Organic Redneck

We are a small, diversified family farm growing high quality, tasty food for our local community and ourselves. We are in our 21st season at our present location, and always organic. The farm is located along the McKenzie River 35 minutes from Eugene. We have several other parcels of land nearby that contribute to the total of 15 acres. The Farm grows a wide diversity of crops exceeding 100 different varieties. We are a 2nd generation farm, and are managed by several experienced farm managers. The crew consists of as many as 8 others during the main season.

The farm is best known for blueberries. We offer u-pick on the blueberries and also offer them picked at the farm stand. The farm also grows raspberries, strawberries, melons, and every vegetable from Asparagus to Zucchini. Avenues of sales include the farm stand, farmers markets, retailers and restaurants and we also use a CSA modeled program.

RESPONSIBILITIES & training schedule

People interested in this internship should have a true desire to train hard and learn. You must have a passion for food, working outdoors, and living communally.  The internship runs from April 1st-October 31st and we expect the interns to train an average of 40 hours per week. Most years hours per week are slightly lower in the Spring, and longer during the Summer. To account for the longer days at the height of the season, we will usually give extra days off in the Spring and/or Fall.

We are a production farm and we push for as much efficiency in our operation as possible. Because of the nuances and changes in growing, cultivating, and harvesting the many different crops we grow throughout the changing seasons, it is important that our interns have an open mind towards learning new processes and improving the ways they perform existing ones.

We take time to teach, to answer questions and to build self-reliant individuals who can perform tasks with ease and skill. We also take into account the growing pains of being introduced to such a physical job, and account for that during the beginning of the season. As the season goes on, you will continue to gain skills pertaining to seeding, cultivating, harvesting, washing, packing and more. You will also become stronger and more able-bodied. By midway through the season you will be capable of completing many tasks without supervision.           

We will need interns to take the initiative, to ask questions; volunteer for duties they want to learn about. During most of the year, the farm is running 12-18 hours a day, If Interns want a realistic experience, then they will need to take additional time after the standard day to see what’s happening, ask more questions and take in the whole scope of operations. This is optional but this is what it will require to get maximum benefit from the internship. The more initiative you take and interest you show the more responsibility you will be entrusted with.

seasonal flow

  • Early Spring: planting, small harvests, trellising, plowing, organizing, planning, learning how things are done on this farm .
  • Spring: heavy planting, small harvest, trellising plowing cultivating
  • Summer: Planting, Harvest, cultivating, irrigation, sales, CSA,  u-pick berries
  • Fall: heavy harvest, deconstruction, sowing cover crop, more time to dig deeper

We spend a lot of time training interns in almost every trade on the farm. We rotate them through farmers markets, farm stand, delivery driver and more. And throughout the entire season they are the main harvesters and planters. We also introduce them to things like office work, sales, food preservation, field scouting, and more. They train alongside each other and the rest of the crew and we all learn from each other.

Interns will have their own project to work on during the season. Projects and classes are usually additional to the 40-hour week. Farming is very physical; the weather can be hot in the Summer and cold in the Spring and Fall.    

qualifications

Our expectations of our interns are as follows: We expect our interns to be committed and open to learning our systems to the best of their ability when they first arrive, as they continue to perform tasks, and as new tasks come up. After learning systems, we expect our interns to build self-reliance in those tasks, with the ultimate goal of completing many of them without supervision. We expect our interns to be motivated, driven, hard working and positive. Physically, we expect our interns to be able to lift up to 50 pounds repeatedly, to be bent over for many hours of the week, and to be skillful with their hands.

We expect our interns to be mature adults who have some life experience, who understand how to get along well with others, and can maintain a consistently professional demeanor throughout a long season. You are expected to be kind, respectful, and accommodating of others.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The interns live in yurts and have a kitchen and bathroom they share with the rest of the crew. There are sometimes several other crew members living on the farm as well. This means that meals are often communal, and we make a point of having meals together at least a few nights a week. The farm buys some food goods in bulk: coffee, flour, rice, etc. for interns, as well as provides an abundance of farm produced food including eggs, vegetables, and fruit. The details of the room, board, and stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.

We hope that interns also love have fun, relax, float the neighboring river, soak the nearby hot springs and hike the cascades in our backyard. It should be noted that we do most things with a sense of adventure and light heartedness. We know that we are swimming upriver in regards to conventional progress, and we know that we are all still learning and will never have it all figured out. Not taking it too serious and laughing at our selves is also important. We thoroughly enjoy the people, the produce and the process that makes up organic farming.

 

Jack Richardson

Jack Richardson