We still have one opening for this year give a call to apply!
Ron Juftes and Polly Hieser
426 Jerry Lane – Check,
Ron @540-651-3228 or
Click here for our 2012 apprentice application.
Our work apprenticeship program will begin its eleventh season in 2011. It involves hands on experience on our 125 acre sustainably managed farm located in Floyd County, Va. The farm is home to a 100 family Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden and, a retail organic farming & gardening supply products business. The farm is a beautiful property, nestled in a very private setting, with rolling hills, lush pastures, orchards, 55 acres of forest and a 1-acre pond.
Description of work
The program is designed to teach an individual a realistic view of what is involved in running an organic farm. We choose two apprentices each year, so with this small number of people there is a lot of personal attention given to each individual. Depending on the interests of the apprentice, the training could include many of the following items. Below is a list of general farm tasks that may be performed over several months;
* All aspects of organic vegetable production
* Organization & management of CSA
* Safe use of hand and power tools
* Equipment maintenance and repairs, basic welding and torch usage
* Building maintenance and repairs
* Some building construction, carpentry
* Firewood and tree pruning, felling trees, use of a chain saw and log splitter
* Homesteading skills such as, food preserving
* Landscape beautification; flower, shrub, and tree planting, stone wall construction
* Use of biodynamic preparations
* Fertilizer products business; learning the uses of these products in the everyday farming practice
* Plumbing and electrical, irrigation system maintenance, repairs, and improvements
Work Requirements and Compensation
The average workweek required is 5 1/2 days per week, Monday through early Saturday afternoon. We average an eight-hour day, though weather and other needs may vary the schedule occasionally. There is a stipend of $100.00 per week. We also provide food produced on the farm and nearby farms, and basic kitchen, bath and laundry supplies.
Polly Hieser and Ron Juftes have a wealth of knowledge from our many years of working. We have been farming this land since 1990. We have education and experience in the field of horticulture, arboriculture and business management. The CSA garden has been in operation since 1991 and is well established. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insight and first hand experience in many aspects of organic farming.
Floyd County is a beautiful rural area with a diverse community. It is bordered by the Blue Ridge Parkway, a protected scenic route through the mountains, offering good hiking and camping. There are many interests that can be found in the town of Floyd, which is just 20 minutes from the farm. The Winter Sun Theater offers concerts and classes in dance & movement. The Jacksonville Center offers classes in fine arts and crafts. There are many artistic and holistic health practitioners through out the area. There is a rich culture of local folk, bluegrass and old time music. There are restaurants, coffee shops, health food stores and art galleries. Floyd is also home to many intentional communities. The city of Roanoke and the college town of Blacksburg are each located about 45 minutes away by car.
Our apprenticeship program is designed to offer instruction in a wide variety of skills, in exchange for enthusiastic, hardworking help with the many chores that make a farm. We are interested in someone who has some basic experience in gardening or related field, hat
includes the use of basic gardening tools; someone who is physically fit, likes to work hard, wants to learn sustainable farming / homesteading, is a non smoker with no pets, and is interested in community life.
If you are interested in applying for our apprentice program please fill out the following application and send it back to us, or call for further details. Please be prepared to arrange for a visit to the farm, if possible.
We have developed a private camp like setting for the two apprentices. Each will have a private sleeping shelter, and there is a shared outdoor kitchen with eating area, and an outhouse. Elsewhere on the farm is a hot shower and washing machine.
If you are interested in applying for our apprentice program please fill out the following application and send it back to us, or call for further details. Please be prepared to arrange for a visit to the farm.
Ron Juftes 540-651-3228 or
Polly Hieser 540-651-3226
Farm, 426 Jerry Ln. NE. Check, Va.