Chicken of the Woods Permaculture Farm – Permaculture Apprenticeship

Contact information
Farm Address:
13405 Pulver Place
Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20878

Primary Contact: Bridgette Downer
Primary Phone:
    Number: 7032310411


Internship information
General Farm Description: Chicken of the Woods Permaculture Farm consists of 5 acres of reclaimed farmland from a 1850's homestead bordered by the 6400 acre Seneca Creek State Park. We grow organic market produce sold through our county's Farm to Food Bank program and indigenous varieties of vegetables focusing on nutrient dense staples for subsistence living. We pasture chickens and ducks and sell extras through a hyperlocal neighborhood CSA membership. As resources allow we grow high CBD hemp for artisanal tea and salve products. We strictly follow permaculture ethics and principles and do not use synthetic chemicals on any of our soil, plants or in our products. Throughout the year, we host volunteers and a weekly homeschool cooperative in addition to a wilderness skills homeschool program for elementary-aged children. At the doorstep to the largest Agricultural Reserve in the country in members of the Moco Alliance Farmers Listserv, we can offer a plethora of additional paid hours on a variety of Montgomery County farms.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Spring 2024
Internship Ends: Fall 2023
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months

Internship Details:

This apprenticeship consists of four elements:

  1. Paid work at Chicken of the Woods and other Montgomery County, MD produce or livestock farms.
  2. Administrative agricultural enrichment with Montgomery County governmental and non-profits.
  3. Paid work for group harvests or plantings on additional organic Montgomery County, MD produce farms with a complimentary tour by owner or staff.
  4. Discounted lodging at Chicken of the Woods Permaculture

The selected individual will work at Chicken of the Woods Permaculture Farm for 10-15 hours/week @ $12/hr. Apprentice will have a minimum of 40 regular paid work hours at 3-5 local organic farms and can choose to work additional hours if they wish. In addition, opportunities are available throughout the duration to participate in prearranged administrative agricultural enrichment programs at local governmental and nonprofits.  We will also offer the option for additional paid work hours at other farms during group harvest or project days with complimentary tours.  Private lodging (w/electricity), common area, use of an outdoor kitchen, composting toilet/shower facilities and forested fire ring area are available for $150/month.

Farm duties consist of assisting with the production of vegetables, chicken/goat care, fence repair, landscaping upkeep and a wide variety of other jobs as needed. This position is  ideally suited to college students or recent college graduates (although not required) who possess a passion for food and farming, are looking to gain hands-on experience with small-scale, ecological farming practices in addition to permaculture practices and are willing to work hard.

Educational Opportunities: Permaculture design, goat husbandry, poultry care, bio-intensive gardening, cover cropping, farm market sales, CSA sales and behind the scenes shadow experiences with local governmental and non profits agriculturally-based initiatives such as grant funding and Farm to Food Bank programming. With exposure to such a large number of farms and agricultural agencies, we hope this apprenticeship will provide a comprehensive in-depth experience of and training of potential future careers in sustainable agriculture.

Skills Desired: Skills Desired: ● Demonstrated interest and passion for food and farming. Experience working on a farm/university farm/market garden/etc. is a plus, but not required. ● Ability to meet physical requirements of working outside, in varied weather conditions (including extreme heat and cold, rain/snow/humidity) in a working farm setting. ● Ability to do repetitive tasks for long periods of time (e.g., weeding, mulching, etc) ● Ability to work quickly, efficiently and thoroughly in every assigned task. ● Ability to work independently and also as part of a team. ● Excellent time-management, communication and organizational skills. ● Dependable, collaborative and supportive team player. ● Ability and willingness to operate machinery. ● Must have physical stamina to participate in rigorous outdoor activities. ● Ability to exhibit safe and responsible conduct in outdoor environments. ● Ability to lift at least 30 pounds. ● Interest in non-profit and agricultural governmental agencies is a plus.

Meals: No, but produce and eggs are freely available.

Stipend: $12/hr

Housing: Private lodging (w/electricity), common area, use of an outdoor kitchen, composting toilet/shower facilities and forested fire ring area are available for $150/month.

Preferred method of Contact: email