the coffelt farm on orcas island is seeking a farmhand!

posted May 16, 2018

The Coffelt Farm is an historic, diversified farm situated on 185 acres in pastoral Crow Valley. Farm operations include a certified raw milk dairy, a market garden, orchards, and a livestock operation which includes cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry.

Here are the farmhand position details:
Duties and Responsibilities
  • Helping care for all livestock, including, sheep, chickens, beef, dairy cows, and hogs
  • Assisting with milking and bottling most days
  • Assisting with harvest of livestock
  • Helping to maintain facilities, equipment and tools
  • Participating in on-site educational activities
  • Participating in garden and orchard care
  • Helping with various other seasonal work (haying, etc.)
Personal Qualifications
  • Farm-related work experience
  • Strong commitment to the mission of the Coffelt Farm
  • Positive attitude and willingness to work cooperatively and take direction
  • Self-motivated
  • Able to perform physical labor in all types of weather
Compensation
  • $800-1000/month stipend
  • Basic housing (trailer)
  • Produce, milk and eggs and some meals

Click HERE to visit their website and please contact Sara Joy at: sjoypalm@gmail.com to apply.


“get your hand dirty and learn from the best!” in washington.

posted August 3, 2017

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credit: Sound Vegetables’ 

Sound Vegetables’ based in Redmond, Washington are looking for an intern! 

Sound Vegetables’ market garden grows over 35 varieties of fresh produce and free range poultry. Their minimal soil disturbance techniques follow developing best management practices for local vegetable production. They specialize in mesclun salad mix, tomatoes and fresh root crops and they raise pastured poultry and free-range chicken eggs for the local community. You won’t see them riding around on a tractor, but you will see some of the earliest and freshest produce available in Seattle grown intensively on our 1.6 acre patch just north of Redmond, WA.

Internships last 8-12 weeks and offer the opportunity to gain insight on the techniques and the day-to-day business model of Market Gardens. On a farm, hands on experimentation and familiarity with the plants, animals and seasons provides valuable experience and are supervised for the duration of the internship. Sound Vegetables’ want their interns to learn proficiency in their areas of interest and they prioritize mastery of those during the internship. The curriculum includes a curation of reading assignments with discussions on various literature to guide the learning process for all partners and unlock the experience of those on the sustainable path before them. Interns are encouraged to offer ideas to improve workflow on the farm and find new  and innovative techniques and ways of doing things. 

Typical Tasks & Activities will include: 

  • Assist with farm organization and upkeep
  • Pruning and training vining crops
  • Garden bed preparation
  • Transplanting and seed sowing
  • Building irrigation systems
  • Caring for chickens
  • Harvesting crops
  • Developing markets and marketing with photography, writing, and documentation
  • Creating written records of farm operations
  • Inspecting crops to maintain quality
  • Educational curriculum includes authors JM Fortier, Joel Salatin, David Madison, Helen and Scott Nearing, Mark Shepard, Eric Brende and others depending on the focus of the internship
  • Community research and developing knowledge of local supply chains

To apply, send a cover letter to Soundvegetables@gmail.com with your interest in local, sustainable, organic, fresh foods and mention any skills or passions which you possess or would like to develop.


queer ecojustice project summer reading group

posted May 2, 2017

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Are you dreaming, planting, and tending visions of a queer ecological future? Are you looking to connect with kindred spirits in your region and across the country to share resources to support these visions of collective liberation? Join Queer Ecojustice Project for our first ONLINE reading community!

Most gatherings will be local in your region (we call these regional groups, “nodes”). Monthly online community gatherings will occur in June, July, August, and September.

Already interested? Sign-up HERE.

Read on below for more information about the organizers, facilitators, QTPOC reading group nodes in Oakland and Seattle, and QTPOC community land projects that need your support.

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“there’s no place quite like oxbow” – paid seasonal work opportunities on washington farm and education center

posted March 10, 2017

oxbow harvest

Photo Credit: Oxbow Farm

Want to help grow, harvest, and deliver eye-popping veggies like you see in the picture above? Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center in Washington is hiring three Seasonal Farm Production Crew members. These are paid positions on 230-acres of idyllic forest, grassland, and food crops next to the Snoqualmie River. In addition to growing food, Oxbow also engages in research in conservation farming practices, grows native plants for sale at their nursery, promotes restoration and sustainable habitats, and acts as an education center for kids of all ages. As their website says: “There’s no place quite like Oxbow!”

To apply and to learn more about the position, click on over HERE for more information, while here’s a quick and dirty overview of the position:

As a member of our energetic Farm Production Crew you will have the opportunity to work within all aspects of our operation, including in the field, pack shed, and order delivery. Your primary responsibilities will be harvesting, propagation house, hand-weeding, hoeing, transplanting, post-harvest handling, CSA packing, cleaning, and deliveries. We harvest, wash, and pack product daily for our CSA program, wholesale, and restaurant accounts. Strong attention to detail and operating efficiently while performing time-sensitive tasks in a rapidly changing environment are a must for this position.

