About the Program
Live Earth Farm established in 1996 is a 100 acre organic farm overlooking the Green Valley in the Santa Cruz area of California. Offering a year round CSA with over 850 members during the regular season, Live Earth Farm grow 50 different fruits and vegetables ranging from perennial fruit trees to a wide variety of annual crops. The farm also sells produce at five area farmer’s markets and to local restaurants.
The education programs at Live Earth Farm began with the farm in 1996 and Farm Discovery at Live Earth was formally established as a nonprofit organization in 2007 to compliment and expand the educational programs at Live Earth Farm. We host more than 2,500 youth on the farm each year for farm-based, hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of formats.
The Young Farmer Apprenticeship is a training program in its pilot year. The program will bring 1-2 aspiring farmers to Farm Discovery where they will continue their farming education with a full season of hands-on training, farming, and learning. Farm Discovery will partner with Live Earth Farm to give the Young Farmer Apprentice a variety of farm education and experiences.
The Young Farmer Apprenticeship will involve all aspects of farm life, from crop planning, seed sowing, greenhouse management, equipment management, farm administration, marketing, harvesting, and everything in between. This program is designed to give an aspiring farmer both hands-on experience and a practical overview of what it really takes to be a farmer.
Applicants for this apprenticeship should have amazing work ethic, a positive attitude, and the motivation to learn anything and everything they can about farming. The apprentice will work with the staff at Farm Discovery (FD) to assist in managing the farm land, fruit trees, education garden, as well as take part in animal husbandry, tending to the chickens, pygmy goats, and milking cow. They will also learn from the staff at Live Earth Farm, shadowing the mentor in each position on the farm.
The apprentice will be given a parcel of land to self-manage, and will be expected to develop a successful crop plan, and manage the land throughout the season.
When the program is complete, apprentices should have experience and knowledge of:
- Farm Planning (crop planning, annual planning)
- Administrative (taxes, farm regulatory requirements, food safety, record keeping, certification, water quality, etc.) at county, state, and federal level
- Employment (HR, employee rights, OSHA, training, etc.)
- Propagation (seed ordering, planting material, propagation on farm, field preparation, soil management)
- Production (field prep, sow/plant, sowing techniques incld. tools and equipment)
- Fertility Management
- Water Management
- Pest/Disease control
- Cultural practices (trellising, mulching, season extension, etc.)
- Crop Management (weed management, cultivation)
- Harvest, Post-Harvest & Marketing (logistics from field to consumer)
- Safety (safe practices, food safety, workers safety, equipment safety, building safety, etc.)
- Orchard Management/Annuals
Hours & Compensation
This is a full time training position, working 45+ hours/week from February – November 2018, with a possible second year extension. Apprenticeship includes a stipend of $1400 - $1600 month, commensurate with experience. On-site residence is required in a yurt on the farm, including communal kitchen, living area and bathroom (rent $500/month). Apprentices are allowed all the organic fruits and vegetables you can eat and milk and eggs as available. We are willing to consider a couple for this apprenticeship.
- Must speak Spanish and English
- Prior experience with farm or large scale garden work (at least one season)
- Comfortable working around kids and occasionally helping with large school tours
- Willingness to work weekends, flexible hours and long summer hours
- Self-directed, excellent time management
- Able to live on the farm and commit to at least one season (through November) of work
- Some tractor experience
- Able to do physically demanding work, sometimes mundane, and repetitive tasks outside in adverse weather conditions (hot, cold, rain) for long periods of time
- Able to lift 50 lbs. bend, stretch and stand for extended periods of time.
- Permaculture experience, experience with tree care
- Animal husbandry experience
- Environmental/Farm/Garden education experience
- Some farm-related education
To apply, please complete this form, including references & resume: https://goo.gl/forms/ULju3srJq304Tbzh1