Contact information
Farm Address:
120 Prairie Sky Ln.
Burnsville, North Carolina, 28714

Primary Contact: Jim Veteto
Primary Phone:
    Number: 828-536-0338


Internship information
General Farm Description: Join our Ethnobotanical Immersion Program for 2023!!!! Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies (AIMS) is a non-profit 27-acre farm dedicated to biocultural conservation and climate change solutions. We house a seedbank of 2000 Appalachian heirloom seeds collected during the masters and dissertation fieldwork of Dr. Jim Veteto, a 70-tree heirloom Appalachian fruit orchard (mostly apples), and 22 acres of intact Appalachian Cove Hardwood Forest (2nd most diverse temperate forest type in the world) full of medicinal and edible plants and wild mushrooms. This is not a market farm, but rather an engaged sustainability project. We are researching workable solutions in Giduwagi-Appalachia biocultural region to the climate catastrophe that is now upon us and figure that we have 10 years at the most for doing so. In fact, we believe, based on long-term anthropological research, that these are the most important 10 years in human history. We are looking for people with similar assumptions to join us in this important work of creating a resilient human future. We are situated at the base of the sacred Black Mountains (very important in Cherokee cosmology), the highest mountain range on the entire east coast, with 80% of our property bordering 18000 acres of Pisgah National Forest, with 13 pristine springs and 3 creeks on-site. AIMS land has been utilized ceremonially by Native Americans for 14000 years. One of our most exciting recent projects is Inviting Immortals Tea Garden. We have 50 tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in contour rock terraces in what is likely the highest tea garden in Eastern North America (3500 feet). This season we are developing a series of ethnobotanical tea tastings and I am looking for at least one intern to assist in that. Immerse yourself in 27 of the most biodiverse acres in North America (1500 plus plant species). Become a subsistence smallholder gardener-forager in 2023! Whee!

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: March or April 15, 2023
Internship Ends: October 15, 2023
Number of Internship Available: 4-6
Application Deadline: open until filled, potential for joining during the season as positions become available
Minimum Length of Stay: 1 month

Internship Details:

25 hours of work a week (5 hours a day), the rest of the time is available for exploring the beautiful South Toe Valley (the South Toe is the cleanest river in NC). A mix of tending medicinal, annual, and perennial gardens, in addition to the orchard. Some work on developing a microvillage. The internship can be more focused on any of these specific areas of the project if you have a special interest. Looking for 4-5 interns for this season.

Educational Opportunities: You will be interning with Dr. Jim Veteto, an internationally and regionally recognized leading expert in environmental anthropology, ethnobotany, agroecology, Appalachian and Cherokee Studies. You will increase your knowledge in foraging, plant id, gardening, seed-saving, holistic orcharding, and all-around earthskills.

Skills Desired: Basic gardening and outdoors skill a plus, or experience working with plants in different capacities. Good work ethic, willingness to learn, and positive attitude. Also desiring someone with natural building skills & carpentry skills. Minimum one season of gardening or several years of carpentry experience.

Meals: Basic staples (grains, beans, etc) are provided along with whatever can be foraged and harvested from the gardens. Independent intern cooking space is available.

Stipend: no

Housing: We have a nice, dry upstairs barn space that houses 1-2 immersion participants, a covered tent platform that is being converted to a cabin, several parking spaces for vans/small campers, and plentiful camping.

Preferred method of Contact: email with resume and then follow-up zoom or phone call if mutual interest is established