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Chickaloon, AK 99674
Contact: Allie Barker, Jed Workman
Phone: [Home] 907-746-4566
Last Updated: 01-26-2016
General Description: We are an off-grid small scale homestead farm located in the beautiful Matanuska Valley in Alaska. We grow enough food to feed our family year round, sell at the farmers market in Anchorage and provide CSA and CSF (Community Supported Ferments) shares from May-October. Farmers markets are weekly and require helpers to rise early, harvest veggies and have prepared value added goods the day before. We rely heavily on root cellar storage, traditional food preservation techniques, hunting, fishing, berries and wild plants. Chickens are used for egg production, composting and preparing land for agriculture. Pigs clear land, fertilize, and become everything beyond bacon. Bees are kept and cared for to promote pollination and to collect beeswax for herbal medicine. Honey is used for mead, wine and kombucha.
In addition to outdoor beds, our growing capacity includes hoop houses, a wood fired seed-house and greenhouse with a wood-fired radiant heat system under the beds, and a 20x24 high tunnel.
We focus on simple, low-cost methods of living using ingenuity. Examples are chain saw milling, in-bed hot water heat through heat exchanger wood stove, recycling and salvaging building materials.
Internship Starts: April 2016
Internship Ends: October 2016
Number of Interns: 2
App Deadline: Contact to fill out an application
Minimum Length of Stay: 2 months, full season preferred
Meals: -Food and Meals- provided food includes: vegetables from the garden, eggs from chickens, local raw goat milk, berries (depending on harvest and what you pick), potatoes, carrots, and a few gluten-free grains. Sometimes an opportunity to work trade with a neighbor will provide extra goat milk or cheese. We also stock some staples like gluten free grains (rice, buckwheat, etc.), beans. Snacks are not provided. Favorite food items need to be purchased by individual. If your diet is heavy on nuts and seeds, please bring your own supplies. Although we try to share a communal lunch, a busy schedule sometimes prohibits this. You will cook most meals with interns in the communal wall tent. Staying healthy and strong during your stay here requires a desire and interest in cooking nutritious meals for yourself and other interns. Interns are expected to rise early enough to make a nutritious breakfast before starting the days work.
Skills Desired: -Skills Desired- Requires a self-motivated, positive, energetic, detail oriented person willing to be flexible with all sorts of projects. Requires someone who is willing to get dirty and keep living space clean and in order. Prefer a person with natural building skills, but not essential. This opportunity requires a person wanting to learn from the homesteading model, potentially seeking it for themselves in the future. Living in Alaska is remote by lower 48 standards, so one should be ready to be comfortable in an extremely small community, without the interaction of city life. Books, instruments, hikes, projects and learning how to live in the woods are the leisure activities.
We do NOT provide internet.
Educational Opportunities: -Educational Opportunities- Organic farming techniques including soil amendments, pest management, composting, crop rotation, companion planting, weed mitigation, broad forking, double digging, harvesting and preparing produce and products for market, helping in organization and planning for small CSA, design components of off-grid greenhouse structure, harvest and process herbs into medicine for medicinal herb business, learn off-grid living techniques including chain-saw milling.
Chugach Farm operates from mid-February through October, although our market season, CSA, and restaurant sales occur from June-September. Interns usually participate between March and Oct. Below is a list of what to expect during different months.
March (still snow)- hauling and chopping wood, seed starting, maintaining wood-fired seed house, grinding grain and growing fodder for chicken food.
April- (still snow)-Seed starting (blocking), making wooden trays, maintaining wood-fired greenhouse, hauling and chopping wood, grind chicken food, set up bee hives.
May- Move high tunnel to new location, fix fences, prepare beds for planting (broadfork, fertilize, compost), brew compost tea, till new ground and prep new beds, seeding, build/repair beds with slabwood, transplant, turn compost, set up and check water system, plant cover crop in new growing area, grow fodder, weekly bee checks, daily chicken and pig chores.
June- Plant seedlings, start second round of seedlings, weekly weeding, create value added goods, Saturday trips to sell at farmer’s market, weekly bakes in earth oven for market, weekly compost tea applications, weekly bee checks, chicken/pig maintenance, salmon harvest, smoke/can/freeze fish.
July-Succession planting, maintain weeding, transplanting, compost building, dig holes for fence posts, market prep (grinding grain and baking, making herbal medicine, vegetable harvest), building projects, pick berries, start food put-up.
August/ September- Weekly bake, CSA, farmer’s market, making value added products, harvest, canning, berry picking, plant walks/harvest/medicine making, building projects, moose hunt and harvest, fermentation, brew mead and cyser, dry herbs, harvest honey from bee hives.
October-Moose processing, harvest, cure vegetables for winter storage, put up food, put farm to bed, drain water system, coil hoses, homestead building projects, harvest party!!
Stipend: -Compensation- This is a work/trade experience. Compensation comes in the form of life skills. If you need to make money, this is not the opportunity for you. If you value learning skills to last a lifetime over money, this is the place for you. A stipend is available for one intern with farming experience. Ask within. Occasional exceptions may be made for dependable and skilled interns who stay at Chugach Farm for an extended time.
Housing: -Housing- Wall tents do NOT have electricity or running water. Please bring your own sleeping bag or bedding. Apprentice accommodations include either a cozy 12'x14' deluxe wall tent with minimal furniture, a bed frame, small kitchen area for cooking, and wood stove. A propane range or wood stove can be used for cooking. This space can accommodate 1-2 people, and also serves as the “common” space for apprentices. Living in this space requires flexibility with other folks schedules. Another housing option is the 8’x10’ wall tent with futon and sleeping space for one person. Setting up your own shelter is always an option too. We expect that apprentices will take care of these shelters respectfully, keep them clean on a daily basis, and keep food in bins to avoid squirrel/bear problems. Water must be hauled from the farm in 5 gallon containers 500 feet away to the wall tents. If you can not carry 5 gallons of water, this is probably not the place for you.
Preferred method Of Contact: Phone or Email
Internship Details: Internships provide a valuable opportunity for people seeking to immerse themselves in the Alaskan farming and homestead lifestyle. Reciprocally the host receives the benefit of engaged helping hands, fresh ideas and new friendships.
We are looking for people who have a positive attitude, are enthusiastic about learning, show respect for all living beings, are able to take direction and give feedback, work hard, and have fun!
As part of the Homestead you will be responsible for care-taking, planting, seeding, soil-blocking, digging, watering, watering, watering, harvesting, packaging CSA’s and market veggies, canning, smoking fish and meat, harvesting wild plants and berries, hauling wood, chopping wood, tilling soil, hauling wheelbarrows of soil, fertilizing, fence building, feeding chickens and pigs, cleaning out animal shelters, shoveling animal poop, turning compost, running wood stoves, staying clean with the Sauna and outdoor gravity shower and wood fired tub, washing clothes the primitive way, repairing tools, shelters, tents, and your clothes, cooking nutritious intentional meals, maintaining a spotless living quarters, to name a few.
The journey to Alaska is a big deal with long travel miles and big commitments. Email us, then call us, and let’s get to know each other and make sure it’s a good fit.
If you are interested in an internship, check out our website for more information and contact us for an application. firstname.lastname@example.org