Ruby and Amber’s is a 70 acre farm located along the Row river in Dorena (14 mi from Cottage Grove/35 mi from Eugene). We produce high quality, high volume, vegetables and fruit on less than 5 acres of production land. We also produce grains, hay and forage mostly for our animal feed needs and for farmer consumption. Our farm is Certified Organic and Certified Biodynamic. A unique feature of our farm is the use of Draft Horsepower for tillage and cultivation. We also host interns as part of our commitment to education of the new farmer through the Internship Program with Rogue Farm Corps, and our Equine Based Farm Learning Programs.
For the size of our farm we have a large number of high tunnels, which have proven to be most efficient and profitable for our farm enterprises. We grow about 30 -40 different types of vegetables and fruit as well as forage crops. We have laying hens, pigs, and a dairy cow along with our 8 draft horses. We make all of our own compost from our animal manures and our garden debris. The majority of our produce is sold at farmers’ markets and through our small CSA. A typical week on the farm involves seed sowing, transplanting, weeding, irrigation, harvesting, tillage, and markets. We also spend time feeding and caring for animals.
We have two programs for farm learning on our farm, the Internship Program (Farm Program), and the Equine Based Farm Learning Program (Horse Program). These Programs run concurrently; a student may be in one program or the other, or both. For both Programs, the student will learn by immersion in all aspects of a farmer’s market and CSA orientated farm that utilizes draft horsepower. A brief description of the Farm Program and Horse Programs follows.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND TRAINING SCHEDULE
The Farm Program is a paid internship learning opportunity in which the participant lives and trains on our farm. The student will learn by immersion in all aspects of a farmers' market and CSA oriented farm. The student will train along side more experienced staff and individually as they develop the judgment and skill sets to handle farm tasks efficiently and properly. These tasks include: succession planting, seed sowing, transplanting, weeding and cultivation, irrigation (both over head and drip), harvesting, and marketing. The student may also help produce some of our own forage, hay, grain and other feed crops. There is ample opportunity to learn about, and apply, certified organic and biodynamic principles and practices. There may be opportunity for limited tractor training, depending on the student.
We estimate a 30 – 35 hour week, perhaps more during the very peak of the season. We intend to give the student 2 days off per week. Farming is very physical with a lot of bending and stooping. The student needs to be a very physically fit and enjoy the physical labor. We try to break up our activities to keep our bodies in good shape and avoid injury. During the HOT season on the farm we try to quit work by 2-3 PM (our site gets the hottest around 5 PM) We do have an excellent swimming hole for those hot afternoons. We take a 1-hour lunch. Having a driver’s license and willingness to do a market or deliveries is a plus for the prospective student.
There is little opportunity for draft horse related work; to participate in draft horse work the participant will need to enroll in the Equine Based Farm Learning Program (Horse Program) described below. The student will have the opportunity to participate in farm animal husbandry activities such as feeding, egg and meat production, and animal care.
Experience in farming or gardening is preferred but we will take on the beginner who comes with stellar recommendations. We require a visit and 45-day trial period.
We have accommodations for the student to live on the farm. If you live on the farm, you pay for your room and ‘board’,which is deducted, from your paycheck, resulting in a monthly stipend. We have a fully functional communal kitchen and bathroom. Employees are responsible for cleanup and maintenance of the shared space. We try to have a communal potluck twice a week. We have 2 energetic dogs. Our current farmers are omnivorous. The details of the room, board, and stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.
Cell phone access is limited out here. We do have a booster on our barn that works fairly well with Verizon service. No smoking or drugs are allowed.
THE HORSE PROGRAM
This program is a medium to long-term opportunity for the trainee to learn and develop the skills to farm using Draft Horse Power at Ruby and Amber’s Farm. The Horse Program is separate from, but concurrent with the RFC Internship Program. If you would like more information about our Horse Program, you will find it here: Workhorseworkshops.com and on Facebook: search Workhorse Workshops.
Kris and Walt