2017 Season Farm manager positions at ridgedale permaculture
Applications open until 15th Nov 2016
Wanting the learning journey of a life time? Each year we take on a team to give them a once in a lifetime learning and acceleration experience into regenerative agriculture and living.
- All roles require a 5000.00 SEK non- refundable payment upon acceptance to cover a small part of your expenses and demonstrate your commitment. All organic food and basic accommodation are provided.
- All roles are 6 months duration and run 15th April- 21st October 2017. No exceptions, we expect you to commit fully to the entire season. 1 week of prior arranged leave is encouraged, but dates need to be organised once you are at the farm to make sure your role is covered. It is most likely Mid- June until end July is an ideal time to schedule a break.
- Each position requires a 10 day checkout period at the farm starting 15th April. We need to know everyone is a good fit for the team for the benefit of the whole.
- We work hard in our short growing season. We expect a very full working week every week, and it's physical work. You need to be fit and physically able, as well as very organised and proactive. Weekends are relative down time although we all carry animal duties and basic chores over the weekend.
- We are a meat-producing farm. All positions are involved with weekly poultry processing. We eat extremely good quality pastured meats, dairy, eggs and vegetables. If you are not comfortable with this, this is not the place for you.
- Room and board provided and you have access to high speed internet. Rooms are either simple single rooms and shared loft accommodation which we allocate accordingly.
- We are a professional Permaculture site and working farm. You are expected to present yourself in a professional manner consistently and uphold our Site Policy and Groundrules for the benefit of all. We are looking to support people who want to go into farming, designing and catering for themselves and will make the most of learning by doing.
- You are required to be hard working and have the “get it done” attitude, self-starting, communicative, teachable, positive solutions focused, dependable and take-responsibility for what you are managing. We are looking for very pragmatic folks that are good with their hands and tools, who are situationally aware and ready to get their hands dirty wherever needed on the farm. This is not a place we watch clocks.
- You will get out of it what you put into the time and work here. We have high expectations, and in return we are offering a hands on immersion experience that you can’t find many places. All roles require continual effort and sweat. You need to be physically fit and strong. We live in close quarters with each other, you need to able to get along with others.
- You will be sore at times and get tired. Long light hours in the summer mean we often work late. Farm work is hard graft. But we love it. You’ll eat the best quality food in your life, meet some incredibly awesome folk and learn how to go off and start for yourself, hopefully saving you years…
Some snapshots of what we get up to in the summer season...
* MARKET GARDEN MANAGER (2 Positions)
This could be you! We are expanding our Market Gardens. We run BioIntensive No Dig gardens and produce high quality CSA boxes. We have integrated the best Market Garden planning and tools with the best soil building approaches. This is the most intensive enterprise on the farm. Working with our Head Market Gardener Matt, you will be instructed on how to manage and run every aspect of a super beautiful and productive Market Garden enterprise. It is a very physical and outdoors role, as we produce 20 weeks of boxes in a very short growing season here at 59ºN. Work includes bed preparations, transplanting, direct seeding, harvesting, irrigation, weeding and maintenance, vegetable box preparation and greenhouse work. You will get fit, learn a lot and enjoy the sweetest most nutritious vegetables you've ever tasted.
HERE'S WHAT PIONEER Garden Manager Gabi HAD TO SAY...
"The experience at Ridgedale has been the biggest accomplishment of my permaculture activities, bar none. Although I arrived without much expectations, I quickly became exposed to and learnt a set of various skills that have already proven very useful, soon after getting back home. Working in a group, along a great team and an amazing coordinator, I became involved in the market garden management from the second day of my stay. Here I learnt and got experience with bio intensive veg growing, bioferts, soil building as well as everything else on the farm, such as agroforestry systems, Keyline design and Holistic Management, etc. The theory had always been supported by the field work, and that is where real experience proves its value. Decision making on the spot, confidence in the tasks, group management and communication, efficient work-flow are all abilities useful for being a farmer, and I was exposed to all of them. I also had the chance to expand my portfolio through the opportunities that the farm offers, to further pursue my design and farming endeavors. I’m super happy for making this choice, for Richard is a great teacher and he’s always shown his support."
* Farm MANAGER (4 Positions)
This could be you! Each Farm Manager takes on either Broiler, Egg Mobiles or Large Animal duties daily. From daily moves to feeding and monitoring, you'll be working with the animals within our Holistic Planned Grazing schedule. These are all very physical roles which involve managing the chicks in the brooder, hauling broiler field pens, feeding animals, moving electric fences, collecting and sorting eggs, slaughtering poultry, hand milking and all other duties connected with the animals. You will need to be strong and able to lift 25kg multiple times a day, and happy working in the rain. You need to be very communicative, observant and organized in your record keeping. Besides animal duties, Farm Managers are involved in many other aspects of the farms development: from water systems to waste, carpentry to maintainance, using hand tools to using machinery, you will probably learn the runnings of Ridgedale better than most. You will need to be able to think on your feet, use your initiative and make effective decisions on the fly. This role suits someone totally dedicated to farming as a full time livelihood, and many of our farm managers are doing just that.
