Apprenticeship

We are currently accepting applications for the 2017 season!

If you are serious about taking your farming to the next level please consider this opportunity. Apprenticeship Application.

Our ProgramRadical Roots Web 90

The Radical Roots Farm Apprenticeship is an exchange of time and learning between experienced and new farmers.  Apprentices’ learn the art and
craft of organic farming through hard work in the fields, observation of successful farm ecosystems and participating in a mentoring relationship with experienced farmers.  This immersion into all aspects of organic vegetable production gives new farmers valuable skills and experience to begin their career in organic agriculture.  Whether they start their own farm or go on to work in public gardens, landscaping, school gardens or farm to table restaurants, apprentices gain a firm foundation and confidence to succeed.

Goals of the Apprenticeship

  • To share the skills involved in organic farming and the tools of the trade.
  • To offer apprentices an example of a successful organic farm so that they can learn the cycles of the growing season.
  • To give apprentices first hand working knowledge with specific crops, so that they can have a solid foundation of farming experience.
  • To support the hands on learning that comes through hard work in the fields with educational resources, garden reading, classes and field trips.

Apprenticeship SeasonRadical Roots Web 63

Starts:  Spring
Ends:   October 31st
Application Deadline: Rolling, we are always looking for great people!
Minimum Length Stay:   8 months
Number of Positions: 5
Contact Us for more information or with questions about the apprenticeship.

General Requirements

We select candidates who are seriously considering organic farming or gardening as a career.  A positive attitude and communication skills are essential. Must be able to work as an integral part of a team as well as take on responsibility and work independently. The work we do involves a lot of hand labor.  Our time will be spent with the work of sowing seeds, potting up young plants, setting out transplants, mulching, weeding, watering and harvesting.   We work hard 40-60 hours over five and a half days week.  Attainable benchmarks will require effort and sweat.  A positive attitude, a willingness to work hard and a passion to learn are the most important skills.

Education OpportunityRadical Roots Web 2014 57

Our program is highlighted by a series of formal learning opportunities.  Each week we offer a one hour class or field trip to another farm.  This is a great way to explore new techniques and compare different farming methods.  Once apprentices learn one farming system it very beneficial to contrast how other farms system are similar or different.  We participate in the regional CRAFT alliance and also have a deep network of experienced and new farms that we will visit.

Here is an example of the classes and field trips from 2013 Apprentice Sample Syllabus.

A farm design project will be assigned to apprentices to encourage them to begin thinking about their own farm.  During the presentation of the farm design project apprentices’ will receive personal feedback on their farm designs which can help them formulate future goals.

CompensationRadical Roots Web 67

This is an example of the compensation from previous seasons.  Exact information for the upcoming season will be covered during the interview process.

  • Monthly stipend at the end of each month, currently $700 minus federal and state tax deductions.
  • Simple private room with shared living space in the straw-bale studio.
  • Vegetables in season.
  • We share a group meal once a week.
  • Workers compensation insurance.
  • Sick days as needed.
  • 5 vacations days.

 

 

Farm Information

Our mission is to grow high quality certified organic vegetables and herbs in a sustainable way. We farm five acres of intensively cultivated beautiful garden soil and grow nursery crops in a 3,000 square foot greenhouse and have a 5,000 square foot high tunnel. We sell vegetables, herbs, and nursery plants at the Charlottesville & Harrisonburg Farmers Markets, state wide plant sales and sell to restaurants, wholesale accounts and have a 100-member CSA.

We are a family farm with 2 enthusiastic homeschool kids age 8 & 10.Radical Roots Web 2014 07  Dave and Lee have over 34 for year of combined farming experience.  We started our first farming season in 2000 after apprenticing with successful small scale farmers for four years. Lee is passionate about growing herbs and offers classes in herbal medicine. Lee is also active in state wide organic movement and is on the board of directors of VABF.  Dave teaches permaculture design and organic gardening classes for community groups and has experience in landscape design. We are both committed to farming in a sustainable way that creates connections between the people and the land.

Radical Roots Community Farm is located in the Shenandoah Valley seven miles outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Harrisonburg is a fun college town that has a vibrant downtown with lots of restaurants, yoga, and unique shops.   The farm is four miles away from the George Washington National Forest which has hiking trails and nice swimming holes and three miles away from the great mountain bike trails at Massanutten Resort.

Application Process

To apply, please fill out this Apprenticeship Application and email it to us.  We will carefully review all applications and contact eligible applicants to arrange an interview.  Thanks for your interest in our farm!