All interns must possess a valid driver’s license, and be willing and able to drive a bus (24 ft) as well as a truck with trailer. In addition, interns must be willing and able to regularly lift heavy equipment (up to 50 pounds).
A typical week looks like this:
Menu Meeting—go over the week's menus and plan for upcoming dinners.
Farm Visits—visit farms hosting upcoming dinners to meet with farmers, talk through logistics, survey crop availability, discuss set-up.
Bus Prep—restock bus pantry; fill water tanks; fill propane tanks; load drinking water; load wood for grill; purchase fuel for bus, truck and generators.
Shopping—purchase additional groceries and supplies (at farmers’ market, grocery store, restaurant supply, hardware store, etc.).
Food Prep—some food preparation is carried our ahead of time in our commissary kitchen.
Dinner Day #1:
Arrival—drive bus and truck and trailer to farm.
Morning Set-Up—unload tables, chairs and tents from truck; set up outdoor staging area, including prep tables and tent; set up propane stove; unload and hook up generators; unload dinnerware and tableware; unload cooking equipment; prepare grill for cooking; set up hand-wash station by restroom facilities; set up drinking water station; display signs to direct guests to parking area and table.
Lunch—help prepare staff lunch; lunch break.
Afternoon Set-Up—set up dining table and chairs; suspend lights over table; lay linens and napkins; polish silverware and glassware; prepare flower vases; fill water carafes; set up tents over table, if necessary; prepare path lighting to restroom facilities and parking area.
Cooking Assistance—assist with washing and preparation of vegetables, cooking on stove and grill, plating during the meal.
Dinner—greet arriving guests and direct to table; prepare aperitifs and serve to guests; help MLFD cooks plate food; provide service to and from the table; discuss menu, wine, and farming practices with guests; wash dishes and cooking equipment in bus, as needed.
Break-Down—clear table; clean and load dirty dishes; store away leftover food and beverages; collect used table linens; break down tents, lights, tables and chairs grill, stove, water station, hand-wash station; load generators, fans, etc. into bus; collect MLFD signs and lighting; load tents, chairs, tables into pick-up truck and secure with tarp; pick up trash.
Meadow Lark Farm Dinners are a celebration of Colorado's farmers and food artisans. From June through September, we set our table in fields and pastures, barns and greenhouses, around Boulder County. Our menus are inspired by the morning's harvest, and are prepared on-site in our mobile kitchen and on our wood-burning grill. We are driven by the belief that the rituals of the table hold great potential for building communities. By cooking uncomplicated food on local farms, right beside the rows of crops, we strive to draw connections among taste and place and season.
Every year, we look for four interns to join Meadow Lark Farm Dinners for the season. Our paid internships require full-time employment. The work is physically demanding and dependent on exceptional teamwork and communication skills. Interns will be involved in all aspects of Meadow Lark Farm Dinners, as outlined below.
MLFD prepares two dinners every week. With preparations for dinner, post-dinner clean-up, and other administrative tasks, the work will consist of 40–60 hours a week, and will usually be spread out over six days. The bulk of the work falls on dinner days—work may begin as early as 8 a.m., and conclude as late as 2 a.m.. We strive to keep a regular weekly schedule, with dinners falling on Thursdays and Saturdays. However, weather and other unpredictable factors are likely to alter our schedule from time to time. Therefore, while interns will have at least one free day every week, this day-off may not always fall on the same day of the week.
Our major equipment consists of a mobile kitchen (a 24-foot school bus that has been converted into a kitchen and pantry), a wood-burning grill that has been built onto a trailer, and a pick-up truck for pulling the trailer and transporting chairs, tables and tents. All of this equipment must be maintained in excellent condition, and moved from farm to farm according to the dinner schedule.
We look for responsible, hardworking individuals who are capable of working independently as well as with others. An interest in local food, farming, and the relationship between food, environment and community is important.
MLFD interns work closely with one another and MLFD staff throughout the season. In addition, interns interact regularly with dinner guests. For this reason, excellent communication skills are paramount.
Interns must be willing to work long hours—in excess of 16 hours on dinner days—outdoors, in a wide range of weather conditions (summer temperatures in Boulder, Colorado, are regularly between 90°F and 100°F; by fall, nighttime temperatures can dip below 40°F).
Staff Meal—MLFD staff has dinner after guests have left.
Departure—return bus and trailers to home base. Empty trash and compost and lock all equipment.
Cleaning of Bus—unload and wash dirty dishes, glasses and cooking equipment; repack and load clean dishes, glassware and cooking equipment; empty fridge; clean floors, fridge, cooking surfaces, windows and sinks.
Bus and Food Prep—same as above.
Dinner Day #2: same as Dinner Day #1, above.
Clean-Up Day: cleaning of bus, as above.
Commitment—Preference is given to applicants who can make a commitment for the entire season.
Housing & Transportation—Interns are expected to provide their own housing and transportation while in Boulder.
Compensation—Interns receive a monthly stipend of $2750 for full-time employment (six days a week; 40 hours a week; work days and times will vary).
Smoking—Smoking is not permitted in and around MLFD equipment, or on farms that host MLFD dinners.
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