Sound Vegetables’ based in Redmond, Washington are looking for an intern!
Sound Vegetables’ market garden grows over 35 varieties of fresh produce and free range poultry. Their minimal soil disturbance techniques follow developing best management practices for local vegetable production. They specialize in mesclun salad mix, tomatoes and fresh root crops and they raise pastured poultry and free-range chicken eggs for the local community. You won’t see them riding around on a tractor, but you will see some of the earliest and freshest produce available in Seattle grown intensively on our 1.6 acre patch just north of Redmond, WA.
Internships last 8-12 weeks and offer the opportunity to gain insight on the techniques and the day-to-day business model of Market Gardens. On a farm, hands on experimentation and familiarity with the plants, animals and seasons provides valuable experience and are supervised for the duration of the internship. Sound Vegetables’ want their interns to learn proficiency in their areas of interest and they prioritize mastery of those during the internship. The curriculum includes a curation of reading assignments with discussions on various literature to guide the learning process for all partners and unlock the experience of those on the sustainable path before them. Interns are encouraged to offer ideas to improve workflow on the farm and find new and innovative techniques and ways of doing things.
Typical Tasks & Activities will include:
Assist with farm organization and upkeep
Pruning and training vining crops
Garden bed preparation
Transplanting and seed sowing
Building irrigation systems
Caring for chickens
Developing markets and marketing with photography, writing, and documentation
Creating written records of farm operations
Inspecting crops to maintain quality
Educational curriculum includes authors JM Fortier, Joel Salatin, David Madison, Helen and Scott Nearing, Mark Shepard, Eric Brende and others depending on the focus of the internship
Community research and developing knowledge of local supply chains
To apply, send a cover letter to Soundvegetables@gmail.com with your interest in local, sustainable, organic, fresh foods and mention any skills or passions which you possess or would like to develop.
Want to help grow, harvest, and deliver eye-popping veggies like you see in the picture above? Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center in Washington is hiring three Seasonal Farm Production Crew members. These are paid positions on 230-acres of idyllic forest, grassland, and food crops next to the Snoqualmie River. In addition to growing food, Oxbow also engages in research in conservation farming practices, grows native plants for sale at their nursery, promotes restoration and sustainable habitats, and acts as an education center for kids of all ages. As their website says: “There’s no place quite like Oxbow!”
To apply and to learn more about the position, click on over HERE for more information, while here’s a quick and dirty overview of the position:
As a member of our energetic Farm Production Crew you will have the opportunity to work within all aspects of our operation, including in the field, pack shed, and order delivery. Your primary responsibilities will be harvesting, propagation house, hand-weeding, hoeing, transplanting, post-harvest handling, CSA packing, cleaning, and deliveries. We harvest, wash, and pack product daily for our CSA program, wholesale, and restaurant accounts. Strong attention to detail and operating efficiently while performing time-sensitive tasks in a rapidly changing environment are a must for this position.
Want the skills to manage your own farm? The Organic Farm School on Widbey Island in Washington State offers aspiring farmers a practical education in how to start and manage a small scale organic farm.
They still have a few openings left for 2017 and accept Americorps awards and/or offer need-based scholarships towards tuition.
Our full-time, 8-month long experiential farmer training program is for aspiring farmers seeking to learn and practice the technical and business skills needed to run a small-scale, organic, commercial farm. Through cooperatively managing the school’s ten-acre farm and attending weekly lectures, discussions, and demonstrations on topics including organic crop production, soil science, business planning, and direct marketing, students will acquire a thorough education in organic small farm management. Student are mentored through the creation a personal farm business plan and regular field trips to regional farms allow participants to see a variety of farming styles and talk to experienced producers.
Through management of the student farm, participants develop their practical farm skills including planning, tillage, greenhouse propagation, weeding, harvesting, marketing, record-keeping, and more. Students also learn to operate tractors, make compost, and manage the farm’s livestock. With the skills and knowledge gained and a business plan in hand, program graduates are ready to start and/or manage their own small organic farm. Find out more and apply at www.organicfarmschool.org.
Brandon and Lauren are not strangers to meatsmithery, in fact they are owners of Farmstead Meatsmith.
