Work With Us
If you are interested in working with us at Kern Family Farm, please read the details below of our intern and apprentice programs and fill out the application form at the bottom of this page. Hiring is done on a rolling basis.
Internship & apprenticeship details:
Interns and apprentices live and work on the farm, experiencing the many facets of our diverse organic operation. The communal work day 8Am - 12PM where everything from weeding and soil cultivation, bed preparation, planting, transplanting, seed saving and a myriad of other farm based tasks are performed. We harvest on Mondays and Thursdays delivering to our many restaurant partners in the local town of Oakhurst and are present at seasonal farmers markets. If education is of interest, you will be able to assist with the off-farm school garden project which we run on Fridays at North Fork Elementary. With community being one of the pillars of our farm, we are involved in many other off farm events and activities and our team are highly encouraged to volunteer their time to attend and assist. The rhythm of the farm varies with the seasons. From June through October, the days are very long, often with more tasks to complete than there is time to get them done! Vegetable production on the farm is in full swing in the summer months. It gets hot here in the summer, but we can always cool down in the creek that runs through the farm.
Living with us:
We provide housing by way of RV’s, mobile homes, and and cobb house, the best of which is designated for our long term apprentices. Our team is expected to prepare their own meals from food we supply, except for lunch on work days where we take turns preparing a big meal for the crew in our home. Located in the Sierra National Forest, there are a myriad of great hiking trails running in, through and off the farm. The Saganaw Creek runs along the edge of the farm, all summer long in good years, and provides many great spots to cool off from the summer heat! Note that there is a lot of walking up and down rugged hillsides when working on our property; it’s a great place to build up fitness but if you’ve not done much walking then you should be prepared to have sore legs for a few weeks while your body adapts to the landscape. We’re also located only a short distance from the entrance to Yosemite, and the Kings Canyon / Sequoia National Parks. Please also note there are lots of cats and dogs around, so if you have strong allergies to furry critters, this might not be the place for you…
We have had over 500 “WWOOF” interns work with us on the farm over the past 10 years. In exchange for 20hrs of work room and board is provided. Interns are not required to have any farming experience, though we prefer those that can commit for more than 2 months (with an initial 2 week trial period) as we are most interested in working with those that want to get a feel for sustainable agriculture. Afternoons and weekends are free time, though there are always projects interns are welcome to get involved in.
Our apprenticeships are perfect for those who’ve had some farming experience and are looking to take that next step with more responsibilities, while gaining the skills and education to further their careers in sustainable agriculture. Apprentices are expected to work in the afternoons, where our interns are not, taking on more responsibilities on the farm. We look for longer term commitment, a minimum of one year which is necessary to experience all four seasons of the farm.
Benefits of the role:
Your experience will directly reflect the amount of effort you put into your time here. We’re delighted that many of the folks that have come through our farm have gone on to do great things in the world of sustainable agriculture. As an apprentice you’ll learn our methods of regenerative & biologically intensive market gardening, and get the chance to be involved in all of the areas of our farm operation, learning and gaining experience in crop planning, soil cultivation, irrigation, holistic management, operating machinery, green building, attending farmers markets and potentially assisting in our store the Gnarly Carrot. As your knowledge and skills progress there will also be opportunities to lead our crew. We provide educational components by organising field trips to local farms and operators, provide time and space for discussions on sustainable agriculture, and other training sessions that can be tailored to your interests; learning to drive the tractor or working with our goat herd and chicken flock, for example. Our goal is to support and nurture your understanding, skills, and appreciation for local, sustainable agriculture and to provide opportunities for growth and hands on experience. We have a very wide experience base, but our strongest points of knowledge we can share are:
Homesteading -No-till -Agroecology -Permaculture - Alternative energies (our farm is entirely off grid) - Passive solar building designs - Irrigation strategies in the mountains - Holistic grazing - Green building & Construction - School garden education - Small scale diverse farming - Greenhouse production
For our apprentices there are stipend opportunities available, based on long term stays and taking on areas of responsibility. Accommodation is a large and comfortable RV or cob house. You will share a kitchen and bathroom with other apprentices and interns.