Gales Meadow Farm is housed on 15 acres near Forest Grove, and we typically have crops on 7 acres. We have excellent Class II and III soils that we have been preserving and improving since we acquired the property in 1991. We have been certified organic since 2001.
We grow organic vegetables and herbs (more than 300 varieties) including many heirlooms. We sell at two farmers’ markets and to restaurants. A big part of our business is growing vegetable and herb starts for home gardeners and other farmers; we sell our starts at two additional farmers markets. We have ducks and chickens who produce eggs for ourselves and for sale, and several bee hives, from which we harvest honey.
Here is our farm’s mission statement: “Take care of the land, grow good food and sell it to satisfied customers, and provide opportunities for new farmers.” Some of our commitments at the farm include: 1) maintaining and improving biodiversity, 2) soil and water conservation practices, 3) preservation and promotion of heirloom varieties, 4) identification of the most flavorful and successful vegetable varieties for our region, 5) support and improvement of our local food system, and 6) education of our farm crew, students from preschool to university level, our customers, and the public, 7) participation in University-based research including dry farming, the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Coalition (NOVIC) and the Culinary Breeding Network. We are active members of Slow Food.
Our farm is in Gales Creek, a rural community with a store, a fire station, a church, a tavern, and some wonderful neighbors. We are five miles from Forest Grove/Cornelius adjacent towns with a combined population of 20,000+ and access to public transportation. Pacific University is in Forest Grove. There is an active Food Web group in the area. Downtown Portland is a 40-minute drive. The Tillamook State Forest, with hiking trails, swimming holes, mushroom hunting, etc is a 15-minute drive. The coast is within a one-hour drive.
Students will participate in all aspects of the farm’s operations, including propagation, bed preparation, planting, weed control, harvest, participation in farmers markets, value added production, etc. In addition to Anne and Rene', our crew leader Anna Lund and our daughter Laurel Berblinger are mentors. We usually have several full and part-time employees, and sometimes, academic interns as well.
Most of our work force over the years – interns, employees, and volunteers – have been aspiring farmers. We welcome and appreciate all kinds of people. Our interns and employees have included people of varying ages, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. We have had college graduates who majored in English, art, environmental studies, business, and professional baking and cooking; and people completely self-educated beyond high school. Respect for all other people and openness to sharing knowledge and learning from others on the farm, our associates, and our customers is a requirement for our farm crew.
Early Spring: propagation of starts for our farm and for sale. Selling starts at the markets
Late Spring: Bed preparation, direct seeding and transplanting, selling starts and veggies at the markets
Summer: garlic harvest, veggie harvest, selling veggies, propagating and planting over-wintering crops
Fall: harvest, planting garlic, making products like hot sauce, pickles, and salsas, selling veggies and products, seed saving.
We expect a solid eight hours of training each weekday, usually a mix of strenuous and less taxing activities. At the height of the planting season, we work 9-10 hours a day several days a week. We can accommodate some time off, but preferably not during the height of the planting season in May and June.
We expect the ability to be out in all kinds of weather, lift up to 50 lbs, be on your feet at markets for 4-6 hours, do hand weeding and all kinds of harvesting.
We want our interns to be eager to learn and to take on unsupervised responsibility as they become comfortable with tasks.
Interns will participate in Farmers Markets, so it is important to be friendly and helpful.
Knowledge and curiosity about local and global food system issues are a plus.
Loving to cook and/or being excited about using our crops are important assets. We would not reject applicants who do not know how to cook, but we would expect them to learn while they are here.
Ideally, candidates for a Rogue Farm Corps position will visit the farm if at all possible.
ACCOMMODATIONS & COMPENSATION
Our farmhouse has two bedrooms available for interns; there are two bathrooms shared by all. Living room, kitchen, dining room etc are shared. We have twelve years of experience with communal living like this.
Food is provided. Weekday lunch, the biggest meal of the day, is shared, with everyone taking a turn at preparing the meals. Breakfasts, suppers and weekend meals are flexible. Everyone will be expected to clean up after themselves. We accommodate food preferences, but we are not 100% vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or kosher, nor will we provide highly processed food-like substances. We do not eat a lot of meat.
Saturdays and Sundays are mostly free, except for about 10 minutes of poultry care on Saturday mornings, and occasional participation in Saturday Farmers Markets. Participation in the few Sunday markets is optional.
There is no smoking in the house (we prefer non-smokers) and no use of illegal drugs on the premises. Moderate use of alcohol is fine, but no drinking before the work is done for the day.
We will offer a monthly stipend. The first month 45 days will be a trial period. The details of the room, board, and stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.