Growing new farmers for a more sustainable future.

Our farmers-in-training receive the hands-on experience needed to be successful farmers in the Snoqualmie Valley and beyond.

Our Program

Curriculum & Schedule

Apply

Meet Our Farmers

Updates from the Program

Fund a Farmer

Close

Our Program

Each year we grow new farmers to provide sustainable farm leaders for our future. Each new farmer will gain the educational background and hands-on experiences needed to be a successful farmer producing healthful organic food for the Snoqualmie Valley and beyond.

The full-time program takes place at Carnation Farms’ historic 818-acre property in Carnation, Washington, where new farmers will have the opportunity to live, rent-free, in shared on-site housing. During the program the farmers will be trained on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market.

Following the first phase of the program (April to November), the farmers-in-training will develop a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre). Following approval of the plan, the farmer will receive the opportunity to farm through another calendar year at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will mentor the new farmers-in-training and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

Farmers-in-training will work under the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and will be paid a bi-weekly stipend of $1300 (gross before taxes). Work will require availability on evenings and weekends as scheduled. In addition to classroom-style instruction and hands-on farming, apprentices will interact with Carnation Farms staff, and also with participants in Carnation Farms’ educational programming, such as farm camps, culinary classes, weekend farm days, markets and school field trips.

Carnation Farms expects that after the completion of the apprenticeship, graduates will establish their own sustainable food-producing farms.

 

Curriculum & Schedule

Our curriculum is based off of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Farm & Garden Apprenticeship program with additional training and content specific to our growing region.

The farmers will be trained and have hands on experience on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market. This training includes experience with sustainable vegetable, fruit, grain, and livestock production.

 

Curriculum topics include:

  • Soils — Soil physical properties, soil/plant interactions, soil fertility management, soil testing, composting, and cover cropping.
  • Growing Methods — Organic certification standards, crop planning, asexual/sexual plant propagation, greenhouse techniques, bed preparation, transplanting and sowing, crop care, cultivation, seed saving, and irrigation.
  • Botany and Crop Culture — Botanical characteristics and cultural requirements of specific vegetable crops, herbs, flowers, fruits, and trees, and how they may be combined in a farm or garden. Pollinator habit protection and enhancement.
  • Animal Husbandry- Sustainable livestock management of a variety of animals including cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Basic beekeeping.
  • Environmental Stewardship — Brief survey of modern agricultural production’s effects on environmental quality, and farm/forest/flood stewardship. Salmon stream care and Salmon Safe certification needs.
  • Pest and Disease Management — Management of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and plant pathogens in organic systems.
  • Marketing and Business Acumen — Harvest and post-harvest handling, marketing strategies and outlets, direct marketing through Farmers Market-style produce stands, a Farm Stand, Farm to Table Meals, Adult and Kids Classes and Camps.
  • Social Issues in Agriculture — Historical and contemporary overviews of the dynamic and fluid manner in which the modern food system has been shaped by and contributes to various social, political and economic structures.

 

They will also learn to develop a business and strategic plan, basic accounting and record-keeping, time management, consumer interaction to generate sales, land acquisition, culinary preparations of farm products, regulations, food systems, public policy, and labor. Some topics will be taught by local experts either on-site or via local field trips. Operating and repairing typical farm vehicles, equipment, structures, and tools are part of the training, as well as implement purchase, cleaning, and storage.

The 7-month program runs April through November. Following the first phase of the program our new farmers will spend December and January developing and refining a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre), as they continue working on the farm. If approved, they will receive the opportunity to farm through the end of 2019 at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will train new 2019 apprentices and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

 

Sample Schedule from a Week of Our Program:

Typical time allocation

  • 30% of 40-hour week will be classroom education = 12 hours/week
  • 70% of 40-hour week will be in field experience/work = 28 hours/week
  • Harvest days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Field Trips

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
(if applicable)
Morning
Carnation Farms
• Farm team staff meeting
• Mentor-FIT team meeting1
• Brief check-in with each FIT individually
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Carnation Farmers Market
• Class 9-noon• Practical skills class 10-12pm
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at CF Farm Day or other event
Afternoon
Carnation Farms
• Work on site
• If applicable, comp time for previous week’s evening-Saturday rotations
• Farmers Market.
• Rotation at Carnation Farmers Market, 5/2-10/30, 3 to 7 pm
• Class 2-5 pm• Work on site
• Rotation at North Bend Farmers Market, 6/7 – 9/6 , 4 to 8pm
• Rotation at Farm Store (when up and running)
• Work on site
• Issaquah Farmers Market, 5/5-9/29, 9 am to 2 pm
*Schedule may change depending on season
1Mentor-FIT(Farmer in Training) team meeting: recap from last week, review week ahead for both field and classroom, set goals, identify learning opportunities, assign duties, prioritize tasks, note deadlines, and discuss calendar/schedule issues.

Apply to Growing Farmers

We look forward to hearing from you. Our 2019 Application will be released later this year. In the meantime, visit our calendar of activities for fun ways to engage with our farm!

Meet Our Farmers

Ashley has a degree in Zoology and most recently worked as a Cheesemaker at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle.

Quote: “One of the great things about farm life is the variability and small challenges faced every day. Taking each new problem on with a sense of confidence and determination is nearly always better than allowing oneself to feel overwhelmed or incapable. Since graduating I’ve worked on many farms both paid and unpaid and I’ve learned the non-agricultural jobs I’ve taken on I don’t find satisfaction in. I know my life lies within agriculture, now is the time for me to find the exact spot within the field that I belong and where I can do the most good.”

 

Alex spent summers working on her aunt’s farm in Oregon from the time she was 12 years old.

Quote: “I love animals and hard work. I like the rain and I love the sun. All my life I have dreamt of working on and with the land, even when I didn’t realize I was dreaming about it. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, I would like to give the gift of wholesome life and sustenance to those in my community, I want to cultivate a community and revel in its success together! It’s very easy for me to get carried away with all of my dreams and the things I want for the world, I hope it fall on ears that have the same dreams and ambitions.”

 

Evan attended University in Illinois and has previous experience working on farms in Hawaii, California, and Oregon.

Quote: “To be able to apprentice at Carnation Farms would be a chance to learn the vegetable production and management skills I desire but also give back to the farming community and those who support it at the same time. In the future, I hope to operate a diversified livestock and plant production farm, which also acts as teaching facility for young and old alike. I believe that Carnation Farms will provide a strong foundation for which to base my own agriculture operation on, and think I can learn an enormous amount under the farmers and workers who make its heart beat.”

Updates from the Program

Building a Hoop House

May 28, 2018

By Farmer Alex

Here at Carnation Farms new projects are always on the go and this spring is no exception. The garden has been teeming with activity as last season’s cover crops are incorporated back into the soil and this year’s new plants go in. Part of growing produce here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is season extension, which means helping our plants get that extra bit of sun or extra hour of warmth and protection in our cooler springs and falls. One way to that is using hoop houses!

We use our hoop houses to not only grow our warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons) but we also use them as seedling houses to let our little baby plants get a good head start before the go into the ground.

 

Hoop Houses and Greenhouses, what’s the difference?

Traditionally, the main difference between greenhouses and hoop houses is that a greenhouse must have some type of temperature control capabilities (this usually means that it is heated) whereas hoop houses don’t have heaters and don’t even always have ventilation. Hoop houses are often used to extend the growing season in a cooler climate by trapping and retaining solar heat, greenhouses on the other hand optimize plant growth by controlling the temperature and often humidity, thereby offering year round production.

