Orchard Intern

Thank you for your interest in joining the Community Orchards Department of Portland Fruit Tree Project as our next Orchard Intern!  Between June and November of 2017, the Orchard Department of PFTP will be working closely with community members, partners, and local agencies to grow and distribute organic fruit from public lands orchards right here in Portland.

What will you be doing?
As an Orchard Intern, you will develop marketable, resume-building skills, and gain broad exposure to nonprofit program and event management in the world of sustainability and community-building. The Orchard Internship is similar to the Harvest Internship in that you gain hands-on experience with a variety of fruits and harvesting methods, but differs in that it’s closely tied to the people and the places surrounding the orchards, with relationship building and orchard management at center stage.  You will help out in the following areas:

  • Training: attend a Harvest Leader training:  June 22nd (5-9PM) or  June 24th (1-5PM)
  • Event Leadership: lead a variety of events at our local community orchards and a handful of large commercial orchards outside of the city
  • Site Management: assist with a variety of seasonal orchard management and maintenance projects at our five different community orchard locations, including holistic fruit tree care and other regenerative agricultural techniques.
  • Volunteer coordination: communicate and schedule Volunteers for orchard related events via phone, email, and database
  • Community building: Conducting outreach, networking, and building relationships with project partners and community members living and working within the communities directly surrounding the Community Orchards
  • Data entry & program reporting: Enter information relating to participant/volunteer information as well as site maintenance and partner relations

What skills do you need?
We hope you will have familiarity and comfort with computers, including Gmail, MS Office Suite, Google Apps, etc. Ultimately though, PFTP will train you in all the practical skills, software, and database needed to succeed in the Orchard Internship. In the end, we value qualities over skills when it comes to our interns:

  • Attitude: We are a volunteer-driven grassroots nonprofit. We don’t have an endless budget, so we are endlessly creative, flexible, and adaptive. You must be comfortable with this.
  • Physicality: This is an active internship. You must be able to move tools and many crates of fruit around, ascend a ladder (we’ll train you – don’t worry!), and intern in the rain.
  • Communication: You enjoy connecting with other people, and are able to reach out and connect with new faces and new places.
  • Curiosity: There’s a lot to know about orchards and fruit. We love it when you ask questions, and are enthusiastic about learning new things and sharing that new-found knowledge with others.
  • Reliability: We spend a good amount of time making sure we are prepared and present to train and support interns. Your ability to be timely and committed to a schedule is important.
  • Passion: We want to know you’ve taken some time to review our website, and feel a sense of commitment to the work that we do.

Driving & Vehicle Policy
PFTP owns two trucks and a cargo van. Orchard Interns will need to drive these throughout the duration of their internship in order to complete site visits, go to/from events, and complete other errands. The ability to drive our own vehicles is an essential part of this internship. Due to insurance requirements, applicants will need the following in order to be considered for this internship: 

  • Active car insurance (on your own policy or that of a family member/partner)
  • At least 2 years of driving experience
  • A valid Driver’s License

Time Commitment
This internship can be 3-months or 6-months depending on your availability.  For the right candidate, we can be flexible on exact timing of start and end date.

  • Summer: 15-25 hours a week, starting the week of June 12th, through the week of Sept 18th.
  • Summer-Fall: 12-20 hours a week, starting the week of June 12th, through the week of Dec 11th.

You will be working out of PFTP’s headquarters in NE Portland, but will have responsibilities at the various Community Orchard and Large Orchard locations that take you out of the office, especially during the June through October months of our Harvest Season.

This internship is unpaid, but the rewards are many: a great resume-building experience, references, and a unique opportunity to be a part of a pioneering and award-winning organization.  Not only will you gain experience in building community through collaborative agricultural efforts and innovative fruit distribution methods, you will develop skills essential to both private and public sectors. 

How to Apply
Please submit the below as attachments in PDF or Word format,, and email to April at april@portlandfruit.org. Use email subject title: “Orchard Intern – [First Name] [Last Name]”

  1. Cover letter: Why this internship? Why PFTP? 
  2. Resume: One or two pages please.

Applications are due by Monday, May 29th, 2017 with interviews to promptly follow.

***We do accept applications on a rolling basis and may begin the interview process early. We encourage you to submit at your earliest convenience so as not to miss out!***