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Plenty! in Floyd, VA, is advertising for Farm Interns

 

Plenty! is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nourish people and community by growing and sharing food. Plenty! Farm is home to the Plenty! Fresh Food Bank as well as the center for several food sharing programs and educational gatherings. Plenty values freshness in programs and generosity in giving and receiving. Plenty! is a welcoming and inclusive community. The farm rotates 2 acres and a 2100 sq. ft. high tunnel through mixed annual and perennial vegetable and fruit production using organic management on river bottom soils. (For more information about Plenty!,please visit www.plentylocal.org). Floyd is a creative community in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering abundant recreational and cultural opportunities.

Plenty Farm! is seeking interns beginning in late March through the season to early November. Plenty! is seeking at least one intern for the entire season. A second intern position may be broken into smaller periods to accommodate s c h o o l s c h e d u l e s a n d o t h e r commitments. Certain work periods as well as some rotating evening and weekend assignments are required and will be discussed during the selection process. Plenty! is willing to work with students to tailor their intern experience to gain school credit.

Application: Applicants must provide contact information for three references, a cover letter, and a resume. Interview required and a farm visit strongly encouraged.

Application materials should be submitted to Rachel Theo-Maurelli, Farm Manager, at communityventures@cox.net or mailed to 192 Elephant Curve Rd., NW Floyd, VA 24091. You may also make phone inquiries at 540-556-2233.

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Catawba Sustainability Center 2017 Farm Incubator Program

The Catawba Sustainability Center’s Small Farm Incubator Plots program aims to incubate and grow viable, independent farm businesses and to serve as a model new-farmer program by providing access to land and resources in a low-risk environment.

Program Goals

  • Accommodate up to 8 new growers and small farms
  • Build infrastructure necessary to fulfill mission and serve as a model agricultural development organization
  • Provide educational opportunities and skills training
  • Support the local economy and local food system

The Catawba Sustainability Center (CSC) is establishing “Land-Use Agreements” with new and established farm businesses to utilize a portion of designated farmland to grow produce. The Center is committed to developing the incubator program, facilitating learning opportunities, and ensuring that land is available annually for new participants. All participants must follow the CSC’s Land Use Protocol and new farms must participate in one of the Catawba Sustainability Center’s training programs.

 

2016 Catawba Sustainability Center Growers’ Rates

ITEM ANNUAL FEE UNIT
¼ Acre Land w/access to water for 1 growing season $50.00 ¼ Acre
Equipment Fee: Usage and Maintenance $25.00 ¼ Acre
Pre-Season Land Preparation: Tractor Disk* $50.00 ¼ Acre
Total for All Services: $125.00  

*Optional: Land Preparation must be requested by April 14, 2015.

 

Requirements for New Farm Participation

  1. Complete program application and associated paperwork and submit to CSC – Applications can be submitted year round, but at least 30 days before farming activities will begin. You may arrange a site visit at any time with CSC management.
  2. Participate in a farming education program:
    1. CSC Training Program: Growers Academy, Midsummer Sustainable Gardening
    2. VA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Coalition Beginning Farmer modules
    3. Other equivalent experience or training
  3. Once accepted, you will be invoiced. Payment is due immediately upon receipt.
  4. Pre-season land preparation will occur between April 1 and April 14, weather permitting.
  5. Meet with CSC management at the Center for site orientation.
  6. Submit a preseason garden plan to CSC management for approval. The plan should include planned crops (including varieties), plans for rotation, and cover crop scheme.
  7. Farming can begin once payment is received, and can continue until December 1. For alternative arrangements, please contact CSC management.