There are many different styles of hoop house, ranging from very simple to complex. Frame materials can vary from cattle fencing to wood and to PVC pipe. Some hoop houses are more permanent and others can be moved quite easily. The style we built uses greenhouse plastic stretched over PVC and secured with twine, it is a quick, easy, mobile and inexpensive way to build. The design came to us from the WSU Agriculture Extension Office and can be found here.

 

Our Hoop Houses

We have three hoop houses on site at Carnation Farms, two small and one long (92 ft) all built using the WSU plans. The hoop houses are comprised of: a wooden end frame, 18 inch lengths of rebar, 18 foot lengths of ½ in PVC pipe, 6 mil polyethylene greenhouse grade clear plastic, and a good quality nylon twine.

We started by constructing one of the ends, this is essentially a wooden doorway with support arms on either side, with a piece of PVC bent over top to create an archway. Once the end is in place the rebar is driven into the ground in line with what will become the edges of the house. Next, we placed one end of each length of PVC onto the exposed rebar and then bend over to the partnering piece of rebar on the other side of the house creating a long archway (this is easiest with a partner). Once all the PVC was up we used twine to secure the hoops to each other and then attached to a T-post at the end of the tunnel. Then we draped the plastic over the PVC creating a nice and toasty hallway, the plastic at the end is gathered into a bundle and twine tied around it to create an end.

To secure to plastic in place we tied the twine to the rebar on one end and then passed back and forth over the top of the tunnel, being anchored to the rebar, creating a crisscrossed pattern on top of the plastic. And Voila! A quick hoop house that can be erected in the course of an afternoon! Guaranteed to keep your plants nice and warm and easy to take apart and store in the winter months.

 

 

Fund a Farmer
Fund a farmer and invest in our food system.

Why are we growing new farmers?

Our community is in desperate need of a new generation of farmers invested in sustainable food production that provides for all of our citizen’s needs.

 

King County Farming Facts

  • Average age of a farmer is 57
  • Only 2% of a $6 billion King County food economy is spent of food produced in King County
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households

 

How can you help?

With your help, we can grow the farmers necessary to feed our community in a sustainable fashion.

But it takes your support…
When you fund a Farmer in Training it pays for:

  • Training from our Sustainable Ag and Education teams.
  • On site housing for the duration of their training.
  • A bi weekly stipend to ensure a living scale of compensation.
  • Business and Marketing support in strategic plan development and execution.

 

Fund a Farmer

It takes a lot to grow new farmers. Your donation will directly our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program.

A Day: $183
A Week: $1,287
A Month: $5,576

Make your tax deductible donation to our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program here.

 

Curriculum & Schedule

Our curriculum is based off of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Farm & Garden Apprenticeship program with additional training and content specific to our growing region.

The farmers will be trained and have hands on experience on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market. This training includes experience with sustainable vegetable, fruit, grain, and livestock production.

 

Curriculum topics include:

  • Soils — Soil physical properties, soil/plant interactions, soil fertility management, soil testing, composting, and cover cropping.
  • Growing Methods — Organic certification standards, crop planning, asexual/sexual plant propagation, greenhouse techniques, bed preparation, transplanting and sowing, crop care, cultivation, seed saving, and irrigation.
  • Botany and Crop Culture — Botanical characteristics and cultural requirements of specific vegetable crops, herbs, flowers, fruits, and trees, and how they may be combined in a farm or garden. Pollinator habit protection and enhancement.
  • Animal Husbandry- Sustainable livestock management of a variety of animals including cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Basic beekeeping.
  • Environmental Stewardship — Brief survey of modern agricultural production’s effects on environmental quality, and farm/forest/flood stewardship. Salmon stream care and Salmon Safe certification needs.
  • Pest and Disease Management — Management of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and plant pathogens in organic systems.
  • Marketing and Business Acumen — Harvest and post-harvest handling, marketing strategies and outlets, direct marketing through Farmers Market-style produce stands, a Farm Stand, Farm to Table Meals, Adult and Kids Classes and Camps.
  • Social Issues in Agriculture — Historical and contemporary overviews of the dynamic and fluid manner in which the modern food system has been shaped by and contributes to various social, political and economic structures.

 

They will also learn to develop a business and strategic plan, basic accounting and record-keeping, time management, consumer interaction to generate sales, land acquisition, culinary preparations of farm products, regulations, food systems, public policy, and labor. Some topics will be taught by local experts either on-site or via local field trips. Operating and repairing typical farm vehicles, equipment, structures, and tools are part of the training, as well as implement purchase, cleaning, and storage.

The 7-month program runs April through November. Following the first phase of the program our new farmers will spend December and January developing and refining a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre), as they continue working on the farm. If approved, they will receive the opportunity to farm through the end of 2019 at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will train new 2019 apprentices and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

 

Sample Schedule from a Week of Our Program:

Typical time allocation

  • 30% of 40-hour week will be classroom education = 12 hours/week
  • 70% of 40-hour week will be in field experience/work = 28 hours/week
  • Harvest days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Field Trips

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
(if applicable)
Morning
Carnation Farms
• Farm team staff meeting
• Mentor-FIT team meeting1
• Brief check-in with each FIT individually
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Carnation Farmers Market
• Class 9-noon• Practical skills class 10-12pm
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at CF Farm Day or other event
Afternoon
Carnation Farms
• Work on site
• If applicable, comp time for previous week’s evening-Saturday rotations
• Farmers Market.
• Rotation at Carnation Farmers Market, 5/2-10/30, 3 to 7 pm
• Class 2-5 pm• Work on site
• Rotation at North Bend Farmers Market, 6/7 – 9/6 , 4 to 8pm
• Rotation at Farm Store (when up and running)
• Work on site
• Issaquah Farmers Market, 5/5-9/29, 9 am to 2 pm
*Schedule may change depending on season
1Mentor-FIT(Farmer in Training) team meeting: recap from last week, review week ahead for both field and classroom, set goals, identify learning opportunities, assign duties, prioritize tasks, note deadlines, and discuss calendar/schedule issues.

Apply to Growing Farmers

We look forward to hearing from you. Our 2019 Application will be released later this year. In the meantime, visit our calendar of activities for fun ways to engage with our farm!

Meet Our Farmers

Ashley has a degree in Zoology and most recently worked as a Cheesemaker at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle.

Quote: “One of the great things about farm life is the variability and small challenges faced every day. Taking each new problem on with a sense of confidence and determination is nearly always better than allowing oneself to feel overwhelmed or incapable. Since graduating I’ve worked on many farms both paid and unpaid and I’ve learned the non-agricultural jobs I’ve taken on I don’t find satisfaction in. I know my life lies within agriculture, now is the time for me to find the exact spot within the field that I belong and where I can do the most good.”

 

Alex spent summers working on her aunt’s farm in Oregon from the time she was 12 years old.

Quote: “I love animals and hard work. I like the rain and I love the sun. All my life I have dreamt of working on and with the land, even when I didn’t realize I was dreaming about it. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, I would like to give the gift of wholesome life and sustenance to those in my community, I want to cultivate a community and revel in its success together! It’s very easy for me to get carried away with all of my dreams and the things I want for the world, I hope it fall on ears that have the same dreams and ambitions.”

 

Evan attended University in Illinois and has previous experience working on farms in Hawaii, California, and Oregon.

