Alchemy Gardens

Contact information
Farm Address:
224 Frank Lord Road
Shrewsbury , Vermont , 05738

Primary Contact: Scott Courcelle
Primary Phone:
    Number: 802-492-2087

Secondary Phone
    Number: 802-345-9869


Internship information
General Farm Description: Alchemy Gardens is a vegetable farm growing intensively on two acres with organic, nutrient-dense practices. We sell via farmers markets, 50 member CSA, restaurants, food co-ops, and an online marketplace. We specialize in nutrient dense crop production, with high quality vegetables and healthy starter plants for home gardeners, as well as greenhouse production of microgreens. We also work to educate our community about the origins of food: working closely with farm apprentices, collaborating with local high school culinary students and hosting workshops and field trips throughout the season. Our farmland and home are located in a beautiful rural setting in the hills, with many swimming holes and forested lands all around us. Our community is particularly special, with many people who have old and valuable skills. We are located a few hours drive from Boston and Montreal, and our nearest town (Rutland) has a direct train to NYC.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 05-01-2019 Somewhat flexible
Internship Ends: 10-31-2019 Somewhat flexible
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: rolling
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months

Internship Details:

Apprentices can expect to participate in: greenhouse management (seeding, watering, microgreens production, etc.), transplanting, soil amending, weeding/cultivating, harvesting, pruning, CSA management, packing orders, organic pest and disease management, equipment trouble-shooting, and all other farm tasks. We are also in the early stages of building up a permaculture homestead around our home. Apprentices will have the opportunity to be involved in planting perennial crops including herbs, berries, fruit and nut trees, around our home. We also have a small flock of chickens for eggs, and apprentices can help if interested. Apprentices will be expected to help at the farmers markets.

Apprentices will work 40 hours/week. Any vacation time will need to be arranged with advance notice and will be unpaid. We chose to limit the hours to 40 hours/week having worked as apprentices ourselves for 55-60 hours/week, which was too much and caused some burnout. Quality of life is very important to us and we want apprentices to enjoy their time here, as well as learning how to balance life on a farm, which is demanding in nature.

Educational Opportunities: Our farm has an educational focus and we hope to inspire others to follow dreams of farming. We will share any and all information that may further your learning about managing a small farm business profitably. We ask apprentices to articulate their goals for the season so that we can support you in achieving them. We participate in our regional CRAFT program, which offers workshops and social gatherings for apprentices at other area farms. We will encourage apprentices to participate in our local CRAFT group, and are open to apprentices attending other workshops through the season. We worked directly with Richard Wiswall, author of The Organic Farmers Business Handbook, as our consultant through the VT Farm Viability Program, and learned a lot about working smarter, not harder, to be profitable. We are excited to share what we've learned with aspiring farmers.

Skills Desired: We are looking for apprentices who are excited about farming and all that comes with it! Ability to work hard under pressure and time constraints, attention to detail and pace, resourceful, passionate about agriculture and environmental issues, sense of humor, good communication skills, willing to ask questions, good listeners. Previous farm experience a plus but not required.<br>\nApprentices must be willing to become the new best friends of a very loving farm pup, Murphy, and not opposed to a baby (arriving March 2019) and toddler hanging out around the field sometimes.

Meals: Apprentices have access to farm vegetables, and eggs when available. We will stock the apprentice kitchen with some bulk dry goods prior to arrival. There will be a communal meal occasionally. Meat and raw milk are available for purchase from neighboring farms.

Stipend: Weekly stipend provided.

Housing: Our apprentices share a kitchen and lounge area in a converted bay of our barn. They also share an outhouse and outdoor shower. One apprentice will sleep and have living quarters in a Shasta camper directly adjacent to kitchen and lounge area. The other apprentice will sleep and have living quarters in nicely converted loft space also in the bay of the barn. Previous apprentices have really enjoyed the space. There is access to wi-fi.

Preferred method of Contact: email or phone