We grow 50+ vegetables on an acre and a half and bake sourdough breads and pastries in our woodfired oven. We sell mostly at farmers markets, which we do 11 months of the year. We are proud of our work producing nutrient-dense food that is sold locally. We see ourselves as part of a community of food producers all doing their small part to fix a food system that doesn’t account for humanity’s impact on the environment, and we are looking for a worker who wants to help us and learn from us. You will be an essential part of our business and gain hand-on experience using organic methods to bring vegetables to market. 2020 will be our seventh season earning all our income from our business, and we have achieved a growth rate of 30-40% each year. Our team includes 2 full-time employees, and 1-2 part-time employees.
You will work closely with us to learn all aspects of growing ecological vegetables, including seeding, planting, harvesting, sorting, weeding, mulching, and selling at market. You will learn skills such as greenhouse management, efficient harvest techniques, cover cropping, and how to run a profitable business focused on farmers’ markets.
We are a small professional market farm that wants to train future farmers and business owners. Our goal is that you will learn both the vegetable grower skills and the business skills you need to start your own ecological vegetable farm business. We are very open about our business and we are happy to share our sales, expenses, and budget numbers with our employees as well as discuss business plans. We will train you to do at least one farmer’s market with us every week, and during the season, we will tour other ecological farms in our area. In 2019 we added pizza nights that have helped to deepen community engagement with our farm.
We believe that economic success is an important, and often overlooked, piece of “sustainability.” We recognize that the success of other businesses is just as important as our own, which is why we helped found the Common Grain Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to improving the food system by strengthening economic connections among grain growers, millers, and bakers. However, while we focus on the bottom line, we also value family, relationships, and well-being, and we work hard to make space and time for it all. Our farm is in the heart of Virginia’s rural Blue Ridge Mountains, close to the thriving “Brew Ridge Trail” and abundant outdoor activities, including Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. Our region has a thriving community of small farms and artisanal food producers, which you will become a part of. As our workers prepare to take the next step towards their goals, we work hard to connect them with the resources they need. All three of our most recent employees relocated to work for us, and, through the connections they gained while working here, settled in Virginia.
Housing is available on-site as part of your compensation. You will have a one-room, furnished cabin with a kitchenette, electricity, and a sleeping loft. Your private bathroom (with shower) is just inside the laundry room in our house, about 20 steps from the cabin door. The cabin comes with a microwave, hot plate, mini-fridge, space heater, and air conditioner. You will also have access to the bakery kitchen and woodfired oven, which, even on days when we are not baking, never cools down below 325 degrees!
Starting pay is $8-10/hr (depending on experience). Other compensation includes all the our surplus vegetables, bread, and croissants you can eat, and the right to trade our produce at farmers’ markets with other vendors. Expect to work 40-50 hours per week with 1.5 days off per week. Your hours may exceed 50/week at peak harvest periods. Short unpaid vacations are possible if we know in advance.
Previous farming experience is preferred, but mostly we care about a keen interest in sustainable agriculture and a strong work ethic. You should take pride in your work and enjoy working independently. You learn quickly, and can execute tasks efficiently while maintaining sufficient attention to detail. You can perform physically-demanding tasks outside in all kinds of weather, and maintain a sense of humor. You are thoughtful, inquisitive, and find joy in hard work, good food, and good company. You must have a valid driver’s license and good driving record, and be comfortable driving a large van on mountain roads. You should be able to easily lift 50 pounds, and be in good physical condition. You will also need a working smartphone to operate a Square reader for credit card sales and to keep records in Google Sheets.
Please check out our website http://littlehatcreek.com and our instagram @littlehatcreek to get a feel for us and our farm before you apply.
To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to littlehatcreek ‘at’ gmail.com
Ecological / Farmers Market / Vegetable Farm / Gardener / Market Garden / Grower / Intern / Worker / Sustainable / Apprentice