Quote: “To be able to apprentice at Carnation Farms would be a chance to learn the vegetable production and management skills I desire but also give back to the farming community and those who support it at the same time. In the future, I hope to operate a diversified livestock and plant production farm, which also acts as teaching facility for young and old alike. I believe that Carnation Farms will provide a strong foundation for which to base my own agriculture operation on, and think I can learn an enormous amount under the farmers and workers who make its heart beat.”

Updates from the Program

Building a Hoop House

May 28, 2018

By Farmer Alex

Here at Carnation Farms new projects are always on the go and this spring is no exception. The garden has been teeming with activity as last season’s cover crops are incorporated back into the soil and this year’s new plants go in. Part of growing produce here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is season extension, which means helping our plants get that extra bit of sun or extra hour of warmth and protection in our cooler springs and falls. One way to that is using hoop houses!

We use our hoop houses to not only grow our warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons) but we also use them as seedling houses to let our little baby plants get a good head start before the go into the ground.

 

Hoop Houses and Greenhouses, what’s the difference?

Traditionally, the main difference between greenhouses and hoop houses is that a greenhouse must have some type of temperature control capabilities (this usually means that it is heated) whereas hoop houses don’t have heaters and don’t even always have ventilation. Hoop houses are often used to extend the growing season in a cooler climate by trapping and retaining solar heat, greenhouses on the other hand optimize plant growth by controlling the temperature and often humidity, thereby offering year round production.

There are many different styles of hoop house, ranging from very simple to complex. Frame materials can vary from cattle fencing to wood and to PVC pipe. Some hoop houses are more permanent and others can be moved quite easily. The style we built uses greenhouse plastic stretched over PVC and secured with twine, it is a quick, easy, mobile and inexpensive way to build. The design came to us from the WSU Agriculture Extension Office and can be found here.

 

Our Hoop Houses

We have three hoop houses on site at Carnation Farms, two small and one long (92 ft) all built using the WSU plans. The hoop houses are comprised of: a wooden end frame, 18 inch lengths of rebar, 18 foot lengths of ½ in PVC pipe, 6 mil polyethylene greenhouse grade clear plastic, and a good quality nylon twine.

We started by constructing one of the ends, this is essentially a wooden doorway with support arms on either side, with a piece of PVC bent over top to create an archway. Once the end is in place the rebar is driven into the ground in line with what will become the edges of the house. Next, we placed one end of each length of PVC onto the exposed rebar and then bend over to the partnering piece of rebar on the other side of the house creating a long archway (this is easiest with a partner). Once all the PVC was up we used twine to secure the hoops to each other and then attached to a T-post at the end of the tunnel. Then we draped the plastic over the PVC creating a nice and toasty hallway, the plastic at the end is gathered into a bundle and twine tied around it to create an end.

To secure to plastic in place we tied the twine to the rebar on one end and then passed back and forth over the top of the tunnel, being anchored to the rebar, creating a crisscrossed pattern on top of the plastic. And Voila! A quick hoop house that can be erected in the course of an afternoon! Guaranteed to keep your plants nice and warm and easy to take apart and store in the winter months.

 

 

Fund a Farmer
Fund a farmer and invest in our food system.

Why are we growing new farmers?

Our community is in desperate need of a new generation of farmers invested in sustainable food production that provides for all of our citizen’s needs.

 

King County Farming Facts

  • Average age of a farmer is 57
  • Only 2% of a $6 billion King County food economy is spent of food produced in King County
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households

 

How can you help?

With your help, we can grow the farmers necessary to feed our community in a sustainable fashion.

But it takes your support…
When you fund a Farmer in Training it pays for:

  • Training from our Sustainable Ag and Education teams.
  • On site housing for the duration of their training.
  • A bi weekly stipend to ensure a living scale of compensation.
  • Business and Marketing support in strategic plan development and execution.

 

Fund a Farmer

It takes a lot to grow new farmers. Your donation will directly our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program.

A Day: $183
A Week: $1,287
A Month: $5,576

Make your tax deductible donation to our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program here.

 

Our Program

Each year we grow new farmers to provide sustainable farm leaders for our future. Each new farmer will gain the educational background and hands-on experiences needed to be a successful farmer producing healthful organic food for the Snoqualmie Valley and beyond.

The full-time program takes place at Carnation Farms’ historic 818-acre property in Carnation, Washington, where new farmers will have the opportunity to live, rent-free, in shared on-site housing. During the program the farmers will be trained on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market.

Following the first phase of the program (April to November), the farmers-in-training will develop a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre). Following approval of the plan, the farmer will receive the opportunity to farm through another calendar year at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will mentor the new farmers-in-training and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

Farmers-in-training will work under the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and will be paid a bi-weekly stipend of $1300 (gross before taxes). Work will require availability on evenings and weekends as scheduled. In addition to classroom-style instruction and hands-on farming, apprentices will interact with Carnation Farms staff, and also with participants in Carnation Farms’ educational programming, such as farm camps, culinary classes, weekend farm days, markets and school field trips.

Carnation Farms expects that after the completion of the apprenticeship, graduates will establish their own sustainable food-producing farms.

 

Apply to Growing Farmers

We look forward to hearing from you. Our 2019 Application will be released later this year. In the meantime, visit our calendar of activities for fun ways to engage with our farm!

Meet Our Farmers

Ashley has a degree in Zoology and most recently worked as a Cheesemaker at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle.

Quote: “One of the great things about farm life is the variability and small challenges faced every day. Taking each new problem on with a sense of confidence and determination is nearly always better than allowing oneself to feel overwhelmed or incapable. Since graduating I’ve worked on many farms both paid and unpaid and I’ve learned the non-agricultural jobs I’ve taken on I don’t find satisfaction in. I know my life lies within agriculture, now is the time for me to find the exact spot within the field that I belong and where I can do the most good.”

 

Alex spent summers working on her aunt’s farm in Oregon from the time she was 12 years old.

Quote: “I love animals and hard work. I like the rain and I love the sun. All my life I have dreamt of working on and with the land, even when I didn’t realize I was dreaming about it. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, I would like to give the gift of wholesome life and sustenance to those in my community, I want to cultivate a community and revel in its success together! It’s very easy for me to get carried away with all of my dreams and the things I want for the world, I hope it fall on ears that have the same dreams and ambitions.”

 

Evan attended University in Illinois and has previous experience working on farms in Hawaii, California, and Oregon.

Quote: “To be able to apprentice at Carnation Farms would be a chance to learn the vegetable production and management skills I desire but also give back to the farming community and those who support it at the same time. In the future, I hope to operate a diversified livestock and plant production farm, which also acts as teaching facility for young and old alike. I believe that Carnation Farms will provide a strong foundation for which to base my own agriculture operation on, and think I can learn an enormous amount under the farmers and workers who make its heart beat.”

Updates from the Program

Building a Hoop House

May 28, 2018

By Farmer Alex

Here at Carnation Farms new projects are always on the go and this spring is no exception. The garden has been teeming with activity as last season’s cover crops are incorporated back into the soil and this year’s new plants go in. Part of growing produce here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is season extension, which means helping our plants get that extra bit of sun or extra hour of warmth and protection in our cooler springs and falls. One way to that is using hoop houses!

We use our hoop houses to not only grow our warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons) but we also use them as seedling houses to let our little baby plants get a good head start before the go into the ground.

 

Hoop Houses and Greenhouses, what’s the difference?

