We Are Hiring 2019 Apprentices

Farm Apprentice: 2 year position 2 positions available

This position is meant for someone who wants to own and operate a commercial diverse market farm. We grow over 60 different varieties of vegetables and we also manage a fruit orchard. For 2019 we are bring pastured chickens for egg production back as well as pasture raised Hogs. You will be expected to work on all aspects of the farm. You will be trained on the production side of farming and the business side. Employment is from Mid February - December 20 to full fill the apprenticeship this is a 2 year commitment. 40-50 hours per week 7am- 3pm one hour non paid lunch. Pay is 13.00 per hour your first season and a raise will follow the second season. Please read over job requirments and send your resume. We all take a 6 week non paid break through the holidays and deep winter to rest go on vacation, spend time with family and friends and prepare for the upcoming season. You must provide your own housing.

Some days will be longer then others and we expect a positive attitude and desire to complete tasks and become part of our team. Working on our farm requires the physical and mental capability to contribute daily in a rigorous, fast-paced agricultural setting. You must have a current drivers license and vehicle. You must be on time and be able to complete a task. You must be able to work and lead in a team atmosphere as well as independently. You must show a desire of all farm work including customer service, packing orders, delivering orders, organization, heavy equipment operation and physically working in wind, rain as well as 20 degree and 100 degree temperatures. You must be able to rock a farmer tan! We would like some one who works hard and is proud to grow quality produce for the community of Mesa County while still having a sense of humor. 

**Smoking is not permitted. Tobacco carries viruses and diseases that transmit to crops. Its challenging enough to grow organically and keep the plants healthy. Since we are an Organic farm we ask for no tobacco use on our farm. 

50% of our work is harvesting and the other 50% is production as well as getting the product to market. You must contain the ability to be polite and social and talk with customers as well as lead volunteers. You must follow and pay attention to our current farm systems and contribute to improving farm systems. Having a basic knowledge of biological plant health and soil health is a must as well as a desire to grow organically. Efficiency is important and showing the ability to multi task, use hand tools properly as well as efficient harvesting and being able to field sort produce will be expected. 

Farm work offers an incredibly rewarding and demanding work environment and life experience. You must be able to lift 50 pounds regularly. Please consider this commitment before applying.  If you feel you meet these requirements please send us your resume. 

To be more prepared for the position we ask that you research "The Market Gardner" by Jean Martin Fortier and "The New Organic Grower" by Elliot Coleman "Sharing The Harvest" a CSA manual. As well as "The Lean Farm" by Ben Hartman. 

Please apply before January 15

Jessica WashkowiakComment
Household Garden Workshop
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November 17

December 15

February 16

March 16


What to Expect:

*Workshop 10am-3pm @ the Field To Fork Farm 3526 Front Street Palisade Co

*5-7 Attendants per workshop very focused for individual needs and question

*At this time each 4 dates available for the household garden workshops will cover the same material. A Part 2 garden workshop could be available in the future.

*Cost: 100.00 includes lunch and beverages

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The Household Garden Workshop:

Focused on the growing climate of Western Colorado

Garden design
site aspect, bed layout, access, pathways, sun aspect, irrigation

Growing in small spaces
maximizing productivity in your household area, area efficient crops, growing vertically, weed management, introduction to integrated pest management

Intensive planting
Biointensive planting allows more plants per bed creating a living ground cover

Propagation
Growing your own seedlings, small greenhouse design, growing micro greens

Developing new ground
Soil preparation, removing grasses and unwanted weeds

Creating deep soils
Ergonomic digging techniques to deepen & develop nutrient rich soil with loft. Specifically amending compost and working not against Clay soil.

Transplanting
Understanding transplant shock and proper irrigation


Composting
Turning kitchen and garden waste into fertility for your garden. We call it money in the bank!

Innovative tools & techniques
Appropriate affordable tools to help you physically and help make gardening more enjoyable

Weed management
Hand weeding & stale seed beds

Season extension 
Getting an early start on the season and growing a little later




What is Biointensive Growing?  Biointensive agriculture is an organic agricultural system that focuses on achieving maximum yields from a minimum area of land, while simultaneously increasing biodiversity and sustaining the fertility of the soil. The goal of the method is long term sustainability on a closed system basis. Together these techniques have developed into what is now called GROW BIOINTENSIVE.

