Apprenticeship Program Participating Farms

Soil Born Farms

Rancho Cordova, CA
Shawn Harrison & Janet Zeller, Founders and Co-Directors
Tyler Stowers, Farm Manager
55 acres

Soil Born Farms is a non-profit organization located in Rancho Cordova, on the northeast edge of Sacramento. The farm grows certified organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers on 8 acres. The produce is available to the public via a CSA, on-site farmstand, and local stores and restaurants. The production team includes farm manager Tyler Stowers and two other full-time employees. In addition to the farm, Soil Born runs several educational and food access programs for local youth and adults and does ecological restoration work on their American River Ranch site.

Do you have a land ethic? If so, how do you express it? How do ecological and environmental considerations fit into your operational structure and decision making?
While growing practices at SBF are in accordance with those mandated by NOP standards, the idea of regenerative farming resonates deeply here. We are learning that a farm landscape is not exempt from the rules of ecology. We aim towards growing high quality food while improving the land from which it came. We do not pretend to have it all figured out, but are maintaining this land ethic as a guiding principle.

We are currently experimenting with tillage reduction, occultation, solarization, and are looking to integrate livestock, which along with cover crop, will act as a central component to our on farm fertility plan. While ecological and environmental considerations are currently important in our decision making, they are colloquial. I personally am working towards creating a structured decision making framework heavily inspired by Holistic Management with ecological and environmental considerations playing a large role.

What are the most important considerations in your everyday work on your farm?
Utilizing the opportunity to improve in all conceivable ways.

Apprentice skills/abilities:
No special skills are needed but we are looking for apprentices who want to farm.

General work schedule and time off:
Tuesday through Saturday. 8 hrs/day, 40 hrs/week.

Health insurance:
Health insurance may be provided to apprentices in their second year of work for Soil Born.

Housing + meals:
Housing and meals are not provided.

Dog/Pet allowed:

Apprentices will be expected to drive a standard transmission, however many apprentices have arrived to the farm without this skill and 100% of them have successfully learned.

Not in an overnight capacity, but all visitors are always welcomed to the farm.

Motivation for participating in the apprenticeship program:
Succession plays a large role in ecosystems everywhere. If we are to truly call ourselves a regenerative farm, succession must play a part in our social, human ecosystem as well.

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