GROWING GROWERS HOST FARMS
Minimum requirements for host farms are:
- use of organic/sustainable practices
- in business for at least 2 years
- interested in sharing their farming knowledge
Farms listed alphabetically
Common Harvest Farms
Farmer(s): Tom Buller and Jenny Welch Buller
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or 785-218-6233
Apprenticeship opportunities: Part time paid positions, and volunteer (minimum 4 hours weekly)
Common Harvest is a certified organic farm that has been in operation for 8 years in Lawrence, KS. The farm is cooperatively owned and operated with neighboring farmer Jill Elmers from Moon on the Meadow Farm. The partnership and land is known as Common Harvest Farms. Some of the land is farmed together in special projects, and the rest is managed separately by each farm manager.
The 15-acre farm produces vegetables, small fruits, and wheat. Common Harvest sells at the Lawrence Farmers Market, Lawrence restaurants, and operates a CSA in Lawrence and Kansas City, KS that serves over 400 customers a week. The apprenticeship starts in April and is up to 30 hours a week. No housing is available. The farm work is diverse, ranging from greenhouse production, field crop planting, weeding and harvesting, and building and repairing farm infrastructure. Start time depends on the season and is as early as 7am. Apprentices are often called upon to do different and sometimes tedious jobs in all kinds of weather. Be prepared for hard physical labor.
Farmer(s): Brooke Salvaggio and Dan Heryer
Location: Kansas City, MO
Apprenticeship opportunities: Part time w/housing and volunteer positions
New life is emerging on Kansas City’s East Side; a living, breathing organism that both feeds from and provides food for its urban surroundings. BADSEED Farm moved up the food chain, and is taking root on new land and in the new form of URBAVORE.
URBAVORE is presently seeking part-time apprentices and volunteer apprentices for the growing season to aid in the creation of one of the largest and most diverse urban farms in the nation. This season, apprentices are tasked with much more than assisting to produce a crop of vegetables; they must also help to establish infrastructure, perennial fruit plantings, animal pastures and diverse natural habitats on 13 acres of raw land only 8 miles from downtown Kansas City. In exchange for 30 hours of labor weekly, URBAVORE will provide part-time apprentices with free accommodation at BADSEED’s downtown storefront (fully equipped with a commercial kitchen and comfortable amenities), a share of the farm’s bounty, and many opportunities for learning. Apprentices will develop skills in no-till, “beyond-organic” vegetable production, integrated livestock management, orchard planting & tree crop maintenance, windrow composting, direct marketing, food preservation, homesteading skills, and more.
Relevant skills and qualifications in farming and building are desired, but not required. We require part-time apprentices to complete the full season schedule from March 1 through October 31. We can offer volunteer apprentices more flexibility with scheduling and hours.
Bear Creek Farms
Farmer: Jim Robbins and Lonnie Hail
Location: Osceola, MO
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-282-5894
Apprenticeship opportunities: Part or full time positions possible - call to discuss
Bear Creek Farms is a certified organic vegetable farm in rural St. Clair county - 10 miles outside Osceola, MO and 100 miles south of Kansas City. Room and board may be available. We have approximately 10 acres of mixed vegetables, fruit, and herbs. We specialize in heirloom tomatoes. Most of our produce is sold wholesale to Whole Foods and sometimes through a farmers market. We also have cattle and horses on the farm. If you have some experience with farming or outdoor work and are looking for experience on a farm that will prepare you for mid-scale production, consider apprenticing at Bear Creek. Apprentices on our farm must be dependable employees, with a commitment to farming and all the work that it involves. Our apprentice will be paid a stipend plus room and board. Volunteers also welcome!
Blue Door Farm
Farmer(s): Laura Christensen
Location: Kansas City, KS
Contact: email@example.com or 816-805-0362
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer or part time paid positions
Blue Door Farm is a vegetable farm in Kansas City, KS. Blue Door Farm is 5 minutes from I-635, and about 15 minutes from downtown KCMO, so this farm is a quick drive from most points in the KC area. Located on property that has been farmed since the 1800's, we produce certified organic vegetables and greenhouse transplants. 2015 will be our 9th year of operation, and we will be expanding into some new fields to try and meet the demand for our produce. We sell at two area farmers markets and through a 30-member CSA. Apprentices will experience field, high tunnel and greenhouse work, harvesting and farmers market/CSA prep, planting and seeding, basic record keeping, and general farm maintenance.
