We are a subsistence-farming family of five living in the mountains of northern Vermont, on the southwestern slopes of the Jay Peak range. We spent the first six-plus years developing basic infrastructure and building our straw bale house, and are now in year four of creating our food production gardens and animal husbandry systems. Much of our harvest is stored in our root cellar, jars, and freezers, and we barter or donate much of the surplus to our community. The design and many of the systems are inspired by the practice of Permaculture, as well as heavily influenced by the experience of those who have lived with the land here for generations.
Among the many features of sustainable agriculture and lifestyle we enjoy are extensive organic medicinal and vegetable annual and perennial production (including food-bearing perennial bushes and trees), pasture-raised chickens, solar-electric power, straw bale/timber construction (Jacob is a professional natural builder), herbal and alternative medicine (Mary is an herbalist and holistic nutritionist), silviculture/forestry, vegetable oil-powered transportation, a beautiful pond, and an eclectic and lively rural community. Because of our small size, we do not certify our farm as organic. However, we use organic practices in our gardening and orcharding, including pest management, fertility enhancement, and disease control.
Our internship begins May 1st and runs through October 31st. The work here on our farm is fluid as the growing season progresses. The work we expect of interns is regular, physical, outdoors, and strenuous. The art of homesteading in Vermont is not for the faint of heart, and we require interns who have a love of working hard and enjoying the well-earned fruits of their labors. A strong work ethic is a necessity; we are a very hard-working family (the kids enjoy working with us, as well) and expect the same of those who wish to join us. A positive and upbeat attitude is essential, as we love what we do and want to be sharing our lives with others who love farming and gardening, too. It rains a lot in Vermont, and we work no matter what the weather brings (within reason), so please be prepared to work in the rain and then warm up by a fire with a hot mug. We enjoy playing as well (our children keep us honest that way), and have a pond, lots of woods, and great biking trails to share - our home is a great place to be! Interns must be physically fit enough to lift 50 pound sacks of seed, etc., push heavy loaded wheelbarrows, and be able to weed for a full day. Work includes weeding, planting trees, digging beds, light carpentry, harvesting and processing, possible chicken chores/husbandry, possible silviculture/firewood prep, planting and seeding, and other miscellaneous chores.
We will come up with a regular weekly schedule together based upon two eight-hour days and one additional half-day, for a total of 18-20 hours of work per week. We will welcome a couple to share the work load, if that is desirable and both members fit the requirements we specify. Some weeks may be a bit lighter, and others heavier, depending on the pressures of the season. A regular schedule will be established for continuity and mutual convenience and a timesheet to avoid any ambiguity around hours. We expect interns will find additional part-time work in the area as this is a non-paid part-time internship, and we will do our best to accommodate this reality with our schedule.
Lodging provided is a rustic 24' yurt, lightly furnished, with a loft
and covered porch. There is seasonal cold running spring water plumbed
into the sink of the kitchen, which also includes a small gas stove, a wood two-tier cookstove, a dorm-sized refrigerator,
toaster oven, and ample shelving. There is a queen sized bed (no
linens), an outhouse, and a propane-fired outdoor shower. Electricity
and phone service are available, but are the responsibility of the
interns, as is the use of any propane. The yurt is very private from
the homestead, has its own parking area, and is easily accessible via a
150' path through a field. It is situated along the edge of a
year-round stream and has been enjoyed by many in the past as a retreat
space, ski rental, and permanent residence. The yurt is a no-smoking
space. As we have small children, we require that our property be a
drug-free environment and that alcohol be consumed in moderation. We
require a $250 security deposit, fully refundable following inspection
at the end of the stay.
The interns are responsible for all their own meals, and are welcome to food from the garden and use of garden space.
We look forward to sharing our beautiful home and abundant farm with you!