Manzana Springs Vegetable Farm

 

 


Manzana Springs Vegetable Farm is a small scale diversified vegetable farm in Moab, Utah which produces fresh, local food that goes beyond organic.

Work and Learning Opportunities

2015 Working Opportunities: Manzana Springs is seeking hard working, motivated individuals to help us make the 2015 season a success.  We have volunteer opportunities available that are described below.  During the 2015 season we do not have any paid positions available.

Volunteering and WWOOF. We will be able to have volunteers/wwoofers (wwoof = willing workers on organic farms) stay at the farm during the season (recommended minimum stay 2 weeks) between early February 2015 and late November 2015. You'll get hands on experience learning what it takes to run a small diverse vegetable farm, housing, and free excess vegetables from the farm.  We suggest that volunteers/wwoofers staying on the farm help out 16 hours per week.  Volunteers who already have a place to stay in Moab are also welcome to help out on the farm.  We can arrange different schedules and volunteers always leave with some fresh veggies. 

How to Become a Volunteer at Manzana Springs Vegetable Farm:
1) Read about our farm and volunteer program on this website and decide if Manzana Springs sound right for you.
2) Figure out the dates that you are interested in coming for and contact us to see if there is space available.
2) Fill out a brief application (click here for an application) and send it to christopherkauffman@yahoo.com.
3) Allow us time to process your application, check references and set up a short phone interview.

Please contact us if you have any questions about volunteering or WWOOFing.

About Manzana Springs
The following is an attempt to give prospective volunteers an idea of what our farm and the work will be like, so that you can decide if it would be right for you.

The Farmers - Manzana Springs Vegetable Farm is managed by Chris Kauffman and Adrea Lund, we are both 37, and have degrees in Biology from Earlham College a Quaker school in Richmond, IN where we met and became life partners. Chris grew up here in Moab, while Adrea is a transplant from the Midwest. Adrea apprenticed on three different organic farms before deciding that it was time to start her own farm. Adrea and Chris moved back to Moab, UT in December 2001 and together began farming on Chris' parent's property in 2002 (see pictures of us). In 2012 we welcomed our son Noah as the newest member of our family.

2015 will be our thirteenth season of growing vegetables in Moab. Since the farm's beginning we have both had various jobs off of the farm.  Over the years we have been trying to find the right balance between farming and pursing other careers.  Since 2005 Adrea has been working at the local library.  In 2015 Chris will be working fulltime for Grand County.  These off-farm jobs have created a more sustainable balance in our lives, and we continue farming in order to create a lifestyle for ourselves and an alternative food supply for our community.  The farm continues to make a significant contribution to our local food supply and we are committed to producing food using environmentally responsible methods. Our goal is to build up the health of our soil, our local ecosystem, and our local community.

The Farm - We have 110 3'x50' beds (approximately one acre) most of which will be planted in a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers and cover crops. Ten of our beds are in a plastic covered hoop houses for season extension. We have recently started cover cropping 4 additional acres to improve the soil for use sometime in the future. We are not certified organic but we do not use any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. We describe our farm as "beyond organic" because, in addition to being free of synthetic pesticides and herbicides, our food is always - fresh, local and hand-crafted! We practice succession planting and intensive spacing (on some crops) in order to produce as much as possible on the land we have. We have marketed our vegetables at the Moab Farmer's Market, to local restaurants, the local natural foods store, a local supermarket and through a 20 member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. We are currently marketing the majority of our produce through the local natural food store, a local supermarket and a few local restaurants. We are also focusing sales on a few crops including basil and garlic.  The farm itself sits on 8 acres with Chris' parents house, an old barn, a small apple orchard (manzana is Spanish for apple), a natural year round spring, and beautiful views of the La Sal Mountains and surrounding red rocks. We use drip irrigation to water our vegetable crops, and we do all of our work by hand with the help of a roto-tiller and tractor. (see pictures of the farm, our farmers market stand and our produce).