Laura apprenticed as a Growing Grower at an area farm before starting her own farm. She is happy to help others learn. Apprentices are welcome to information on our production schedule, varieties, business records, sales, organic certication, etc. No experience is required, but a willingness to work hard in less than ideal situations (frequently kneeling, lifting, or stooping) is necessary. A sense of humor, a pocket knife, and work boots should also arrive with you at the farm.
Volunteer apprentices should be able to work at least 4 hours a week on the farm. We are somewhat flexible with hours/scheduling, but please do not apply if you will not be able to continue working throughout most of the season (March through September), as scheduling labor is important to farm operation. Weekend hours are not offered.
Please contact Laura to arrange a farm visit and interview.
Farmer(s): Bob Lominska
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-842-5697
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer position
Hoyland farm is an established organic farm north of Lawrence. We have been growing organically since 1976. We market through Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance, the Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market, and do some wholesaling to stores and restaurants. We are a father and son operation. We have had a volunteer GG apprentice in '08 and '09. At this point we are unsure what our labor needs are going to be. We do know we can always use volunteer help, and that could easily evolve into part time paid work. We grow 3 or 4 acres of vegetables, plus some fruit.
Farmer(s): Barbara Clark
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact: email@example.com or 785-842-4102
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer and paid, part time
Maggie's Farm is a small, certified organic family farm that specializes in high-value vegetable production and maintains a handspinner's flock of sheep. Our farm integrates livestock production (wool) with our vegetable production through compost making. We sell through farmers' market, direct to restaurants and grocers. All aspects of production and marketing can be learned.
Mellowfields Urban Farm
Farmer(s): Jessi Asmussen and Kevin Prather
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-856-0622
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer
Mellowfields Urban Farm is located in North Lawrence on 2 separate city plots. We produce a wide of non-certified organic produce on just over 2 acres, including one hoop house. Our markets include direct sales through multiple farmers markets, our own CSA, as well as grocery store and restaurant accounts. This will be our 6th season in production. Jessi is a former Growing Growers apprentice and this will be Mellowfields’ second year hosting a Growing Growers apprentice. A 2015 apprentice will be involved in all areas of production, harvesting, as well as, exposure to our marketing and record keeping process. A good candidate should have transportation, a desire to learn the ins and outs of market farming, and a desire for physically demanding and rewarding work. Apprentices should be able to consistently work 5+ hours/week, April through October.
Moon on the Meadow
Farmer(s): Jill Elmers
Location: Lawrence, KS
Contact: email@example.com or 785-749-1197
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer and paid, part time
Moon on the Meadow is a certified organic vegetable farm just on the edge of the east city limit of Lawrence (partner with Common Harvest Farms). We farm a little over 6 acres of a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and some small fruit. We sell our products at several farmers markets, a 200-person CSA, and local restaurants and grocery stores. We are looking for reliable apprentices who enjoy hard work and love Kansas weather. Room and board is not available. We are an easy commute from Kansas City, and we welcome volunteers as well.
Pearly Gates Organic Soapery & Homestead
Farmer(s): Nancy Susan Gordon & Family
Location: Kansas City, MO 64133
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 816-353-3602
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer apprentices, one part-time paid position
Pearly Gates Organic Soapery & Homestead is an organic, urban, family-owned business in south Kansas City, MO. We have over 34 years of experience in organic growing, and 29 years of experience in organic soap, and bath and body care.
I teach a number of old-world, homesteading skills/arts/crafts that I have been doing for many years; eg. candle-making, butter-making, sewing, macrame, maple sugaring, starting plants from seed, plant propagation, seed collecting, composting, canning, freezing, companion planting, cover cropping, building simple wooden garden structures, dehydrating, baking, stoneware and porcelain wheel throwing for your garden, beading, dyeing fabric and more. Our gardens focus on the 'Raw Food Diet & Lifestyle'; although many of our crops can be eaten cooked as well.
We market our produce and soaps through K.C. Organics and Natural Market (Saturdays from May-October), and will be selling (new for 2015) at the Raytown Farmers Market in Raytown, MO., in addition to a few other small markets. We have a CSA, and this year we will be partnering with our son's organic farm, 'Broken Arrow Bison', to bring in organic eggs by mid-summer.
In 1984, we received an honorable mention in the 'Robert Rodale's Organic Gardening Magazine' for our gardens. In 2008, we won a sustainable agriculture grant through SARE, project titled "Incredible Crop Yields From Small Urban Spaces". This grant allowed us to build a cedar and recycled glass greenhouse, which we use to start our crops. We continue with our research, using Charles Wilber's organic extensive growing methods on our crops. We are currently looking for volunteers to teach organic growing and lifestyle. In exchange for your work, we'll give fresh, organic produce and/or organic soaps/bath care products as a token of our gratitude. Our ever- expanding vegetable beds cover over a 1/2 acre. Fruit, nut, and sugar trees, along with other edibles, are scattered throughout our 1 1/2 acre lot. We grow specialty & rare heirloom varieties; hybrid fruit, vegetable, and herb plants; tropical fruits; edible flowers; micro greens; nutritional grasses for juicing; and more.