One of our farms mission is to address the unstable nature of the global food system, which nearly all of us depend on. This farming method we want to share with you are designed to provide food through out the seasons for those who practice it. While continually building and developing the soil and conserving natural resources. The result is producing safe food year after year with great results, growing and eating seasonally while creating a deeper connection with your food.

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Jessica WashkowiakComment
Veggies... Part 3

On the Field To Fork farm we grow a wide selection of vegetables. Our farm plan is crazy! Can you imagine 50 different varieties of crops all grown and planted in 3-4 successions within 7 acres. We also grow 3 times more then what we think we need. These precautions are in the mishap we have a crop failure, poor seed germination, water issues or mother nature throws us a curve ball we can hopefully have something to replace the lost crop.

 Field To Fork 2018 crop plan

Field To Fork 2018 crop plan

As fresh market growers we love seasonal variety. We are always challenged and interested in our work. Farming is a constant learning opportunity. Learning about the crop, nature and self. We are honored to kneel to the soil and grow food for you. The diverse crops we grow help hold interest for us and for our buyers, members and customers. We keep it fresh! New and different crops are available weekly so as soon as you don't want to eat something the seasons change and new crops are maturing. The staples of each week are consistent and we depend on the work horse crops like kale, chard, radish, lettuce, carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash. Each week we have a specialty item you might see only in a food and wine magazine and think wow, cool! Watermelon radish, shishito peppers!! Awesome! We love food trends and keep a close eye on what is fun and exciting in the culinary world. To us vegetables are always the hero of the dish. A protein or pasta would be so boring with out the tender herbs and annual vegetables that bring the acids and textures to most dishes. Some gourmet specialty crops are very unreliable so it is a gamble to grow them. We are up for the challenge but we focus on the staples. 

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We as your farmers pledge to work as hard as possible, use the proper tools and appropriate small scale farm technology to grow fresh flowers, fruit, and vegetables the most efficient and effective way possible. All our produce we grow is Certified Organic.  Some of our farmer friends have a beautiful crop that we don't grow and we like to support their efforts to help add value for our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share program and fresh sheet offering to local chefs. Sometimes those products are not Certified Organic but we know those products are fresh and produced with care.

 June 2 2018 week 2 CSA share

June 2 2018 week 2 CSA share

This is the last week to join our CSA program. The farm plan is set for 2018 and we are underway for another great season. We hope you support our farm this year. We hope to be part of your kitchen this summer. If you are not able to join our CSA please look for our products at Natural Grocers in Grand Junction. We also work with local restaurants. If you are on the front range we work with Growers Organic. If you have a special event and want to order produce or flowers please contact us. 

Fruit! Part 2

Sugar Sugar Sugar! The best part about growing fruit in the desert is when the heat is almost unbearable we have some of the worlds best luscious juicy fruit to help hydrate, cool and nurture our senses. The reason we have the potential to grow such great fruit is because of our low humidity and lack of rain paired with intense Colorado sun shine and cool nights.  The Colorado River cutting through our valley feeding our crops. We can optimize our water and provide water on a schedule when the trees and the fruit need it. The lack of humidity helps with low pest and disease issues and our clay soils are full of rich deep nutrients. The roots of the trees can grab the minerals they need to produce rich flavors. Obviously we love tree fruit and are completely fascinated with the skill and challenge it takes to grow good fruit. We do struggle with nature growing fruit organically but the risk is so rewarding. We grow deep dark sweet cherries, peaches, nectarines, blood plums, heritage apples and pears. We also grow strawberries, raspberries, watermelon and sweet specialty dessert melons.

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We purchased this farm land from Marc Klocker who was praised for his fruit quality in Mesa County and was so passionate about his fruit and orchard practice. He truly expressed himself through his variety choices, and picking quality. He was a perfectionist on flavor and he taught us and helped us see a high standard for variety and to strive for peak flavors and texture. We select pick our fruit and never pick unripe. We usually comb through our fruit 3-4 times and select pick. This technique is appreciated by many of our customers and every year many buyers, members and customers come back to buy our fruit and praise our fruit was some of the best they had all year. We can not thank Marc enough for planting the Orchard and showing us his passion.

