What is a Workshare?
This summer we are piloting a Workshare Program at Raindance Organic Farm. In exchange for a weekly 4-hour volunteer shift on the farm, an adult receives a full share of vegetables & flowers for our Family CSA Project. Tasks during Workshare shifts may include any of the work necessary to accomplish our mission including things like:
pruning & trellising tomatoes
adding composts to beds
weeding vegetable rows
harvesting and curing garlic
harvesting buckets of gorgeous flowers
We think this opportunity will fit well with folks who are curious about farming and want to learn more. Or folks who want to spend time outdoors learning new skills and getting a workout. Or parents who need some “adult-time” to have a break from caretaking and enjoy uninterrupted adult conversation. Our farm is in its second season, so Workshare Members will get a peek into what it takes to build and grow a diverse organic vegetable and cut flower operation on a first-generation farm.
What is the time commitment?
The commitment is 8am-noon commitment on Tuesdays or Fridays for 12 weeks. Workshare Members may commit to a Spring or Summer schedule.
Spring Workshare: May 7th-July 23rd
Summer Workshare: July 16- October 1
Training Workshare members requires a big time commitment for a farmer, so we ask that Workshare folks commit to the entire 12-week stint. This will also build camaraderie among our team and provide continuity as we all learn how to farm together.
What is the farm’s commitment to Workshare Members?
Workshare Members will be doing essential and important work, and I’ll depend on them to be thorough, work hard, communicate openly, and bring a warm attitude to the farm. In return I am committing to provide:
a welcoming, inclusive space and a positive attitude
education about particular crops and their care
open communication about what is working and what isn’t
varied work (no one wants to weed carrots for four hours straight!)
What is required of Workshare Members?
This work brings me (Kristen) so much joy, and I am very grateful to be farming. Sometimes I forget that this work doesn’t suite everyone, so it is important to to communicate well and set realistic expectations about farm work. In order to successfully contribute to the farm’s triple bottom line, and to learn as much as possible from the experience, Workshare members need a willingness to:
Work in all weather. Farm work requires strong backs and happy hearts. Farm conditions are typically hot and sweaty, but we also work in the wind and the rain. Our passive solar hoophouses heat up quickly in full sun. It’s kind of like Bikram Yoga!
Get dirty. Dirt will accumulate under your fingernails and tomato juices will stain your skin green. Most folks get a workout and leave with drenched t-shirts & sore muscles. There will almost certainly be mud on your boots during rainy seasons.
Bring a great attitude in the face of challenge. Realistically, there will be days on the farm when a storm is rolling in and I need everyone to work quickly so we can get the flowers out of the field before they are destroyed by wind and rain. There will also be days when my little ones melt down and I need to cut out early to go make them lunch. We’ll work as a team to complete the morning’s tasks, and together we’ll encourage each other to keep it light and laugh at ourselves.
Be reliable, honest, and thorough. In winter we design the farm’s crop plan and program offerings based on available resources. We are counting on the labor of Workshare members to plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables and flowers in order to fulfill our mission of providing great organic produce to our community. We will rely on Workshare members to arrive on time, stay until the end, and follow through on the season-long commitment. That’s the only way we can make this little farm go!
If you’ve read the description above and still want to apply for a 2019 CSA Workshare, click below.