Pickings and Pumpkins
Farmer(s): Nancy Kalman
Location: Spring Hill, KS
Contact: email@example.com, 913-592-5438
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer
Pickings and Pumpkins is owned and operated by a retired teacher. This will be our 15th-year of operation. We grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers using pesticide-free and sustainable practices. We start our own plants and utilize a high-tunnel for season extension. The ten acre farm is located just south of Olathe, Kansas. We have sold at several farmers markets and operate a CSA. We hope to put up a farm stand this season as well. We have enjoyed working with three apprentices as a part of the Growing Growers program.
Powell Gardens Heartland Harvest Garden and High Tunnel
Farmer(s): Mark Gawron, Horticulturist
Location: 20 miles east of Lee’s Summit on US HWY 50
Apprenticeship opportunities: Paid, Full-time, March-November or volunteer part time
Powell Gardens is Kansas City’s botanical garden and the Heartland Harvest Garden is America’s largest edible landscape with 12 acres of a complete range of edible plants from seasonal vegetables to fruit and nut trees. The Heartland Harvest Garden has multiple purposes of being productive, educational and beautiful as it’s a garden open to the public on a daily basis. It provides a unique opportunity to work with a diverse a group of crops since as many as 500 seasonal varieties may be planted, displayed and harvested through a growing season and over 1,500 permanent varieties such as perennial herbs, berries of all sorts, fruiting vines, fruiting shrubs and trees, and nut shrubs and trees must be maintained and harvested as well. The Heartland Harvest Garden is managed organically and was designed to ensure an abundance of insectary and companion plants to ensure healthy pollinator and beneficial insect populations.
Powell Gardens also has one acre of high tunnel under organic tomato production. Tomatoes are harvested, graded, packed and shipped to an area grocery stores and restaurants, though some tomatoes are sold on site at the Visitor Center.
Harvests from the many crops at Powell Gardens are utilized on a daily basis. Visitor tasting stations must be supplied with seasonal edibles – a way for visitors to taste the experience of such a diverse group of edible plants. Produce is gleaned daily for the menu in Café Thyme at the Powell Gardens’ visitor center. Daily harvests are utilized by the Garden interpreter for making all sorts of products for visitor demonstrations and sales at the Visitor Center or Fresh (The Barn’s sales outlet). Produce must be harvested for weekly cooking demonstrations and monthly barn dinners by area chefs. Harvests are also made for major events including the Under a Harvest Moon and Wassailing dinners. After the Harvest is called upon for any and all extra produce that may be gleaned so that nothing goes to waste.
Schedule: 5 days per week with weekend work an option. March through November. Wage: $9.00 per hour with housing on site available at no charge. Volunteers must work at least 4 hours on a weekly basis.
Apprentice must fulfill required skills and abilities as per the job description including:
1. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. and accomplish strenuous work on an ongoing basis in various weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.
2. Must be able to communicate with the public.
3. Must have dexterity and be able to groom plants and harvest produce and plant small seeds or transplants with speed and accuracy.
Prairie Birthday Farm LLC
Farmer(s): Linda Hezel R.N., Ph.D
Location: Kearney, MO
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 816-560-7878
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer (private tutoring in exchange for labor while learning), flexible days and times
Prairie Birthday Farm is a 15-acre, bio-diverse, sustainable farm and land stewardship effort, which strives to mimic nature in a resilient, permaculture design. Practices are no-till and beyond organic. On Farm botanical infusions and bio-char are integral to our nutrient dense food production. Learning opportunities include heirloom and wild fruit and nut trees and bushes; tall grass prairie, honeybees; heirloom vegetable gardens; a culinary herb and edible flower garden; as well as bramble/vine gardens. Pastured chickens, ducks and 2 horses and worm bins provide for on-farm compost production. Produce is sold to area residents and chefs at leading restaurants. Apprentices have been learning on the Farm since 2005.
Volunteers, working elbow to elbow with Farmer & Educator Linda, are rewarded with rich learning experiences which may include, but are not limited to: fruit, vegetable, herb and flower production; poultry husbandry; soil building; honey bee hosting; native prairie reconstruction; research; raised beds, low tunnels, and tours. Learning objectives are customized to meet the volunteers' interests and needs. Volunteers receive seasonal produce.
