We are currently looking for staff or interns to work January through March, with preference given to those who will also commit to the April-October ‘season’ as well. Please read all of the information below and then if you are interested in working with us please send a resume with references to PigmansProduce@gmail.com. Thanks!
Who are we:
We are a six acre certified organic vegetable and berry farm located in the lush Nisqually Valley. The farm was started 26 years ago by Jan and Dean Pigman - after retiring from the military! We feature strawberries from June through September; u-pick raspberries in June and July and a pumpkin patch in October. Soil fertility is maintained using only natural fertilizers, adding lots of organic matter and rotating our crops. The tractor and tiller are the primary mechanical assists on the farm, all other tasks are done by hand or with hand tools. We grow about 100 different crops, support 75-100 families via our CSA program, have a booth at the Olympia Farmers Market four days per week and provide an onsite produce stand at one of the local state offices.
For 2015 we are looking forward to many changes – all staff and interns must be willing to work hard, learn all aspects of the farm, be open to growth and willing to work towards specific goals. We have two primary goals for the year: create a freestanding farm operation so that Jan and Dean can retire, and increase production and sales. We want to work with people who are excited and willing to create something new but who can respect what has already been put in place and been successful for 25 years. Open communication and flexibility alongside hard work and commitment will be key!
We will expect all staff and interns to be willing to participate in every aspect of the farm; from soil mix preparation, seeding, greenhouse growing and care, transplanting, soil health and preservation, drip line irrigation, all aspects of field work, succession planting, harvesting, post-harvest care, market preparation, market sales, CSA preparation, deliveries, and lots of weeding.
Essential Qualities Expected:
Attitude is everything: We need people who can bring a positive, co-operative, respectful attitude to the farm. This includes attitude toward property, staff, owners and visitors.
Teachable & able to take direction: We anticipate having weekly project lists of tasks that must be done yet understand that in farming not everything can be pre-planned. We need people who can learn new systems and new tasks; who can take direction and possible redirection as priorities shift.
Open mind/Flexibility: If you have previous farm experience, you need to realize that we probably have a different way of doing things on our farm and you need to be open to trying things a different way. We are also always looking for ways to improve so be open to share how you have learned things other places.
Personable yet Self-motivated: It is essential that you can work well with a team and communicate in a group environment. However, you must also be able to stay on task and see your assigned duties through to completion independently.
Physically capable: The work is physically demanding and repetitive (walking, bending, kneeling) yet attention to detail is critical. Work varies with the season but can often be repetitive: you may need to pick peas, clean garlic, or weed for long periods of time.*
Quality Work: We need people who can work quickly and efficiently, but who are also careful and able to follow directions.*
*Here at Pigmans we are acutely aware that each person is physically different, and may have unique physical limitations. We are willing to work with those needs as much as we are able to, but you are responsible for your body and know it best. You must communicate any limitations or accommodations you may need PRIOR to being hired and commit to open communication throughout the season. Understand as well, that your ‘best effort’ may not be the same as someone else’s - be able to understand that each person on the farm is committed to working to the best and fullest extent of their capabilities.
Punctual and willing: You must set a schedule with the Manager and then be available those times and promptly communicate any changes needed. You must be willing and able to work in all weather conditions. Be prepared for rain, hail, snow, intense sun, wind, cold and heat— on any given day! Come to work rested and ready to be fully engaged.
Committed: We expect people to work hard and be committed to the farm. Farm work is very different from a traditional job and you must realize that the farm has demands that are sometimes out of our control (for example, we may have to work into the evening in order to get transplants into the ground and watered or to get everything ready on Friday for the Saturday market.) As we anticipate this year to be a year of growth we are looking for people that we can rely on in unexpected crunch times.
We are currently looking for staff or interns to work January through March, with preference given to those who will also commit to the April-October ‘season’ as well. You will work closely with the manager to create a schedule that works for you and meets the farms needs. All Staff will be expected to work some weekend days each month during the April-October season on a rotating schedule.
Commitment to the duration of the season and adherence to schedule is vital to the farm!
The primary season will run April – October, with the busiest times being May-Sept.
A few staff will work during November – March (primarily part time or as needed).
No one is to work more than 6 days in any given week. Part time staff should expect to work a minimum of 20-30 hours per week during the busy part of the season. Full time staff should anticipate working 40-50 hours per week.
Time off for personal time or appointments must be scheduled at least a week in advance, unless due to illness. Manager must be notified no later than 30 minutes after your scheduled start time if you will not be available for your on farm shift.
All staff will attend training on completing time sheets and will be expected to complete time sheets accurately and on time. All staff will attend monthly staff meetings. Other staff meetings or training sessions will be called as needed.
Job Details: work may include any of the following:
- Treat all others on farm with respect
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Be willing, able and prepared to work in all weather conditions
- Work with Manager to set a schedule, including working weekends on a rotation, follow it (days, start time etc)
- Notify Manager if unable to adhere to schedule (running late, sick etc)
- Complete time sheets accurately, completely and on time
- Follow all safety guidelines (ie no open shoes allowed on farm)
- Participate fully and to the best of your ability and speed in all tasks assigned
- Hand weeding
- Wheel hoe
- Scuffle hoe
- Troy Tiller
Seeding and Transplanting
- Direct seeding of field crops by hand or with manual seeder
- Potting starts from trays to pots for market
- Hand transplanting starts from trays to field
- Thinning seedlings
Irrigation set-up and maintenance
- Drip tape
- Overhead sprinkler system
- Hand watering
Assist in all aspects of field preparation and maintenance
- Raking (all beds raked smooth prior to planting)
- Marking off rows
- Applying fertilizer or soil amendments
- Putting down weed block mats
- Tilling with walk-behind tiller
- Spreading mulch
- Using backpack sprayer to apply supplements or organic pest control
- Tree pruning or orchard care
- Cleaning up and resetting trellising (mainly tomatoes, beans, peas)
- Weed whacking
- Using tractor
- Basics of hot-wire setup
- Basic construction help as needed.