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ORGANIC FARMING INTERNSHIPS

Position: Farm intern
Type: f/t or p/t with rustic on-farm accomodation, stipend, more (see below)
Organization: Green Fire Farm
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Green Fire Farm is a certified organic, mixed vegetable and livestock operation on 40-acres of rich soil in the Cowichan Valley, BC. We grow outstanding food and raise healthy livestock for people who make their home in the Islands-Coast region of BC. Our farm is also home to wildlife and native fauna, beautiful riparian corridors, and a long stretch of Innwood Creek that rolls into the nearby Cowichan River. River swimming and access to the TransCanada Trail are a short hike or bike ride away, as is access to great bookstores, cafe's, and brewpubs in the Cowichan Valley.

We are seeking part-time and full-time farm interns for the 2018 growing season. Applicants with no previous farming or gardening experience are welcome to apply for the part-time and shorter-season internships (10 weeks), and we require a minimum of one full season previous market farming experience to be considered for the full-time, full season (20 weeks) internship positions. Our lead farmer has 20 years experience with certified organic market farming, as well as a solid background designing experiential learning opportunities, leading workshops, training, and mentoring new and would-be farmers.

The basic farm intern schedule will include roughly 5 hours of focused field tasks 4-5 days per week, with opportunity for full time or 30-35 hours per week for experienced and highly motivated applicants. The portion of the schedule with the full farm crew working in tandem on planting, harvest, wash, and packing tasks will require physical and mental focus. The expectation in terms of developing an overall farm work ethic will be to demonstrate attention to detail, a focus on efficiency, and a progression of skills building throughout the season. Additional farm responsibilities, from livestock care to crop maintenance and marketing will be negotiated based on an intern's individual capacities and learning objectives for the growing season.

The farming tasks to be carried out and skills to be learned by a Green Fire Farm intern include: Harvesting diverse vegetables, herbs, and cut-flowers, washing and preparing these for markets and CSA distribution. Cultivation and maintenance of the annuals crops with hand and power tools. Basic operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems. Transplanting annuals crops in the field. Depending on interests and aptitudes, additional greenhouse management, marketing, and regular livestock care are options to be built into the daily schedule. Skills and fundamental farming knowledge to be built with a season of focus on these farm tasks include: quality control and time management, identification and maintenance of commonly used hand tools and specialty crop plants, safe operation and basic maintenance of power tools, season extension techniques, selected pest and weed identification, selected certified organic pest, weed, and disease, and fertility management strategies.

In addition to the hands-on training and other work-learn exhange described above, we offer on-farm accomodation and a stipend, with end-of-season bonus for interns who complete the full-time, full season internship. The on-farm accomodation available is rustic and off-grid, similar to a field camp environment, with shared outdoor kitchen, composting toilet, solar shower, and a large, private room for each intern. We provide food from the farm to our interns, which includes ample seasonal vegetables and fruits seconds, as well as farm fresh eggs and pork to farm interns who enjoy a full omnivore diet. While we make a good effort to celebrate the harvest and sit down together on a semi-regular basis throughout the growing season, interns are largely responsible for their own meal preparation and all other basic food staples or requirements. The starting stipend is $300/month for part-time interns, with opportunities for monthly increases as the season and their experience progress. The starting stipend or salary for full time interns will be based on experience and on the responsibilities and capacities demonstrated within the first two weeks of the internship.

Our ideal candidates for part-time or full-time farm interships have the ability to demonstrate a strong work ethic (provide two-three references, please) and will be working towards a longer-term career in farming or food systems related work; will have a consistently positive attitude in the face of physical challenges and conflict; will have previous outdoor working and living experience; will have excellent communication skills and a firm grasp on their own needs in terms of communication-feedback; will have strong attention to detail and the capacity to master new and varied tasks; will be physically and mentally fit for living and working outdoors with a team and on their own; AND will have a good sense of humour!

If you feel you meet these qualifications and are a good fit for our farm internship, please complete the 2018 Green Fire Farm internship application available at our website: http://www.greenfirefarm.ca and return your completed application through the contact us page.

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GoodWork ID: 43488       Date posted to GoodWork.ca: Jan 4 2018