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Over the last few years many of the old tree varieties have sadly been dying and coming out. These varieties are hard to find if not imposable. Marc grafted most of the trees on this farm. Grafting fruit trees is a skill any orchardist should and can learn. We hope to learn to graft and continue grafting Marc's fruit trees to be able to keep the varieties alive for the next farming generation. 

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We also love working with our neighbors who grow great organic peaches Sweet Cheeks Peaches! Our farms touch and we love that we are both Certified Organic and have similar growing practices. We try to support them through the peach season for a consistent supply of peaches for chefs and CSA members who love to preserve and freeze. They too believe in a ripe peach grown in healthy growing conditions! 

Jessica WashkowiakComment
Flowers! Blog Series part 1

One of our favorite crops we grow on the farm are Flowers. They are the best crop to rotate within our vegetable crops. Flowers also offer organic matter to the soil as well as scrub the soil of heavy metals, fungal and disease issues as well as provide food for beneficial birds, insects and pollinators on our farm. With so many benefits we think flowers are rewarding and fun.

After years of growing flowers for the benefit of the farm we are now ready and feel confident in our growing of flowers. For 2018 we are excited to offer a flower share in 2018. We have offered pick your own flowers the last few years and this year we want to step up our game! Once membership is full we will offer a flowers share add-on to members. Here is some eye candy for you to know what to expect. We are getting excited for spring blooms and our seasonal flowers. 

We also can help supply flowers for your special events, we enjoy working with local florist as well as DIY brides and grooms.

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IS CSA right for you?

CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture,” and is just one of the many ways customers who believe in “real, transparent food” can support a farmer.

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But it’s not the only way.

What’s the difference between supporting a farmer through a CSA versus a roadside stand? Or a farmer’s market?

WHY WOULD A PERSON CONSIDER SIGNING UP FOR A CSA INSTEAD?

These are great questions. And everyone who considers joining a CSA should be asking them.

The reality is that CSA is not a good fit for everyone, and you shouldn’t feel bad if it’s not a match for you.

The CSA customers who come back year after year are a “certain kind” of customer. Not a “better customer” — just a certain kind — the kind that matches the unique format of a CSA model. 

It’s best to go into the decision with your eyes wide open, and see if your expectations match the experience that a CSA will give you.

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To help you decide if CSA is right for you and before you sign up for this seasonal commitment to a specific farmer, ask yourself these 6 questions….

Q1: Is the relationship to the actual farmer important to you? (Do you want to support a farmer?)

Effective CSAs focus on the farmer-customer relationship as much as the product.

In fact, we find again and again that the number one reason for joining a CSA was to support a local farmer.

CSA members want to be able shake the hand that feeds them.

Farmer Scott grows his vegetables specifically for his CSA members. 70% of our revenue comes from our CSA investors.

There’s something rewarding about knowing you are doing your part to support a local farmer. 

Call it satisfying your “food conscience.”

CSA is a mechanism you can put into your weekly routine that allows you to access great-tasting food, knowing there’s a real farm family’s livelihood depending on it.

This means that you are committed to staying with a specific farmer through an entire season, come thick or thin. 

Inherent in this arrangement is the understanding that there is a risk. Mother Nature may send too much sun or rain, bugs or disease, and a certain crop or crops may not appear in your share that summer.

On the flip side, there may be a bumper crop of tomatoes or cucumbers, and you’ll be swimming in cucurbits. 

CSA members live with and embrace this reality every day. 

Their motivation for supporting the farm is just as much about having the back of the farmer as it is about getting the full financial value of their share.

Make sure you read that last sentence again… it’s kinda huge.

But this relationship goes both ways.

When you join a CSA, your farmer will make an attempt to cultivate a connection with you too. This means

  • They learn your names and work hard to make the “big CSA” feel like a small family.
  • They might plan events to get you engaging with the farm.
  • They try to add value to your life, by teaching you about their food’s story, or how to prepare it.
  • They do things to help you succeed at eating their food.

This doesn’t mean you have to take advantage of these connecting points. But when you do, your CSA experience becomes more rich for both you and the farmer.

This relationship experience is part of what you are paying for in a CSA arrangement.

 

Q2: Do you value having quality certified organic vegetable ingredients that actually taste good?

 

Our vegetables become your medium to create in the kitchen. Make something beautiful.

Cardboard tomatoes in the winter.

Blah.

If you’re a CSA prospect, you know this frustration well.

