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Seed To Table is one of many host farms in the Rogue Farm Corps Internship and Apprenticeship Programs.
The RFC Internship Program is a full season entry-level residential program combining hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. As an intern, you will live and train full-time on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your residential farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities. You can learn more about Rogue Farm Corps internship program at https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/internship.
The Seed to Table Farm is centered around a 2 acre market garden, located on an amazing 40 acre farm in Sisters, Oregon. The farm is a truly unique model, striving to provide the community with equal access to local and nutritious foods and to connect the community through farm based education. Seed to Table has a diverse operation; providing farm based education to nearly 700 students a year and growing over 30 diverse crops. A major focus is on maintaining healthy soil ecosystems and we are proud of the nutrient systems we are building on the farm with cover crops and minimal tillage. The farm has been expanding over the past five years under the founder of the farm, Audrey Tehan. Seed to Table is excited to have a new farm manager, Madeline coming on for the 2019 season. Interns will be training closely alongside Audrey and Madeline.
Seed to Table sells and donates produce to Sisters’ area food banks, schools wholesale accounts and has a 80 member vegetable CSA. The farm has also piloted a discounted farmers market for local food banks. Audrey and Madeline are really excited to bring on up to two Rogue Farm Corps interns to add to the inspiring dynamic on the farm.
Seed to Table Farm has two focuses: 1) growing delicious, diverse, organic food and selling the produce to support our program and community, 2) education our community about sustainable agriculture to create future farmers and local food customers! About 80% of time is spent farming and 20% of the time is spent engaging with the community through education programs. We host close to 1,300 students a year on the farm through our two hour field trip series. The education programs are managed by the education coordinator. Field trip lessons change with the seasons so we keep things really fun for ourselves and students. These are some of our favorite days on the farm, spent with veggies and students!
Currently we are not certified organic but we use no harmful chemicals or pesticides in production. At the foundation we focus on intensive cultivation; growing in permanent raised beds (about 30”-35” wide) and having pathways which are about 18” in between beds to maximize our space and reduce weed pressure. To cultivate beds we use a two wheel BCS tractor to increase our efficiency, sharing work between the two wheel tractor and hand cultivation. Two 100’ hoop houses, and three large greenhouses help us extend our season as much as possible in the harsh Central Oregon climate. In addition Seed to Table manages a 30’ x 40’ radiant heated greenhouse for the community. We teach a sustainable agriculture course for Sisters High School and experiment with hydroponics and small scale aqua-ponics at this facility. We use a lot of awesome tools to maintain a small but intensive and efficient operation.
Sisters is a small town, serving a community of about 5,000 people. It is situated at the eastern base of the Cascade Mountains, 20 miles from Bend (pop. 100,000) and 30 miles from Smith Rocks, a world-class rock climbing location. The farm sits right on the edge of town, which makes it easy to bike into town for music, a pizza or to the trail heads for hiking. Central Oregon is paradise for the outdoors person.
The climate in Central Oregon is unique and challenging. This is not the lush Oregon that so many people expect- but a high desert climate. It is dry. The frost-free period is extremely short, and nighttime temperatures can dip into the 30’s at any time during the summer. The day time temps can then fluctuate into the 100’s.