South Willamette

Ambrosia Farm

Ambrosia Farm is a family run market garden operated by Brandon and Phaedra Jackson. We have been farming for eight seasons now, and are presently in our fourth year in the Veneta area just 25 minutes west of Eugene. Keeping with modern small scale farming practices, Ambrosia Farm grows on 1.5 acres of land, using primarily a BCS and Compact Tractor for machinery. In the past we have always hired two employees throughout the growing season, and a couple of high school helpers during harvest. This will be our very first year joining RFC as a host farm.

A respectable CSA program, Farmers Markets and a small amount of wholesale are our primary sales outlets. In the past, U-Pick berries and produce had been a major focus, but this has been replaced by offering a unique spin on the U-Pick concept and opening up the gates for a unique U-Pick CSA.

In keeping with quality standards that produce from the Willamette Valley is known for, Ambrosia Farm grows all crops under the same standards of organic certification requirements, but does not maintain a certification. Growing practices and techniques here are more geared towards small scale, local, intensive agriculture.

RESPONSIBILITIES and training schedule

Interns that join us will be trained to become the next generation of small scale farmers. This type of education is a learning process that covers wide variety of aspects, but the patience needed to do so over a full growing season. Our expectation is that you are coming to Ambrosia Farm with the intention of one day starting your own operation. As the season progresses, new skills and tasks will be addressed, along with all necessary training along the way. After the initial 45 day trial period, you will be given more responsibilities in the operation as appropriate.

Our season begins on April 1st and will continue through October 31st. Farming hours are tricky and rely primarily on daylight and growth cycles. Interns will be expected to train 32 hrs (four days a week, 8hrs/day) during April and May. From June through September, we require 40 hrs (four days a week, 10hrs/day), and back to 32hrs/wk in October. As farmers ourselves, we strive to work more efficiently and avoid the “Dawn to Dusk” farm day.

Every year presents new areas of improvement in growing practices. As the season unfolds, situational awareness, communication and initiative are necessary for the farm crew to enjoy a successful season. Unlike larger farms that have several acres of production, the scale of working on 1.5 acres keeps the monotony of long harvests and grueling back breaking labor to a minimum. This style of agriculture is as close to the romanticized dream as we know.

SEASONAL FLOW

Interns will be trained in every aspect of a small scale farming operation. We are in the field in all weather conditions, please keep that in mind as Spring and Fall can be cold and wet. All tasks will be performed as a group until interns are proficient to be sent on their own. While the weather for each season will vary, the tasks remain the same…

  • April: Training and Introduction to Ambrosia Farm, Potted Plant Sale, Bed Prep, Direct Seeding, Transplanting, Cultivation, Irrigation Work, Trellising, Row Fabric Setup. We have also just transitioned to a new farm property and will be building greenhouses as well.

  • May-September: CSA & Farmers Markets, LOTS of Harvest, Bed Prep, Direct Seeding, Transplanting, and so much more.

  • October: CSA & Markets, Bulk Crop Harvest, Cover Cropping, Cleanup, End of Season Check-in

Time off will be accommodated to allow for Rogue Farm Corps meetings and enjoying three days off every week is encouraged. In addition to training in the farm operation, we are happy to share with you the business aspect of farming, beyond the expected field hours. This includes crop planning, accounting, budgeting, marketing, crop planning and more.

ACCOMMODATIONS

As tenant farmers, we do not have access to live on the land we are currently leasing. Unfortunately, housing is not an option that we can offer, as we ourselves do not even live here. Only 10 minutes away is the small town of Veneta, and Ambrosia Farm is located just 25 minutes west of Eugene at the base of Sarver Winery. Local housing in either town should be easy enough to come by and we have included an additional housing stipend to assist with making this internship possible. 

Every week our interns will receive a CSA box of produce to enjoy. Bulk foods such as beans, rice, flour, and spices are made available as well. We do not raise animals, but are connected with locally sourced eggs that are reasonably priced. Additional details of the stipend and housing will be discussed during the interview process.

QUALIFICATIONS

Interns seeking education with Ambrosia Farm need to take this experience seriously as we are running a farm, but this is also a business and should be conducted professionally as such. Truly, we are seeking two interns that want to become the next generation of farmers, and we are excited to train you on everything we have learned over the last seven years. Our expectation is that interns with Ambrosia Farm show up every week from April through October.