The Work - We are looking for responsible, hard-working, friendly, physically fit people, who love working outside in all kinds of weather, and who have an interest in experiencing work on a very small vegetable farm. Good listening skills are required, as well as the ability to focus and pay attention to detail. Previous experience working with plants in some way is very helpful, but you do not need to have previous experience working on a farm. An interest in organic/environmentally conscious farming practices is required.
The work each week will include 1 harvest day (Saturdays starting in March) spent picking, washing and packing vegetables. The remaining hours will be spent planting, weeding, mulching, setting up irrigation, starting seeds - whatever needs to be done that week.

Days here in Moab during the spring, summer, and fall can be very hot and dry (sometimes incredibly windy), although we often get afternoon thunderstorms in late summer. This requires starting harvest days early in the morning to beat the heat and get the vegetables in before they wilt. We want potential volunteers to be prepared mentally for the prospect of working outside in such hot and dry conditions, as well as the prospect of starting work early. While physical strength is helpful, endurance is more important. Our work consists mainly of manual labor - which requires a strong back and knees among other things. In the early spring and late fall the days and nights can also get quite cold, interns need to come prepared with warm clothing and sleeping gear in addition to their warm weather gear of sun hats and sunscreen.
We are very committed to keeping our standards high and producing a high quality product - attention to detail is very important and always necessary - we pride ourselves on providing our community with fresh, clean, beautiful vegetables.

Learning - You will learn primarily by working.  Depending on the time of year you live at the farm, you will get hands on experience with seed starting, seedling propagation, cover cropping, cold frames, transplanting, direct seeding, soil fertility management, cultivation, how to harvest, wash, pack, store and display different crops, organic pest control, thinning, weed control, irrigation, hoop houses, season extension, composting and much more.  You will also have access to various books and other learning materials related to small scale, organic, farming.
Housing: Volunteers will stay in the Bus (described below).  
The Bus: Is a 27ft long converted school bus with water, electricity, a small electric heater, a dorm room size fridge, hot plate, and a swamp cooler. The bus is very rustic, but comfortable with a bed, basic furniture and curtains. The bus is pretty self-sufficient, but you will be using toilet and shower facilities at Chris and Adrea’s house. We will provide all your utilities but you should buy a phone card or bring a cell phone to use for calls. Internet access is available at the local library (see pictures).

We ask that everyone who lives at the farm respect the peaceful nature of the property and keep noise levels down. We ask that you do not have parties or large gatherings of people at the bus. You are expected to keep (and leave) your private space in the same shape in which you found it, and to do your share in keeping the bathroom clean. Cigarette smoking is not allowed inside any building/structure. Volunteers are responsible for their own meals.

The Local Area - The farm is located 2 miles from downtown Moab. Your own car or bike is recommended. Moab is a small town - there are about 9,000 permanent residents in Grand County, although this number swells during the spring, summer, and fall when the tourists and seasonal workers return. If you are a city lover you may feel too isolated in Moab, however Moab has a surprisingly diverse and robust community and artistic culture. There are numerous events and groups in which you can be involved. If you love wilderness - Moab is an outdoor lovers dream - we are 15 minutes from Arches National Park, and 45 minutes from the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. It takes 45 minutes to get up into the La Sal Mountains (when it gets too hot down here in town), or you can go for a dip in the Colorado River or one of the perennial creeks and streams which flow through Moab. Chris and Adrea both love to hiking, and can recommend many great trails.

Links to lean more about the Moab area and see pictures:
Moabutah.com: articles and information about Moab
Moab-utah.com: Pictures and information about Moab
discovermoab.com: Official tourism website for Moab.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.  Thank you for your interest!


Contact Us
Chris Kauffman and Adrea Lund
Manzana Springs Vegetable Farm
1851 Spanish Valley Dr.
Moab, UT 84532
(435) 259-6467
christopherkauffman@yahoo.com