Fertile Ground CSA

Our Farm

Fertile Ground is an organic vegetable farm located just 15 minutes west of Waterloo. We grow a wide variety of vegetables for our 250 member CSA, as well as a few local cafes and retail customers. We are committed to community-building and drawing people into the story of their food. We have an active volunteer base, wonderfully supportive CSA members, and are always looking for ways to create opportunities for community interaction and involvement.

Our farm is 100 acres: 10 acres of garden (with 4 in vegetable production annually) and 40 acres hay for our partner mixed livestock farm. We raise 100 pastured laying hens and a handful of laying ducks. We have 2 seedling greenhouses and one tomato high tunnel. Although we do a lot of hand work, we have a Farmall 656 and 140 that we use for primary and in-row cultivation. We’ve been focusing on intense cover cropping and are hoping to introduce some reduced tillage strategies in 2017.

An Internship is a Work-for-Learning Exchange

No prior experience required, but must have a keen interest in experiencing a full season immersed in the hard work of organic farming. Physical strength and stamina are important, as is commitment to a full season of working and learning. Expect the work to be physically and mentally demanding, with long hours outdoors in all weather. In exchange, we will provide a quality educational experience (detailed below), supported by our team of Lead Farmer, staff and interns. In addition, a full-time novice intern will receive room and board, as well as a monthly stipend.

Educational Opportunities

Fertile Ground was begun directly out of a CRAFT internship and is now entering its 9th season of operation. We are committed to developing an educational focus and level of responsibility that matches with experience level & interests. In addition to experiential learning at the farm and monthly CRAFT days, we arrange for 3-4 additional field trips and offer regular on-farm workshops on a variety of topics such as crop planning, crop rotations, farm finances, seed saving, cover cropping and botany. Interns will be involved in the following tasks:

  • Greenhouse management & seedling production
  • Seeding and transplanting
  • Weed management & pest control
  • Irrigation
  • Fertility management and soil building practices
  • Harvest & post-harvest handling
  • CSA pick-ups
  • Pastured poultry care (with possibility for additional livestock experience working with our mixed livestock partner’s pigs and cattle)
  • Infrastructure building & maintenance
  • Volunteer supervision & mentoring
  • Tractor work with our FarmAll 656 and 140 (if deemed appropriate)

Our crew includes the lead farmer (Angie Koch), Field Manager, staff, interns and volunteers. Some live on site, some commute.

Novice Interns: No prior experience required, but commitment,  stamina and a drive to learn are key.  Average stipend of $400/mth  (increases from $275-$575 monthly) + room/board. May 1-Oct 31.

Senior Interns: Must have a full season’s experience on another farm (preferably market garden) or closely related work. Senior interns may choose a special project or area of focus for the season. Average stipend of $600/month plus room/board (increased from $475-$725 monthly). May 1- Oct 31. May 1-Sept position 1 may be considered.

Housing: Room & board provided on-farm. Private sleeping/lounge area with shared kitchen & bathroom.

Applications: Send resume & letter of interest (with timeframes for all relevant experience please) to Angie Koch angie@fertilegroundcsa.com

Website: www.fertilegroundcsa.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FertileGroundCSA/