Front Porch Farm is a 110-acre organic farm situated on the Russian River just 10 minutes from downtown Healdsburg, in Northern California. A diverse market farm, Front Porch grows a wide array of vegetable crops, heritage grains, fruit trees, wine grapes, and specialty cut flowers.
Nearly all year round we are pulling flowers from our fields and hoop houses; from the bulbs, sweet peas, and poppies in the early spring to the chrysanthemums, tuberose, and garden roses in the late fall, and over 60 other varieties in between. With ecological farming principles at the heart of what we do, we strive to be responsible stewards of the land and see our flower program as one way in which to do so.
We are currently accepting applications for our 2018 Flower Apprenticeship!
The Flower Apprenticeship is a seven-month full-time position, in which apprentices partake in every aspect of the flower farm life. As the bulk of the flower program’s labor force, apprentices work alongside the lead flower farmers to perform all necessary fieldwork, harvest countless buckets of flowers, sell our wares at our local markets, and assist in floral design.
To compliment and provide context to the work at hand, apprentices receive weekly classes, taught both in-house and by guest lecturers. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):
• Soil Science
• Compost and Fertility
• Crop Planning
• Tractor operation (Series)
• Sexual and Asexual Propagation
• Floral Design (Series)
• Floristry Business Basics
• Crop Culture (Series)
To build experience and responsibility in particular areas, apprentices rotate through four 2-month posts: Propagation, Irrigation, Marketing and Pest/Disease Management. After initial training, apprentices are expected to operate relatively independently to cover the weekly needs in these areas.
Compensation and Accommodations:
We offer on-farm housing for 3 of our 4 apprentices, in the form of tent cabins with a monthly rent of $350. We reserve one position for a local resident who can secure their own housing. Those living on-site will share an outdoor shower and composting toilet. The staff kitchen is located a short walk away in the tractor barn.
Apprentices will be paid an hourly rate of $12/hour (50-60 hours/week). The costs of rent ($350/month for those living on-site) and instruction ($100/month) will be deducted from their paychecks. Apprentices can expect to be engaged on the farm full-time from April 2 to October 26.
The flower apprenticeship is geared toward individuals who have a sincere interest in learning the ins and outs of ecologically sound flower farming. While no formal farming or floristry experience is required, we are seeking those who are both passionate about flowers and have demonstrated success in a hardworking, community-oriented environment. At times farm work can be tedious, strenuous, and unpredictable, and we value a staff that is flexible, positive, and easy-going.
Our farm prides itself on the health of our greater farm community. We are looking for team players who are interested in fully participating in all parts of farm life, whether that means helping out with general farm events, hopping over to help the vegetable team with a plant-out, or playing (or cheering) on the farm softball team. Our community is bilingual and multicultural, and some of our farm’s core values are inclusivity and connection across these lines.
Must have previous experience performing physical labor, completing dirty tasks, and persevering through uncomfortable conditions and long hours.
Please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your responses to the following questions.
1. Why are you interested in ecological flower farming?
2. How do you foresee your participation in this program fitting into your future goals? What specific skills do you hope to gain during this season?
3. What is an example of a time you lived in community? How would you describe the role you played within that community?
4. What do you like to do for fun?
5. Do you hope to live on or off that farm?
Application deadline: December 15th
Interviews will begin mid-January