 

Other Farmer Responsibilities:

  • Attend CSC Farm Incubator Orientation prior to farming: Early April – date TBA.
  • Abide by Catawba Sustainability Center Land Use Protocol and Standards (attached).
  • Develop and implement a plan to control weeds within your plot.
  • Provide gasoline for roto-tiller and lawn mower and gas/oil mix for weed eater for use on plot.
  • Clean and return tools and equipment to designated storage areas after use
  • CSC provides a roto-tiller, push lawnmower, a handheld weed trimmer, and push weed trimmer for grower use.
  • Mow and/or maintain walkways and fence row around plot according to maintenance schedule.
  • Use drip irrigation or provide irrigation equipment
  • Be available for at least one educational tour/demonstration during the growing season.
  • Attend occasional meetings at the farm with CSC management.
  • Plant cover crops in between cash crop plantings and for overwinter. Cover crop should be sewn by October 6, preferably in late September.
  • Submit to CSC Management, a signed liability waiver for all persons entering CSC property.
  • If growers’ plot is left unmaintained or is abandoned, CSC staff will mow the plot and seed with a cover crop. To cover these costs, the grower will be charged a fee of $100, issued by an invoice from Virginia Tech .

 

For questions, please contact:
Adam Taylor
Catawba Sustainability Center Manager
540-588-0283
adamht@vt.edu

 

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Full Time Farm Position Available at Mount Pleasant Foundation

Mount Pleasant Foundation is seeking a farmer with experience in pasture-based animal husbandry and/or market garden oriented vegetable production.

Mount Pleasant is a private, historic plantation located in Surry County, Virginia just across the James River from Colonial Williamsburg. The mission of the foundation is to maintain a highly diverse, sustainable agriculture operation that preserves and promotes the heritage breeds of livestock and heirloom cultivars of plants that were endemic to early American life in the lower Chesapeake.

Currently, two full time farmers are employed to manage breeding and grazing programs for our livestock on 70 acres. They are also responsible for a 1 acre kitchen garden site with a small orchard and apiary.

We are seeking to add a third farmer to our team as the number of programs and the amount of acreage under the foundation’s management continue to grow. Given the diversity of our operations, the daily work and overall responsibility of a prospective candidate will vary according to their skillset and experience.

Compensation:

Hourly, with overtime. Expected pay is $12-15/hr commensurate with experience.

Work Schedule:

Year-round. A typical work week will range from 35-50 hours, depending on the season.

Housing:

Available to qualified candidates, upon request.

Qualifications:

-A minimum of two years of farm experience in vegetable or pastured livestock production

-A valid driver’s license

-Physical ability to lift hay bales (up to 75lbs) and feed bags (50lbs)

-Willingness to work in inclement weather

-A strong work ethic and ability to self-direct

-The ideal candidate will have the initiative and the skillset to run one or more programs within farm operations.

 

If interested, please send a letter of interest, resume, and list of references to Dea Keen at mppfarmemployment@gmail.com no later than February 16, 2017

For more information, please visit our website

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Internship Opportunities at the Allegheny Mountain Institute

There are two internship opportunities available at the Allegheny Mountain Institute for next year.

Urban Farm Intern – Staunton, Virginia

The Allegheny Mountain Institute is hiring a Farm Intern for the AMI Urban Farm at Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, VA. The Urban Farm Intern will work under the mentorship of the Farm Manager to carry out all aspects of fruit and vegetable production, including crop planning, planting, harvesting, post-harvest processing, and sales. He/she will receive extensive training in market garden production techniques, organic methods, and permaculture design and will have the opportunity to take on significant responsibility. This is a paid full-time educational internship from February 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017. To apply go to https://form.jotform.com/62944595846170

 

Garden Education Intern – Staunton, Virginia

The Allegheny Mountain Institute is hiring a Garden Education Intern for the Urban Farm at Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, VA. The Garden Education Intern will work closely with AMI Urban Farm staff to carry out on-farm classes, work study programs, Farm to School nutrition education, workshops, and events. He/she will receive extensive training in garden-based education from experienced horticulture educators and have the opportunity to collaborate on curriculum and lesson planning. In addition, the Garden Education Intern will participate in weekly farm operations including planting, harvesting, and post-harvest processing. This is a paid full-time educational internship from February 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017. To apply go to https://form.jotform.com/62944187768170

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Small Farm for Sale near Eggleston, VA

