through the production of local food has been our mission since day one.
To this end, in addition to the garden leaseholder we’re offering two Pastured Poultry internship positions. (These positions have both been filled for the 2017 growing season. Please keep an eye out on these pages for the 2018 growing season. Thank you!)
The two interns will work alongside the Pastured Poultry Manager (Tony). All of us will be joined by CSA workshare members who contribute 4 hours of their time per week in exchange for a basket of food. All in all, we’re excited about the possibilities for the upcoming growing season!