 


learn to farm on an island in washington

posted February 7, 2017

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Want the skills to manage your own farm? The Organic Farm School on Widbey Island in Washington State offers aspiring farmers a practical education in how to start and manage a small scale organic farm.

They still have a few openings left for 2017 and accept Americorps awards and/or offer need-based scholarships towards tuition.

Our full-time, 8-month long experiential farmer training program is for aspiring farmers seeking to learn and practice the technical and business skills needed to run a small-scale, organic, commercial farm. Through cooperatively managing the school’s ten-acre farm and attending weekly lectures, discussions, and demonstrations on topics including organic crop production, soil science, business planning, and direct marketing, students will acquire a thorough education in organic small farm management. Student are mentored through the creation a personal farm business plan and regular field trips to regional farms allow participants to see a variety of farming styles and talk to experienced producers.

Through management of the student farm, participants develop their practical farm skills including planning, tillage, greenhouse propagation, weeding, harvesting, marketing, record-keeping, and more. Students also learn to operate tractors, make compost, and manage the farm’s livestock. With the skills and knowledge gained and a business plan in hand, program graduates are ready to start and/or manage their own small organic farm. Find out more and apply at www.organicfarmschool.org.


meatsmith classes are up! vashon, wa

posted March 7, 2016

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Brandon and Lauren are not strangers to meatsmithery, in fact they are owners of Farmstead Meatsmith.

“We generally harvest for small family farmers who raise a couple of pigs, a few sheep or a flock of various poultry for their own household.  Think very small scale. The animals never leave the land they know, we use peaceful and humane kill methods specific to each animal’s nature, and we offer every part of every animal back to the farmer.

Unlike many processors, we don’t know the meaning of trim.  Well, we do, but that is why we don’t do it.  We make sure the quality fat you meant for your animal to have, stays there.  Consequently, you will get all your meat back.  And by that we mean 100% of hanging weight.  Standard industry procedure is to dispose of as much as 50% of hanging weight.

Because the dinner table is where the rubber meets the road, particularly with unfamiliar cuts, innards and extremities, Brandon makes himself available for advice long after he leaves your farm.

We also make classes out of harvesting events for interested students near and far. Often we teach the farmers who hire us, enabling them to keep all or part of their processing costs in-house for the next season.

Currently we reach farms in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.  A handful of farmers have flown Brandon to the east coast, the midwest and recently to the UK.”

Upcoming classes include:

3-Day Goat Harvest Classes; Vashon Island, WA

3-Day Pig Harvest Classes; Vashon Island, WA

U-Pick Turkey Harvest; Vashon Island, WA

If you can’t make it to a class check out the other resources Farmstead Meatsmith has to offer, HERE.




bread is broken

posted November 18, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 12.51.33 PMOn the morning of July 13, like most mornings, Stephen Jones’s laboratory in Mount Vernon, Wash., was suffused with the thick warm smell of baking bread. Jones walked me around the floor, explaining the layout. A long counter split the space down the middle. To the right was what Jones called ‘‘the science part,’’ a cluster of high-tech equipment designed to evaluate grain, flour and dough. Jones, who is 58 and stands a daunting 6 foot 5, calls to mind a lovably geeky high-school teacher. He wore dungarees, a plaid shirt, a baseball cap and a warm, slightly goofy smile. Two pairs of eyeglasses dangling from his neck jostled gently as he gesticulated, describing the esoteric gadgetry surrounding us. The 600-square-foot room, known as the Bread Lab, serves as a headquarters for Jones’s project to reinvent the most important food in history. Click HERE to read more!


plant breeding for local food systems

posted November 14, 2015

Abstract:

The rapid growth and co-option of the local agriculture movement highlights a need to deepen connections to place-based culture. Selection of plant varieties specifically adapted to regional production and end-use is an important component of building a resilient food system. Doing so will facilitate a defetishization of food systems by increasing the cultural connection to production and consumption. Today’s dominant model of plant breeding relies on selection for centralized production and end-use, thereby limiting opportunity for regional differentiation. On the other hand, end-user-driven selection of heirloom varieties with strong cultural and culinary significance may limit productivity while failing to promote continued advances in end-use quality. Farmer-based selection may directly reflect local food culture; however, increasing genetic gains may require increased exchange of germplasm, and collaboration with trained plant breeders. Participatory farmer–breeder–chef collaborations are an emerging model for overcoming these limitations and adding the strength of culturally based plant breeding to the alternative food movement. These models of variety selection are examined within the context of small grain and dry bean production in Western Washington.

Read the full study (pdf)