Traditionally, the main difference between greenhouses and hoop houses is that a greenhouse must have some type of temperature control capabilities (this usually means that it is heated) whereas hoop houses don’t have heaters and don’t even always have ventilation. Hoop houses are often used to extend the growing season in a cooler climate by trapping and retaining solar heat, greenhouses on the other hand optimize plant growth by controlling the temperature and often humidity, thereby offering year round production.

There are many different styles of hoop house, ranging from very simple to complex. Frame materials can vary from cattle fencing to wood and to PVC pipe. Some hoop houses are more permanent and others can be moved quite easily. The style we built uses greenhouse plastic stretched over PVC and secured with twine, it is a quick, easy, mobile and inexpensive way to build. The design came to us from the WSU Agriculture Extension Office and can be found here.

 

Our Hoop Houses

We have three hoop houses on site at Carnation Farms, two small and one long (92 ft) all built using the WSU plans. The hoop houses are comprised of: a wooden end frame, 18 inch lengths of rebar, 18 foot lengths of ½ in PVC pipe, 6 mil polyethylene greenhouse grade clear plastic, and a good quality nylon twine.

We started by constructing one of the ends, this is essentially a wooden doorway with support arms on either side, with a piece of PVC bent over top to create an archway. Once the end is in place the rebar is driven into the ground in line with what will become the edges of the house. Next, we placed one end of each length of PVC onto the exposed rebar and then bend over to the partnering piece of rebar on the other side of the house creating a long archway (this is easiest with a partner). Once all the PVC was up we used twine to secure the hoops to each other and then attached to a T-post at the end of the tunnel. Then we draped the plastic over the PVC creating a nice and toasty hallway, the plastic at the end is gathered into a bundle and twine tied around it to create an end.

To secure to plastic in place we tied the twine to the rebar on one end and then passed back and forth over the top of the tunnel, being anchored to the rebar, creating a crisscrossed pattern on top of the plastic. And Voila! A quick hoop house that can be erected in the course of an afternoon! Guaranteed to keep your plants nice and warm and easy to take apart and store in the winter months.

 

 

Fund a Farmer
Fund a farmer and invest in our food system.

Why are we growing new farmers?

Our community is in desperate need of a new generation of farmers invested in sustainable food production that provides for all of our citizen’s needs.

 

King County Farming Facts

  • Average age of a farmer is 57
  • Only 2% of a $6 billion King County food economy is spent of food produced in King County
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households

 

How can you help?

With your help, we can grow the farmers necessary to feed our community in a sustainable fashion.

But it takes your support…
When you fund a Farmer in Training it pays for:

  • Training from our Sustainable Ag and Education teams.
  • On site housing for the duration of their training.
  • A bi weekly stipend to ensure a living scale of compensation.
  • Business and Marketing support in strategic plan development and execution.

 

Fund a Farmer

It takes a lot to grow new farmers. Your donation will directly our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program.

A Day: $183
A Week: $1,287
A Month: $5,576

Make your tax deductible donation to our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program here.

 

Our Program

Each year we grow new farmers to provide sustainable farm leaders for our future. Each new farmer will gain the educational background and hands-on experiences needed to be a successful farmer producing healthful organic food for the Snoqualmie Valley and beyond.

The full-time program takes place at Carnation Farms’ historic 818-acre property in Carnation, Washington, where new farmers will have the opportunity to live, rent-free, in shared on-site housing. During the program the farmers will be trained on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market.

Following the first phase of the program (April to November), the farmers-in-training will develop a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre). Following approval of the plan, the farmer will receive the opportunity to farm through another calendar year at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will mentor the new farmers-in-training and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

Farmers-in-training will work under the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and will be paid a bi-weekly stipend of $1300 (gross before taxes). Work will require availability on evenings and weekends as scheduled. In addition to classroom-style instruction and hands-on farming, apprentices will interact with Carnation Farms staff, and also with participants in Carnation Farms’ educational programming, such as farm camps, culinary classes, weekend farm days, markets and school field trips.

Carnation Farms expects that after the completion of the apprenticeship, graduates will establish their own sustainable food-producing farms.

 

Curriculum & Schedule

Our curriculum is based off of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Farm & Garden Apprenticeship program with additional training and content specific to our growing region.

The farmers will be trained and have hands on experience on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market. This training includes experience with sustainable vegetable, fruit, grain, and livestock production.

 

Curriculum topics include:

  • Soils — Soil physical properties, soil/plant interactions, soil fertility management, soil testing, composting, and cover cropping.
  • Growing Methods — Organic certification standards, crop planning, asexual/sexual plant propagation, greenhouse techniques, bed preparation, transplanting and sowing, crop care, cultivation, seed saving, and irrigation.
  • Botany and Crop Culture — Botanical characteristics and cultural requirements of specific vegetable crops, herbs, flowers, fruits, and trees, and how they may be combined in a farm or garden. Pollinator habit protection and enhancement.
  • Animal Husbandry- Sustainable livestock management of a variety of animals including cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Basic beekeeping.
  • Environmental Stewardship — Brief survey of modern agricultural production’s effects on environmental quality, and farm/forest/flood stewardship. Salmon stream care and Salmon Safe certification needs.
  • Pest and Disease Management — Management of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and plant pathogens in organic systems.
  • Marketing and Business Acumen — Harvest and post-harvest handling, marketing strategies and outlets, direct marketing through Farmers Market-style produce stands, a Farm Stand, Farm to Table Meals, Adult and Kids Classes and Camps.
  • Social Issues in Agriculture — Historical and contemporary overviews of the dynamic and fluid manner in which the modern food system has been shaped by and contributes to various social, political and economic structures.

 

They will also learn to develop a business and strategic plan, basic accounting and record-keeping, time management, consumer interaction to generate sales, land acquisition, culinary preparations of farm products, regulations, food systems, public policy, and labor. Some topics will be taught by local experts either on-site or via local field trips. Operating and repairing typical farm vehicles, equipment, structures, and tools are part of the training, as well as implement purchase, cleaning, and storage.

The 7-month program runs April through November. Following the first phase of the program our new farmers will spend December and January developing and refining a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre), as they continue working on the farm. If approved, they will receive the opportunity to farm through the end of 2019 at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will train new 2019 apprentices and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

 

Sample Schedule from a Week of Our Program:

Typical time allocation

  • 30% of 40-hour week will be classroom education = 12 hours/week
  • 70% of 40-hour week will be in field experience/work = 28 hours/week
  • Harvest days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Field Trips

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
(if applicable)
Morning
Carnation Farms
• Farm team staff meeting
• Mentor-FIT team meeting1
• Brief check-in with each FIT individually
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Carnation Farmers Market
• Class 9-noon• Practical skills class 10-12pm
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at CF Farm Day or other event
Afternoon
Carnation Farms
• Work on site
• If applicable, comp time for previous week’s evening-Saturday rotations
• Farmers Market.
• Rotation at Carnation Farmers Market, 5/2-10/30, 3 to 7 pm
• Class 2-5 pm• Work on site
• Rotation at North Bend Farmers Market, 6/7 – 9/6 , 4 to 8pm
• Rotation at Farm Store (when up and running)
• Work on site
• Issaquah Farmers Market, 5/5-9/29, 9 am to 2 pm
*Schedule may change depending on season
1Mentor-FIT(Farmer in Training) team meeting: recap from last week, review week ahead for both field and classroom, set goals, identify learning opportunities, assign duties, prioritize tasks, note deadlines, and discuss calendar/schedule issues.

Meet Our Farmers

Ashley has a degree in Zoology and most recently worked as a Cheesemaker at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle.

