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Be our next Ecological Vegetable Farm Worker

We are now hiring for the 2020 growing season! To apply, please email us your cover letter and resume.

 

ECOLOGICAL VEGETABLE FARM WORKER

Little Hat Creek Farm is a successful diversified ecological vegetable farm and wood-fired bakery. Our beautiful five-acre property is nestled in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, close to the thriving “Brew Ridge Trail”, and abundant outdoor activities including Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. We are about one hour from Lynchburg, Charlottesville, and Staunton.

2020 will be our seventh season; we have grown 30-40% every year selling at several fast-paced farmer’s markets. Our goal as a business is to drive change in our regional food system by forging one-on-one relationships with our community of eaters, providing them with bread and vegetables that are directly linked to the land.

In our fields, we use ecological farming practices on about one acre of annual vegetables. We grow dozens of varieties of vegetables, focusing on building soil health and producing nutrient-dense food for our community; we avoid chemicals. In the spring we also produce thousands of vegetable, flower, and herb garden starts to help our community experience the joys of gardening. In our bakery, we specialize in using regional flours to produce naturally-leavened breads and croissants in our wood-fired oven.

Our passion for regional grain motivated us to help found the Common Grain Alliance, a new non-profit that seeks to revitalize the grain economy in the Mid-Atlantic. We see ourselves as one of several businesses working together to re-regionalize grain in the Mid-Atlantic. In addition, many of our pastries use the vegetables and fruit grown on our farm, and everything is baked in a 5’x7′ wood-fired oven that is housed in a cheerful 1000 sq-ft climate-controlled bakery building on the farm. In 2019 we added monthly pizza nights and workshops that have helped to deepen our engagement with our community.

We believe that economic success is an important, and often overlooked, piece of “sustainability”. But even as we are numbers people who are very focused on the bottom line, we also value family and relationships, and are willing to work extra hard to make space and time for people in both your life and ours.

Our team includes 2 full-time employees, and 1-2 part-time employees, in addition to myself, my wife, and our 2-year-old twins.

Job description

You will be involved in all aspects of the farm, including seeding, planting, harvesting, sorting, weeding, and mulching. You will be expected to help keep the greenhouse and packing station tidy, including washing flats and harvest containers. Our weeks build up to our busy farmers’ markets, where you will help sell the fruits of your labor and meet our dedicated community of eaters. You may perform other tasks as needed.

Skills Desired: You take pride in your work and enjoy working independently. You learn quickly, and can execute tasks efficiently while maintaining sufficient attention to detail. You can perform physically-demanding tasks outside in all kinds of weather. You are thoughtful, inquisitive, and find joy in hard work, food, and good company.

Compensation: This is an hourly paid position $8-12/hr DOE. Expect to work full time, with 50+ hour weeks possible at the peak of the season.

Housing: We have a one-room insulated cabin with a sleeping loft on-site. The cabin has electricity, and comes with a microwave, hot plate, mini-fridge, space heater, and air conditioner. There is a kitchen sink with running water, and the private bathroom (with shower) is about 20 steps away just inside our mudroom. If you choose to live on the farm, we will charge a nominal rent to cover internet, utilities, and laundry. We have two cats, so we prefer no additional pets.

Minimum Length of Stay: This position starts April 1, 2020, and ends in October. There is some flexibility with start and end dates, but you must be able to stay at least through the end of September 2020.

Educational Opportunities: We are a small professional market farm, so you will be involved in every aspect of our operation including: greenhouse management, planting, cultivating, harvesting, composting, and marketing. We will train you to do at least one farmer’s market with us every week. During the season, we will tour other ecological farms in our area.

As part of Little Hat Creek Farm, you will be connected to a growing network of like-minded farms and grain professionals in the Mid-Atlantic who are working towards a thriving regional foodshed. We make a point of sharing the details of our farming, baking, and business practices, so we encourage you to ask questions so that we can help you realize your goals.

Compensation for this position is $8-12 per hour. Expect to work 50-60 hours per week June-Aug, 35-40 hours per week at other times.

Please email us your one-page resume and cover letter. Deadline: January 31, 2020

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Join our team!

The season is upon us and we need more help! Please check out our new listings on Good Food Jobs for a Wood-fired Bakery Assistant and a Farm-Bakery Assistant. Application deadline is July 12, so please help us spread the word!

And thank you for helping us find our next awesome team member!

Old-time Pizza Nites all summer long

OLDTIME PIZZA NITE

UPDATE (Sep 10): If you’ve had trouble with the ticket website, don’t worry! Just come. Let us know you had trouble and we’ll honor the online price. Thanks!

Join us for our LAST monthly Oldtime Pizza Nite!  Between 6:00 and 8:00 we’ll be cranking out two different vegetarian pizzas made with produce grown by us and by our friends–it’s all-you-can-eat, so bring an appetite! There will be kombucha from Blue Ridge Bucha on tap to wash it all down.

