Quackenbush Farm started in 2013 as partnership between 4 friends. We were young, motivated, and wanted to grow a business based around community health and vitality. Each of us contributed a thousand dollars as startup, or seed money, and kept our day jobs. We found a rental with property with a brave landlord and within a month of signing the lease, we plowed the field. Over the years the farm has evolved, growing and reaching new markets and customers. In 2017, the farm found a permanent home when Matt and Jennifer purchased 18 beautiful, flat acres of pasture and oak savanna in Eagle Creek, Oregon. Through all the changes over the years we have stayed committed to our ideals, and remain idealistic in our hearts and actions.
Our focus has primarily been diversified, organic, fresh market veggies. The farm is a thriving business with our main markets being our CSA program, 4 weekly farmer’s markets, wholesale, restaurants, and a small on-site farm stand. Recently we have expanded into pasture-based livestock production, including a small flock of Katahdin lambs and several batches of broiler chickens each year.
The farm family and crew for 2019 include Jennifer and Matt and their little newborn, past intern and seasonal farm helper/yoga instructor Rhiannon, two RFC interns, a small group of weekly harvest volunteers, and seasonal WWOOF’ers.
We are located in the beautiful Clackamas River Valley, about 30 minutes southeast of Portland, close enough for convenience but far enough away for peace and quiet. The closest population center is the old logging town of Estacada, about a 5 minute drive from the farm, where you have options for food, drink, and groceries, etc. The area is full of adventures and beauty, with the Clackamas River down the road, Mount Hood National Forest, Milo McIver State Park, and Estacada Lake just next door.
Responsibilities & Training Schedule
Working directly with the farm owners in all aspects of day to day operations, you will gain an in-depth understanding of growing for farmer's markets, local restaurants, and our surrounding community. With 2 acres in production of annual vegetables and the remaining 16 acres of pasture dedicated to poultry, lamb, dairy goats, and many future projects, our interns will have the opportunity to gain a well-rounded sustainable agriculture education.
Our goal is to provide a guided, hands on learning experience in the field, in the planning room, and at the farmers markets, with opportunities for independent farm projects. Overall duties include field work, irrigation, tractor and small equipment work, farmers market sales, seeding, planting, animal husbandry, volunteer coordination, and record keeping (to name a few). Some examples of past independent projects include building a medicinal herb garden, building and running a pastured meat bird enterprise, building beehives and beekeeping for the season, and writing a cookbook based on farm recipes and crops.
Each intern will commit to 40 hours of training per week, which is typically accomplished over 5 work days, with two days off each week.
The flow of a typical farm year for our interns follows the 3 seasons of spring, summer, and fall:
Spring (April, May, early June) – The focus of this season is greenhouse work, field preparation, building/refurbishing farm infrastructure, and planting.
Summer (Late June, July, August) – This is the time for our biggest markets, big harvests, weeding, pruning and trellising, and more planting.
Fall (September, October) – The pace starts to slow a little here, with planting mostly over our focus now is harvesting, weeding, marketing, farm projects, and eventually turning the fields over and planting cover crop.
No previous gardening or farming experience is required, but we do expect a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn. We value clear and open communication and expect that our interns are actively engaged with questions, comments, and input on the farm operation.
We are looking for two interns to commit to the full season from early April to the end of October. We ask that prospective applicants be willing to meet in person on the farm prior to acceptance into the program.
RFC interns are provided room, board, and a monthly stipend. Housing consists of two large canvas wall tents (12’x14’) on platforms furnished with wood stoves, beds, some furniture, and electricity. They are spacious and very comfortable, and are located in a private grove of oaks with an outdoor hot shower, composting outhouse, hot tub, fire pit, and wood sauna. Other amenities include an outdoor kitchen exclusively for our interns with major appliances, access to our washer and dryer, and wireless internet throughout most of the property.
We provide staples such as grains, beans, oil, spices, eggs from our laying hens, and produce from the fields. We also encourage bartering at our farmer’s markets with our produce for other items like meat, fruit, etc. Interns are responsible for preparing their own meals, but we typically will have one group meal a week. More details about room, board, and stipend will be discussed during the interview process.