Small Farm for Sale near Eggleston, VA

Great opportunity to buy an organically maintained farmstead of 8.63 acres near Eggleston, Virginia, surrounded by larger farms/ranches and the Jefferson National Forest. Five-minute walk to the New River; 25-minute drive to Virginia Tech. Lush pasturage and some woodland. Large two-story bank barn, quality-built in 2010, with comfortable living quarters in part of the upper floor. Building is wired for both conventional electricity and a whole-building generator. Land has been rotationally grazed organically since 2006. I raised heritage dairy cows, halter-trained for sale as gentle milkers, and heritage meat rabbits. This also is a great property for goats, llamas/alpacas, all types of poultry, berries, herbs, terraced vegetable gardens, grapes, etc. Tons of organic compost ready for use. Excellent well with 1000-gallon, below-ground holding tank and a pressure tank. Superb Blue Ridge Mountain views from the top of the property with several lovely housing sites and septic approval. Much of the property is SE-facing slope, so is excellent for solar power generation and earth-sheltered building. Price recently reduced to $109,900. Land-use tax exemption. See and read more about many of the features of this beautiful property in several different slide shows and a page of description at www.paradisefarm.weebly.com and contact Joanne Wolfe at 540-235-2400 or wolfe.media@pemtel.net for more information or to view.

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Farmstead for Rent in Southwest Virginia

Renters wanted for an intact, five-acre Appalachian farmstead in Southwest Virginia. Available for lease to qualified tenants. Two-story farmhouse has utilities, public water and barns, dairy, smokehouse, sheds, and hand-dug well.

The property is surrounded on three sides by streams, fertile soil for gardening and grazing, and access to trails. Close to higher education centers and shopping, yet secluded in a forested surrounding. Part of the rent offset if lessee is willing to do carpentry labor and host tours of hands-on vintage farming methods.

Applicants must be organized, dependable and hard working. References required. Call 276-762-7500 for further details.

homestead1

homestead3

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The VBFRC Farm Transfer Training and Coalition Meeting

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On May 16th and 17th, the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition (VBFRC) held two meetings at the Virginia Farm Bureau building near Richmond, VA. Farmers, service providers, and Coalition members gathered from all across the state to participate in a farm transfer training event and discuss the progress and future work of the Coalition.

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The first meeting was a Farm Transfer Strategy and Networking Training planned by the land transfer action team formed at the Coalition meeting in October. We were pleased to have several individuals with experience in the area of land transfer join us for the training. Kathy Ruhf of Land For Good, a nationally recognized leader in farm entry, succession, and tenure, was the main speaker for the event. Kathy shared an overview of succession planning, how service providers in Virginia can increase their awareness of the intricacies involved when discussing farm succession, and how to make those conversations easier. Two attorneys, Andrew Branan (The Branan Law Firm, PLLC) and Mark Botkin (BotkinRose PLC), also shared some of their experiences in farm succession and discussed what farmers should do to develop a succession plan before talking to an attorney. Lastly, a panel of Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists, including Peter Callan, Gordon Groover, and Adam Downing, discussed their roles in extension as they relate to land access and what resources they have to offer for others to use. During the training, attendees took time to discuss what they are working on in the area of farm transfer and what resources they use to address the issue.

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The second meeting was the VBFRC Statewide Gathering. These meetings are a way for Coalition members to hear about what is happening within the Coalition and make plans for future work. In the morning, attendees split into groups to discuss important topics relevant to reaching our objectives. These topics included: farmer mentoring, farmer-led innovation, health-based and assistive technology support for farmers, underserved farmer audiences, and understanding the needs of young farmers. In the afternoon, the action teams formed at our October Coalition meeting met to introduce new members to the work, set goals for the coming months, and identify what resources would be needed to move forward.

