2013 Apprentice Position Announcement
Slow Hand Farm is
currently accepting applications for part time
apprentices for the 2013 season.
About the farm:
Slow Hand Farm was started in 2009 by Josh Volk on less than 1/8 acre as a completely hand worked vegetable farm, selling all of its shares through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model. Shares are very small and sized for individuals, which is unique in this area. In 2010 the farm started harvesting year round, and doubled in size which allowed it to move from one work day per week to two. There has always been an educational and experimental component to the farm. Up to this point the farm has also always been a one-man operation and existed next to another similar operation in order to have back up allowing for travel and other work. In 2012 the farm partnered with Splendid Cycles in order to do all of the delivery of CSA shares by electric assisted cargo bicycle. (Lots more information is available at slowhandfarm.blogspot.com)
In 2013 the farm is moving to Sherwood, OR, to start a collaboration with Community by Design, LLC, and we will be expanding in order to create an apprentice program. This will quadruple the farm’s tiny output, moving it from tiny into the very small category. Hand scale techniques will continue to be the focus, but tractors of several scales will also be used to help establish the new site. The farm plans on continuing to use electric assist cargo bikes for as much of the deliveries as we can, as well as transportation around the larger farm property.
About the farmer (farm manager):
Josh Volk has been working on vegetable CSA farms around the country since 1998, and worked in smaller gardens before that. From 2001 to 2007 he worked with Sauvie Island Organics, one of the largest, most established CSA farms in the Portland area. While there he helped develop a very successful 19 month apprentice model. Since leaving Sauvie Island Organics Josh has worked as a consultant for farms around the country and in Canada, has been a frequent speaker at conferences, lead many workshops on production methods, and has written a regular column in Growing for Market. Slow Hand Farm is the part time farm project that grounds him and provides space for his own production experiments.
About the position:
The apprentice position is a part-time, hourly position appropriate for people who are interested in learning about serious food production and who are willing to work hard and patiently learn from their labors and from their observations. Folks with prior farm experience are encouraged to apply, but we will also consider good candidates with no prior experience.
Typically work days are Monday and Thursday and hours vary depending on the time of year. The work is mostly physical, but requires a sharp mind and good judgment. There is no set term for the apprenticeship, but serious applicants should be willing to commit one year and to consider a second year if they want to get full benefit from the experience.
Apprentice work will include, but not be limited to, greenhouse propagation, some bed preparation and fertility work, planting, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting, packing, delivering and lots of cleanup. There will also be record keeping duties and opportunities to see the records kept by the farm. There may be some opportunity to help with marketing and CSA member communications as well. Occasionally the farm manager will be away and the apprentices will be responsible for all daily operations on the farm.
There are not formal, paid, class room type learning opportunities offered with this position. There will be opportunities to connect with other projects around the farm, to other farms, and to attend workshops at reduced rates outside of work hours.
Compensation starts at $9.15/hr with potential for increases based on performance.
Job qualification requirements:
Ability to lift 50lbs
Ability to receive, understand, and execute instructions
Ability to keep a consistent count
Ability to keep clear, handwritten records
Ability to work outside in all weather conditions
1-2 years of prior farm work
Ability to ride a bike
Sense of humor
Organized and thorough
To apply send an email with the subject line, "SHF Apprentice Application" to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a complete resume, contact information for 3 references and answers to the following questions:
Why do you want to do this apprenticeship?
What do you hope to come away from the apprenticeship with?
What makes you a good choice for the position?
These positions are open until filled and will start as early as the end of January 2013.