Quote: “One of the great things about farm life is the variability and small challenges faced every day. Taking each new problem on with a sense of confidence and determination is nearly always better than allowing oneself to feel overwhelmed or incapable. Since graduating I’ve worked on many farms both paid and unpaid and I’ve learned the non-agricultural jobs I’ve taken on I don’t find satisfaction in. I know my life lies within agriculture, now is the time for me to find the exact spot within the field that I belong and where I can do the most good.”

 

Alex spent summers working on her aunt’s farm in Oregon from the time she was 12 years old.

Quote: “I love animals and hard work. I like the rain and I love the sun. All my life I have dreamt of working on and with the land, even when I didn’t realize I was dreaming about it. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, I would like to give the gift of wholesome life and sustenance to those in my community, I want to cultivate a community and revel in its success together! It’s very easy for me to get carried away with all of my dreams and the things I want for the world, I hope it fall on ears that have the same dreams and ambitions.”

 

Evan attended University in Illinois and has previous experience working on farms in Hawaii, California, and Oregon.

Quote: “To be able to apprentice at Carnation Farms would be a chance to learn the vegetable production and management skills I desire but also give back to the farming community and those who support it at the same time. In the future, I hope to operate a diversified livestock and plant production farm, which also acts as teaching facility for young and old alike. I believe that Carnation Farms will provide a strong foundation for which to base my own agriculture operation on, and think I can learn an enormous amount under the farmers and workers who make its heart beat.”

Updates from the Program

Building a Hoop House

May 28, 2018

By Farmer Alex

Here at Carnation Farms new projects are always on the go and this spring is no exception. The garden has been teeming with activity as last season’s cover crops are incorporated back into the soil and this year’s new plants go in. Part of growing produce here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is season extension, which means helping our plants get that extra bit of sun or extra hour of warmth and protection in our cooler springs and falls. One way to that is using hoop houses!

We use our hoop houses to not only grow our warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons) but we also use them as seedling houses to let our little baby plants get a good head start before the go into the ground.

 

Hoop Houses and Greenhouses, what’s the difference?

Traditionally, the main difference between greenhouses and hoop houses is that a greenhouse must have some type of temperature control capabilities (this usually means that it is heated) whereas hoop houses don’t have heaters and don’t even always have ventilation. Hoop houses are often used to extend the growing season in a cooler climate by trapping and retaining solar heat, greenhouses on the other hand optimize plant growth by controlling the temperature and often humidity, thereby offering year round production.

There are many different styles of hoop house, ranging from very simple to complex. Frame materials can vary from cattle fencing to wood and to PVC pipe. Some hoop houses are more permanent and others can be moved quite easily. The style we built uses greenhouse plastic stretched over PVC and secured with twine, it is a quick, easy, mobile and inexpensive way to build. The design came to us from the WSU Agriculture Extension Office and can be found here.

 

Our Hoop Houses

We have three hoop houses on site at Carnation Farms, two small and one long (92 ft) all built using the WSU plans. The hoop houses are comprised of: a wooden end frame, 18 inch lengths of rebar, 18 foot lengths of ½ in PVC pipe, 6 mil polyethylene greenhouse grade clear plastic, and a good quality nylon twine.

We started by constructing one of the ends, this is essentially a wooden doorway with support arms on either side, with a piece of PVC bent over top to create an archway. Once the end is in place the rebar is driven into the ground in line with what will become the edges of the house. Next, we placed one end of each length of PVC onto the exposed rebar and then bend over to the partnering piece of rebar on the other side of the house creating a long archway (this is easiest with a partner). Once all the PVC was up we used twine to secure the hoops to each other and then attached to a T-post at the end of the tunnel. Then we draped the plastic over the PVC creating a nice and toasty hallway, the plastic at the end is gathered into a bundle and twine tied around it to create an end.

To secure to plastic in place we tied the twine to the rebar on one end and then passed back and forth over the top of the tunnel, being anchored to the rebar, creating a crisscrossed pattern on top of the plastic. And Voila! A quick hoop house that can be erected in the course of an afternoon! Guaranteed to keep your plants nice and warm and easy to take apart and store in the winter months.

 

 

Fund a Farmer
Fund a farmer and invest in our food system.

Why are we growing new farmers?

Our community is in desperate need of a new generation of farmers invested in sustainable food production that provides for all of our citizen’s needs.

 

King County Farming Facts

  • Average age of a farmer is 57
  • Only 2% of a $6 billion King County food economy is spent of food produced in King County
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households

 

How can you help?

With your help, we can grow the farmers necessary to feed our community in a sustainable fashion.

But it takes your support…
When you fund a Farmer in Training it pays for:

  • Training from our Sustainable Ag and Education teams.
  • On site housing for the duration of their training.
  • A bi weekly stipend to ensure a living scale of compensation.
  • Business and Marketing support in strategic plan development and execution.

 

Fund a Farmer

It takes a lot to grow new farmers. Your donation will directly our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program.

A Day: $183
A Week: $1,287
A Month: $5,576

Make your tax deductible donation to our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program here.

 

Our Program

Each year we grow new farmers to provide sustainable farm leaders for our future. Each new farmer will gain the educational background and hands-on experiences needed to be a successful farmer producing healthful organic food for the Snoqualmie Valley and beyond.

The full-time program takes place at Carnation Farms’ historic 818-acre property in Carnation, Washington, where new farmers will have the opportunity to live, rent-free, in shared on-site housing. During the program the farmers will be trained on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market.

Following the first phase of the program (April to November), the farmers-in-training will develop a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre). Following approval of the plan, the farmer will receive the opportunity to farm through another calendar year at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will mentor the new farmers-in-training and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

Farmers-in-training will work under the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and will be paid a bi-weekly stipend of $1300 (gross before taxes). Work will require availability on evenings and weekends as scheduled. In addition to classroom-style instruction and hands-on farming, apprentices will interact with Carnation Farms staff, and also with participants in Carnation Farms’ educational programming, such as farm camps, culinary classes, weekend farm days, markets and school field trips.

Carnation Farms expects that after the completion of the apprenticeship, graduates will establish their own sustainable food-producing farms.

 

Curriculum & Schedule

Our curriculum is based off of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Farm & Garden Apprenticeship program with additional training and content specific to our growing region.

The farmers will be trained and have hands on experience on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market. This training includes experience with sustainable vegetable, fruit, grain, and livestock production.

 

Curriculum topics include:

  • Soils — Soil physical properties, soil/plant interactions, soil fertility management, soil testing, composting, and cover cropping.
  • Growing Methods — Organic certification standards, crop planning, asexual/sexual plant propagation, greenhouse techniques, bed preparation, transplanting and sowing, crop care, cultivation, seed saving, and irrigation.
  • Botany and Crop Culture — Botanical characteristics and cultural requirements of specific vegetable crops, herbs, flowers, fruits, and trees, and how they may be combined in a farm or garden. Pollinator habit protection and enhancement.
  • Animal Husbandry- Sustainable livestock management of a variety of animals including cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Basic beekeeping.
  • Environmental Stewardship — Brief survey of modern agricultural production’s effects on environmental quality, and farm/forest/flood stewardship. Salmon stream care and Salmon Safe certification needs.
  • Pest and Disease Management — Management of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and plant pathogens in organic systems.
  • Marketing and Business Acumen — Harvest and post-harvest handling, marketing strategies and outlets, direct marketing through Farmers Market-style produce stands, a Farm Stand, Farm to Table Meals, Adult and Kids Classes and Camps.
  • Social Issues in Agriculture — Historical and contemporary overviews of the dynamic and fluid manner in which the modern food system has been shaped by and contributes to various social, political and economic structures.

