Kern Family Farm

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Kern Family Farm

  • Marker details
  • DescriptionWe're a small family farm that sells mainly to the families in our town (North Fork, CA) and several nearby towns through a local market we recently opened that carries both our produce and that of other local farmers. We also sell produce to a few local restaurants and to the nearby Vipassana Meditation Center. My husband Hansel (I’m Sue), 31 year old daughter (Becky) and 28 year old son (Aaron) do most of the work, helped for the last eight plus years by some wonderful farm interns that have come through from all over the world. For housing our interns, we have 2 two bedroom trailers, several RVs and other sleeping rooms, and a main "intern" house with full kitchen. Our intern housing has its own solar array which interns are shown how to maintain while they’re here. We also have a small “cob” structure that one of our wonderful interns designed and constructed, that can also be used for housing. There's a DSL hook up in the farm house for those who have laptops, but since all of the power on our farm comes from solar or hydro, we have to keep electricity use down (so we ask everyone not to spend too much time on the computer). We provide any food we grow on the farm (seasonal vegetables, eggs and goat milk products) plus some staples we sell in our little market in town (rice, beans, oats, honey, olive oil, nuts, etc.), and in exchange we ask interns to put in approximately 20 hours/week (usually weekday mornings from around 8-1). The work mainly includes planting, weeding and harvesting seasonal vegetables and some small construction projects relating to fencing, barnyards, etc. There are also extra projects (like the school garden we run on Fridays during the school year, the commodity distribution for North Fork’s low-income families that we run the 2nd Saturday of each month, a retail market we operate in our little town, three farm festivals we help put on in the spring, etc.) that they can volunteer for if they're interested. We also raise goats for milk and cheese and chickens for eggs, and our visitors are welcome to help with those chores too if they're interested. We're in the middle of the Sierra National Forest so there's no regular utility company and everything we operate runs on solar, wind, hydro or back-up generator. As for climate, we get some snow in the winter, but usually only 2-3 times a year for a day or so and then it melts off. Most of the winter it's 40-50 degrees here, though it can go down to the teens. In the summer, it's pretty hot and dry (sometimes in the 90s, and there's no rain from about end of May through late October/early November), but we do have some creeks and a dough boy pool to cool off in. We’re certified organic and have never used any pesticides anywhere on the farm.
    If you're interested in visiting us, we do ask for at least a two month minimum commitment and prefer to correspond by e-mail. Go to our website, kernfamilyfarm.com, and fill in the application under the "Work With Us" section. Include references and proposed dates for your visit.
  • LocationUnited States, California, Madera County, North Fork

  • Work
  • Type of work Animal care
    Farmstay
    Gardening
  • Hours per day We ask interns to put in approximately 20 hours/week (usually weekday mornings from around 8-1), and we require a minimum 2 month committment.
  • Work requirements: We ask that you have some interest in learning about sustainable agriculture and that you're willing to make at least a two month commitment.
  • Host's preferences
  • Availability: Send a message to inquire.
  • Duration of stay: We ask for at least a two month commitment and are also open to long term stays (a year or more).
  • Maximum number of helpers: 8
  • Last minute requests: Okay
  • Host
  • Languages:English
  • Has pets? We have several guardian dogs to help protect our chickens and goats and lots of cats to help hold down the rodent population. We also raise goats and chickens for milk and eggs.
  • Smokes at home? No
  • Accommodation: For housing our interns, we have a two bedroom trailer with full kitchen and bathroom that is the main "intern" building, with another 2 bedroom trailer and 4 RVs parked around it each of which has 1-2 beds. Our intern housing has its own solar array which interns are shown how to maintain while they’re here. We also have a small “cob” structure that one of our wonderful interns designed and constructed, that can also be used for housing. There's a DSL hook up in the farm house for those who have laptops, but since all of the power on our farm comes from solar or hydro, we have to keep electricity use down (so we ask everyone not to spend too much time on the computer).
  • Additional info
  • To contact us about visiting our farm, fill out the application under the "Work With Us" section of our website, kernfamilyfarm.com, let us know where you heard about us, how long you're looking to stay, and what you're hoping to get out of your visit. We prefer to communicate by e-mail, but if you need to call us, our phone # is 559-877-5800.