Rogue Farm Corps Internships & Apprenticeships for 2019 – Oregon

posted November 22, 2018

Rogue Farm Corps helps train the next generation of farmers via hands-on immersive training on sustainable farms in Oregon. Live and learn side-by-side with a mentor farmer. Take part in classes, farm tours, and discussion circles. Learn more and apply today for the 2019 season: http://roguefarmcorps.org

Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program is a full season entry-level residential internship that combines hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture.

Participants live and learn on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from their mentor farmer over the course of a farming season. The hands-on, residential training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as an independent study project, and access to lots of resources for further learning. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities.

The Apprenticeship Program is an advanced program for those with farming experience who are seeking mastery in the art and business of sustainable agriculture. Hands-on training, classes, weekend workshops around the state, an independent study project, and guidance in farm business development will allow participants to gain the skills to plan, design, and run integrated farming systems on their own.

This full-immersion program is designed for those who have completed an internship program with RFC or a similar organization, or have two years of on-farm experience. Apprentices live and learn on a host farm, receive up to two seasons of on-farm training, and learn in-depth skills from their mentor farmer. The rotating two-year curriculum focuses on advanced farming techniques and business planning and management.

Rogue Farm Corps is the only organization in Oregon that offers structured, entry-level and advanced farmer education and training programs rooted in real-world farm businesses. The program works with host farms located in the Rogue Valley, the Portland Metro Area, the South Willamette Valley, and Central Oregon and offer experiences with vegetable production, animal husbandry, dairy, mixed operations, and more. For complete program descriptions, host farm profiles, and applications visit http://roguefarmcorps.org


Eat, pray, farm, Manitoba Cooperator, October 10, 2018

posted November 21, 2018

Eat, pray, farm

U.S. churches turn faith lands into food

Many Christian denominations around the world have massive landholdings which can be put to productive use. Kenya’s Catholic Church, for example, made 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares) of land available to commercial farming in 2015 to fight hunger.

And decades of declining congregations in the United States offer an opportunity to faith communities interested in farming.

“Western North Carolina is predicted to have 40 per cent of its churches close in the next 10 years because of lack of parishioners,” said Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director of Greenhorns, a non-profit that supports young farmers.

“What will happen to that land?”

Von Tscharner Fleming co-organized the first FaithLands conference last year, bringing together land activists and the faithful to improve the health of both people and the planet.

“These are people who are interested in activating their land portfolio for good… For many of these groups, the answer is food charity, and that’s been a long-standing tradition within the church,” she said.

“But increasingly it’s also a question of food justice, local economic development and environmental stewardship.”

To consolidate this new movement, FaithLands supporters are studying the extent of church-owned properties in the United States, she said.

Click here to read the full article.


Mountain Roots in CO seeks rising Farm Manager

posted November 9, 2018

Mountain Roots Food Project is a local food systems initiative in the beautiful Rocky Mountain community of Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado. At Mountain Roots we have a newly established community farm (2 years old) and manage six community /school gardens.
We are seeking a full time Farm & Gardens Manager to start in 2019 and help take our programs to the next level.
This is a perfect role for someone who has been an apprentice or assistant under an older farm manager for a couple of years and feels ready to step into a management and leadership role. The ideal candidate has enough experience to confidently manage a start-to-finish growing season for 2 acres of crops and a pastured poultry project and teach/mentor new/emerging farmers in internships, apprenticeships, and entry-level community garden coordinator. The job description can be found on Indeed, our website, and Facebook.
Mountain Roots will be accepting applications through Wednesday Nov 21 for a mid-January start.

temple-wilton community farm in new hampshire are seeking an apprentice!

posted August 22, 2018

temple-wilton
credit: temple-wilton community farm

Temple-Wilton Community Farm is seeking a vegetable and/or cheese apprentice for the months of September and October, 2018. There is space for two candidates but it is possible the right person could split time between both operations if so interested. Besides the many hours dedicated to training, you will be provided with a bedroom in a beautiful apartment with other farm workers, access to all foods produced by the farm, WiFi, and a stipend of $500/ month.

