Lightroot Community Farm

Grass-fed Dairy & Eggs with Vegetables, Education, and Compost

The Ranch

Light Root Community Farm is currently located on a 60 acre farm owned by the city of Boulder’s Open Space program. Light Root Community Farm began leasing this property in 2018 which allowed us to expand and further diversify the farm. The heart of the farm is our 15 cow 100% grass-based dairy that produces high quality raw milk for approximately 200 local families in our herd share program. The dairy operates year round and cows are milked twice a day.  The herd is a mix of Jersey, Guernsey and Ayrshire breeds, all selected for good grazing genetics, docile temperaments and high butterfat. We are not certified organic, but we are committed to managing our farm and dairy with organic, biodynamic, and regenerative farming practices. Light Root Community farm focuses on promoting  livestock health by providing high quality forage and feed year round to the animals, building soil health in our rotationally grazed pastures, and when needed we utilize natural herbal and homeopathic treatments for our dairy cows.

 Light Root Community Farm is a reputable raw milk dairy that focuses on cow health and hygiene, and detail oriented dairy operating standards and milk handling protocols to produce a high quality, pure, and safe product.  Apprentices will be involved in the daily operations of the dairy and learn about milking systems, animal husbandry, cow health, breeding, milk house cleaning routines, milk bottling, raw milk testing, barn cleaning and calf care.      

 

 

Light Root Community Farm builds farm fertility through our grazing management and by applying farm made compost to crop fields, pasture and hay fields.  The dairy produces a valuable on-farm fertility resource with all of the manure and bedded pack that accumulates in the winter months in the loafing shed and around the barnyard.  All of this manure is built into extensive compost heaps that we turn and age for 1-2 years before applying back to the farm. This is the foundation of our farm fertility loop.  We do not bring in any outside fertility inputs for the farm.  We also work with cover cropping and  green manuring in our crop fields.   Apprentices will learn about the farm’s fertility management program by assisting with manure cleaning, compost building and spreading, rotational grazing systems, moveable electric fencing systems, cover crop management. 

Light Root Community Farm incorporates 2 mobile chicken houses with approx. 100-120  laying hens each into our pasture rotations. The laying hens provide organic eggs  for our herd share members to purchase at our farm stand and fertility for the farm.  This is a smaller enterprise on the farm that we have streamlined to be efficient, productive, and profitable for the farm.  Apprentices will be incorporated into the daily management of the pastured laying hen operation, which includes, feeding, watering, egg collection and packing, electric fence and house moving, and general upkeep. 

Light Root Community Farm utilizes a variety of flood and overhead and drip irrigation systems to irrigate pastures, hay fields, and crops on the farm from May thru September. In our semi-arid climate, irrigation is an essential task on the farm and allows the farm to produce a second and third crop of grazing late into the season.  Apprentices will participate in all irrigation systems on the farm by helping to set up, maintain, and operate the irrigation through the season. 

Light Root Community Farm utilizes draft horse power for all field and crop growing, hay making, and general farm tasks.  We do incorporate a skid loader for manure management and moving large hay bales around the farm, but we employ our 5 Belgian draft horses for most other heavy farm work. The draft horses provide a “solar powered” source of power that is light on the soil and contributes to our farm fertility program with their manure.  Apprentices will have the opportunity to observe the draft horse systems, and learn some basic draft horse care and harnessing skills.  Draft horse driving and field work is reserved for interested 2nd year apprentices only. 

 

Light Root Community Farm grows about 1 acre of mixed vegetable row crops, an acre in cover crops, and about ¼ acre of raised beds in the farm’s education gardens. Apprentices will be involved in all aspects of planting, cultivation and weeding, irrigation, harvest, tillage and overall crop production.  Our crop systems employ the draft horses for primary soil tillage and some cultivation, especially in the row crops,  and we utilize a lot of hand tools in our education gardens.

Light Root Community Farm is a working farm and also holds a social and educational mission to connect people to the land and animals to understand the importance of local food systems, soil health and ecological land stewardship, and to provide restorative and healing opportunities for individuals on the farm. Light Root Community Farm offers a variety of educational volunteer opportunities, kids summer camps, and therapeutic farm programs to the local community.  Apprentices will participate in the farm’s educational programs, learning how to engage kids and adults into basic work and learning activities on the farm. 

