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Our farm is 25 acres of hill pasture in Madison County, about 30 minutes outside of Asheville. We are in our 3rd year of production and this coming year we will be selling dairy (raw sheep milk, Grade A sheep milk yogurt and feta), lamb, wool products and sheepskins at 2 local tailgate markets. We raise a total of 75 East Friesian sheep: we milk 40 ewes, keep a yearling flock of about 15 ewes and we raise out our ram lambs for meat (about 20 lambs / year). In addition to the sheep we raise 50 laying hens.
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We’re looking for a seasonal farmworker for 30 hours / week from February 15 - October 15th. This is NOT an internship. This is a paid farmworker position. While we are hopeful that you will learn a lot from being on the farm and working we are extremely busy with running the farm, off-farm work and very small children and you will most often be working alone, carrying out tasks that can be seen as quite repetitive. You need to be sure that you enjoy working alone, that you find value in being outside, being with animals and having quiet time. We are also a relatively new farm (this will be our 3rd season in production) so there are still many inefficiencies and a lot of figuring things out on the fly. Your patience with this process and your ability to communicate openly about what works and what doesn’t is essential. We welcome families to apply - more details on housing below.

The work will largely be made up of milking shifts (we milk at 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day). Milking requires a lot of attention to detail, responsibility to a schedule and willingness to find value in repetitive work - please apply only if you’re up for this! You will also be doing morning chores, fencing (we use temporary net fencing and move the flocks each week), mowing, weed eating, fence clearing and light construction. Fencing work is hard on some very steep hills and while we will be doing the majority of this work there will be times that you’re helping. You need to be up for hiking steep hills dealing with fencing that loves to tangle and exasperate. Knowledge of and comfort with weed eaters and power tools is ideal but we can also train the right person. We also ask that you be open to running the stand at one of the 2 weekly tailgate markets we go to (this would be Tuesday afternoon or early Saturday morning).

This position is for 5 days / week but the hours will vary on each day. You have 2 days off / week but those days won’t necessarily be consecutive. You must be ready and willing to work weekends.

Compensation offered…

We pay $12 / hour. This position comes with housing and utilities which comes out of the final monthly amount. We pay your utilities up to $50 / month. We value the RV at $400 / month. So: final math = 120 hours / month x $12 / hr = $1,440 - $450 = $1,000 / month for 30 hours / week. We offer 1 week of paid vacation.

We offer the use of a full-size RV with a covered porch that is parked on a ½ acre of flat lovely land by the creek with its own drive. You’ll be sharing the land with one other family with 3 small children who rent space there to park their bus. They have been with us for almost 2 years and are sweet, respectful and kind. We ask that you be the same: this is not the space for partying and staying up all hours. You do need to like kids to live in this space!

There is established garden space at the RV and you’re welcome to grow as much of your own food as you can! You’re also welcome to lamb, dairy and eggs from the farm - we will set up a $ amount for this each week.

The position starts February 15th but you’re welcome to move in and get settled from February 1st onward.

Our farm is an active member in the CRAFT network.

Our location...

We live in a beautiful part of the world! We're 30 minutes to Asheville, 10 minutes to downtown Marshall, 25 minutes to Hot Springs and the Appalachian Trail and 45 minutes to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We live on a dead-end road and we have an amazing community of neighbors. We are open minded people who love to work hard, laugh and learn from others.

What we’re looking for…

A good sense of humor and a willingness to find value in this work is a must. We are still relatively new to sheep dairying and we’re figuring out the best system for our farm so patience and a willingness to share your thoughts is key. You must also have awareness and respect for animals and all others who come to work on the farm. Ideally you're comfortable with power tools, mowers, weed-eaters, etc. Having your own transportation will make your time here most enjoyable!

To inquire about employment opportunities, please contact Andrea Van Gunst (farm owner/operator) by phone during the day or by email.

We welcome visitors but would like this to be by appointment out of consideration for our schedule. Please contact Andrea, either by phone during the day or by email, to arrange a time to stop by.

Please visit our website for more information.

About purchasing from Grassroots...

“Tim and Andrea both excel at animal husbandry and produce quality farm products.”

- Katie, farmer peer and owner/operator of Homemade in Marshall

About working for Grassroots...

“It’s always great to go and work with [Tim & Andrea]. Though I should say that my working with them was more from the standpoint of a friend lending a hand (though they did compensate me for my time).”

- Ryan, friend, employee, neighbor and operator of Fiddler’s Green


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