Farm Interns, Volunteers, & Patrons

Details on new-farmer apprenticeships, volunteer opportunities, and becoming a patron.

"Farmers know higher production does not guarantee higher profits. Constantly hounded with one silver bullet or another to lift productivity and therefore income, very few farmers take time to personally challenge industry information. A healthy dose of skepticism led us down a path less traveled.

Observation and critical thinking in farming has two distinct purposes: First, to understand how powerful interests establish, frame and distort information and learning, and secondly, to question assumptions and practices that seem to make our lives easier but actually work against our long-term interests."

John King, holistic management educator, N.Z.

 


 


 

The best place to learn holistic and sustainable farming practices is not at a land grant industrial agriculture school, but at a farm actually practicing earth-based ecology.

 

Special New-Farmer Apprenticeship Program

 
Like to learn more before you leap into starting up a new farm. If you are planning to start a small acreage (5-15+) organic farm from scratch, you owe it to yourself to be as well equipped with a first-hand knowledge of what is required, and how you can meet the diverse daily farming challenges with some degree of confidence on a very modest budget. Start-up costs can kill any size farm right on the front end.
Under the mentorship of Farmer Leaf, you will learn how to successfully and sustainably manage your land (and soil) and other farm assets, grow plants, use and repair hand tools and farm machinery (small tractor, irrigation water pump, etc.), create a viable business plan, build your own size (scale) farm implements from recycled steel, milk a cow, set a proper corner fence post, hand bale hay, extract honey, collect and store rainwater, avoid debt, and design ecological and energy efficient buildings & structures. In other words, everything you're going to have to know in order to operate as a competent and sustainable organic farmer. View our farm at our gallery.
This broad range program open only to those actually planning to farm or homestead as their career choice. Single person or couple eligible. Four (4) month commitment required. contact us


 SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY
What is a serious inquiry? When you contact us, we will usually respond with an in-depth thoughtful reply. Our farm time is precious, so if you are just generally fishing around and sending out multiple inquiries in hopes of finding something to do, you will essentially be wasting our time, especially if we never hear from you again. When you contact us, we need you to be potentially ready to follow up as in a formal job interview. Thank you.
 


We're looking to teach one good intern in 2017


¨We also offer a very limited number of apprentice-type intern positions, short term (2 weeks or less) month-long, and long term (4 months or more), for a selected few. ¨We are looking for self-motivated, mature thinking, responsible and committed individuals who have a serious desire to learn numerous worthwhile practical skills based upon the fundamentals of organic, sustainable, permanent agriculture (perma-culture) and creating a supportive, climate-friendly farm infrastructure.¨
We offer free room & board plus a small financial stipend at our organic farm.
¨If you have a good work ethic, like to rise with the morning sun, have a genuine desire to learn small-scale, sustainable organic farming techniques, aspire to work in harmony with the earth, are compatible with our guiding philosophy, and are ready to commit a few days, weeks or months of your time and effort as a staff member at our teaching farm, we would like to hear from you-please contact us.
Only serious inquiries will be acknowledged. Open to non-farmers and novice gardeners.

What is a serious inquiry? When you contact us, we will usually respond with a thoughtful reply. Our farm time is precious, so if you are just generally fishing around and sending out multiple inquiries in hopes of finding something to do, you will essentially be wasting our time, especially if we never hear from you again. When you contact us, we need you to be potentially ready to follow up as in a formal job interview. Thank you.
 

 Farm Volunteer Opportunities

Like to get down, dirty and intimate with the soil, but don't have a viable "dirt working" outlet where you live? Here is an opportunity to be a volunteer worker on a perma-culture based organic teaching farm. Work alongside experienced farmers who have nearly 40 years experience. We offer volunteer opportunities throughout the year with our work to learn program. For more infomation, please contact us.

 

Be a Patron


¨The primary mission of our teaching farm is to present a more naturally balanced approach to sustaining marginal land used for agriculture. We do this in a myriad of ways, from wooded "shelter belts," selective area mowing, to creating rain catchment ponds. ¨Since our inception as a teaching farm in 2004, we have focused primarily on soil fertility and water source restoration. In the process, we have created a highly-acclaimed demonstration model of intelligent and sensitive land management, and are in the process of developing another here in Floyd, VA.
We consider the educational component of our farming program to be equally as important as the food we grow. We have a youth oriented outreach program that targets interested  students. Farm volunteers often bring other skills and resources that benefit the stated over-all mission of our organic-based teaching farm.¨
We are seeking financial scholarship funding for our intern program.
¨Please contact us for more details if you would like to support the teaching / intern role of our farm by becoming a patron.


¨Please note: we are not a 501(c)-3 organization, your contributions are not tax-deductible.