 

Regenerative Practices

Light Root Community Farm is a highly diversified small farm located on the edge of a thriving urban area.  We are able to direct market all of our products from the farm and the farm has a regular interface with the public through our farmstand, herd share members, and education programs.  We work with principles of holistic management to balance the many enterprises on the farm with a good quality of life for our family and farm staff.  Efficiency, organization, good communication, an appreciation for details, thoroughness and quality, and animal, plant, soil and human health and well-being are important values of our farm.

 

Check out Lightroot Community Farm’s Facebook & Instagram

 

The MentorS

Daphne Kingsley

& Cameron Genter

 

 

Daphne and Cameron met as farm apprentices at Live Power Community Farm in Northern California back in 2001. That was the beginning of their farming journey together, which has led them to work and learn at a variety of farms around the country.  They started Light Root Community Farm in Boulder, CO in 2014 which incorporates their vision of a diverse draft horse powered farm and dairy that produces nourishing food, stewards the land and animals, and fosters relationships with the local community through practical farm education and social programs.

 

 

Daphne Kingsley originates from the small town of Whitehall, NY on the southern tip of Lake Champlain. She grew up on a family farm that grew hay and sweet corn and always had a mix of livestock around. After a few years in college and some travels, she eventually found her way back to farming as an apprentice at Live Power Community Farm in Covelo, CA where she immersed into hands-on learning in all aspects of vegetable production, animal husbandry, CSA, and farm education. Daphne was inspired by the Community Supported Agriculture Model and the direct relationship it fostered between the farm and the community.

This continues to be a focus of her farming pursuits with Light Root Community Farm offering a dairy “CSA” and continuing to develop opportunities for the community to engage in and support the farm through education programs and social endeavors. Daphne is the herdswoman and dairy manager on the farm, and also operates the farm business and herd share program.

 

 

Cameron Genter grew up in Wichita Kansas, where he found a love for nature and grasslands. He studied botany and community agriculture in college and quickly sought a more practical approach to working with nature, which ultimately led him to Live Power Community Farm in Covelo, CA. Cameron apprenticed for 3 years in biodynamic vegetable production, animal husbandry, and draft horse powered farming systems. He continued his farm training by spending 2 years managing a draft horse powered market garden and small livestock farm in Penobscot, Maine, and then working on a small dairy in VT. Cameron also studied under Craig Holdredge at the Nature Institute training in Goethean Science and Observation.Before moving to Colorado in 2014, Cameron and Daphne spent 8 years in rural Wisconsin building and operating a draft horse powered farm and grass-based dairy.
Cameron is the primary draft horse teamster at Light Root Community Farm, managing the soil work, crop fields, haymaking, and composting systems. He also manages the grazing and irrigation systems. He enjoys the “art of farming” and implementing practical systems into the fluid and complex pieces of a diversified farm.

 

 

 

The Apprentice

 What will an apprentice do?

 

An apprentice will have a variety of duties, including but not limited to:

 

    • Being involved in the daily operations of the dairy and learn about milking systems, animal husbandry, cow health, breeding, milk house cleaning routines, milk bottling, raw milk testing, barn cleaning and calf care.  
    • Assisting with manure cleaning, compost building and spreading, rotational grazing systems, moveable electric fencing systems, cover crop management. 
    • Feeding, watering, egg collection and packing, electric fence and house moving, and general upkeep of pastured laying hen operation.
    • Participating in all irrigation systems on the farm by helping to set up, maintain, and operate the irrigation through the season. 
    • Being involved in all aspects of planting, cultivation and weeding, irrigation, harvest, tillage and overall crop production.  Our crop systems employ the draft horses for primary soil tillage and some cultivation, especially in the row crops,  and we utilize a lot of hand tools in our education gardens.
    • Participating in the farm’s educational programs, learning how to engage kids and adults into basic work and learning activities on the farm. 

Nuts & Bolts

 

Start and End Dates: Start date will be the last week of March and End Date will be Mid-November.

