Apprentice with us for a season or the summer.
What’s the farm like?
Waterbear Farm is a small certified organic market/CSA garden tucked up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in south-western Virginia. We have been growing biodynamic organic veggies here for 20 years. We have 100 acres of mostly forest and pasture with 5 acres of cultivated land including a hightunnel . We have two ponds and many springs for water supply. We feed 70-100 CSA members in Floyd, Blacksburg and Roanoke with 2 deliveries a week for buffet selection. We allow members to fill there own bag from our table rather than pre pack boxes. This way members get to choose what they put in their share. We also do at least one farmers market and wholesale accounts. We practice a mix of intensive bed plantings, permaculture, row cropping with tractor cultivation and overseeding/semi wild cropping. We plant and tend about 5 acres. The farm is about 7 miles from the Bustling little music hub town of Floyd. You can bike there. We often have a vehicle you can use also.
What will you do?
Primarily you will be learning by doing. All the actions of planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, processing, packing and working a CSA drop or farmers market. We keep our work limited to 5 days a week and 8to 10 hours a day.
You will be learning the specific needs and tendencies of 40 different vegetables and herbs, medicinal herbs and sprouts. You will learn to use and Identify local medicinal herbs and how to present them to CSA members. You will learn how to read plants and soil, how to use many different hand tools, how to use drip and other irrigation materials.
You will learn and master specific seeding, weeding, harvesting, storage, and packing techniques.
You will also be doing cummunal cooking and cleaning chores, taking walks in the amazing forest, exploring the Little River, checking out the many happenings, events, classes and activities in our progressive greater community.
Accommodation is maintained campsites in the woods on the farm: your own tent on a platform, under a large tarp. Outhouse, shower and kitchen facilities provided as well as pond for swimming on hot afternoons. Communal meals with cooking duty as part of the work day.
What do we expect?
Perhaps most importantly we expect a healthy positive attitude and a resilient spirit capable of meeting the seasonal challenges of a dynamic, diverse and complex market garden. We expect you to listen and learn as we go. Most of the time the pace is such that we can’t explain all the “why”s right then and there. A market farmer is often racing the sun, wind and rain to get a crop planted or harvested. This is especially true in the rugged mountain weather pattern that is becoming more unusual due to global warming. Expect to hustle often. You will learn and master technique quickly in order to save truckloads of veggies from ruin. We enjoy this challenge and want people who can thrive in this environment. You will learn by doing and observing. We expect your memory to be sharp- a small notebook in your pocket is a good thing to have- this will help you adhere to the specificity of the instruction. We expect you to be a team player. Be ready to do what’s asked of you, be ready to put another’s needs before your own. Commit to an attitude of continual improvement. We expect you to be funny and have fun too !
We are looking for 4 apprentices every year. We carefully select these people based on the following requirements.
You must be passionately dedicated to growing food and feeding your local community. We want people who will continue to grow food after they leave the farm.
You must be open to learning new ways of working, eating, and taking care of your self as a member of a team. You will be working in rain, mud, wind, extreme heat and cold. A warrior spirit and a great sense of humor are essential.
You must be really into being a student and have the ability to adapt to a changing dynamic environment.
We require you to have a working cell phone that you can use at CSA drops, Farmers Markets and deliveries. Communication is key to our success.
You must be 21 years of age or older.
You must have a valid drivers license.
You must be in good physical condition and be able to jog a mile in 8 minutes.
We do not accept people who need to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol daily. The farm is an alcohol and tobacco free zone.
Apprentices work a 8-10 hr day and do farmers markets on saturday. Everyone gets two days off a week except for the weekend warrior who is responsible for watering on the weekends.
Weekly stipend is $100.00 + Food from the gardens. This is primarily a learning exzperience for you and an opportunity to live on an amazing piece of land in an amazing place while immersing yourself in the world of organic produce farming,
Confirmed Interns must send a $200.00 deposit to hold their place. This is returned at the end of the season with an additional $300.00 bonus.
The internship starts April 25th and ends Nov 5th. We are flexible on these dates .
Sounds like an awesome learning experience? Join Us! Send your resume with references to - firstname.lastname@example.org -
We are currently hiring a qualified full time Farm Manager to live on the farm and run the growing and delivery as well as hire and fire , get interns, manage woofers etc. You must be savy with using small tractors to cultivate and bed shape using permanent raised beds on 4 foot centers. 25,000 a year salary with profit sharing and after two years, ownership of business. We grow about 4 to five acres of veggies with twenty five fruit tress and planting. We strive to make 18 grand an acre and more. Our focus is on the crops most wanted in our local area retail markets, storage crops, CSA buffet variety, and farmers market. We do lots of asparagus, greens, roots and fruits and push the season on both ends. The farm is in a great location with a long history of loyal customers. We grow high quality produce with an 80-95% success rate on all crops. Virtually everything we grow is sold with very little waste.
Email Richie at email@example.com for more info. Include brief history of vegetable farming experience.