Please keep yourself in good physical condition as this job is very demanding on the body as the season progresses. Humility is expected throughout this internship and the ability to be open to positive criticism. More often than not, you’ll be told what you’re doing right, as opposed to what you are doing wrong. Additionally, we expect you to conduct yourself as an adult that is comfortable with direct and open communication. Farming may be a whole new experience for you, but humanity has been growing food for over 12,000 years… Remember, you got this.

We are pleased that you are considering us for your farm internship and look forward to meeting you!

 Brandon and Phaedra

Brandon and Phaedra

Deck Family Farm

Deck Family Farm is situated on 320 acres within the Willamette Valley. The farm is made up of a combination of open pasture, woods, rolling hills and open fields. We are located in Junction City, 25 miles from Eugene. There can be anywhere from 4-13 people on farm depending on how many staff and interns are on site on any given day. We are family oriented farm where interns are integrated with family life. We also currently have two young children living at home but older children (and friends) visiting frequently, being comfortable with the joys and challenges of a busy household is a must!

Our farm operation is varied and includes management intensive grazing, milking, livestock handling and birthing, haying, meat processing, building projects and maintenance.  Our products include pasture-raised pork, pastured chickens, egg layers, grass-fed beef, Spring lamb, and to a lesser degree walnuts, apples and honey. We also offer a cooperative for our dairy products through our buying club called The Creamy Cow cooperative.  Conservation projects have included wetland, riparian and forest restoration projects.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Students will gain hands-on experience in a wide-variety of farming practices related to animal husbandry, grazing, pasture management, integrated cropping, composting, and marketing. Through participation in daily chores students will learn care of livestock such as beef cattle, dairy cows, broilers and egg laying hens, as well as horse feeding, raising turkeys, sheep herding, and working with pastured pigs and pregnant sows.

Students will have to opportunity to interface with customers through involvement with marketing and seasonal farmers markets.  Focus areas are developed for each student and the experience will vary depending on personal skills and abilities, weather, and season. You can expect to come away with a realistic view of livestock farming on a medium size, integrated, organic farm.

SEASONAL FLOW

Aside from daily activities, we focus on birthing in the Spring, harvest during Fall season, and farmers’ markets during the summer. In the winter months we continue with animal feed and care as well as repair and improve infrastructure.  Students will also have the opportunity to learn how to raise and feed animals from “farm to fork.” This includes, learning how to butcher and process meat birds during processing days and cooking the food we raise on the farm to be eaten during our shared meals.

TRAINING SCHEDULE & QUALIFICATIONS

The typical training week for a student is five days long, 8-10 hours a day, with two days off. Physical stamina is required, along with a strong constitution. While no prior experience working on a farm is necessary, we do ask for excellent past work references, a strong desire to train, and a good sense of humor.

Students will have daily contact with farmers at morning farm meetings. Daily chores are performed alongside employees and interns in the morning and afternoons are reserved for special projects either on farm or in marketing. Skills that will hopefully be gained are developing a keen sense of awareness of your surroundings including animal behavior and health as well as forage states and general states and needs of the farm and it's people.  Also team building, the ability to think on your feet, knowing when to ask for a hand, and learning how to make quick and effective decisions while maintaining a safe environment around the animals.

We do ask that students come to the farm for one month as a trial period to determine whether both the student and farm would like to move ahead with the longer term 9 month commitment.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Students accommodations are mostly dormitory style with a few private spaces reserved for longer term interns.  Meals are shared with rotating cooking and cleaning shifts.  The farm office has internet access as well as phones available for student use in the evening.  Students have full access to bathroom and shower facilities in the main house and good hygiene is a must. We please ask that no smoking, drinking, or drugs take place on farm property during your stay.

Details of the room, board, and stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.

We are pleased that you are considering us for your farm internship and look forward to meeting you!

  The John and Christine Deck Family

The John and Christine Deck Family

Organic Redneck

We are a small, diversified family farm growing high quality, tasty food for our local community and ourselves. We are in our 21st season at our present location, and always organic. The farm is located along the McKenzie River 35 minutes from Eugene. We have several other parcels of land nearby that contribute to the total of 15 acres. The Farm grows a wide diversity of crops exceeding 100 different varieties. We are a 2nd generation farm, and are managed by several experienced farm managers. The crew consists of as many as 8 others during the main season.