 

They will also learn to develop a business and strategic plan, basic accounting and record-keeping, time management, consumer interaction to generate sales, land acquisition, culinary preparations of farm products, regulations, food systems, public policy, and labor. Some topics will be taught by local experts either on-site or via local field trips. Operating and repairing typical farm vehicles, equipment, structures, and tools are part of the training, as well as implement purchase, cleaning, and storage.

The 7-month program runs April through November. Following the first phase of the program our new farmers will spend December and January developing and refining a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre), as they continue working on the farm. If approved, they will receive the opportunity to farm through the end of 2019 at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will train new 2019 apprentices and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

 

Sample Schedule from a Week of Our Program:

Typical time allocation

  • 30% of 40-hour week will be classroom education = 12 hours/week
  • 70% of 40-hour week will be in field experience/work = 28 hours/week
  • Harvest days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Field Trips

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
(if applicable)
Morning
Carnation Farms
• Farm team staff meeting
• Mentor-FIT team meeting1
• Brief check-in with each FIT individually
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Carnation Farmers Market
• Class 9-noon• Practical skills class 10-12pm
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at CF Farm Day or other event
Afternoon
Carnation Farms
• Work on site
• If applicable, comp time for previous week’s evening-Saturday rotations
• Farmers Market.
• Rotation at Carnation Farmers Market, 5/2-10/30, 3 to 7 pm
• Class 2-5 pm• Work on site
• Rotation at North Bend Farmers Market, 6/7 – 9/6 , 4 to 8pm
• Rotation at Farm Store (when up and running)
• Work on site
• Issaquah Farmers Market, 5/5-9/29, 9 am to 2 pm
*Schedule may change depending on season
1Mentor-FIT(Farmer in Training) team meeting: recap from last week, review week ahead for both field and classroom, set goals, identify learning opportunities, assign duties, prioritize tasks, note deadlines, and discuss calendar/schedule issues.

Apply to Growing Farmers

We look forward to hearing from you. Our 2019 Application will be released later this year. In the meantime, visit our calendar of activities for fun ways to engage with our farm!

Updates from the Program

Building a Hoop House

May 28, 2018

By Farmer Alex

Here at Carnation Farms new projects are always on the go and this spring is no exception. The garden has been teeming with activity as last season’s cover crops are incorporated back into the soil and this year’s new plants go in. Part of growing produce here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is season extension, which means helping our plants get that extra bit of sun or extra hour of warmth and protection in our cooler springs and falls. One way to that is using hoop houses!

We use our hoop houses to not only grow our warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons) but we also use them as seedling houses to let our little baby plants get a good head start before the go into the ground.

 

Hoop Houses and Greenhouses, what’s the difference?

Traditionally, the main difference between greenhouses and hoop houses is that a greenhouse must have some type of temperature control capabilities (this usually means that it is heated) whereas hoop houses don’t have heaters and don’t even always have ventilation. Hoop houses are often used to extend the growing season in a cooler climate by trapping and retaining solar heat, greenhouses on the other hand optimize plant growth by controlling the temperature and often humidity, thereby offering year round production.

There are many different styles of hoop house, ranging from very simple to complex. Frame materials can vary from cattle fencing to wood and to PVC pipe. Some hoop houses are more permanent and others can be moved quite easily. The style we built uses greenhouse plastic stretched over PVC and secured with twine, it is a quick, easy, mobile and inexpensive way to build. The design came to us from the WSU Agriculture Extension Office and can be found here.

 

Our Hoop Houses

We have three hoop houses on site at Carnation Farms, two small and one long (92 ft) all built using the WSU plans. The hoop houses are comprised of: a wooden end frame, 18 inch lengths of rebar, 18 foot lengths of ½ in PVC pipe, 6 mil polyethylene greenhouse grade clear plastic, and a good quality nylon twine.

We started by constructing one of the ends, this is essentially a wooden doorway with support arms on either side, with a piece of PVC bent over top to create an archway. Once the end is in place the rebar is driven into the ground in line with what will become the edges of the house. Next, we placed one end of each length of PVC onto the exposed rebar and then bend over to the partnering piece of rebar on the other side of the house creating a long archway (this is easiest with a partner). Once all the PVC was up we used twine to secure the hoops to each other and then attached to a T-post at the end of the tunnel. Then we draped the plastic over the PVC creating a nice and toasty hallway, the plastic at the end is gathered into a bundle and twine tied around it to create an end.

To secure to plastic in place we tied the twine to the rebar on one end and then passed back and forth over the top of the tunnel, being anchored to the rebar, creating a crisscrossed pattern on top of the plastic. And Voila! A quick hoop house that can be erected in the course of an afternoon! Guaranteed to keep your plants nice and warm and easy to take apart and store in the winter months.

 

 

Fund a Farmer
Fund a farmer and invest in our food system.

Why are we growing new farmers?

Our community is in desperate need of a new generation of farmers invested in sustainable food production that provides for all of our citizen’s needs.

 

King County Farming Facts

  • Average age of a farmer is 57
  • Only 2% of a $6 billion King County food economy is spent of food produced in King County
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households

 

How can you help?

With your help, we can grow the farmers necessary to feed our community in a sustainable fashion.

But it takes your support…
When you fund a Farmer in Training it pays for:

  • Training from our Sustainable Ag and Education teams.
  • On site housing for the duration of their training.
  • A bi weekly stipend to ensure a living scale of compensation.
  • Business and Marketing support in strategic plan development and execution.

 

Fund a Farmer

It takes a lot to grow new farmers. Your donation will directly our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program.

A Day: $183
A Week: $1,287
A Month: $5,576

Make your tax deductible donation to our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program here.

 

Our Program

Each year we grow new farmers to provide sustainable farm leaders for our future. Each new farmer will gain the educational background and hands-on experiences needed to be a successful farmer producing healthful organic food for the Snoqualmie Valley and beyond.

The full-time program takes place at Carnation Farms’ historic 818-acre property in Carnation, Washington, where new farmers will have the opportunity to live, rent-free, in shared on-site housing. During the program the farmers will be trained on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market.

Following the first phase of the program (April to November), the farmers-in-training will develop a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre). Following approval of the plan, the farmer will receive the opportunity to farm through another calendar year at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will mentor the new farmers-in-training and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

Farmers-in-training will work under the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and will be paid a bi-weekly stipend of $1300 (gross before taxes). Work will require availability on evenings and weekends as scheduled. In addition to classroom-style instruction and hands-on farming, apprentices will interact with Carnation Farms staff, and also with participants in Carnation Farms’ educational programming, such as farm camps, culinary classes, weekend farm days, markets and school field trips.

Carnation Farms expects that after the completion of the apprenticeship, graduates will establish their own sustainable food-producing farms.

 

Curriculum & Schedule

Our curriculum is based off of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Farm & Garden Apprenticeship program with additional training and content specific to our growing region.

The farmers will be trained and have hands on experience on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market. This training includes experience with sustainable vegetable, fruit, grain, and livestock production.

