Read what a participant in RFC's FarmsNOW apprenticeship program had to say about his experience.
“After a few seasons interning at various farms of various sizes and enterprises, I found Blue Fox Farm while looking to further test farming’s waters with a position of more responsibility. I was ready to take my learning experience into deeper detail. While my time in this advanced internship program has yielded a great deal of tactile skill acquisition, I have also experienced a great deal of intangible knowledge that had previously been denied.
Some general nuts-and-bolts skills translate from farm to farm- 30’ aluminum irrigation pipes, 55lbs of salad mix, and diesel fuel are the same wherever. And now, I can take new skills like running a farmers market and responsibility for harvest and planting days to my next farm.
The technical skills I have gleaned from my two years have also been specific to this place, as what one does on a day-to-day basis is largely affected by their geography. I believe Blue Fox’s adaption to its social and geographic climate has produced relatively quick success. I have also learned from their efficient systems, planning, and feedback loops—skills vital to the farms viability. My involvement in these processes has been fantastically valuable to me and my future.
I have now been provided the most realistic look at organic, production-minded, vegetable farming thus far. As an intern in the past, a tasks completion was rarely dependent on me doing it. I could always wander off, or go to lunch and let a paid employee pick up the slack. In this advanced-level position, the responsibility of finishing often rested squarely on my shoulders. This autonomy driven process has exposed me to long summer days and occasional summer evenings. While sometimes stressful, the thrill of seeing a task through to its completion has generated consistent and immense satisfaction.
Other non-tactile skills acquired include: how to complete tasks when you don’t want to; how to stay positive during the dog days; how to persevere; how to face crises, stay calm, explore options, and learn from inevitable mistakes; how improvement comes with consistency and time; how a farmer’s brain works; how to eat, rest, recover, and take care of one’s self.
Overall, if one believes they are interested in farming, I highly recommend this position. This is the most realistic and intimate look at production based organic vegetable farming next to farming independently. I believe with the skills and experience learned in two years at Blue Fox Farm, one is well prepared to farm on their own.”
~ Tyler Stowers, Blue Fox Farm 2013-2014