Five Pine Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
873 Big Brush Creek Rd
Green Mountain, North Carolina, 28740-6094

Primary Contact: Henry Payne
Primary Phone:
    Number: 8282080949


Internship information
General Farm Description: We have about seven acres of land total that includes a decent sized pond and a wooded area with a short hiking trail. The farm itself consists of two fields with very different soil structures and light exposure that has advantages for different types of crops. Only around half an acre is being cultivated right now, which consists of over 40 hand dug raised beds. Up to this point we have been dry farming but may introduce some drip irrigation this year for certain crops. The work is done with hand tools-- no tractors or roto-tillers. All inputs and pest control methods are certified organic, but the farm itself is not currently certified. A small flock of ducks and three goats also live happily on the land, providing eggs and land management. My partner Jackie will direct animal care for those interested in that aspect of the farm.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 3/1/22
Internship Ends: 10/30/22
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 1 month but prefer longer

Internship Details:

This is a unique experience to work for a market garden entering its fifth year of production where you can learn how to start your own small farm or homestead garden with very little investment compared to conventional organic agriculture. Because we do not have any employees you will have the opportunity to work directly with me (Henry) and see every aspect of managing a small scale farm. We grow crops on our land using a no-till approach that is almost entirely petroleum and irrigation free.

You will have the opportunity to be involved in every aspect of running a farm and learn the low-cost techniques we use to drastically reduce overhead and make a profit. You will have flexibility in choosing activities but generally the work involves everything from digging and prepping raised beds, attending farmers market, harvesting and processing produce, organic pest and disease control, season extension strategies, marketing and sales, crop planning and managing techniques to maximize yields, deer fencing, a simple but effective direct seeding approach, animal care with goats and ducks, trellising and so on. There is a fine line for making a profit with small scale farming but it is very much possible for anyone with access to a small amount of land and savings. We were able to start making a profit our first full season and have continued to improve financially each year with a very small budget. This is very different from the average organic farm which involves tens of thousands of dollars of overhead before anything even gets started and is not practical for those without access to a large amount of savings or the ability to borrow money.

I have over ten years of farming experience on seven different farms across the country, including as field manager/crew leader for two farms and as owner of a previous market garden in Florida. I’ve experimented with many different gardening designs (double digging, square foot gardening, permaculture, etc.) during that time which rounded out my education and led me to the current approach I am using. I have extensive experience with pest management, irrigation, crew management and tractor work on larger scale farms so I will be able to speak to a wide range of techniques, not just what we use here. Being able to candidly contrast our approach to other farms should be a helpful way to put things in context for interns who are looking for the right fit whether it be future farm employment or starting their own farm or homestead.

The work is varied and I do my best to make sure people that help out aren’t hurting their bodies and that the tasks aren’t too redundant. There is also a lot of flexibility in when a person wants to work, and we almost never work during rain or the hottest/coldest parts of the day. Because we are not able to pay much I am only expecting between 25-35 hours a week depending on the season, not the fifty plus hours a week that the usual farm position would require. This should also allow interns off farm employment if they need it.

Educational Opportunities: The education will come through conversation and working together, along with access to crop planning and market notebooks, website sales information and any other tangible information or experience we can provide. In general I am interested to know what interns are looking for in the experience so that I can adapt the working schedule to their interests and make sure they learn what is valuable to them. For those staying long term there is also the opportunity to dig and seed your own bed which you can care for yourself (along with any assistance/advice desired from me) and sell through one of our outlets.

Skills Desired: Gardening or previous farm experience is helpful but we are also open to newcomers in the agricultural world.

Meals: We provide veggies and duck eggs from the farm along with staple groceries, and dinner will be provided most days of the week when we have time to cook, otherwise access to a shared kitchen is available for use.

Stipend: Yes, $150 per month with the possibility for more depending on length of stay and hours worked. If staying long term there will be the opportunity to dig your own bed, seed it and make a profit on selling it through one of the farm's outlets.

Housing: Yes, a bedroom in our house.

Preferred method of Contact: email