“We generally harvest for small family farmers who raise a couple of pigs, a few sheep or a flock of various poultry for their own household. Think very small scale. The animals never leave the land they know, we use peaceful and humane kill methods specific to each animal’s nature, and we offer every part of every animal back to the farmer.
Unlike many processors, we don’t know the meaning of trim. Well, we do, but that is why we don’t do it. We make sure the quality fat you meant for your animal to have, stays there. Consequently, you will get all your meat back. And by that we mean 100% of hanging weight. Standard industry procedure is to dispose of as much as 50% of hanging weight.
Because the dinner table is where the rubber meets the road, particularly with unfamiliar cuts, innards and extremities, Brandon makes himself available for advice long after he leaves your farm.
We also make classes out of harvesting events for interested students near and far. Often we teach the farmers who hire us, enabling them to keep all or part of their processing costs in-house for the next season.
Currently we reach farms in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. A handful of farmers have flown Brandon to the east coast, the midwest and recently to the UK.”
On the morning of July 13, like most mornings, Stephen Jones’s laboratory in Mount Vernon, Wash., was suffused with the thick warm smell of baking bread. Jones walked me around the floor, explaining the layout. A long counter split the space down the middle. To the right was what Jones called ‘‘the science part,’’ a cluster of high-tech equipment designed to evaluate grain, flour and dough. Jones, who is 58 and stands a daunting 6 foot 5, calls to mind a lovably geeky high-school teacher. He wore dungarees, a plaid shirt, a baseball cap and a warm, slightly goofy smile. Two pairs of eyeglasses dangling from his neck jostled gently as he gesticulated, describing the esoteric gadgetry surrounding us. The 600-square-foot room, known as the Bread Lab, serves as a headquarters for Jones’s project to reinvent the most important food in history. Click HERE to read more!
The rapid growth and co-option of the local agriculture movement highlights a need to deepen connections to place-based culture. Selection of plant varieties specifically adapted to regional production and end-use is an important component of building a resilient food system. Doing so will facilitate a defetishization of food systems by increasing the cultural connection to production and consumption. Today’s dominant model of plant breeding relies on selection for centralized production and end-use, thereby limiting opportunity for regional differentiation. On the other hand, end-user-driven selection of heirloom varieties with strong cultural and culinary significance may limit productivity while failing to promote continued advances in end-use quality. Farmer-based selection may directly reflect local food culture; however, increasing genetic gains may require increased exchange of germplasm, and collaboration with trained plant breeders. Participatory farmer–breeder–chef collaborations are an emerging model for overcoming these limitations and adding the strength of culturally based plant breeding to the alternative food movement. These models of variety selection are examined within the context of small grain and dry bean production in Western Washington.
Here’s a well-paid reporting fellowship with an environmental flavor based on a beautiful island off of Seattle:
YES! Magazine seeks a journalist for a one-year, full-time, in-house reporting fellowship based in our Bainbridge Island, Washington, office, near Seattle. The fellow will receive a salary of $40,000, plus vacation and health benefits.
This fellowship is designed to support reporters from communities that are often underrepresented in the field of journalism. YES! Magazine established this fellowship to increase diversity in our economic and environmental reporting and writing.
If you live in Washington and want to get into sustainable agriculture but don’t know where to start, you might consider the Horticulture program at Edmunds Community College. Their website says:
If you enjoy working outdoors, growing plants, and repairing damaged land and habitat, watch your opportunities bloom with an education in horticulture.
Gain the knowledge and skills to create green spaces using sustainable methods and techniques.
You will find jobs in areas such as plant production, landscape design, restoration horticulture, landscape management and installation, organic farming, and garden preservation. Our classes cover plant care, propagation and identification, integrated pest management, water conservation, and sustainable practices.
Our program offers students hands-on field experience while providing an excellent learning environment in the classroom. In addition to class work and field work, our department presents a variety of speakers each year and encourages student participation in professional and specialty organizations.
Our student and alumni professional network provides a chance for exchange of current information and excellent employment opportunities.
It’s a great, affordable, practical education for budding agriculturists. Learn more about the program and how to apply on the WEBSITE.
Interested in becoming an organic farmer? Become a student at the Organic Farm School! Applications are currently being accepted.