Both the Farm Transfer Strategy and Networking Training and the VBFRC Statewide Gathering were huge successes. As a result of the training, several service providers across Virginia have a better understanding of the many pieces involved in the discussion of farm transfer and are more prepared to have such a discussion with farmers and ranchers across Virginia. The VBFRC Statewide Gathering allowed for feedback to be provided on where and how the Coalition should focus its efforts and offered up a space for our action teams to continue with the work they are doing in their respective areas.

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Conversation with Herbert Brown, Sr. and Herb Brown, Jr., Browntown Farms (Warfield, VA)

In the summer of 2015, the Virginia Farmer and Rancher Coalition team spoke with Herbert Brown, Sr. and Herb Brown, Jr. about their farm, Browntown Farms. This conversation covered how the farm got started, how labor is managed, and expansion plans for the future. Browntown Farms is located in Warfield, VA.

Browntown Farms has been in Warfield since 1908. The farm started raising sweet potatoes and collard greens and expanded over time. People are happy with the produce grown on the farm and often visit Browntown Farms to buy the produce. Herb will be taking over the farm and plans to continue this growth, expanding both the farm and the market opportunities by becoming an agritourism location. To hear more about the marketing and expansion of Browntown Farms, watch the video below.

Herbert grew up growing tobacco and raising a large garden. The farm was expanded to introduce different produce varieties after attending farm workshops and seminars. In addition, advice from other experienced farmers in the community aided the growth and development of the farm. To hear more about the development of the farm and Browntown Farm’s advice for new farmers, watch the video below.

Browntown Farms has several employees that are picked up and dropped off each day by the farm owners. Hired labor is vital to the success of the farm, and Herbert and Herb have had to develop their management skills to keep labor organized and efficient on the farm. To hear more about how labor is managed and motivated on Browntown Farms, watch the video below.

 

Interviewed by: Theresa Nartea, Virginia State University

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Farm items for sale in Timberville, VA

A farm located in Timberville, VA has items for sale. Owned for 40 years. Well cared for but unused for many recent years. Needs to go before mid-June.

  • 1949 Farmall Cub tractor, fast hitch, comes with belly bower, 2 sickle bars, planter, plow, rear lug carrier – all for $2,500
  • Wheelhorse garden mower, older model Raider 12 six speed – $400
  • Lots of very dry lumber, some 2 by 6 or 8″, much of it 16 ft long – Make offer
  • Wagon wheels with wagon front box attached. Old antique, heavy and solid, in excellent condition. Never been out of the barn – $400
  • 1969 Ford F100 long bed pickup truck, powerful 360 engine, only 98,850 original miles, well cared for and still runs great, barn stored so almost no rust. Would be terrific to restore as collectible show piece. – $4,600

Please email rigaone@gmail.com or call 307-760-7359.

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Conversation with Amy Hicks, Amy’s Garden (Charles City, VA)

In the summer of 2015, the Virginia Farmer and Rancher Coalition team visited Amy’s Garden to talk with Amy Hicks about what is grown on the farm, how the farm developed, and how labor is handled on the farm. Amy’s Garden is an organic farm located in Charles City, VA and you can visit the website at http://www.amysorganicgarden.com/

Amy’s Garden produces organic vegetables, fruits, and cut flowers sold primarily at farmer’s markets. Amy watches food trends and past sales in order to plan what will be grown each season and uses Excel spreadsheets to stay organized. To hear more about the marketing and planning that goes on at Amy’s Garden, watch the video below.

Amy’s Garden is located on 70 acres of land but began as a “backyard garden” and continued to grow into the business that it is now. Hiring labor and communicating with Virginia Cooperative Extension has helped them to be successful through the years. To hear more about how Amy’s Garden started and get more advice from Amy, watch the video below.

 

Amy’s Garden hires five H-2A agricultural workers and also employs local college-aged students. Organic farming is very labor intensive and it is difficult to find hard workers, with the H-2A process involving a good deal of paperwork and process. However, her employees work hard and take on a lot of responsibility on the farm and at farmer’s markets. To learn more about Amy’s Garden’s labor practices, watch the video below.

 

Interviewed by: Theresa Nartea, Virginia State University

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