These are a few of the things you will learn as an apprentice:
My first experience with Community Supported Agriculture was as a member of a CSA farm while in graduate school. I was hooked; you could say I had found my calling. But I didn’t know the first thing about farming! So, I attended a few organic farming conferences in upstate New York and everyone I talked to said I should intern on a few farms before venturing out on my own. I’m VERY thankful that I listened to their suggestions! I learned an enormous amount and am certain saved myself countless mistakes, time & money by working with other farmers.
When hiring interns/apprentices farming experience is definitely not the first thing I look for; what I do require are a willingness to work hard, learn what I have to teach and all the while enjoy what you are doing! If farming for a living is not truly your long term goal then you will find out very quickly that you will not be happy doing the extremely physical work day in and day out that farming requires.
My goal with providing an internship opportunity is to teach as much as I know about all aspects of farming from greenhouse work, in the field planting & weeding, planning/scheduling/organizing, bugs & diseases, equipment repair & maintenance, construction skills (when applicable), and everything else in between. While simultaneously working, working, working (in all weather) and having fun and enjoying the work while we do it.
An internship with Happy Hollow Farm will provide you with one of the fullest most in depth experiences you could hope for on a certified organic vegetable farm as well as an extensive learning opportunity for new farmers wanting to get their hands dirty and experience the good, the bad, the ugly & the immense rewards of organic farming.
Spring/Summer/Fall Season: April 1st thru October 31st.
Planning and preparation for the 24 week long summer & 8 week long winter CSA seasons begins long before share distributions actually start. Arriving in the spring will allow you to experience much of the behind the scenes work that it takes to provide 32 consecutive weeks of veggies to a CSA and 50 weeks a year at a farmers market. Working throughout the majority of the season will provide you with real insight into all that is involved in running a year round vegetable farm.
Work Hours: 8:00-5:00 Monday thru Saturday with a 1 hour lunch break mid-day. These hours are a rough estimate as there are always days when we work longer or cut off early. This is NOT like any other job you’ve had. It is very weather dependent and we take advantage of good weather at every opportunity.
Stipend & Housing & Food: $600/month, housing provided on the farm, 1 dozen eggs per week & a Single CSA Share for the duration of the season.
Scheduled class time: As this is an internship position there will be a one hour scheduled class time every other week. We will also read & discuss a reference book that will be used as a semi-textbook to further your farming knowledge (the farm will provide the book).
If you are interested in an internship at Happy Hollow Farm please complete the HHF Internship Application and submit a cover letter including:
HHF Internship Application
Please mail your application, cover letter and a copy of your resume to:
Happy Hollow Farm, LLC
17199 Happy Hollow Road
Jamestown, MO 65046
In 2020 we will raise just under 7 acres of vegetables (including 4 high tunnels and multiple low tunnels). The farm is moderately mechanized: I use a tractor for tilling the soil, mowing, transplanting and hauling heavy stuff, but the weeding, harvesting and some planting is done by hand. I’m expecting to hire 3 full-time seasonal employees, 5 part-time summer season employees and 2 full-time (7 month long) internship positions. This is a small farm and I work side by side with my workers. Everyone shares in the big jobs of weeding, planting, harvesting, washing and packing produce. Some employees specialize in particular areas of the farm, such as tractor operation or caring for seedlings in the greenhouse.
I typically work 9-10 hours per day, Monday thru Saturday. During the peak summer months it is not unusual to work 10 hours a day. Depending on skill level and interest, employees and interns will share the responsibilities of farmers market days (Saturdays) and/or lead a crew on Saturday mornings when CSA members come to the farm to fulfill their Farm Work Shifts. For 35 weeks of the year (April thru December), I follow a weekly harvest & delivery schedule for the CSA & farmers market. On Tuesdays and Fridays the entire crew typically works most of the day harvesting and washing produce. That produce is stored overnight in our coolers, and on Wednesday afternoons CSA shares are delivered to Columbia where they are distributed to our members. On Saturdays I sell at a large farmers market in Columbia, MO as well as distribute CSA shares at the market. On Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays the crew focuses on sowing seeds, weeding, transplanting, trellising and other various farm tasks.
I am serious about what I do and the quality and reputation of the farm. I enjoy talking, learning, laughing and enjoying each others company while working. But we will be working hard all the while. I take great pride in my work: the work that feeds people, the work done by the hands we know, the work that keeps the land healthy, productive & beautiful. I love the sight of a well-weeded row, a neatly trellised tomato plant, and a crate of newly harvested head lettuce. If you appreciate & value the results of a hard days work then you’ll be happy and valued here.
I deeply appreciate the contributions everyone makes to the daily operation of this farm. Many of my most joyful and vivid memories are of the work I’ve done alongside employees, apprentices & friends. I am considerate and respectful of everyone on the farm and I expect the same from those I work with. I devote much of my time and thought to training & educating workers, answering their questions, and making sure they understand their work.
This is a production farm. While all farms are subject to the vagaries of unpredictable weather and mechanical breakdowns, I have put years of experience, thought, and planning into shaping methods that work. I am organized with my time, my tools and the daily operations of the farm. You’ll work hard here, but your work won’t be wasted. If you want to learn how to raise vegetables on a small organic vegetable CSA farm, you’ll see an example of a system that is profitable & works.
I’ve worked with many employees both here and off the farm. Most have been productive, satisfied workers who raised fantastic food for the people in our community. I’ve listed here the qualities which distinguish successful from unsuccessful workers. These are the standards by which I judge applicants. I am laying these out not to be harsh, but to be clear. You should read and understand these standards before you apply or interview here.
I will consider part time and full time applicants for both employment positions. Click on one of the links below to read a job description and instructions for applying.
Application deadline: Applications will be accepted until positions have been filled.