HERE'S WHAT FARM MANAGER Niklas HAD TO SAY...
"This has been my second season on Ridgedale. Last year I have experienced this place from an intern-perspective, this year as a farm manager. It has been a very rich experience on multiple levels, personally, skill-wise, community-wise. Following the whole growing season on the farm - seeing the plants, the animals and people reacting to the changes of weather and light has been very enriching. I highly appreciate being outdoors the whole day, every day and I have never been more aware of my surroundings. I really enjoyed working in an international team and it has been a pleasure finding the dynamics to work together efficiently. As a farm manager I got insights in all different system at the farm, I have been managing the animals, planning grazing holistically, taking care of participants needs, producing nutrient rich food on the farm and basically have been doing whatever needed doing. This experience gives me confidence to start a land-based project myself in the future. It was a reality check of what it takes to create, manage and develop a functioning and diverse place like Ridgedale. I got exposed to many facets of craftsmanship and project management. From planning to budgeting to regulations to building. I highly appreciate Richard's and Yohanna's openness and transparency of finances and decision-making. It has been a great acknowledgment to get involved into the decision-making process and I loved contributing my energy to the benefit of the whole. This project shows what is possible when working together efficiently and pro-acitvely. I highly value the creativity and the clear focus on solutions, whilst leaving perfectionism behind. I feel very thankful for being part of this project. I realised how wonderfully work, community and free-time can merge together into a life at a place that became a second home for me. "
* FARM HOUSE CHEFs (3 Positions)
This could be you! We are looking for 3 farm house culinary maestro's to tend the hearth and run the hub of the whole farm. You will prepare 5 meals a week, allowing down time and time to participate in other farm roles, particularly the Market Gardens. Later in the year you'll be heavily involved in preserving. Do you enjoy cooking with in-season vegetables from outside the back door? Enjoy fermenting, drying, pickling and preserving? Know how to prepare the crispiest pastured chicken, or artistically accentuate other meat dishes with beyond-organic produce from the farm? We are looking for the right 3 people to tend the hearth at the heart of the Farm house kitchen, as well as harvest, preserve and forage in the wild. This role gives a lot of time to be engaged in other areas of the farm, so you really experience what it takes to produce exceptional quality food from the soil to the fork. You will need to be highly motivated, great at communicating and dedicated to making the best food on the planet. You should have some experience cooking for larger groups and confident working with fresh produce from the farm and whole organic bulk foods. This role creates the very foundation for all the work that goes on at the farm. From Midsummer to the end of the season there is a lot of preservation and pickling to do as well as the basic meal duties.
HERE'S WHAT CHEF Pontus HAD TO say...
"For me, being a farm chef at Ridgedale has meant many great things. To cook from scratch from the farm, to experiment, and learn... Having a limited source of food for a time, then abundance just like life used to be like. You can receive such great appreciation from the crew and participants. My experience is that it's really empowering and fun to cook for other people. Having such high quality food resources to work with, learning to take care of raw milk; making cheeses, yogurt and other dairy products. Fermenting veggies in big batches. Contributing to the health of the people on the farm. And as each year pass, Ridgedale will become ever more abundant with different berries, fruit, mushrooms, herbs and such. In sum, I highly recommend this learning experience to anyone who is passionate about making great food from scratch, cooking with what's available, serving others and learning from hard work!"
Here's what pioneer Chef Elin had to say...
"This journey as a farm chef has taken me from valuing every green leaf that popped up from the melting snow in spring to the great berry harvest in the forest in summer; from raw and vegan garden snacks to the decadent viking feast and roasts of autumn. To see how rich and resilient Ridgedale has become with gardens, berries, mushrooms, herbs, eggs, dairy, meat and tree crops that soon will be able to feed hundreds. I also learned the deep psychology of food and how food is attached to the different cultures, people and emotions. I have had the opportunity to follow the culinary seasons of a farm, to get deep under the skin of Swedish food culture and to work side by side with some of the most inspirational people I have met. I envy the future farm chefs for the opportunities of learning more diverse crafts such as oil extraction, natural medicine, meat preservation, grain production and processing and so much more. I would not have changed this experience for anything in the world, and I know that however the future of Ridgedale will be, it will be bright. "