The farm is best known for blueberries. We offer u-pick on the blueberries and also offer them picked at the farm stand. The farm also grows raspberries, strawberries, melons, and every vegetable from Apples to Zucchini. Avenues of sales include the farm stand, farmers markets, retailers and restaurants and we also use a CSA modeled program.

RESPONSIBILITIES & training schedule

People interested in this internship should have a true desire to train hard and learn. You must have a passion for food, working outdoors, and living communally.  The internship runs from April 1st-October 31st and we expect the interns to train an average of 40 hours per week. Most years hours per week are slightly lower in the Spring, and longer during the Summer. To account for the longer days at the height of the season, we will usually give extra days off in the Spring and/or Fall.

We are a production farm and we push for as much efficiency in our operation as possible. Because of the nuances and changes in growing, cultivating, and harvesting the many different crops we grow throughout the changing seasons, it is important that our interns have an open mind towards learning new processes and improving the ways they have done things previously.

We take time to teach, to answer questions and to build self-reliant individuals who can perform tasks with ease and skill. We also take into account the growing pains of being introduced to such a physical job, and account for that during the beginning of the season. As the season goes on, you will continue to gain skills pertaining to seeding, cultivating, harvesting, washing, packing and more. You will also become stronger and more able-bodied. By midway through the season you will be capable of completing many tasks without supervision.           

We will need interns to take the initiative, to ask questions; volunteer for duties they want to learn about. During most of the year, the farm is running 12-18 hours a day, If Interns want a realistic experience, then they will need to take additional time after the standard day to see what’s happening, ask more questions and take in the whole scope of operations. This is optional but this is what it will require to get maximum benefit from the internship. The more initiative you take and interest you show the more responsibility you will be entrusted with.

seasonal flow

  • Early Spring: planting, small harvests, trellising, plowing, organizing, planning, learning how things are done on this farm .

  • Spring: heavy planting, small harvest, trellising plowing cultivating

  • Summer: Planting, Harvest, cultivating, irrigation, sales, CSA, u-pick berries

  • Fall: heavy harvest, deconstruction, sowing cover crop, more time to dig deeper

We spend a lot of time training interns in almost every trade on the farm. We rotate them through farmers markets, farm stand, delivery driver and more. And throughout the entire season they are the main harvesters and planters. We also introduce them to things like office work, sales, food preservation, field scouting, and more. They train alongside each other and the rest of the crew and we all learn from each other.

Interns will have their own project to work on during the season. Projects and classes are usually additional to the 40-hour week. Farming is very physical; the weather can be hot in the Summer and cold in the Spring and Fall.    

qualifications

Our expectations of our interns are as follows: We expect our interns to be committed and open to learning our systems to the best of their ability when they first arrive, as they continue to perform tasks, and as new tasks come up. After learning systems, we expect our interns to build self-reliance in those tasks, with the ultimate goal of completing many of them without supervision. We expect our interns to be motivated, driven, hard working and positive. Physically, we expect our interns to be able to lift up to 50 pounds repeatedly, to be bent over for many hours of the week, and to be skillful with their hands.

We expect our interns to be mature adults who have some life experience, who understand how to get along well with others, and can maintain a consistently professional demeanor throughout a long season. You are expected to be kind, respectful, and accommodating of others.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The interns live in yurts and have a kitchen and bathroom they share with the rest of the crew. There are sometimes several other crew members living on the farm as well. This means that meals are often communal, and we make a point of having meals together at least one night a week. The farm buys some food goods in bulk: coffee, flour, rice, etc. for interns, as well as provides an abundance of farm produced food including eggs, vegetables, and fruit. The details of the room, board, and stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.

We hope that interns also love have fun, relax, float the neighboring river, soak the nearby hot springs and hike the cascades in our backyard. It should be noted that we do most things with a sense of adventure and light heartedness. We know that we are swimming upriver in regards to conventional progress, and we know that we are all still learning and will never have it all figured out. Not taking it too serious and laughing at our selves is also important. We thoroughly enjoy the people, the produce and the process that makes up organic farming.

 

 Jack Richardson

Jack Richardson