Now that Runamuk finally has a #foreverfarm home, we can really dig in and begin the work of cultivating this pollinator conservation farm! Over the course of the next 5 years we will be establishing the infrastructure and systems that Runamuk needs to grow: market gardens, seedling production of annuals and perennials, continued expansion of our apiary, and the start of the pollinator demonstration gardens that will help us spread our bee-friendly message.
To make all of that happen we’re looking for a few good people to join our team as farm apprentices. With the long-term sustainability of Runamuk in mind, we’ve opted to initiate a model of profit-sharing that we hope will support those people who come back to us season after season. To be eligible for consideration you must read all of the details related to our apprenticeship program, be in agreement to ALL conditions, and complete the application form at the end of the page.
About Our Apprenticeships
You will need to be strong, fit and able to lift 50lbs multiple times a day. You must be happy working outside in all weather. You need to be very communicative, observant, able to follow instructions meticulously and organised in your record keeping. All applicants *must* be prepared to work with honeybees. Please be aware that our “weekends” at Runamuk typically fall on a Monday and Tuesday.
Runamuk’s apprenticeships are an opportunity for training and mentoring on this farm for motivated individuals who are already committed to a future in agriculture. Sam understands the challenges of taking a farm from vision to reality. Through the Runamuk apprenticeship program she hopes to give those who want to pursue a career in agriculture and aspiring farmers a real opportunity to be part of a working farm and apiary.
Apprentices at Runamuk will be involved in all aspects of the Runamuk farm and apiary operations. This includes holding responsibilities with the livestock, market garden, apiary, and various other farm projects.
Livestock Responsibilities: Everyone will rotate through the responsibilities for pastured layers, broilers, and sheep, taking on daily tasks for a number of weeks, before rotating to another responsibility. From daily moves to feeding and monitoring, you’ll be working with the animals within our holistic grazing plan.
These are all very physical roles which involve anything from managing the chicks in the brooder, hauling chicken tractors, feeding animals, moving electric fences, collecting, sorting and washing eggs, slaughtering poultry, and any other duties connected with the animals.
Market Garden Responsibilities: Bees always come first at Runamuk, but after bees the garden is the next important endeavor on our farm. Only produce that is surplus to the needs of our household and farm-employees, goes to the farmers’ markets, but that doesn’t mean the garden is any less important to the functioning of this farm.
Working together around the daily animal/project work we will all hold, work in the market gardens includes bed preparations, transplanting, direct seeding, harvesting, irrigation, weeding and maintenance, vegetable harvesting/ washing/ packing and greenhouse work. We employ only the best soil building methods here, striving to create a healthy soil─full of life─that will serve as the foundation for all other operations at Runamuk.
Apiary Responsibilities: This is the most intensive enterprise on the farm. While Runamuk has supporting endeavors with pastured poultry and the market garden, the main focus of our operation is the apiary. Currently Runamuk produces raw honey and a myriad of beeswax products, however over the last 2 seasons Sam has been raising her own Queens in an effort to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Runamuk Apiary. With the continued expansion of the apiary, Runamuk will offer mated-Queens for the first time in 2019, and will begin to offer overwintered nucleus colonies in the next few years.
At Sam’s side, apprentices will learn about beekeeping: managing hives through swarm season, supering with the honey flow, recognizing disease in the hive, sampling and treating for Varroa mites, processing honey, Queen-rearing, and seasonal management.
The Pollinator Gardens: Over the next 5-years at Runamuk we will be cultivating large-scale pollinator gardens that will form the foundation of this conservation and demonstration farm. These will be a series of 1-acre perennial gardens each geared toward a different group of pollinators: bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, bats and moths. With a 10-acre field serving as a blank canvas, this project will consume our next 5 years or more here at Runamuk. The result will be a winding series of paths leading through a glorious garden, a combination of ornamental and edible perennials.
Equal Opportunity for All
Besides animal duties, you will also be involved in many other aspects of the farm’s development and maintenance: from water systems to waste, carpentry using hand tools to using machinery. At Runamuk we believe in equal opportunities for all genders, so applicants should be prepared to do the same work regardless of gender.
We Invest a Lot in the People, and We Expect Excellence in Return
The apprentice roles at Runamuk are suited to those who are dedicating themselves to a life in agriculture. While this farm is a bustling hub for learning and practice, we expect high standards in both work ethic and your ability to work as a beneficial team member. We work, live, learn and play together in close quarters during the season, and your attitude and aptitude are the most important qualities behind getting the most from this experience. Please read the following pages thoroughly, these outline the vision for the Runamuk Conservation Farm, as well as the conditions which we expect from everyone coming to the farm.
The Vision for Runamuk – What’s the plan for Runamuk now that we have our #foreverfarm home?
Our Apprenticeship Model – Specifics regarding the various apprenticeship opportunities at Runamuk, requirements and benefits of working on this farm, including information on our profit-sharing model.
Farm Policies – Detail about daily scheduling, time off during the production season, visitors, vehicles and some nitty-gritty details about our expectations here at Runamuk.
Apply to Work at Runamuk Acres
If you have fully read, understand and agree to all the above, and see it could benefit you to join us for the season, then we welcome your application. All applications are collected and some time is needed to consider what is right for us and the team as a whole. We will not be in contact with anyone until mid February 2019, and will not be answering any emails or questions about the process before then.
- Email us before January 31st with your full name, a little about yourself and ask for the Runamuk Acres Intern Questionnaire/Application.
- Fill out the questionnaire and email it back to us by January 31st. The application will require you to submit a less-than-two minute video answer to one of the questions.
- Top candidates will be contacted on or before February 15th to schedule an on-farm visit/workday.
- Final selection is made and chosen applicants will be notified on or before March 31st.
Please read over ALL of the information very carefully before sending your email.