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two positions at fifth crow farm

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morning harvest

Fifth Crow Farm is a young and growing, highly diversified, certified organic farm in Pescadero, CA. We are 45 miles from San Francisco and about 35 miles from Santa Cruz.  Although primarily a market farm selling to farmers’ markets and restaurants in San Francisco and San Mateo County, we also have an 85 member CSA.   We grow on 20+ acres: 15 acres of row crops, a young 1.5 acre 24-variety apple orchard, and a pastured egg operation consisting of 2 flocks of 350+ beautiful ladies- all heritage breeds.  From seed to plate we strive to bring eaters the highest quality, best tasting, and most nutritious food possible, while improving our soil at the same time.  We want our farm to be more than a business:  we strive to make it an engine for positive change in the food system.

In 2012 we employed 3 full-time seasonal field crew, a full time Harvest Coordinator, 2 full time, year round staff, as well as another 8 people part time.  It is very gratifying to see the farm grow into not only providing for the three of us, but for a growing number of others now part of our farm family.

As a business we have set a goal to create and grow jobs that make healthy, happy, and fulfilled people.  While farming will never by any means make us rich, we feel it is our duty to our community to show that farming can create economically viable and desirable jobs and careers. This means that eventually we hope that all under our employ can have what most other industries offer: health care, wage increases over time, paid vacation and sick leave, etc.  We want our customers to understand the direct connection between their food purchases and what farming looks like.  We think these things all go hand in hand: healthier ecosystems and better land stewardship, more nutritious food, and social justice for food producers.

Few universities offer degree programs in organic agriculture, and even if one gains theoretical knowledge, farming involves the need for a grasp of a diverse collection of trades.  From mechanics and carpentry, to marketing and accounting, many of the skills needed to be successful farming are best learned through doing.  As all of us gained some if not most of our experience through apprenticeships/internships, we believe that preserving this tradition in farming is key.

Unfortunately, the letter of the law makes farm apprenticeships (as they currently are) illegal.  One must be a non-profit, or affiliated with an educational institution.  In light of this, we are attempting to straddle the need to stay within the letter of the law, but still help aspiring farmers to gain valuable skills. Each season we hire 3 full-time farm field crew members.  We pay minimum wage and expect those hired to treat their work hours as a job.  On the job training and learning through doing is combined with purely learning experiences available during non-work hours.  These positions are only available to applicants who have demonstrated a desire to pursue a career in sustainable ag and we require a full season on a farm as a pre-requisite.

Seasonal Field Production Crew: 3 positions available in 2013
April 16-Nov. 16

Positions are full time & pay minimum wage.  Work is diverse, though the greatest number of hours is spent harvesting. Responsibilities include greenhouse production & field crop management/weeding, poultry care, Farmers’ Market sales, and produce delivery. We supply a kitchen stocked with basics (oil, rice, beans, etc. & all the farm produce you can eat), as well as laundry facilities & wireless internet. Although the crew members are paid seasonal employees rather than interns, we are committed to providing rich optional educational opportunities outside of work hours.  For this reason we are part of a group of more than 8 local farms (*Central Coast CRAFT) collectively providing further educational & community building opportunities for our interns/apprentices & employees. This position is ideal for someone who has already interned, but wants more experience and exposure to other farms before starting his/her own operation.

Qualifications: Applicants must be able to commit full-time (40-50 hrs/wk) Tues.-Sat. from mid-April thru the second full week of mid-November. Occasional weekend chore responsibilities required. Applicants must have a season’s experience on a working farm, have a clean driving record, and his/her own transportation (the closest big town is a ½ hr drive).  This position is best suited for applicants with a serious interest in a career in sustainable ag.  Spanish language skills are a plus.  Must also be able to lift 50 pounds & do repetitive tasks, be willing to live/work in community, & have a desire to work long hours and share in the fruits… and vegetables of our labors.

Applications accepted thru Jan. 15, or until positions are filled.
To apply please send resume, including two references, and responses to the following questions to Mike, John, and Teresa to info@fifthcrowfarm.com or P.O. Box 527, Pescadero, CA 94060

1. Thoroughly describe your previous farming experience (name, type of farm, your responsibilities).

2. Why are you interested in this position?

3. What is your experience living in community?

4. We share a crew lunch as well as cooking responsibilities on work days.  How do you feel about this?  Do you have food and/or dietary restrictions?

Harvest Coordinator: 1 position available in 2013, starting March 5th, year-round, with advancement opportunities. Pay commensurate with experience ($25,000-$30,000/year with one month non-paid vacation mid-winter)

Start beginning of March 2013 or when position is filled.

This position requires strong people skills, a capacity to communicate with enthusiasm about farm products, and significant experience with the harvest and post-harvest handling of a diversity of vegetables/herbs/fruits.  The ideal candidate will have two or more years experience working on a mixed vegetable farm, and experience in sales.  This position would be ideal for someone who has leadership skills, yet enjoys working on a team.  The Harvest Coordinator (HC) has a management role.  The HC is responsible for modeling proper harvest techniques, noticing problems as they arise and correcting them, as well as keeping people on task. Additional qualifications include being detail oriented and organized, conversationally fluent in Spanish, and possessing basic computer literacy.

Responsibilities include:

-Restaurant sales calls & e-mails as well as establishing and maintaining positive working relationships with various farm clients; primarily chefs and restauranteurs.

-Though the HC works closely with the Farm’s CSA/Marketing Coordinator, the HC will be largely responsible for assembling harvest/pick lists 3x per week, communicating harvest goals to the crew (in English and Spanish), as well as working with the Marketing/CSA Coordinator on weekly restaurant/wholesale availability lists and CSA box planning.

-Manage and oversee the post-harvest handling of crops while maintaining rigorous quality standards.

-Harvest and sales record keeping.
-Aid in harvest, prep, and packing of produce.

The ability to lift 50 pounds & do repetitive tasks is a must. Possible Farmers’ Market and delivery responsibilities.

This position is full time (40-50 hours/week) Monday through Friday.  Pay commensurate with experience and raises will be awarded based on performance and time on the job.

Applications accepted until position is filled.
To apply please send resume, including two references, and responses to the following questions to Mike, John, and Teresa at info@fifthcrowfarm.com or P.O. Box 527, Pescadero, CA 94060

1. Thoroughly describe your previous farming experience (name, type of farm, your responsibilities).

2. What is your experience in sales? management?

3. Why are you interested in this position?

4. Choose two of your favorite vegetables and describe them both concisely and so that a chef would want to buy them by the truckload.

5.  Please provide an example of how you might communication positively but effectively, when a crew member continually makes gorgeous bunches of chard that are half as large as what you thought you had instructed her to make.  Even better, use a different “real-world” example from your own experience teaching others to harvest a particular product.

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