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Farm Manager Couple

Elkstone Farm
Published
January 25, 2020
Location
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Type of farm?
Produce - Vegetable/Fruit
Start Date
2020/04/15
Salary offered/Rental Fee
Commensurate with experience

Description

Description

Elkstone Farm is a permaculture-inspired farm in the mountains of northwest Colorado, near Steamboat Springs. Its owners were inspired to start the farm by the agricultural heritage of the valley and the desire to improve the health of the land, using organic principles to maximize its productivity. The farm began operations in 2009 with the construction of a 2880 sq. ft. climate battery-regulated greenhouse that allowed for production of Mediterranean perennials (think figs, citrus and grapes). Over the ensuing ten years, our growing operations expanded to include five additional growing areas: 1) a pond garden containing fruit trees, berries, herbs, other perennials, and annual vegetables, 2) three passive-solar hoophouses (30’x72’ each) for annual production, 3) a fruit forest, 4) a flower garden that has recently evolved to include edible perennials, and 5) an agroforest using an alley-cropping configuration to grow trees and annual crops (in early stages of planting). All of the growing environments, except for the hoophouses, are within an 8.3-acre, fenced-in area. Also within that area are the farm house and wooded areas of aspen. Outside of the fence, adjacent to the hoophouses, is a structure that contains a seedhouse, produce washing area, herb drying room, and growers’ office. Although not certified organic, we are, at our core, committed to the exclusive use of organic practices. See https://elkstonefarm.com/environments/ for photos of the growing environments and https://elkstonefarm.com/videos/ to get an overview of the farm during all four seasons. The farm also has a commercial kitchen operated by a chef who teaches cooking lessons and offers post farm tour lunches, as well as creates value-added products. Her passion for the farm-to-table connection, creative uses of produce, and limiting food waste is infectious. Our produce and products are sold at our farm stand, through a local online market (https://caamarket.org), and at restaurants and specialty stores. See https://elkstonefarm.com/farmstand/shop for insight into what we produce and sell. Summer farm tours are offered to the general public as well as to educational and non-profit organizations. Our commitment to nurturing the land endures, as does our desire to share our food and knowledge with our community. Going forward, we aim to integrate science more systematically into our operations and continue to enhance the productivity of our land and what Elkstone Farm has to offer our community.

Location Specifics

Elkstone Farm is located at 7000' elevation just outside of Steamboat Springs, CO in a valley known as Strawberry Park.

Land Description

Owner owns 700 acres of land that include hilly wooded areas and hay meadow in addition to the farm. The farm is nestled in the transition zone between the woods and the meadow. Most of the growing space is within an 8.3-acre area that has been fenced in to discourage wildlife. It includes a 2880 sq. ft. climate battery-regulated greenhouse, a pond garden containing fruit trees, berries, herbs, other perennials, and annual vegetables, a fruit forest, a flower garden that has recently evolved to include edible perennials, and an agroforest using an alley-cropping configuration to grow trees and annual crops (in early stages of planting). Outside of the fenced area are three passive-solar hoophouses (30’x72’ each) for annual production. See https://elkstonefarm.com/environments/ for photos of the growing environments and https://elkstonefarm.com/videos/ to get an overview of the farm during all four seasons.

Goals/Vision for Farm

Elkstone Farm is a responsible steward of the land and contributes to our vibrant community by providing fresh, healthy, delicious produce and products from our farm. By sharing our knowledge and resources we strive to inspire healthy living now and in the future. Over the last ten years, we have focused on growing produce in an environmentally responsible way and offering it and farm-made products direct to the consumer. To a lesser extent, we have offered the farm for educational opportunities for both youth and adults, with the focus on sustainable growing practices and cooking. As we look to the next decade, we aim to integrate science more systematically into our operations and continue to enhance the productivity of our land and what Elkstone Farm has to offer our community. Toward this aim, we will evaluate not just what we grow and what products we create, but how we might expand educational outreach and agritourism offerings.

Housing provided

Apartment is located on second floor of farmhouse. It consists of a living room, full kitchen, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a loft and a balcony that overlooks the farm. Also in the building are the farm office (2nd floor), commercial kitchen (1st floor), and 2-car garage. Photos of apartment may be found on farm website's application page.

Qualifications Required

For at least one member of couple, Bachelor’s degree in soils science, sustainable agriculture or agronomy preferred, but degree in related field and/or farm management will be considered. Minimum of 8 years of experience with, at least, 3 years management experience of sustainably grown produce farm and 5 years of hands-on growing experience, some of which ideally should be in high altitude or short growing season environments.

Application Process

See home page of https://elkstonefarm.com for link to application and full job description. In addition to one-page application, cover letter and CV are requested. We'll acknowledge receipt of full application via email and will follow up with request for phone interview or notification that application will not be pursued. If phone interview indicates a good fit, applicants will be invited to schedule on-site interview.

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