It’s that time again. In addition to planting the spring crops (in between waiting for each rain event to stop long enough to do so) we’ve begun our search for another worker. Life always gets busier here at the farm when the spring — and soon enough, summer — seasons loom, and with Davy changing his hours from full-time to part-time, it’s especially crucial we find one more sucker…um, I mean, helper to join us. (tee hee)

I’ve sent out notices via newsletter in the past when we’ve been in need of a new employee. In some cases, my pleas for help have been answered with resounding success. Dana and Mary came to us that way, for which we continually count our lucky stars. Paula and Sarah were newsletter recruits, as well, and though both have since moved on to very different career adventures, they also merited a great deal of star tallies during their respective farm tenures.

Other experiences with our newsletter want ads were, shall I say, interesting. It quickly became clear that many people don’t fully understand that this is a real job. Our helpers need to arrive when we expect them, and stay until the designated time to leave. That seems to throw some folks off. I understand. Farming, after all, isn’t terribly similar to most employment situations. For one thing, the work environment is a bit unusual.

It’s a lot prettier. Perhaps because of this, people rightfully assume the atmosphere will be more casual, and therefore more come-and-go-as-you-please. One girl, years ago, even asked it if would be okay to take a little time during the day to relax out in the fields with a type of cigarette – and I’m not talking Marlboro.

The answer was no.

Now, I’m not saying we’re slave drivers! Not at all. While the work is indeed physical and sometimes monotonous (consider harvesting a 400-foot bed of spinach leaf-by-leaf) we do also have fun. Heck, we even take time to celebrate birthdays.

With cake and everything! And what you can’t see in this photo, is the fresh-brewed coffee (or icy cold glass of milk, in Davy’s case) and birthday presents that go along with it. Imagine that!

(By the way, Mary is older than five. And apparently deserving of a much, much larger cake, from the looks of this picture. Let’s assume there were more people here for her party. Still, if you see Davy, please don’t rub it in, okay?)

Whoever takes us up on an employment offer will probably do so out of a desire to learn more about organic growing. That’s what we have most to give. Because Farmer John and I don’t make much of an income ourselves – as is the way on a small family farm – we simply cannot provide a hefty salary to a new hire. We do, however, furnish our own version of “health insurance” by making certain everyone working on the farm has fresh vegetables at their disposal. Since we can’t pay a lot, we do our best to put a big dent in everyone’s grocery bill.

We all eat well.

Our preference would be to hire someone full-time, 40 hours per week. Yet we’re also open to part-time, if that’s how it all shakes out. The potential helper needn’t have any experience, but should be unafraid of working outdoors even when the weather turns unfriendly – specifically, during the summer heat. (Though we’re understanding about that, too – we ask people to take breaks when it’s really hot.)

So if you or someone you know would like to join our little crew, we’d love to hear from you. Just reply to this email.

Again, the work is most certainly work,

but there’s also plenty of opportunity for interesting conversation

and a good deal of hilarity.

Just please, no smoking. Marlboros or otherwise.

(By the way, the numbers on the cake are correct in this shot.)

Jo Dwyer
Angel Valley Organic Farm
PS…We plan to reopen the farm stands the first week of March, Mother Nature permitting!