Seed to Table Oregon
Oregon, United States
MESA Notes – Public
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
About the Placement:
Detailed Placement Description
The Seed to Table Farm is centered around a 2-acre market garden, located on an amazing 40-acre farm in Sisters, Oregon. We are thrilled to offer a stewardship position through MESA. The farm is a truly unique model, striving to provide the community with equal access to local and nutritious foods and to connect the community through farm-based education. Our farm produces nearly 50,000 pounds of organically grown vegetables to our community. Seed to Table has a diverse operation; providing farm-based education to nearly 1500 students a year and growing over 30 diverse crops. Crops include tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, peas, beans, salad, head lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, salad turnips, kale, swiss chard and many more! 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 over the past seven years under the founder, Audrey Tehan and assistant farm director, Madeline. Stewards will be training closely alongside Audrey and Madeline. Stewards will work alongside another intern/steward and community volunteers. We are excited to bring in a steward who will be supported by a large network and family living on the farm.
Central Oregon is an incredible place to live and is the number one outdoor recreation destination in Oregon. Rivers, mountains, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, music festivals and more are just a few of the many extracurricular activities offered within 30 minutes of the farm.
The farm manager and farm director both speak intermediate levels of Spanish!
Primary Production :
About the Internship
Full for the Season
40 hours a week
Training Expectations :
The Seed to Table Program is an innovative non profit farm with an inspired community of individuals seeking to increase the health and wellness of the Central Oregon community. We take great pride in what we do and the community we have built. Stewards will be expected to show respect and be enthusiastic about our program mission and community. Stewards are expected to work hard alongside staff, communicate often and be willing to learn.
-Education is a key part of our organization and thus community outreach must be a component you are willing to engage in.
-If for any reason you have to terminate the stewardship please give us as much advance notice as possible!
Open and honest communication is the key component of this arrangement.
Confrontations occur in this close-contact working environment- the farmers 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. You will be dealing mostly with Madeline on a daily basis, she is your direct manager. If you have a problem please talk with Madeline first and then Audrey.
Seed to Table will work together with you as a team to make sure the needs of you, and all involved, are met.
Once a month Seed to Table will hold a more formal meeting together with you to discuss how the season is going, and share any comments, questions, or concerns with each other.
Both farmers will be working alongside you on a regular basis, and will maintain informal check-ins during that time. Please regard the “IN the Fence” and “Out of Fence” topics when you have a question. More than anything, we want you to be comfortable talking to us, so that conversation will be wide open from the beginning.
On Farm Education
You will frequently be working side by side with the farmers and other stewards(Audrey and Madeline of Seed to Table), particularly during the beginning of the season. You will likely have the opportunity to work more independently as the season progresses.
The Seed to Table Stewardship is a hands-on learning experience. The vast majority of your time will be spent learning by doing. You will work alongside your mentor and independently to develop skills while accomplishing daily tasks that move your host farm along through the season.
Seed to Table will be responsible for teaching you the systems of our individual farm within the allotted time. At the beginning of the season you will have a meeting with Audrey and Madeline to go over the on farm curriculum and your individual goals. Seed to Table is 100% committed to you achieving your goals. Seed to Table Farm will coordinate in teaching broader farm topics of interest to you. Time taken from the usual work day to teach these topics will be agreed upon by farmer and steward.
The farmers will do their best to answer questions, provide access to educational resources, and generally be mentors to you as a beginning farmer. You are encouraged to take initiative and responsibility for your own learning as much as possible.
As part of the curriculum, you will be able to pursue a community involvement farm-based project.
Stewards will also be responsible for co-leading the Garden Club, one day a week at Sisters Elementary School with help of Seed to Table’s education coordinator. Garden Club is each Thursday from 11:35-1 pm and after school 2:45-3:30. This is a really fun opportunity to develop skills in teaching and developing lessons.
On-Site Training, Steward’s primary activities :
MESA Stewards will learn about and have responsibility in the following areas:
Marketing: either our CSA, farmers market or restaurant sales
Processing value added products: herbal tea blends, pickling, canning, etc…
Steward will spend 6-8 hours each week assisting with leading farm field trips and engaging with students and community members
Regular Schedule is 8 hours a day, starting at 7am or 8am and ending at 3pm or 4pm. When it is hot we start early.
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-steward 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 stewards 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.
Climate and Location Description
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. 100,000) and 30 miles from Smith Rocks, a world-class rock climbing location. The farm sits right on the edge of town, which makes it easy to bike into town for music, a pizza or to the trail heads for hiking. Central Oregon is paradise for the outdoors person.
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. The day time temps can then fluctuate into the 100’s.
$500/ month, A comfortable travel trailer (heat, hot water, shower, compost toilet, electricity, kitchen, fridge) will be provided on the farm., Free, daily food, Health insurance* (will enroll/maintain/provide as part of the Steward’s compensation)
Accommodations and amenities provided :
Housing (if living on farm)
You will be provided with a community living area in the form of a well maintained, 26 ft long, travel trailer with heat, electricity and running water. The travel trailer has a 2 burner stove top, small oven, fridge (extra cooler space available for additional food), dry food storage, personal space storage, a toilet, two sinks, sitting area with a dining table and a couch. There is a bathroom in the travel trailer. In addition there is a composting toilet which you are highly encouraged to use over the bathroom in the travel trailer to conserve water and resources. Travel trailer also has a shower. Laundry will need to be done at the local laundromat in Sisters.
The living accommodations will be on the farm in a private location within 100 yards walking distance to the fields.
You will be required to maintain the living space to the best of your ability.
You will be expected to leave the living space in better shape then when you arrived. Cleaning supplies are provided. In addition you will be allowed time within your work schedule to do improvement projects on the farm.
You will be able to take as much produce that can be reasonably eaten from either farm. Vegetables will be available for storage, such as canning, however these larger quantities for storage must be approved by farmers.
Please email Audrey each Friday if you are running out of items. IT WILL BE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO EMAIL AND TEXT AUDREY WHAT SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING WEEK. Seed to Table will be responsible for getting staple foods within a week of a running low request.
Seed to Table will provide the following staple foods: olive oil, flour, beans, rice , spices, quinoa, oats, peanut butter, honey, carton of eggs every week and goat meat every other week, granola bars, cada dia cheese (its amazing!), beef every other week. Some other staple items can be substituted into this list. Fruit and some veggie purchases will be provided during the beginning of the season (April-May) when veggie diversity is low on the farm. This can include apples, bananas, broccoli, etc…
You are expected to bring your own snacks and lunch to the farm. A community meal will be provided once a week during the summer. Everyone will take turns cooking these meals. There are limited facilities for food preparation at the farm, and usually only 30 minutes will be allotted for lunch time. You are encouraged to bring food that is ready to eat or requires minimal preparation.
Preferred start date :
Preferred length of internship :
5 April- October 31