 

Curriculum topics include:

  • Soils — Soil physical properties, soil/plant interactions, soil fertility management, soil testing, composting, and cover cropping.
  • Growing Methods — Organic certification standards, crop planning, asexual/sexual plant propagation, greenhouse techniques, bed preparation, transplanting and sowing, crop care, cultivation, seed saving, and irrigation.
  • Botany and Crop Culture — Botanical characteristics and cultural requirements of specific vegetable crops, herbs, flowers, fruits, and trees, and how they may be combined in a farm or garden. Pollinator habit protection and enhancement.
  • Animal Husbandry- Sustainable livestock management of a variety of animals including cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Basic beekeeping.
  • Environmental Stewardship — Brief survey of modern agricultural production’s effects on environmental quality, and farm/forest/flood stewardship. Salmon stream care and Salmon Safe certification needs.
  • Pest and Disease Management — Management of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and plant pathogens in organic systems.
  • Marketing and Business Acumen — Harvest and post-harvest handling, marketing strategies and outlets, direct marketing through Farmers Market-style produce stands, a Farm Stand, Farm to Table Meals, Adult and Kids Classes and Camps.
  • Social Issues in Agriculture — Historical and contemporary overviews of the dynamic and fluid manner in which the modern food system has been shaped by and contributes to various social, political and economic structures.

 

They will also learn to develop a business and strategic plan, basic accounting and record-keeping, time management, consumer interaction to generate sales, land acquisition, culinary preparations of farm products, regulations, food systems, public policy, and labor. Some topics will be taught by local experts either on-site or via local field trips. Operating and repairing typical farm vehicles, equipment, structures, and tools are part of the training, as well as implement purchase, cleaning, and storage.

The 7-month program runs April through November. Following the first phase of the program our new farmers will spend December and January developing and refining a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre), as they continue working on the farm. If approved, they will receive the opportunity to farm through the end of 2019 at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will train new 2019 apprentices and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

 

Sample Schedule from a Week of Our Program:

Typical time allocation

  • 30% of 40-hour week will be classroom education = 12 hours/week
  • 70% of 40-hour week will be in field experience/work = 28 hours/week
  • Harvest days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Field Trips

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
(if applicable)
Morning
Carnation Farms
• Farm team staff meeting
• Mentor-FIT team meeting1
• Brief check-in with each FIT individually
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Carnation Farmers Market
• Class 9-noon• Practical skills class 10-12pm
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at CF Farm Day or other event
Afternoon
Carnation Farms
• Work on site
• If applicable, comp time for previous week’s evening-Saturday rotations
• Farmers Market.
• Rotation at Carnation Farmers Market, 5/2-10/30, 3 to 7 pm
• Class 2-5 pm• Work on site
• Rotation at North Bend Farmers Market, 6/7 – 9/6 , 4 to 8pm
• Rotation at Farm Store (when up and running)
• Work on site
• Issaquah Farmers Market, 5/5-9/29, 9 am to 2 pm
*Schedule may change depending on season
1Mentor-FIT(Farmer in Training) team meeting: recap from last week, review week ahead for both field and classroom, set goals, identify learning opportunities, assign duties, prioritize tasks, note deadlines, and discuss calendar/schedule issues.

Apply to Growing Farmers

We look forward to hearing from you. Our 2019 Application will be released later this year. In the meantime, visit our calendar of activities for fun ways to engage with our farm!

Meet Our Farmers

Ashley has a degree in Zoology and most recently worked as a Cheesemaker at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle.

Quote: “One of the great things about farm life is the variability and small challenges faced every day. Taking each new problem on with a sense of confidence and determination is nearly always better than allowing oneself to feel overwhelmed or incapable. Since graduating I’ve worked on many farms both paid and unpaid and I’ve learned the non-agricultural jobs I’ve taken on I don’t find satisfaction in. I know my life lies within agriculture, now is the time for me to find the exact spot within the field that I belong and where I can do the most good.”

 

Alex spent summers working on her aunt’s farm in Oregon from the time she was 12 years old.

Quote: “I love animals and hard work. I like the rain and I love the sun. All my life I have dreamt of working on and with the land, even when I didn’t realize I was dreaming about it. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, I would like to give the gift of wholesome life and sustenance to those in my community, I want to cultivate a community and revel in its success together! It’s very easy for me to get carried away with all of my dreams and the things I want for the world, I hope it fall on ears that have the same dreams and ambitions.”

 

Evan attended University in Illinois and has previous experience working on farms in Hawaii, California, and Oregon.

Quote: “To be able to apprentice at Carnation Farms would be a chance to learn the vegetable production and management skills I desire but also give back to the farming community and those who support it at the same time. In the future, I hope to operate a diversified livestock and plant production farm, which also acts as teaching facility for young and old alike. I believe that Carnation Farms will provide a strong foundation for which to base my own agriculture operation on, and think I can learn an enormous amount under the farmers and workers who make its heart beat.”

Fund a Farmer
Fund a farmer and invest in our food system.

Why are we growing new farmers?

Our community is in desperate need of a new generation of farmers invested in sustainable food production that provides for all of our citizen’s needs.

 

King County Farming Facts

  • Average age of a farmer is 57
  • Only 2% of a $6 billion King County food economy is spent of food produced in King County
  • 13% of adults and 22% of children live in food insecure households

 

How can you help?

With your help, we can grow the farmers necessary to feed our community in a sustainable fashion.

But it takes your support…
When you fund a Farmer in Training it pays for:

  • Training from our Sustainable Ag and Education teams.
  • On site housing for the duration of their training.
  • A bi weekly stipend to ensure a living scale of compensation.
  • Business and Marketing support in strategic plan development and execution.

 

Fund a Farmer

It takes a lot to grow new farmers. Your donation will directly our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program.

A Day: $183
A Week: $1,287
A Month: $5,576

Make your tax deductible donation to our Mentorship in Sustainable Agriculture program here.

 

Our Program

Each year we grow new farmers to provide sustainable farm leaders for our future. Each new farmer will gain the educational background and hands-on experiences needed to be a successful farmer producing healthful organic food for the Snoqualmie Valley and beyond.

The full-time program takes place at Carnation Farms’ historic 818-acre property in Carnation, Washington, where new farmers will have the opportunity to live, rent-free, in shared on-site housing. During the program the farmers will be trained on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market.

Following the first phase of the program (April to November), the farmers-in-training will develop a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre). Following approval of the plan, the farmer will receive the opportunity to farm through another calendar year at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will mentor the new farmers-in-training and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

Farmers-in-training will work under the Director of Sustainable Agriculture and will be paid a bi-weekly stipend of $1300 (gross before taxes). Work will require availability on evenings and weekends as scheduled. In addition to classroom-style instruction and hands-on farming, apprentices will interact with Carnation Farms staff, and also with participants in Carnation Farms’ educational programming, such as farm camps, culinary classes, weekend farm days, markets and school field trips.

Carnation Farms expects that after the completion of the apprenticeship, graduates will establish their own sustainable food-producing farms.

 

Curriculum & Schedule

Our curriculum is based off of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Farm & Garden Apprenticeship program with additional training and content specific to our growing region.

The farmers will be trained and have hands on experience on the full-spectrum of sustainable farming from seed to market. This training includes experience with sustainable vegetable, fruit, grain, and livestock production.

