The Seed to Table Farm is centered around a 2 acre market garden, located on an amazing 40 acre farm in Central Oregon. The Seed to Table Farm is a truly unique model striving to provide the community with equal access to local & nutritious foods and to connect the community through farm based education. Seed to Table has a diverse operation; providing farm based education to nearly 700 students a year and growing over 40 diverse crops. A major focus is on maintaining healthy soil ecosystems and we are proud of the nutrient systems we are building on the farm with cover crops and minimal tillage. The farm has been expanding for the past three years with Audrey, farm owner/director and Cailyn, farm manager, working together as an innovative and inspired team.
Seed to Table sells and donates produce to Sisters’ area food banks, schools, wholesale accounts and has a 50 member vegetable CSA. The farm has also piloted a discounted farmers market for local food banks- which is the only market style sales the farm does. Audrey and Cailyn are really excited to bring on two Rogue Farm Corps interns to add to the inspiring dynamic on the farm. Our first preference would be to hire a couple due to the living accommodations, although if the right individual comes along we are always interested!
Seed to Table farm has two focuses: 1) growing delicious, diverse, organic food and selling the produce to support our program and community, 2) educating our community about sustainable agriculture to create future farmers and local food consumers! About 80% of time spent is farming and 20% of the time is spent engaging with the community. Seed to Table hosts more than 700 community members on the farm a year, mainly through 2 hour field trip series. Field trip lessons change with the seasons so we keep things really fun for ourselves and students. These are some of our favorite days on the farm, spent with students!
Currently we are not certified organic but we use no harmful chemicals in production. At the foundation we focus on intensive cultivation; growing in permanent beds (about 30”-35” wide) and having pathways which are only about 18” in between beds to maximize our space and reduce weed pressure. To cultivate beds we are so excited to start using a two wheel BCS tractor to increase our efficiency, sharing work between the two wheel tractor and hand cultivation. Two 100’ hoop houses and 2, 60’ greenhouses are utilized on the farm for production. In addition Seed to Table manages a 30’x40’ radiant heated greenhouse for the community, which we will be experimenting with small-scale aquaponics and hydroponics this year! We use a lot of awesome tools to maintain a small but intensive and efficient scale. This year we are also taking on a very small project of milking and meat goats.
Sisters is a small town, serving a community of about 5,000 people. It is situated at the eastern base of the Cascade Mountains, 20 miles from Bend (pop. ~90,000) and 30 miles from Smith Rock, a world-class rock climbing location. The Sisters community is rich with music and art, with a budding food culture. Central Oregon is a paradise for the outdoors person. Mountain biking and hiking, climbing, lakes and rivers abound, all within a short distance from Sisters.
The climate in Central Oregon is unique and challenging. This is not the lush Oregon that so many people expect—but a high-desert climate. It is dry. The frost-free period is extremely short, and nighttime temperatures can dip into the 30’s at any time during the summer, while the daytime temps can get into the 100’s.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND TRAINING SCHEDULE
A RFC intern responsibilities will include:
● Propagation: seeding/planting/transplanting/cuttings
● Weed management
● Farm maintenance
● Marketing: either our CSA program, our farmer’s market, or our restaurants sales
● Care of chickens/goats
● Seed saving
● Processing value added product: herbal tea blends, sauerkraut and other pickling, canned or dried tomatoes, etc.
● Intern will spend an average of 4-6 hours a week assisting with leading farm field trips and engaging with students and community members.
Seed to Table has many books and references for a student if they are interested. We believe that much of the learning that is most valuable to student-interns is through daily discussion and conversation while performing tasks. Having a desire to learn and ask questions is an important aspect of the apprenticeship process, as it benefits both sides—we believe we are all students of farming and learning is a continual process as we gain experience through constant practice.
Communication is one of the most important responsibilities of interns and farmers alike. Confrontation is necessary in this close-contact working environment. We need to be able to talk openly about how we want things to be done, and we need you to tell us when something is not working for you.
We are looking for a couple or two individuals who has the following qualities:
● Mindfulness: of self, the people around you, the environment, your actions and reactions.
● Excited about working with kids and the community
● Practiced communication skills
● Self-motivation and work ethic: we will expect you to be observant, notice what needs to be done and do it without being told.
● Flexibility: plans change based on weather, opportunities, or mishaps, and we all just gotta roll with it.
The candidate must be excited about engaging with kids and community members, eager to learn, and excited about the opportunity to train hard. They should also be able to carefully lift 50 lbs, perform repetitive tasks, and accomplish physically demanding tasks while maintaining a positive attitude. Experience in gardening or farming is a plus.
The RFC intern will be given a monthly stipend of $400. A comfortable travel trailer (heat, hot water, bathroom, electricity, kitchen, fridge) will be provided along the riverside a few miles from the farm (2 miles to be exact). A car is pretty necessary from getting to all the Rogue Farm Corps classes around Central Oregon. Although a bike would work easily for getting from your home to the farm. Food provided will include goat meat, eggs, butter, olive oil, flour, sugar, some spices, beans, rice, pasta, quinoa and anything you can reasonably eat from the farm. Pets are allowed on the living premises but not on the farm- we love animals but we already have too many.