Our farm is really a family operation. However, sometimes our family is spread a little thin. This circumstance has led us to seek out individuals who would like to experience our way of life. We hesitate to call the position an internship or an apprenticeship as both of those terms come with expectations on both sides that can be difficult to meet.
We love the energy and passion that comes with being young, not to mention the physical strength.
In order to have a real learning experience, more than one season is ideal. Ideally we would like to have someone around for two full years, with some time off during the dead of winter for rest and renewal. However we have learned to take it one step at a time.
Usually we have an initial email or phone conversation, followed up by a personal visit or trial work week. This allows us to assess each other. The next step is a 3 month period of living and working on the farm. If we still like each other and it feels mutually beneficial, we move to the next 3 month period and so on. Reevaluating is important for both parties, but our hope when we take someone on is that they will be here for a good period of time.
We don’t claim to be experts on anything, but we are happy to share what we have learned from our experience. It takes a huge investment of our time and energy to bring new people along, but we think it is important. We desperately need more farmers in the world and it can be a valuable life experience as well, but it is hard work for everyone and not to be decided on a whim.
Compensation beyond room and board is modest and must be decided on an individual basis. However we have found that someone who does not have outside monthly expenses can live and work here comfortably and probably go away with a modest nest egg.
We have a very rich life here and we recommend it, but not for financial reasons.
For more details, visit our listing on the AATRA (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service) website.