Apprenticeships available at Radical Roots Farm

Apprentice at Radical Roots Farm!

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Goals of the apprenticeship program:

  • To offer apprentices an example of a working organic farm so that they can learn the cycles of the growing season. –
  • To share the skills involved in organic farming and the tools of the trade. –
  • To give apprentices. first hand working knowledge with specific crops, so that they can have a solid foundation of gardening experience. –
  • To support the hands on learning that comes through hard work in the fields with educational resources, garden reading, classes and field trips. –
  • To give apprentices the experience and the confidence to start their own organic farm or garden. –
  • To maximize the productivity and potential of this small-scale intensive farming method with more people per acre.

Farm Information:

Our mission is to grow high quality organic vegetables and herbs in a sustainable way. We farm one acre of intensively cultivated beautiful garden soil and grow nursery crops in a 3,000 square foot greenhouse. We sell produce and plants at the Charlottesville City market, have a 30 member CSA and do a series of spring plant sales.
We started our first farming season in 2000 after apprenticing with successful small scale farmers for four years. Lee is passionate about growing herbs and is a practicing medicinal herbalist. Dave teaches permaculture design and organic gardening classes at the local community college and has experience in landscape design. We are both committed to creating a community farm that fosters connections between the people and the land.
Radical Roots Community Farm is located in the Shenandoah Valley seven miles outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. The farm is four miles away from the George Washington National Forest which has hiking trails and nice swimming holes and three miles away from the great mountain bike trails at Massanutten Resort.
The apprenticeship is an exchange of time and learning between experienced and new gardeners. We exchange our experience, mentoring, and vegetables for your hard work and willing attitude. The natural outcome is learning, a successful farm and confident, experienced new gardeners.

General Internship/Apprenticeship Information:

Internship starts: March Internship ends: End of October

Application Deadline: February 1, but we will review all aplicants any time of the year if there are open positions

Minimum Length Stay: 3 months Number of Interns: 3 Contact Preference: Phone
Work/Experience Desired: We are looking for four people who are interested in learning about sustainable agriculture by working with their hands . A good attitude and communication skills are essential. Must be able to work as an essential part of a team as well as take on responsibility and work independently. The apprenticeship starts in March and continues through October with a minimum length stay of three months. The work we do involves a lot of hand labor instead of using fossil fuels. We farm one acre using only a walk behind roto-tiller and we cultivate our crops with a lot of hands on care. Our time will be spent with the work of sowing seeds, potting up young plants, setting out transplants, mulching, weeding, watering and harvesting. Aprentices will participate in all aspects of sustainable vegetable production. We work a minimum of 30 hours and four days week and it ranges up to 45 hours in the busy season. A good attitude, a willingness to work hard and a passion to learn are the most important skills.

Education Opportunity: We organize four field trips to other organic farms which is a great way to explore different techniques and compare different farming methods. We also offer the organic gardening curriculum that Dave teaches at UVA with a class time scheduled once a month. A farm design project will be assigned to apprentices to encourage them to begin thinking about their own farm.

Stipend/Compensation: $200 month starting Housing: Housing available in a shared strawbale studio or rustic camping. Meals: We will share a group meal on half the work days and lots of vegetables will be provided for other meals.

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