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Music will be provided by Mary Jane Epps and Joe DeJarnette. A public jam hosted by Aaron Olwell will start at 6:00, so bring your instrument! All levels welcome (we mean that!)

Pizza production and the hosted jam will stop at 8:00 but you’re welcome to stick around, hang out, and play tunes until dark.

What to bring:

Blankets and/or lawn chairs for relaxing

Layers to stay comfortable in all weather (this is a rain-or-shine event!)

Salad or dessert to share (this is totally optional, but comes with a free glass of kombucha!)

Kids and friends with toys/frisbees etc to share

Musical instruments for jamming

Please leave your non-service pets at home

And no alcohol please!

It helps us immensely if you can purchase your tickets in advance. Advance ticket sales are available until midnight the day before the event. After that, you’re still welcome to come and purchase tickets at the door for $2 extra. There are limited income tickets, and one volunteer ticket (online only), which entitles you to free pizza in exchange for helping us set up and break down. As a volunteer, you’ll have to be available between 5:30 and 8:00!

We look forward to meeting you!

Best,

Heather, Ben, Sam & Hazel

Be our next farm worker!

This is a full-time hourly paid farm position.

Job Description: You will be involved in all aspects of the farm, including seeding, planting, harvesting, sorting, weeding, and mulching. You will be expected to help keep the greenhouse and packing station tidy, including washing flats and harvest containers. You will assist us at our busy farmer’s market stands, help us pack our CSA, and help manage our laying hens. Additional duties may include deliveries, helping with bakery production, packaging bread, or cleaning tasks in the bakery.

Skills desired: You are a good fit to for this position if you love making and sharing good food and if our farm+bakery business model excites you. You get pleasure in seeing (and eating) the fruits of your hard work. You want to learn more about what it takes to run a successful farm business, and how to grow nutritious and delicious food. You are a self-starter who can anticipate tasks and you work well independently and with others. You take pride in performing routine tasks quickly and efficiently while attending to detail, and you are able to problem-solve on the fly. You are punctual, able to safely lift fifty pounds, and able to meet deadlines.  You can perform physically-demanding tasks outside in all kinds of weather. You are thoughtful, inquisitive, and find joy in hard work, food, and good company.

Compensation: This is an hourly paid position starting at $8/hr. Expect to work full time, with 50+ hour weeks possible at the peak of the season.

Housing: A room in our house is available for rent for $175/month (utilities, laundry, internet included). You would share a bathroom with our housemate, and have unrestricted access to our home kitchen, or the bakery for cooking. Your room comes with a mini-fridge, full-size bed, and simple furnishings.

Minimum Length of Stay: Must be available to start immediately. There is some flexibility with end dates, but you must stay the full season.

Educational Opportunities: We are a small ecological farm, so you will be involved in every aspect of our operation including: greenhouse management, planting, cultivating, harvesting, chicken management, and marketing. We will train you to do a farmer’s market with us every week. During the season, we will tour other ecological farms in our area.

As part of Little Hat Creek Farm, you will be connected to a growing network of like-minded farms and grain professionals in the Mid-Atlantic who are working towards a thriving regional foodshed. We make a point of sharing the details of our farming, baking, and business practices, so we encourage you to ask questions so that we can help you realize your goals.

You will have free access to unsold farm produce, eggs, bread and pastries, plus trading rights at market for things we don’t produce, like meat and cheese.

To apply, please submit your 1-page resume and cover letter to littlehatcreek “at” gmail.com. In your cover letter, please tell us what motivates you to be a part of a regional food system.

This position is open until filled.

 

 

 

Do you shop at the Nelson market? Sign up NOW for your fall bakery shares

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP by NOV 7

Starting next week, you can pick up a bread and/or pastry share at the Blue Ridge Bucha taproom in Waynesboro, at Basic Necessities in Nellysford, at the Old Orchard Farm Market at RVCC, or on our farm.  Shares work like a CSA–you pay in advance for 6-7 weeks of deliveries (depending on the location), and you can buy as many types of bread as you want! We’ll have another sign-up drive for winter shares in January. Thank you for your support!

Blue Ridge Bucha Taproom: Wednesdays starting Nov 14

RVCC, Basic Necessities, Little Hat Creek Farm: Saturdays starting Nov 10

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It’s Fall, y’all!

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The first morning in August when there is a chill in the air, I think to myself how much I love the change of season from summer to fall. Unlike summer to spring, which often feels like an explosion of green, fall presents itself in bits and pieces; a cool breeze on your skin, golden evening light dancing on your cabbages, a dusting of leaves on your path. I love how Fall teases us with cool weather, only to step back and allow Indian Summer its time in the sun.