 

Curriculum topics include:

  • Soils — Soil physical properties, soil/plant interactions, soil fertility management, soil testing, composting, and cover cropping.
  • Growing Methods — Organic certification standards, crop planning, asexual/sexual plant propagation, greenhouse techniques, bed preparation, transplanting and sowing, crop care, cultivation, seed saving, and irrigation.
  • Botany and Crop Culture — Botanical characteristics and cultural requirements of specific vegetable crops, herbs, flowers, fruits, and trees, and how they may be combined in a farm or garden. Pollinator habit protection and enhancement.
  • Animal Husbandry- Sustainable livestock management of a variety of animals including cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry. Basic beekeeping.
  • Environmental Stewardship — Brief survey of modern agricultural production’s effects on environmental quality, and farm/forest/flood stewardship. Salmon stream care and Salmon Safe certification needs.
  • Pest and Disease Management — Management of weeds, vertebrate and invertebrate pests, and plant pathogens in organic systems.
  • Marketing and Business Acumen — Harvest and post-harvest handling, marketing strategies and outlets, direct marketing through Farmers Market-style produce stands, a Farm Stand, Farm to Table Meals, Adult and Kids Classes and Camps.
  • Social Issues in Agriculture — Historical and contemporary overviews of the dynamic and fluid manner in which the modern food system has been shaped by and contributes to various social, political and economic structures.

 

They will also learn to develop a business and strategic plan, basic accounting and record-keeping, time management, consumer interaction to generate sales, land acquisition, culinary preparations of farm products, regulations, food systems, public policy, and labor. Some topics will be taught by local experts either on-site or via local field trips. Operating and repairing typical farm vehicles, equipment, structures, and tools are part of the training, as well as implement purchase, cleaning, and storage.

The 7-month program runs April through November. Following the first phase of the program our new farmers will spend December and January developing and refining a business plan for their own small-scale farm (1/2 to 1 acre), as they continue working on the farm. If approved, they will receive the opportunity to farm through the end of 2019 at Carnation Farms, with the use of land, farm equipment, and shared housing provided rent-free. During that year, they will train new 2019 apprentices and will receive guidance and support from Carnation Farms staff.

 

Sample Schedule from a Week of Our Program:

Typical time allocation

  • 30% of 40-hour week will be classroom education = 12 hours/week
  • 70% of 40-hour week will be in field experience/work = 28 hours/week
  • Harvest days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Field Trips

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
(if applicable)
Morning
Carnation Farms
• Farm team staff meeting
• Mentor-FIT team meeting1
• Brief check-in with each FIT individually
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Carnation Farmers Market
• Class 9-noon• Practical skills class 10-12pm
• Work on site
• Work on site
• Harvest for Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at Issaquah Farmers Market
• Rotation at CF Farm Day or other event
Afternoon
Carnation Farms
• Work on site
• If applicable, comp time for previous week’s evening-Saturday rotations
• Farmers Market.
• Rotation at Carnation Farmers Market, 5/2-10/30, 3 to 7 pm
• Class 2-5 pm• Work on site
• Rotation at North Bend Farmers Market, 6/7 – 9/6 , 4 to 8pm
• Rotation at Farm Store (when up and running)
• Work on site
• Issaquah Farmers Market, 5/5-9/29, 9 am to 2 pm
*Schedule may change depending on season
1Mentor-FIT(Farmer in Training) team meeting: recap from last week, review week ahead for both field and classroom, set goals, identify learning opportunities, assign duties, prioritize tasks, note deadlines, and discuss calendar/schedule issues.

Apply to Growing Farmers

We look forward to hearing from you. Our 2019 Application will be released later this year. In the meantime, visit our calendar of activities for fun ways to engage with our farm!

Meet Our Farmers

Ashley has a degree in Zoology and most recently worked as a Cheesemaker at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle.

Quote: “One of the great things about farm life is the variability and small challenges faced every day. Taking each new problem on with a sense of confidence and determination is nearly always better than allowing oneself to feel overwhelmed or incapable. Since graduating I’ve worked on many farms both paid and unpaid and I’ve learned the non-agricultural jobs I’ve taken on I don’t find satisfaction in. I know my life lies within agriculture, now is the time for me to find the exact spot within the field that I belong and where I can do the most good.”

 

Alex spent summers working on her aunt’s farm in Oregon from the time she was 12 years old.

Quote: “I love animals and hard work. I like the rain and I love the sun. All my life I have dreamt of working on and with the land, even when I didn’t realize I was dreaming about it. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, I would like to give the gift of wholesome life and sustenance to those in my community, I want to cultivate a community and revel in its success together! It’s very easy for me to get carried away with all of my dreams and the things I want for the world, I hope it fall on ears that have the same dreams and ambitions.”

 

Evan attended University in Illinois and has previous experience working on farms in Hawaii, California, and Oregon.

Quote: “To be able to apprentice at Carnation Farms would be a chance to learn the vegetable production and management skills I desire but also give back to the farming community and those who support it at the same time. In the future, I hope to operate a diversified livestock and plant production farm, which also acts as teaching facility for young and old alike. I believe that Carnation Farms will provide a strong foundation for which to base my own agriculture operation on, and think I can learn an enormous amount under the farmers and workers who make its heart beat.”

Updates from the Program

Building a Hoop House

May 28, 2018

By Farmer Alex

Here at Carnation Farms new projects are always on the go and this spring is no exception. The garden has been teeming with activity as last season’s cover crops are incorporated back into the soil and this year’s new plants go in. Part of growing produce here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is season extension, which means helping our plants get that extra bit of sun or extra hour of warmth and protection in our cooler springs and falls. One way to that is using hoop houses!

We use our hoop houses to not only grow our warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons) but we also use them as seedling houses to let our little baby plants get a good head start before the go into the ground.

 

Hoop Houses and Greenhouses, what’s the difference?

Traditionally, the main difference between greenhouses and hoop houses is that a greenhouse must have some type of temperature control capabilities (this usually means that it is heated) whereas hoop houses don’t have heaters and don’t even always have ventilation. Hoop houses are often used to extend the growing season in a cooler climate by trapping and retaining solar heat, greenhouses on the other hand optimize plant growth by controlling the temperature and often humidity, thereby offering year round production.

There are many different styles of hoop house, ranging from very simple to complex. Frame materials can vary from cattle fencing to wood and to PVC pipe. Some hoop houses are more permanent and others can be moved quite easily. The style we built uses greenhouse plastic stretched over PVC and secured with twine, it is a quick, easy, mobile and inexpensive way to build. The design came to us from the WSU Agriculture Extension Office and can be found here.

 

Our Hoop Houses

We have three hoop houses on site at Carnation Farms, two small and one long (92 ft) all built using the WSU plans. The hoop houses are comprised of: a wooden end frame, 18 inch lengths of rebar, 18 foot lengths of ½ in PVC pipe, 6 mil polyethylene greenhouse grade clear plastic, and a good quality nylon twine.

We started by constructing one of the ends, this is essentially a wooden doorway with support arms on either side, with a piece of PVC bent over top to create an archway. Once the end is in place the rebar is driven into the ground in line with what will become the edges of the house. Next, we placed one end of each length of PVC onto the exposed rebar and then bend over to the partnering piece of rebar on the other side of the house creating a long archway (this is easiest with a partner). Once all the PVC was up we used twine to secure the hoops to each other and then attached to a T-post at the end of the tunnel. Then we draped the plastic over the PVC creating a nice and toasty hallway, the plastic at the end is gathered into a bundle and twine tied around it to create an end.

To secure to plastic in place we tied the twine to the rebar on one end and then passed back and forth over the top of the tunnel, being anchored to the rebar, creating a crisscrossed pattern on top of the plastic. And Voila! A quick hoop house that can be erected in the course of an afternoon! Guaranteed to keep your plants nice and warm and easy to take apart and store in the winter months.

 

 

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