Located on scenic Whidbey Island in Washington State, the Organic Farm School (OFS) at Greenbank Farm trains aspiring farmers to run successful small-scale organic farms. During the full-time, 7.5-month program, students spend a third of their time participating in weekly classes and field trainings, going on bi-weekly field trips to other farms, and engaging in the writing of a personal farm business plan. Students spend the balance of their time co-managing the eight-acre OFS student farm, which focuses on market-scale production of organic vegetables, seed crops, and cover crops with berries, poultry, lambs, and bees incorporated as well. Through this balance of academic and experiential studies, students experience all aspects of starting and running a small-scale organic farm, from goal setting and business planning to planting, harvesting, and marketing. With this skill and knowledge base, graduates are able to minimize their risk and maximize their success as they enter the growing field of sustainable farming. Students also have the option to earn college credit and a certificate in Sustainable Farming through our partnership with Skagit Valley College.
Registration is currently open for the 2014 year of Cascade Mountain School. Five programs for middle and high school students run from June to August. Need-based scholarships are available on a case-by-case basis.
This year’s course offerings are:
Sustainable Agriculture Course: June 21-July 3. This for-credit course for students age 15-18 is based in Trout Lake, Wash., at the base of Mt. Adams. Students dig into what agricultural sustainability means at the individual, local and global scales while farming, cooking and bicycling around this beautiful valley. High school science credit, college credit and 20 hours of service credit are available.
Mt. Hood Watershed Science Camp: July 20-25. This adventurous, science-based camp for students age 14-18 explores the Hood River watershed. Students start on the flanks of Mt. Hood and backpack, bicycle, and raft down the Hood River while learning how this rich ecosystem functions.
Farm to Table Bike Camp for High School Students: July 27-August 1. This fun-filled camp for students age 15-18 is based in in Trout Lake, Wash., at the base of Mt. Adams. Students farm, cook, and bicycle through a beautiful organic valley while having conversations about food and food choices.
Farm to Table Bike Camp for Middle School Students: August 3-8. This fun-filled camp for students age 12-14 is based in in Trout Lake, Wash., at the base of Mt. Adams. Students farm, cook, and bicycle through a beautiful organic valley while having conversations aboutfood and food choices.
Field Ecology Course: August 3-16. This for-credit course for students age 15-18 is based on Mt. Adams and in Trout Lake, Wash. Students get a hands-on field science experience working alongside professional scientists and learn about climate change, glaciers and mountain ecology. High school science credit, college credit and 20 hours of service credit are available.
Andrew Ide, 27, has a degree in philosophy and theology. His wife Micha, 29, has a degree in anthropology and part of another in interior design. Both have experience in the California corporate world.
None of that knowledge is doing them any good now.
Seattle, WA – Tilth Producers of Washington is pleased to announce registration is open for its annual conference at the Yakima Convention Center, November 8-10. The conference is open to all and typically attended by 400 organic and sustainable farmers, orchardists, ranchers and industry representatives. The 3-day conference features 30 workshops, Spanish language sessions, farm tours, an organic apple tasting and a keynote address by fourth generation farmers David Mas Masumoto and daughter Nikiko Masumoto of California’s Central Valley. Attendance is $170 for members and $220 for non members. Scholarships applications will be accepted until October 11th.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Nourishing the Future: Cultivating Our Farming Legacy.” Workshop presenters from the state’s organic and sustainable farming sector will address topics such as ecological weed management, fire blight, seed growing, leasing land, renewable energy, farm financing, quinoa production, draft horses and food safety.
The conference is preceded by a Friday symposium, “Small Scale Livestock and Poultry Production,” hosted by Washington State University, and a tour of Yakima Valley farms utilizing high tunnels to extend the growing season and increase productivity. Conference social events include a Friday session dedicated to the intergenerational transfer of farming knowledge, “Learning from Elders”, in addition to an annual organic wine tasting and auction, a dance and an awards banquet where Tilth Producers honors a Farmer and Advocate of the year. The weekend concludes with Tilth Producers annual meeting and board elections.
The conference is funded in part by USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant. For more information and to register please visit www.tilthproducers.org/programs/conference.