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Fall vegetables are challenging to grow, because we usually have to start them in the heat of the summer. Most brassicas (because, let’s face it, most of the best fall vegetables belong to this family) don’t germinate well in the heat. We start them indoors, and then cross our fingers that they don’t overheat as transplants, or get overtaken by flea beetles that adore making cabbage leaves into Swiss cheese.

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Next year, we will invest in insect netting that will help exclude these little insects without overwhelming the plants with heat. This year, we just got lucky. Our leafy fall Brassica plantings look great. Cabbages are heading up in the shortening days, and the kohlrabi! Yes, we have decided we love kohlrabi (starring in the above photo), and have planted more than ever. Today is the first harvest of this otherworldly vegetable. We can’t wait to bite into the first crispy fresh slice this evening. Kohlrabi is lovely in fall soups and stews, but in our house it rarely makes it past the cutting board. –HAC

Visit our new Pop-up Shop in Waynesboro!

we are lovely.jpgWe are so excited to collaborate with Blue Ridge Bucha to bring our ecological vegetables and wood-fired sourdoughs to Waynesboro. On Wednesdays starting today from 4:30 to 6 PM, we will be setting up a table inside the beautiful new Blue Ridge Bucha Taproom at 1809 E Main St, right along the 250 corridor. If you miss market, or just need some mid-week groceries, stop by, and remember to bring your growler!

Plus, we will be opening up our bread & vegetable CSA to a small number of new mid-season members in Waynesboro, and we’ll be trialing a new bread & pastry subscription service.

Come say hello!

About that tractor

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The May planting rush is upon us, and we rely on our old Ford tractor to prepare bed after bed. In the photo above, you can see the new blue paint on our tractor’s front axle “knee.” No, we’re not giving the Ford a touch-up paint job, it’s actually a brand new part, replacing the one that cracked all the way around the kingpin (the vertical shaft inside the knee). Hmmm! Not what you want to see when you’re preparing beds for your May-planted crops! So I limped back to the barn…….

When you use a tractor that’s 36 years old, you can’t be too mad when something breaks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of aptitude or even interest in working on vehicles. It’s very satisfying to fix something on a vehicle and get it running again, but my experience level really limits my problem solving abilities. And anyway, I’d rather be working with plants!

So I knew I could probably tear it apart, but then watch in horror as some ball bearings and mangled bushings dropped out of the axle. (This is probably the first time I was glad that this tractor WASN’T four-wheel-drive!). I knew I was going to need some “supervision” putting it back together. After calling around, I found someone who could help. A guy named Bill Fenner came over last week. He told me he had worked for many years at an big company that made high-speed wrapper machines. (There was a slight pause where, in my head, I said to myself, “rapper like hip-hop?”) And he said, you know like cigarette and candy wrappers! Anyway, he rose through the ranks to middle management, but luckily for us, he decided that what he would rather be doing is fixing farmers’ vehicles and machinery.

Big thanks to Bill for getting us rolling again!

Help us fill our CSA!

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SIGN UP NOW

Do you have a friend who wishes she could make it to the Farmer’s Market, but can’t? Or how about that new guy at work who loves to cook?  Tell them about our CSA, and if they sign up by June 1, 2018, you get $25 in market credit with us, and they get a $25 discount on their box!

It’s win-win.

Or maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of signing up yourself.  It is so easy to let time slip by (don’t we know it), but really, now is the time to sign up! We’ll give you $25 off your box if you do.

We’re looking for FIVE new members, and we can do it with your help!

Our CSA is perfect for the busy family or professional who wants to eat ecological produce and good bread, and who wants to keep their dollars in the local food system, but doesn’t have time to go the farmer’s market. Our CSA boxes are pre-packed and ready to go with the best our farm has to offer, and our pickup windows on our farm, in Charlottesville, and in Lexington are long enough to accommodate tight schedules. Read more about our CSA here, or better yet, just hit the button below! And make sure you mention this offer so we can give credit where credit is due.

SIGN UP NOW

Thank you for supporting your local farmer and baker!

–Ben & Heather

 

 

Announcing two new plant sales locations

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We start thousands of seedlings every year in our greenhouse; this year is no exception! Many of them are destined for our fields, but nearly half of them are grown specifically for your gardens. We choose tried and true varieties of vegetables and herbs for our garden starts, grow them up ecologically in our wonderful new potting soil from Vermont Compost, and sell them in their prime. Buying plant starts is a great way to kick start your garden, grow successions of things like zucchini and lettuce, and to try several varieties at once. We think about seeding in February so you don’t have to! And we are always happy to pass on tips or help you with your garden planning, so come with questions!

You can find our plant starts at the following local plant sales:

We look forward to seeing you there!

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