Cerro Vista Farm

fresh local produce

Work-Trade Details

Welcome to our farm. We appreciate your interest and energy in helping with the weekly harvests. This is a great opportunity to learn more about producing large quantities of food in a short season, high altitude area. Throughout the season, our work tasks include planting, weeding, transplanting, harvesting, bunching, washing, and packing produce. We look forward to an abundant season and enjoyable time spent working with our local community members. Each day we are harvesting for CSA Shares, Wholesale sales, or for Farmer’s Market sales. We have a quota of vegetables that must be harvested, bunched, and packed before 12:00 noon of each day. Our goal is to work together as a crew to accomplish this so that pick-ups and deliveries are ready on time. When everyone works at a good pace and really focuses on the farm work, it is fun!

Hours and Schedule: The CSA Work-Trade season is 17 weeks long. We require that all farm workers commit to the entire season, which is June 19th through October 13th. Work hours are 7:00 am – 11:00 am, Monday through Friday, and work-traders volunteer one day a week. By working these hours the SAME DAY EACH WEEK , you earn a 17-Week Full Summer Share, which you take home with you at the end of each work day. Workers may arrange to be absent one week during the season, which effectively creates a two-week vacation from the job. Work-Trade is a real job! You are taking the place of a paid worker, and the financial success of the farm depends on your commitment.

It is important to be punctual. Vegetables must be harvested before the sun is strong to preserve their freshness and vitality. Each morning the crew will gather and receive assignments from their crew leader at 7:00 am sharp. Workers are responsible for keeping track of the time. We want you to be able to leave on time with your share of produce, but we do not want you to stop a task in the middle of doing it, or to leave tools in the field, or to leave your jackets, hats, gloves, cell phones, knives, or water bottles in the field.

Supervision: Every work crew will be supervised by a designated crew leader, and each day in the packing shed there will be a designated person in charge. Daniel Carmona manages the daily farm operations, organizes the harvest schedule and designates work crew leaders. He works on-site and is available to answer questions and solve problems as they arise.

What to bring: All workers are required to bring a knife, timepiece, water bottle, and a hat and rain gear. We will work on rainy days unless lightning is present. Bring shoes or boots that can tolerate mud. Please use sunscreen or wear clothing to protect your skin from the sun.

Do not bring glass water bottles into the fields, since these are forgotten daily by workers and become hazards when driven over by trucks or tractors. Also please pack out any plastic water bottles, paper, coffee cups, or other “garbage” that you bring to the farm.

Drinking Water: There are frost-free hydrants located around the farm. This is well water that we use for drinking, washing veggies, and irrigating. It is very important to NEVER change the settings on any valves or hydrants. If you accidentally change a setting, please let your crew leader know immediately. There will be a free valve or hose not connected to irrigation to use for filling buckets or for drinking water. If you are not sure how to get the water you need, ask. Never step on or drive over irrigation hoses.

Dogs: Please leave your dogs at home. Federal Food Safety Rules prohibit dogs from being in the fields. The dogs that live on the farm are trained to stay out of the crops, but will forget if you play with them while you are harvesting, or if other un-trained dogs are present. Please keep any food you bring to the farm out of reach of the dogs, or they will eat it.

Children: Please be aware that our farm is not child-proofed. We are definitely child friendly, but there is farm equipment, organic fertilizer, an irrigation pond and other potential hazards for children. Children must be constantly supervised at the farm to be safe. We are so blessed to have children!

Bathroom: There are two portable toilets located on the Farm.  If you are handling food during your shift, you must wash your hands in the hand-washing sink in the packing shed before returning to work.

Harvest and Transplanting Practices: Water, Water, Water: Vegetables are 97% Water. There is a right way and a wrong way to harvest every crop. If you are not certain about how to do a harvesting task, ask your crew leader what the correct procedure is. Always protect produce from the sun and keep it wet. When harvesting or transplanting, the rule is: no roots should be exposed to the air for more than 10 seconds. All transplants are planted into holes filled with water.

Harvest Locations: All fields have names, and all rows of crops are planted for specific customers. If you are not sure of EXACTLY which rows of crops you are supposed to be harvesting, STOP and ask the designated harvest crew leader before proceeding.

Production Goals: For the farm to be profitable (sustainable) we have determined how much food needs to be harvested per person hour. For example, one person must harvest and bunch 20 bunches of Kale, Chard, Carrots, Beets or Turnips per hour for the farm to break even. All crops have a production goal and you will be advised of the number. The goals help us be realistic about the pace required for our farm to stay in business. Exceeding the production goals is cause for celebration!

Wagons: Green crate wagons are often used to move the harvest around the farm. They are not designed for carrying more than 125 lbs. It is best, when they are full, to have one person pull and one person push the wagon.

Tools and Clean-up: Tools will be kept in designated areas in each field and in the garden building. Please return all tools to these locations. All work stations should be left clean and organized for the next crew.

Applicants for work-trade positions at the farm should contact Daniel Carmona by phone or email.