We are currently accepting applications for our 2018 Flower Apprenticeship!

The Flower Apprenticeship is a seven-month full-time position, in which apprentices partake in every aspect of the flower farm life. As the bulk of the flower program’s labor force, apprentices work alongside the lead flower farmers to perform all necessary fieldwork, harvest countless buckets of flowers, sell our wares at our local markets, and assist in floral design.

To complement and provide context to the work at hand, apprentices receive weekly classes, taught both in-house and by guest lecturers. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

Soil Science
Compost and Fertility
Crop Planning
Tractor operation (Series)
Sexual and Asexual Propagation
Floral Design (Series)
Floristry Business Basics
Crop Culture (Series)

To build experience and responsibility in particular areas, apprentices rotate through four 2-month posts: Propagation, Irrigation, Marketing and Pest/Disease Management. After initial training, apprentices are expected to operate relatively independently to cover the weekly needs in these areas.

Compensation and Accommodations

We offer on-farm housing for 3 of our 4 apprentices, in the form of tent cabins with a monthly rent of $350. We reserve one position for a local resident who can secure their own housing. Those living on-site will share an outdoor shower and composting toilet. The staff kitchen is located a short walk away in the tractor barn.

Apprentices will be paid an hourly rate of $12/hour (50-60 hours/week). The costs of rent ($350/month for those living on-site) and instruction ($100/month) will be deducted from their paychecks. Apprentices can expect to be engaged on the farm full-time from April 2 to October 26.

The Ideal Candidate

The flower apprenticeship is geared toward individuals who have a sincere interest in learning the ins and outs of ecologically sound flower farming. While no formal farming or floristry experience is required, we are seeking those who are both passionate about flowers and have demonstrated success in a hardworking, community-oriented environment. At times farm work can be tedious, strenuous, and unpredictable, and we value a staff that is flexible, positive, and easy-going.

Our farm prides itself on the health of our greater farm community. We are looking for team players who are interested in fully participating in all parts of farm life, whether that means helping out with general farm events, hopping over to help the vegetable team with a plant-out, or playing (or cheering) on the farm softball team. Our community is bilingual and multicultural, and some of our farm’s core values are inclusivity and connection across these lines.

Must have previous experience performing physical labor, completing dirty tasks, and persevering through uncomfortable conditions and long hours.

About our Staff:

Zoe Hitchner has been farming flowers for the past 6 years after completing the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the UCSC Farm and Garden, including a second year apprenticeship under horticulturalist Orin Martin. Previously, she spent many years working at a flower shop, which built the foundation of her floral design skills. Zoe is the lead flower grower at Front Porch Farm.

Joella Simons–Adkins worked with native plant propagation, native habitat restoration, and community farming before joining Zoe at Front Porch Farm to assist in flower production. 2018 will be her third season at Front Porch, though it’s hard to imagine a time she wasn’t on the team.

To Apply:
Please send your resume to zoe@fpfarm.com along with your responses to the following questions.

Why are you interested in ecological flower farming?
How do you foresee your participation in this program fitting into your future goals? What specific skills do you hope to gain during this season?
What is an example of a time you lived in community? How would you describe the role you played within that community?
What do you like to do for fun?
Do you hope to live on or off that farm?

About Front Porch Farm:
Front Porch Farm is a 110-acre organic farm located on the Russian River just 10 minutes from downtown Healdsburg in Northern California. A diverse market farm, Front Porch grows a wide array of vegetable crops, heritage grains, fruit trees, wine grapes, and specialty cut flowers. At our neighboring property—Acorn Ranch—we also raise heritage pork and lamb. With ecological farming principles at the heart of what we do, we strive to be responsible stewards of the land.