Mary Dirty Face Farm

Mary Dirty Face Farm
Menomonie, WI

Apprenticeship Mentor Farm

Agroforestry Systems:

Farm Information

Mary Dirty Face Farm is a certified organic orchard, with apples, pears, plums, currants, raspberries, blueberries, and some other fruit on 5.5 acres, as well as a new orchard with about 6 acres of apples coming into production. Rachel and Anton own and operate the farm, which we established in 2009. Besides fruit, we raise pastured hogs and poultry, which all spend time in and around the orchard, and custom graze cattle in the summer.

This year, we are preparing to do some grazing in our woods and have begun to establish silvopasture strips in our pasture. We market through a CSA-style fruit share and direct-market meat shares, as well as going to a farmers market in Minneapolis and selling to our local co-op and other small wholesale accounts. Our farm is primarily focused on sustainable fresh fruit production, incorporating regenerative ag practices to achieve this. Over the time we have been farming here, we have experimented with a lot of different species and methods and are always learning and changing. However, we do not make dramatic changes mid-season and will remain focused on production during the apprenticeship. We are very involved in sustainable farming organizations and Wisconsin Farmers Union and are excited to be able to share what we’ve learned.

Farm Information
Acres: 12
: Menomonie, WI

Apprenticeship Opportunities

Apprentices can expect a 40-hour work week, mostly in 8-hour days, with occasional adjustments based on weather and urgent work needs. We usually have one or two other seasonal part-time employees who don’t live on-farm. Most workdays, the apprentice will work alongside Rachel and/or other employees and will need to be able to work independently at times with direction. During evenings, we are generally unavailable due to the needs of our kids, so apprentices living on-farm will need to be comfortable with some solitude. (See Remoteness, below – we are located very close to a town with a lot of amenities.) Apprentice will learn organic management of perennial fruits; pest and disease scouting and preventative practices; marketing of uncommon fruits; on-farm fruit processing; use of hand tools and orchard-specific tools; rotational grazing, fencing, and set-up of water lines; livestock management; and whole-farm resource management. We try to involve apprentices and employees in all aspects of our farm business when possible and are open to extra mentoring on specific areas of interest – but we also need someone who is willing to do the farm tasks that need doing and to work efficiently. At times that means repetitive tasks. Apprentices may have access to garden space, but we are not open to new permaculture projects.

Apprenticeship Program

Availability: Open

Availability Needed: June to October; flexible start and end dates



Rachel Henderson
“We are interested in having an orchard system that mimics a natural ecosystem to the greatest extent possible. We’ve started implementing some agroforestry principles as a way to achieve those goals.”
Rachel Henderson, Mary Dirty Face Farm

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