Welcome to Three Rivers Community Farm, Elsah, Illinois
Welcome to Three Rivers Community Farm, Elsah, Illinois
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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
 

for the 2017 season

Special Employment Opportunity

We are seeking two individuals or a couple who are interested in entrepreneurial opportunities on our farm long-term.  Work on our farm for the first year, learning our operation and exploring possible business opportunities like livestock, cut flowers, value-added, and then start these secondary operations in your second year. 

At least one year experience organic vegetable farming or pasture livestock farming who want to farm and have a business but don't want to own their farm or start from the ground up.  Employment begins in mid-March with full time employment through October and possible part time employment up through Christmas.  Pay up to $12/hour, based on experience.  Please send a letter of interest and resume to info@threeriverscommunityfarm.com.  Our CSA is entering its 11th season with 300 members, 2 farmers market, and an on-site farm stand.

Working at Three Rivers Community Farm

In 2017 we will raise 8 acres of vegetables (including one hoophouse) for a 300 member CSA and 2-3 farmers markets.  Our farm is moderately mechanized: we use a tractor for tilling, mowing, cultivating, but we plant and harvest by hand and do plenty of hand weeding and hoeing.  We're a small farm, and we work together with our employees.  Everyone shares in the big jobs of weeding, planting, harvesting and packing produce.  Some employees also specialize in particular areas of the farm, such as tractor operation or caring for seedlings in the greenhouse. 

Why work for us?

We're serious about what we do.  Our farm is our sole source of income for our family.  We have fun while we work; we laugh, tell stories, talk to our kids, and listen to music, NPR, and the Cards.  But we mainly work while we work.  We delight in work: the work that feeds our community, the work of strong hands, the work that keeps the land healthy and beautiful.  We love the sight of a well-weeded bed, a well trellised tomato row, harvesting a truckload of melons twice in a morning, or tilling the soil for the first time in the spring.  If you like a job well done and the hard work involved, you will be happy and valued here.

We respect our employees.  We deeply appreciate what they do on our farm.  It takes everyone working at their best level to make the farm function.  Many of our most joyful and vivid memories are of work we did alongside our employees.  We are considerate and respectful of work/life balance.  We devote much of our time and thought to training workers, answering their questions, and making sure they understand our work. 

We are a farm that produces 50 tons of food a year.  While all farms are subject to the vagaries of unpredictable weather and mechanical breakdowns, we have put years of experience, thought and planning into shaping systems that work.  We organize our time and our tools.  You will work hard here, but your work won't be wasted.  If you want to learn how to grow vegetables organically, you will see an example of a system that works.

Our Standards

We've worked with many employees.  Most have been productive, satisfied workers who raised fantastic food for people in our community.  But we've had a few employees who were not cut out for doing this kind of work with us.  We've listed here the qualities which distinguish successful from unsuccessful workers.  These are the standards by which we judge applicants.  We're laying them out not be harsh, but to be clear.  You should read and understand these standards before you apply or interview here.

--You must be able to do repetitive physical work outdoors in hot, cold, and rainy weather.  Your knees and back must withstand bending, kneeling, stooping and sitting on the ground for hours at a time.

--You must work carefully and be detail-oriented.  We are picky and fastidious and hate rebunching and rewashing produce.  Our quality standards are why we are still in business.

--At the same time, you must be fast.  Not sloppy, rushed or careless, but quick and efficient.  Time is money; and money pays you, pays us and our family, and keeps the farm growing and thriving.

--You must communicate and cooperate with your co-workers.  There are few things more frustrating than work which was left undone, was done poorly, or took too long, because workers did not talk to each other or work together.

--In the end, we are flexible and understanding.  We recognize and appreciate human differences and we've worked happily beside employees who've had some shortcomings in the areas above but who were trying their honest best.  But without exceptions, you must have a good attitude.  We have no tolerance for people who don't respect their work, our farm, us, or their co-workers.  If you're lazy or rude, then you won't work here.

--You do not need experience.  Many great workers have come here with no experience growing vegetables.  However, workers with experience are likely to start with higher pay and more responsibilities.

Housing

We do not have on-farm housing.  If you are coming to work here from outside the area, we’re happy to advise you on finding a place to live.  Commuting from St. Louis to work at our farm will be a challenge, but we won't rule out for the right individual.

Dates and Times of Work

March/April to October/November.  Exact start and end dates are negotiable.

Full time employees generally work 40 hours per week: Monday to Friday, 8AM-Noon and 1:00-5:00.  In the summer, on excessive heat days we shift our schedule to work 6AM-1PM, with a 20 minute break mid-morning.  In the autumn, we may have shorter days and less hours depending on how the season is going and on very rainy days, we may not work at all. 

Occasional days off are generally okay with prior approval.

We work on holidays (July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day).

Compensation

Staring wage is $10-$12 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications.

Access to surplus organic produce.

Application Process

The application deadline is February 1st.

  1. Please email your resume along with two references to info@threeriverscommunityfarm.com.
  2. We will acknowledge your application when we receive it.
  3. After review of your application, we may schedule a time for a brief phone interview (15-20 minutes).
  4. We may then schedule an in-person interview (1-2 hours) and a trial work session (half to full day) on our farm.  The trial work session is an opportunity for us to evaluate each other while doing real work.  It’s the most important way we judge applicants.  We will compensate your time with produce from the farm.
  5. Based on your trial work day, interviews, and references, we will offer or deny you employment.

     

                                     
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Three Rivers Community Farm         
Elsah, Illinois         

 

mailing address:
P.O. Box 122
Elsah, IL 62028 

618-946-7974
info@threeriverscommunityfarm.com


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