Taste matters for foodies. Because you know that putting together a terrific meal in your kitchen isn’t just about your skill.

It starts with the ingredients.

The second most important quality of our CSA “masters” (people who “stick” with CSA) is that they love food. Real food. Grown in real soil. By real people.

Food that tastes like it should, because it’s grown in quality soil.

In fact, CSAs often create food snobs, because customers finally experience how a carrot should really taste, and they cannot go back to the watered down version called “baby carrots” at Kroger.

If you really love cooking and you really value taste, then you will LOVE being in a CSA. Because CSAs are all about providing high-quality, artisanal vegetables that make your home dining experience feel like an event.

You’re paying for that taste experience when you join a CSA.

If you’re just looking for a basic celery and carrot at the cheapest price so you can make an iceberg salad — this is not your gig.

 

Q3: Are you willing to try new foods? (Really?)

 

Cippolini onions ~ prized by high-end chefs for their ability to caramelize. We provide unusual ingredients in every CSA box to push your horizons in the kitchen.

CSAs will push you to try new foods and explore variety in your kitchen.

Read between the lines here: You will discover new veggies you love, and you’ll discover new veggies you hate.

Part of the CSA experience means getting exposed to a wide variety of vegetable cultivars. We put veggies in your box that you may have never seen before, and we teach you how to eat them.

Look let’s face it:

We know that if left to your own devices, you would never purposely put a kohlrabi in your box.

(Or would you? If you would then you would definitely click with CSA).

It’s all part of the great goal in CSA of developing food diversity and teaching our communities (and our kids) how to eat seasonally again. If you want to grow in the kitchen, you have to push yourself to try new ingredients.

Here is an actual quote taken by a CSA member:

CSA has introduced my family to veggies that I never would have bought at the store, and I learned that we liked them! Also it helped me become more creative in my cooking.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

 

Q4: Do you need control in your menu planning?

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Hakurei turnips. Aka Tokyo Roots Would you be willing to play around with this ingredient?

Remember the saying: “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit?” 

CSA members have to learn to be flexible with their menu and make things work in the kitchen, because you often don’t know what you will get in your box until a few days before the pick up.

Some people love this spontaneity. Others will be stressed by it.

Think hard on this:

Are you willing to give up some control over what goes in your box? Or do you need to live by yourplan?

If you’re someone that wants to have spinach lasagna on Wednesday, and your box doesn’t have spinach that week, will you be upset that you have to go elsewhere to supplement your CSA box contents?

If so, then you may be better off buying from the grocery store or farmer’s market retail stands.

This is the number 1 reason non-renewing members give us for leaving our CSA: 

“I didn’t get enough of the things I wanted, and I got too much of the things I didn’t.”

CSA works best for customers who see their kitchen as a creative space, and our vegetables as the “paint” for their canvas.

They can handle the spontaneity required and are willing to experiment with new ingredients to make old meal templates come alive in new ways.

 

Our CSA provides a roadmap to help you “master” eating the CSA way. But it takes time.

Q5: Are you willing to work at eating the CSA way? Patience, my apprentice. (It’s a marathon, not a sprint to the finish line).

CSA takes time to see results. We have customers that have been with us for over 5 years, and they all say it took about 2-3 years before they learned how to consistently use the box’s full contents.

That means you will waste some food on the front end, as you go through your learning curve.

Come into this experience with an adventurous spirit, and go easy on yourself if you fail to eat the entire box every week at first. It’s really hard to do, especially as a rookie to the system.

There will be many weeks when you have best intentions to be a super-chef and maximize your CSA tasting experience… and then real life sets in, and you find yourself simply eating the broccoli raw with ranch dip.

It can sometimes feel like you’re “failing” in your original goal to change the way you eat.

Realize that if this is your goal, it takes time to learn the skill sets. (Don’t worry, we’ll teach them to you). Set realistic goals the first year, and work your way into it.

Also realize that in this journey to kitchen mastery, you’re going to waste some food, especially in the first learning year.

This is a really hard reality for some to face.

Either you don’t get home to make dinner in time because your life is hectic (so the veggies rot)… 

…or you end up eating take-out several times a week because you’re playing chauffeur to your 3 kids (so the veggies rot).

Like all paradigm shifts, it takes time to develop new habits and learn how to eat nimbly.

