Patchwork Green is a ridge top farm overlooking the beautiful Canoe Creek valley several miles north of Decorah, Iowa. After market gardening for several years, we were able to purchase our 40-acre farm and quickly developed five acres into annual vegetable production. The garden is surrounded by restored prairie and oak woods, and we enjoy bordering the heirloom production gardens of Seed Savers Exchange.
Erik Sessions and Sara Peterson have been growing and selling produce in Decorah since 1998. We attend the twice-weekly farmers market in Decorah, deliver to several restaurants and the Oneota Food Coop, and serve around 100 CSA members. Our customers associate the Patchwork Green Farm name with clean, flavorful and beautiful produce, and we spend extra time ensuring quality.
On the farm, we start most of our own transplants in a heated hoop house, raise cherry tomatoes in an unheated hoop house and wash and pack all the vegetables in a new packing facility. In the fields, the wide variety of crops ensures that the crew moves between diverse tasks each day. A small farm tractor is used for laying biodegradable plastic mulch, tilling, discing, mowing and pulling the potato digger. Much of the work, however, is done by hand; hoeing, pulling weeds, trellising, transplanting and harvesting.
The PGF crew is fully trained on each task. We discuss why we are doing the task, alternative ways to manage the job and how to be most efficient. Once mastered, jobs are often tackled independently, and problem solving is a necessity for crew members. With the focus on vegetable quality and appearance, efficient and thorough packing house routines are important.
Patchwork Green Farm is hiring two garden crew employees in 2017. We can pay $11/hour, with 32 to 40 hours work per week, from May through October. Typical summer hours are from 7:00 to 3:30, with slightly later hours spring and fall. Some schedule flexibility is appreciated when the weather or vegetable volume overwhelm our best efforts! We don’t expect our crew to work weekends or more than 40 hours in a week. We don’t offer meals or boarding on the farm, but invite employees to eat lunch with the family.
You can see pictures and descriptions of the farm at our website, patchworkgreen.com. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in an interview for the 2017 garden crew. Thank you!
Erik Sessions and Sara Peterson
3031 Middle Hesper Road
Decorah, IA 52101