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MESA Notes – Public
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
About the Placement:
Detailed Placement Description
Bluebird Farm is a low-till, ecologically diverse small scale greens and flower farm on 11/2 acres. We will soon be certified organic. We are located on 2 farm sites, We have one acre of greens on a 150 acre property that does peace and social justice education (woolman.org) and we will participate in some of their education programs with groups on the farm. The other is a 1/2 acre flower farm. We will be both harvesting flowers for bouquets but also doing floral design for events and weddings. Our primary crops are greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula, salad mix, mustard, kale etc) and flowers (over 150 varieties) but we also grow microgreens, berries and a few root crops. We have a high tunnel, a caterpillar tunnel and a propagation hoop house, so they will learn about growing under cover as well. We sell through weekly subscriptions, restaurants, grocery stores and food hubs. We also have chickens, orchard and bees that are just for home use. There will be 4 main other crew members you would be working with. Our area is a beautiful small rural town with an incredible river with swimming holes, mountain biking and hiking trails, many cultural events in the towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley and a strong, tight knit farming community.
Primary Production :
Berries, Farm Education & Community, Flowers, Herbs, Vegetables, Microgreens, Floral design, opportunities to participate in home scale bees, orchard and poultry
About the Internship:
37.5 (8 hour day with 30min lunch and breaks)
Training Expectations :
We will show the steward how to do all the various jobs on the farm from harvesting, washing and delivery to starting starts in the propagation hoop house, to growing microgreens, and designing with flowers. We will have clear daily task lists and the steward would be working with at least one other senior crew member each day to accomplish those tasks. We are a small, lean crew so will need someone who is driven, hard working and willing to do all sorts of different jobs. We will mix up the tasks so that the steward gets a chance to get a sense of the different jobs on the farm. The farm owner has a background in agriculture education so is more than happy to explain the why and how of our approach to growing healthy nutrient dense foods. We work from 7-3 generally but start later or earlier depending on the needs of the season. We will also give the steward a window into the “back end” of the business so they can understand how our book keeping, crop planning and marketing works. As the season progresses they will likely be given tasks or an area of the farm that is their responsibility so that they can feel ownership over that element of the business, be it making the compost pile, adding amendments or compost tea, etc. We are a newer farm venture so we will welcome ideas the steward has for streamlining systems and efficiencies on the farm.
On-Site Training, Steward’s primary activities :
On farm descriptions of the tasks at hand with a goal of mastery and explanations of the why for each thing we are doing. We will follow the process of “show and watch”, “do with”, “do on own with supervision”, do on own.
Climate and Location Description
Summers are hot in the day (getting upwards of 100 degrees at times) but generally cooler at night. It is dry with little precipitation in the summer. We are in a rural community with public buses but it is difficult to get many places on them. It is much easier to have a car. Bikes are a possibility but terrain is hilly. Also because we have 2 farm sites to get between it would be ideal if the Steward were able to drive.
Free housing isn’t available, but we can secure affordable housing., We can give them veggies from the farm and a stipend to cover the rest., Through our local non-profit organization Sierra Harvest they will have the opportunity to meet other aspiring farmers and community members through weekly farm tours and ag skills classes. We know all the local farms and will be introducing them all the time. We will also give invites to 2+ farmer parties at our friends farms each season where all the young farmers get to meet and mingle.
Accommodations and amenities provided :
We are looking into options for this. There is the possibility of individual housing on one of our farm sites in an individual “A frame cabin” with a nearby bathhouse and internet available. There is the possibility of a scooter for transportation.
Preferred start date :
Preferred length of internship :
7 months (April-Oct)