If you are committed to learning how, you can do it!

But it may take a few seasons before you feel like you’ve got it down.

Do you have the staying power to “work” at CSA?

 

Q6: Are you looking for a “deal”? Are you comparing CSA prices to the grocery store?

 

CSA members tell us that their kids are now eating vegetables.

People who fully embrace the CSA model don’t look for their membership to be a “deal” or a bargain. 

And they don’t compare the CSA experience to the grocery store price table.

Read that again. This is a really key point.

It is absolutely understandable to ask, “How much does it cost?” And to then weigh the pros and cons. 

Supporting a CSA financially however is not just about doing a cost analysis of each vegetable you receive in your box and comparing it to what you’d pay at Kroger or Costco.

Our vegetables have added value because every one of our vegetables is telling a story.

Not just the story of how the food was raised, how it was harvested, or what struggles it faced to come to your plate.

Not just the story of the farmer and how you help them live out their calling to the land.

EVERY VEGETABLE IS ALSO TELLING YOUR UNFOLDING STORY.

Our vegetables become a means to an end: they showcase your journey with food.

They are the starring attraction in your quest to master your kitchen space and prepare a delicious meal to rival any restaurant fare — a meal you can be proud of.

This is not something any grocery store can give you.

CSA customers appreciate this added value of our product, and are willing to pay a premium for it.

So if you’re saying to yourself, “Well that’s more than we’d pay at _____” ~  you may want to hit the pause button.

Just sayin’…

 

How’d you do?

Did you pass the quiz?

Remember, CSA is just one model out there for getting fresh farmer food onto your table. For those who value the story, the journey, and the farmer relationship behind the food, it can be a great option that can change the way you eat forever.

But there’s no shame in passing on CSA and instead buying weekly from a farmer’s market.

And that may in fact be a better fit to your style or needs.

We do both, so we just want you to be in the right fit.

As in all things, expectations determine how you experience the product. To set you up for CSA success, make sure your expectations align with the philosophy of CSA before you commit.

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If you think you’re ready, here are your next steps:

1. Head over to the Sign Up Link.

2. You’ll get a confirmation email from us.

3. Mail in your 50% payment ~ Join the movement.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR CSA. 

Jessica WashkowiakComment
The Safe Seed Pledge!

We are now ordering seed and we want our customers to know how we source only the best: This pledge is for you and for the security of safe seed for the future generations. 

At Field To Fork we take the most pride in seed selection. We choose only the best seed for our customers and purchase Organic, Heirloom and Open Polinated seed. We do this for the fact that we belive in Organic Agriculture and strive to grow food that we know is safe. We also know that our customers believe in us and know that we are making good choices. So we are making a pledge to you below you will see the safe seed pledge.

The Safe Seed Pledge:
Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered vegetables or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities.

Seed Definitions:
HEIRLOOM: Heirlooms are open-pollinated varieties
that either pre-date or are unaltered by the last 60 years
of modern breeding work. These varieties have been
passed down from neighbor to neighbor or through
families for generations, and are prized for their unusual
appearance, genetic diversity, and superior flavor.

OPEN-POLLINATED (OP): These varieties have
more genetic diversity and often more variation than
hybrids and can be pollinated by another plant of
the same variety to produce seeds that are “true to
type” – just like the parent plant. If an OP is cross pollinated
by a different variety of the same species,
it will produce seeds that are hybrids.

HYBRID: Created by deliberately crossing two different
parent varieties from the same species, they combine the
best traits of these varieties to produce greater disease
resistance, yield, and uniformity. F1 means “first generation
offspring”. These are not genetically modified but are
created through traditional plant breeding techniques.

WHAT ARE GMOS?
Genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) are varieties that have been
created by adding genetic material from one species into the DNA
sequence of another species, with the intention of introducing new
traits that would not normally exist. The result of genetic modification
by laboratory methods is a combination of genetic materials that could
never occur naturally. This is unlike traditional breeding, wherein
pollen is moved between closely-related plants. Traditional plant
breeders carry pollen from one plant to another by hand or with the
help of insects to produce controlled crosses of two individuals

Seed Companies we support:
www.highmowingseeds.com
www.johnnyseeds.com
www.fedcoseeds.com
www.fruitionseeds.com
www.rareseeds.com

 

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Jessica WashkowiakComment