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Farmhand SweetRoot Farm

  • Date Posted February 25, 2024
  • Location Hamilton, MT
  • Category Agriculture
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description

SweetRoot Farm is a small organic farm run by partners Noah Jackson and Mary Bricker in the center of Montana's Bitterroot Valley. With help from an additional 3-7 people at various points in the year, we raise vegetables, herbs, flowers, and laying hens on 10 acres just outside of the town of Hamilton. Despite our cold-climate location, we are a four season farm. Using a combination of storage crops and winter greens grown in low-tech unheated tunnels, we feed locals the entire year.

In 2024 we enter our tenth season of full-time farming, with about 2.5 acres in production including four stationary unheated high-tunnels (30’x 60’) and six moveable “caterpillar” tunnels (16’ x 100’).  We sell through a local farmers market, a self-serve farmstore, a farm membership program and a local grower's cooperative. We grow organically and with minimal tillage techniques but have not yet completed organic certification.

From May to October we attend the farmers market in Hamilton on Saturday mornings and serve a seasonal farm membership of about 110 households. Our self-serve farmstand is open year-round, including acting as the pickup point for a 75-household winter farm membership from November-April. As a four-season farm, we offer year-round employment options for crew who demonstrate good attitude, skills, and initiative during the main season. Winter options range from half to full-time to ensure some recovery and rest while also meeting people’s financial needs.

Job description

At SweetRoot Farm, you join a team that is passionate about growing food for our community, and connecting them with the farm. This job gives the opportunity to learn all aspects of vegetable production, and is best suited to someone with at least one full season of farm experience and a goal of continuing in small-scale agriculture. Responsibilities will include soil and bed prep, seeding, transplanting, cultivation, greenhouse seeding and plant care, irrigation, harvest of a diverse range of crops, post-harvest handling, direct-sales (farmers market and farmstore, membership pickup), animal care (laying hens) and record keeping.

People applying to this position should be able to commit to a minimum work season of mid-April through early November, but crew who are a good fit are encouraged to continue on through the winter. Full-time crew can expect to work 5 days/ week, with two full days off each week.

Qualifications:

  • ability to work efficiently both independently and with others

  • attention to detail

  • willingness to ask questions and ask for clarification as needed

  • enjoy the personal challenge of working towards speed and efficiency goals, and be willing to receive intensive coaching and feedback towards those goals

  • comfortable working full 8-hour days in all weather (Montana’s weather can be extreme in both heat and cold)

  • comfortable lifting 50-pound units repeatedly

  • ability to work at least 24-30 hours per week, and a minimum of 3-4 months (strong preference will be given to those who can commit to the entire 6-month season April-October)

  • ability to give and receive feedback

  • work efficiently and understand pacing and sense of urgency

  • enjoy eating vegetables!

Pay and Benefits:

  • Hourly pay at 40-45 hours/ week, with overtime pay over 40 hrs.

  • All workers covered by workplace comp insurance.

  • Pay starts at $17-19/ hour depending on experience. Quarterly evaluations with potential for performance-based raises up to $20/ hour, or $22/ hour for individuals who take on extra responsibilities such as administration or management.

  • Paid time off begins accruing after 30-day period, at 2 hours per 80 hours worked (equivalent to 13 days in a full year). PTO can be used for up to 5 days during the market season (see below for scheduling requirements) and for longer breaks during the winter season. Unused PTO for seasonal crew is paid out on completion of the season as defined at time of hiring (usually mid-November, after field cleanup is complete)

  • up to 5 days off during the peak-season, if scheduled into the farm calendar by end of April or within one month of hiring date (if starting after April).

  • vast quantities of produce!

  • individualized learning and professional development plans based on interests

  • We have several options for affordable/ subsidized crew housing on and near the farm, including a tiny-home style cabin, and rented rooms in a shared house

Educational Benefits:

We are in a constant process of evaluating and improving our farm, and we invite crew into both the learning and behind the scenes farmwork. If someone has specific learning goals for the season, we work with them to make a plan for professional development in addition to the basic training to farm effectively and efficiently for the season. We have close ties with many farms in the region and can help facilitate visits to other farms for motivated individuals. Team members are encouraged to attend at least one of the “Field Day” events hosted by Missoula’s Community Food and Agriculture Coalition. We also have a  deep archive of Growing for Market magazines, and a substantial library of farming books available for crew to check out.

Compensation this position is : hourly, $15-20/hr Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
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