 

Length of Apprenticeship: ~8 months

 

Stipend: The stipend is $1000/month and will be paid biweekly thru payroll.  The stipend may or may not cover monthly expenses for the apprentice based on his or her needs and lifestyle. The position does not allow time for a second job, so the apprentice should consider his or her budgetary needs before applying to this position. This is a single position and we are unable to accommodate couples, or families at this time.

 

General work hours: We start each morning at 6:30 am  and we finish generally around 6:00pm, with a 2-3 hour break in the afternoons each day. But depending on the season and farm needs these hours will vary.

 

Housing: Housing is a shared 3 bedroom house located 4 miles from Light Root Community Farm on a nearby ranch property. The house is shared with Light Root Community Farm’s 2 other employees. Each person has their own room and we do expect the shared living space (kitchen, living room, etc.) will be kept clean and tidy by farm staff and apprentices.

 

Laundry: Available in farm staff/ apprentice house.

 

Internet availability: WiFi Available in farm staff/ apprentice house. Cell service is good- Verizon works well.

 

Time off: Apprentices will have 1 ½ days off a week. If an apprentice needs additional days for specific activities, medical appointments, etc. he or she should let the mentors know as soon as possible. Additional days off cannot be guaranteed. Be aware that the farm’s needs dictate workflow over the course of the apprenticeship. It is usually possible to take consecutive days off once or twice during the season, but this needs to be planned well in advance to accommodate the farm calendar.

 

Visitors policy: Apprentices will be allowed to have visitors however we do not allow extended periods of stay (more than three days), and apprentices should communicate about any visitors with housemates ahead of time. We can be flexible with extenuating circumstances.

 

Food: Apprentice will be provided with a weekly milk share (1 gallon a week) and 1 dozen eggs, and some seasonal vegetables when they are available from the farm.

 

Pets: We can not accommodate pets on the farm or in the provided apprentice farm staff/apprentice living space.

 

Tobacco and alcohol use: We promote a healthy living environment. No smoking, vaping or drugs on the farm or in the farm housing. Occasional beer or a glass of wine on your off-work time is fine.

 

Guns: No guns allowed, please.

 

Health insurance: The ranching lifestyle has inherent dangers. While personal health insurance is not required to participate in the apprenticeship program, it is strongly encouraged. Light Root Community Farm carries Workman’s Compensation to cover injuries incurred on the job. But if the apprentice is injured on his or her day off, gets sick, or has or develops chronic conditions like allergies, these types of issues should be covered by personal health insurance.

 

COVID-19 policy: Because the ongoing Covid concerns are continually changing and evolving, we will plan to discuss how the farm is addressing this need with apprentices.

 

Ranch vehicles: Farm truck is available for occasional farm projects, but not available for personal apprentice use.

 

Personal vehicle: A personal vehicle is required for transportation to and from the farm each day since farm apprentice housing is located approx. 4 miles away from the main farm.

 

Additional items an apprentice should bring: The farm staff/apprentice house is furnished with basic kitchenware and furniture. You will need to bring your own bedding and any personal items to make your space comfortable.

 

Living in Boulder, CO: Boulder, Colorado is a small city located on the front range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It is a semi-arid climate with about 19 inches of annual precipitation, over 300 days of sunshine a year, mild winters and hot dry summers. Boulder is known for its abundance of nearby outdoor recreation and culture of healthy living. There is nearby by public transportation and easy access to plenty of natural food stores and general shopping needs. The farm is located off a busy road that is located about 10 minutes east of downtown Boulder. There is an active small farm community in the Boulder area.

 

Quivira Coalition Activities: This apprenticeship is offered through Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program. The full cohort of apprentices on regenerative ranches and farms across the west will attend an April orientation, participate in supplemental education provided in partnership with Holistic Management International, and attend the annual Quivira Conference, hosted with Holistic Management International and the American Grassfed Association, in November. Apprentices are also required to write several reports during their apprenticeship; these reports will go through the NAP Coordinator at Quivira, and be posted on the Quivira website.

 

Quivira Coalition News

Get information on apprenticeships, jobs, and other opportunities.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Become a member

its the best way to support resilience on western working landscapes.