About the Temple-Wilton Community farm:
The Temple-Wilton Community Farm was formed during the winter of 1985/1986 and is the oldest continuously operating CSA in the United States. They produce a full range of vegetables for our CSA members, including many storage vegetables that take them through the winter and into the following spring. They also provide milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs and meat for our members and sell surplus to the public. In addition they buy in a number of other items which are also for sale to the public in our farm store. In 2016 they became a Member Owned Cooperative. See twcfarm.com for more information.
Here is what they have to say about the apprenticeships on offer:
Vegetable Apprenticeship
As the planting phase of our season has come to a close, work with vegetables will center around cultivating and harvesting a diversity of crops with special emphasis on harvesting our storage crops to last us through the winter– carrots, parsnips, beets, potatoes, endive, celeriac, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, etc. Other tasks will include regular setup of our farm store, clearing and laying the fields to rest in cover crops, making compost with crop residues, making and spraying biodynamic preparations, and planting garlic to be overwintered.
The rhythm of the work is determined entirely by the needs of the many different crops that we grow, so our schedules must be very flexible. In general, the work day will be from 7am to 12:30pm and 2pm until 5-6pm depending on what tasks need to be completed. Sundays are generally off but there are some exceptions, especially during the big harvest season when we all need to be fully available to meet the needs of the farm.
As a member of the vegetable crew you would be working with head gardener Jacob Holubeck and two other apprentices. Depending on how the season unfolds there may be opportunities to continue on as well. If you enjoy fall in New England and productive work outdoors, this may be the opportunity you have been waiting for!
If you are interested in applying for the work in the vegetable fields please contact Jacob Holubeck at jaholubeck@gmail.com, or call him at 603-831-1213.
.
Cheese Apprenticeship
Abbot Hill Creamery offers a practical training in cheese making. What you learn will depend mostly on what you wish to learn and are capable of. There is also space to do your own projects, such as making or developing a new cheese.
Necessary Qualities of a Cheese Apprentice:
  • Loves cheese!
  • Sincere interest in learning how to make and sell cheese
  • Hard working
  • Pays meticulous attention to detail and order
  • Gives attention to cleanliness and takes joy in cleaning (70% of cheese making is washing things)
  • Always tries to give their best
  • Ability to work alone and take on responsibilities
Computer skills are welcome as well as a willingness to do some chores on the farm. A love for animals is much appreciated.
What you will learn:
  • How to make many different kinds of cheese including (but not limited to) Gouda, Alpine Style, Quark, Blue Cheese, Camembert, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Feta
  • How to make yoghurt
  • Cave Management (washing, brining, flipping, and overall age management of cheese)
  • Selling cheese
If you are interested in making cheese with their small and diverse creamery, please contact their friendly cheese maker Benjamin at bjonas.meier@gmail.com

the agrihood

posted August 7, 2018

agrihoods
Image Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Have you heard about agrihoods? The concept has been gaining popularity over the last few years and the term is short for “agricultural neighbourhoods”. Agricultural neighbourhoods is an unusual concept. Agricultural tends to conjure images of rural living, open spaces and sprawling farmland. Neighbourhoods on the other hand bring to mind images of suburbia or urban spaces – densely populated concrete jungles. The idea of an agrihood fuses these two very different concepts into something new and they are being heralded as a creation of millennials.

Reading the recent piece in the World Economic Forum on agrihoods, I couldn’t help but think back to the stories I have heard about wartime London, where public spaces were transformed into allotments to help people grow food for themselves. While this was primarily a government response to wartime food shortages that ceased shortly after the war, it makes for an interesting comparison nonetheless. Humans have been intentionally cultivating and growing food for 12,000, agriculture is the foundation of human civilisation and is something inherent in human nature. In time of hardship we turn away from importing food and grow it for ourselves instead.

Agrihoods, as far as I can tell do not spring from a lack of food or resources, but instead seem to be a creation of young, wealthy people with ample resources. “Agrihoods are designed to appeal to young, active families who love to eat healthy and spend time outdoors — and they’re not off the grid.” They are intentional communities designed to be working and sustainable living spaces. They represent a “confluence of economic profits, environmental good, and social benefit” that appeals to the millennial mindset.

The WE Forum article also makes an interesting comparison between the agrihood of today and the golf course preferred by our predecessors. In fact, in Palm Springs CA, developers are ripping out an 18 hole golf course in order to turn it into a olive grove which will serve as the epicentre for an agrihood called Miarlon.

I am excited about the potential of agrihoods. The more sustainable agriculture that we are practicing close to home the better for a multitude of reasons (not least that no food tastes as good as the food that you have grown and picked yourself). However in reading about these shiny new developments, I cannot help but be concerned that agrihoods may very well become the golf courses of tomorrow. With prices between $300,000 and $700,000 for a house in the Miralon community, only the already wealthy millennials will be able to benefit from this new trend. “Wealthy” is not a term typically used to describe millennials, so I have to wonder, who are these agrihoods being built for? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Click HERE to read the full article on the World Economic Forum


new blog: top regenerative agriculture videos

posted August 1, 2018

Friend of the Greenhorns Ethan Soloviev has just relaunched his new blog after a 10 year hiatus from writing. His new blog will focus on regenerative agriculture regenerative business and life! We are so happy to welcome him back to the writing world and are very excited for his upcoming guest post for the Greenhorns blog! In anticipation, we are sharing his recent post “Top Regenerative Agriculture Videos”.

Ethan spoke to twenty thousand people and asked them for their top 3 videos that they would show someone to introduce them to regenerative agriculture. Out of all of the responses that he received, he has compiled 2 categories, each containing 3 videos. The first category is “Start Here” containing videos that are 20 minutes or less long. The second category is “Go Deeper” and contains 3 videos that are an hour or more long.