Published results of ongoing soil research at Prairie Birthday Farm can be found at: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S174217051200018X and http://www.moprairie.org/documents/Fall2008Volume29Number3.pdf
Farm research projects have been funded by the Missouri Department of Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education (SARE) project. Articles about Linda and the Farm have appeared in: The New York Times, Cambridge Journals Online, Missouri Harvest Guide Book, The Missouri Prairie Foundation Journal, American Journal of Nursing, bluestem the cookbook, the Kansas City Star, Greenability Magazine, the Columbia Tribune, and the Kearney Courier. Farmer Linda is active in the Kansas City Food Circle and the Kansas City Regional Food Policy Coalition.
Red Ridge Farm
Farmer(s): Ami and Jim Zumalt
Location: Odessa, MO
Apprenticeship opportunities: Paid full time, paid part time
Red Ridge Farms is a four season 3-acre production farm. In 2013, we produced a record 20,000 pounds of certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. We grow over 60 different crops annually. We sell at four markets and manage a 40+ member CSA program.
Apprentices will learn many aspects of local food production, including: production scheduling, direct seeding, seedling production, transplanting, soil health and management, irrigation, field maintenance, high tunnel management, succession planting, cover cropping, organic pest & weed control, season extension, harvesting, post-harvest care, market preparation and sales, CSA preparation, distribution, and record keeping.
Red Ridge Farms is committed to training the right apprentice; the apprentice must be committed to working the entire season.
Schedule: 3 to 5 days a week, including some weekend work. Season begins in February or March, and ends in September or October. Part and Full-time positions with some work possible during the off-season (October through January). Wage: fresh produce and $9/hour wage.
-Be physically fit and able to consistently lift 50 pounds
-Be task oriented and able to complete assignments efficiently and with quality
-Have experience in farming or outside physical labor
-Be able to work in extreme weather conditions
-Be willing to learn new methods and apply them daily
-Maintain a valid driver’s license and have transportation
-Be dedicated to organic agriculture
Email cover letter and resume to Ami Zumalt at: email@example.com
Farmer(s): Stu Shafer
Location: Oskaloosa, KS
Apprenticeship opportunities: Paid or volunteer positions
Sandheron Farm is about 10 miles north of Lawrence. The farm has about five acres in vegetable and small fruit production and a small mixed tree fruit orchard. We are not certified organic, because we are a small farm and the certification fee is not cost effective for us. We are a member grower in Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance, and most of our produce is sold through that CSA. We are willing to work with either paid or volunteer apprentices. Room and board is not provided.
Spring Creek Farm
Farmer(s): Stephanie Thomas
Location: Baldwin City, KS
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-633-5292
Apprenticeship opportunities: Paid, part-time and volunteer positions
At Spring Creek Farm near Baldwin City, we’re beginning our 10th season of production. We use organic and sustainable growing practices to produce 60+ varieties of vegetables and fruit. We have 4 hoop houses in production, and our cultivated field space is approximately 4 acres. We also raise free-range heirloom chickens and turkeys for both egg and meat sales.
Our market consists of sales to natural groceries, restaurants, and the Lawrence Farmers Market. We offer a paid apprentice 14 - 24 hours weekly. Applicant should have stamina and strength for hard work. In exchange, we offer great experience in sustainable agriculture for someone who's really interested in farming in the immediate future. We also offer volunteer apprenticeships and CSA work / exchange.
Urban Soul and Soil
Farmer(s): Beverly Pender
Location: Kansas City, KS
Apprenticeship opportunities: Volunteer positions
This is an urban farm located on several lots in Kansas City, KS that produces vegetables, tree fruit, and canned goods, growing almost exclusively heirloom varieties. Bev sells at a farm stand on-site, through the KCK Greenmarket, the Merriam Market, and the North Kansas City Market, and through a delivery service to seniors. Considering growing on multiple, small urban lots? Urban Soul and Soil is a great place to learn.
Farmer(s): Jim, Mary and Alex Wood
Location: Higginsville, MO
Contact: email@example.com 660-584-3552
Apprenticeship opportunities: call for details
Wood Mood is located approx. 55 miles from KC downtown area. They have been certified organic since 1994. Their diverse farm includes vegetables, cattle, a laying flock, feed corn production and 20 acres of hay. 50 total acres are certified organic. High tunnels are used for vegetable production. They sell vegetables, eggs, and meat to local restaurants.
A position may be available for a motivated, hard worker or a couple who is seriously considering farming as a career.