The Vision- Our goals in farming
- We want our farm to be a learning tool for all who are willing and interested whether they are residential apprentices, casual passers by, or anyone in between.
- We intend to demonstrate that urban farming on our scale can be not just a token of interest, but a viable way for a family to make a living on a small piece of land.
- We will employ and demonstrate techniques that allow our soil to remain in place, while improving fertility, health and productivity over many years to come.
- Neighborhood Improvement
- We believe that our constant neighborly presence out of doors has great potential for building relationships, community, and accountability, among neighbors.
- Environmental Responsibility
- In all things we do may our first question be, “Does this make sense for the health of our natural environment?”
- Constantly on all fronts.
As stated above, our farm is very small. With lofty production goals, and limited land we will make use of many practices that allow for maximized yields year after year while maintaining sustainability and environmental responsibility. Some of the techniques we employ are:
- Heated greenhouse
- We make use of a heated greenhouse to grow healthy transplant that are field ready at appropriate times.
- Movable high tunnels
- Passively heated structures under which crops are planted directly in the ground. These structures allow us to extend our growing season significantly at both ends (we will grow earlier and later). The structures rest on tracks, and each structure will have three plots, one of which it will cover at any given point in the season.
- Row Cover
- Covering crops with a thin textile in the field, allows them to endure ambient temperatures that would otherwise kill them. This can be used to get an early start on production, to extend production, and to overwinter some crops. This technique can also be used to combat some pests and diseases.
- Productivity and Soil health
- We compost on the farm, and make use of local composting resources to improve our soil.
- Bio-intensive techniques
- Organic Soil Management
- Cover Cropping
- We make use of cover crops for soil health, erosion control, and weed management.
- Ecological impact
- Water Conservation
- Drip irrigation
- Drip irrigation places water directly where it is needed, and minimizes water waste.
- Small scale equipment
- Walk behind tractor
- Lots of handwork
- Intensive record keeping
- Thorough record keeping will allow us to constantly review our practices, and determine what is working, and how we can improve.
- Our records will also be made available as learning resources for others.
In return for 40 hours a week of work apprentices and interns will receive a hands-on education in sustainable farming. Apprentices will receive room and board, plus a monthly stipend to be determined by experience and commitment.
We will provide housing on the farm. We have a furnished 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, wood floors, and central air. These accommodations will be shared by Apprentices, interns, and volunteers who are currently working on the farm. Sleeping quarters will be segregated according to varying occupancy, and the preferences of the occupants. Breakfast and supper will be self provided with access to the farm house pantry, and freezers. Lunch will be provided at the farm house, and will be eaten with our family.
Interning Vs. Apprenticing
Intern candidates are people who want to explore agriculture from the inside out, with a relatively short commitment (minimum 3 months). Interns should be willing to work hard, learn fast, and adapt. There is a lot to learn if you’ve never worked on a farm before, and it’s important that intern candidates be willing to jump in feet first, and learn as they go. Sense of humor is important, and goes a long way toward making the work enjoyable, along with an appreciation of the outdoors, in all different scenarios.
Our ideal apprentice candidate is someone who desires to farm on their own at some point in the future, who wants to learn sustainable agriculture from the inside out, who is willing and able to work long and hard, who has a sense of humor, who is able to take instruction and give constructive feedback, who can interface with our customers in an intimate setting, is responsible and committed, and able to live and work closely with us. Ability to self-educate about particular areas of interest, plus interest in talking about why we do things the way we do are also important to the apprentice experience. Experience farming and/or working with equipment including tractors, hand tools, mowers, construction tools, etc. would certainly be a plus, but is not completely necessary, flexibility is key, and we will provide the know-how.
Couples and families are welcome to apply.