Check out Ethan’s original post to see his methodology, comments and selected videos HERE. We have included one of the “Start Here” videos Life in Syntrophy above. “Life in Syntropy” a short film, released in 2015 by Agenda Gotsch. It was made specially to be presented at COP21 – Paris. It compiles some of the most remarkable experiences in Syntropic Agriculture including interviews with those intimately involved in life in syntrophy.


solar farm in oregon tackling fossil fuel dependence and colony loss

posted July 26, 2018

solar apiary
credit: SolarCulture

SolarCulture (a PineGate Renewables project), is an initiative developed to enhance environmental stewardship, promote sustainable agriculture, and collaborate with the community to support research with a goal of encouraging smarter solar through science. They have just recently opened a solar apiary in Jackson County, Oregon. The project is two pronged, it aims to tackle both our fossil fuel dependance as well as our rapidly declining numbers of bees.

After examining the site’s seed mix, vegetation management plan, and early growth of native flowers and grasses, John Jacob of Old Sol Apiaries determined the site would offer safe refuge for his 48 hives of honey bees.

“In 2016/17, Oregon beekeepers reported losing nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies statewide,” said Jacob. “The pollinator-friendly solar sites Pine Gate Renewables is developing can play an important role in helping address the population crisis among our managed and native pollinators.”

Data from the UK shows that pollinator-friendly solar arrays result in increased abundance of bees and other insects, which can provide important pollination and pest management services to crops. “Examining the Potential for Agricultural Benefits from Pollinator Habitat at Solar Facilities in the United States,” a recent peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Science & Technology, identified more than 16,000 acres of pollinator dependent crops in proximity of 204 megawatts of solar arrays throughout Oregon.

Praised by several of the nation’s most prominent entomologists, including MacArthur “Genius” award recipient Dr. Marla Spivak and Presidential Medal of Science recipient Dr. May Berenbaum, pollinator-friendly solar arrays are different than traditional arrays. Pollinator friendly solar sites use low-growing meadows of native flowers and grasses to enrich top soils, capture storm water, and benefit pollinators. All SolarCulture sites meet the specific criteria established by entomologists to qualify as pollinator-friendly.

(more…)


maine rice project still searching for land

posted July 24, 2018

We’ve written about the Maine Rice Project before, it is a non-profit with a mission to get more people to grow and eat sustainably grown rice and grain throughout Maine. It is the brainchild of Ben and Asher of Wild Folk Farm in Benton, who have shown successfully that rice can be grown in Maine and that there is a strong market for it. Their original small experimental paddy was 2/3 of an acre but demand has outstripped supply and they are looking for new sites to help them expand their project. The grant that they received form Maine Technology Institute has allowed them the financial flexibility to do just this but they still need land!

“A good site for a paddy will have clay soil, an uphill pond with good capacity, a slight slope for water management and be identified in the United States Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness map as in Zone 4b or warmer. For farmers who can and want to grow rice on their farms, Rooney and others from the Maine Rice Project will work with them to design and build paddy systems based on individual site characteristics. Some of the knowledge of how to build paddies on Maine farms came from his own years of trial and error at Wild Folk Farm, where rice growing began somewhat experimentally.”

If you have land that meets the requirements of the project that you would be interested in leasing, get in touch with Ben by email at wildfolkfarmers@gmail.com

Bangor Daily News has recently published an article about the project, check it out here!


NYFC finding farmland workshop in Unity Maine – July 11th

posted July 6, 2018

National Young Farmers Coalition - finding farmland flyer
National Young Farmers Coalition – Finding Farmland

Calling all new and aspiring farmers! Accessing farmland is one of the most complex financial decisions that any farmer will make. The National Young Farmers Coalition, along with Land for Good, Maine Farmland Trust and MOFGA are hosting a land access financials training for farmers next week in Unity ME. It’s designed for aspiring and new career farmers who they want to help along their land access journey with confidence.

During the workshop you will learn about:

  • The various programs already available for farmers seeking land in Maine.
  • Creative methods of securing land tenure.
  • Financing and affordability tools.
  • Working with a land trust to find and acquire land.

The workshop is completely free and refreshments will be provided. Click HERE to register.

If you cannot make the workshop, NYFC have also set up this really cool and useful website to assist farmers in finding land and figuring out the financials of doing so. 


An Ode to the Scuffle Hoe

posted July 5, 2018

scuffle hoe image
Image: An ode to the scuffle hoe

An Ode to the Scuffle Hoe

What weapon this?
In tool section A
I’d not known to miss
Your smoothly slicing foray

Through the barely there weeds
Conspiring today for the weeks coming hence
O! Not so! – those ignoble plants!
Your sharp ring with ease
Hardly turning the soil, so graceful your dance
And happ’ly no more is that threat’nd advance

So simple so sweet!
Scuffle hoe mine
Not once did I meet
a tool so humbly divine.

Without your wise counsel
I must surely admit
To many a day set bent o’er rows
Picking and pulling many an ounce
Losing my patience and wanting to quit
This project of feeding a few hungry maws

So thank you, yes, thank you
My dear scuffly friend.
But –
I’ve hustled and huffled past my wits’ bend…

And now I am thinking about going to a no-till, dense planting strategy with intensive cover cropping and mulch application. So I’m not really sure how much I’ll use you anymore. But thanks for all the help, you really saved my back from a lot of strain.