Seed to Table Farm is one of many host farms in the Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program.
The RFC Internship Program is a full season entry-level residential program combining hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. As an intern, you will live and train full-time on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your residential farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities.
The Seed to Table Farm is centered around a 2 acre market garden, located on an amazing 40 acre farm in Sisters, Oregon. 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. Seed to Table has a diverse operation; providing farm based education to nearly 700 students a year and growing over 30 diverse crops. 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 five years under the founder of the farm, Audrey Tehan. Seed to Table is excited to have a new farm manager, Madeline coming on for the 2019 season. Interns will be training closely alongside Audrey and Madeline.
Seed to Table sells and donates produce to Sisters’ area food banks, schools wholesale accounts and has a 80 member vegetable CSA. The farm has also piloted a discounted farmers market for local food banks. Audrey and Madeline are really excited to bring on up to two Rogue Farm Corps interns to add to the inspiring dynamic on the farm.
Seed to Table Farm has two focuses: 1) growing delicious, diverse, organic food and selling the produce to support our program and community, 2) education our community about sustainable agriculture to create future farmers and local food customers! About 80% of time is spent farming and 20% of the time is spent engaging with the community through education programs. We host close to 1,300 students a year on the farm through our two hour field trip series. The education programs are managed by the education coordinator. Field trip lessons change with the seasons so we keep things really fun for ourselves and students. These are some of our favorite days on the farm, spent with veggies and students!
Currently we are not certified organic but we use no harmful chemicals or pesticides in production. At the foundation we focus on intensive cultivation; growing in permanent raised beds (about 30”-35” wide) and having pathways which are about 18” in between beds to maximize our space and reduce weed pressure. To cultivate beds we use a two wheel BCS tractor to increase our efficiency, sharing work between the two wheel tractor and hand cultivation. Two 100’ hoop houses, and three large greenhouses help us extend our season as much as possible in the harsh Central Oregon climate. In addition Seed to Table manages a 30’ x 40’ radiant heated greenhouse for the community. We teach a sustainable agriculture course for Sisters High School and experiment with hydroponics and small scale aqua-ponics at this facility. We use a lot of awesome tools to maintain a small but intensive and efficient operation.
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.
RFC interns at Seed To Table 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…
Intern will spend 4-6 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-interns 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 interns and farmers alike. 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.
We are looking for individuals who have the following qualities:
Hard working and not afraid to be dirty and tired
Mindfulness: of self, the people around you, the environment, your actions and reactions.
Excited about working with kids and the community
Practiced communication skills
Self-motivated and strong work ethic: we will expect you to observant, notice when things need to be done and take responsibility for yourself.
Flexibility: plans change based on weather, opportunities, or mishaps and we all just gotta roll with it.
The candidate must be excited about engaging with kids and community members, eager to learn, and excited about the opportunity to train hard. They should also be able to carefully life 50 lbs., perform repetitive tasks, and accomplish physically demanding tasks while maintaining a positive attitude. Experience in gardening or farming is a plus, but not necessary.
Seed to Table Oregon celebrates diversity! Our community works directly with the Latino community and also with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Individuals part of or with experience within these communities are encouraged to apply. Seed to Table does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
The Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program is a full season (6-8 month) entry-level residential internship program. Along with the hands-on field training you will receive from your Host Farm the Internship Program also includes classroom learning, tours of local farms, and a farm-based independent study project. Visit https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/internship for more information.
Visit the RFC website at https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/internship for more info on the program, and click on the link to apply!