Genesis Gardens at Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Contact information
Farm Address:
9301 Hog Eye Road
Austin, Texas , 78724

Primary Contact: Heidi Sloan
Secondary Contact: Kristy Sitchler

Primary Phone:
    Number: 512-328-7299

Secondary Phone
    Number: 512-328-7299



Internship information
General Farm Description: Genesis Gardens is a diversified, sustainable farm at Community First! Village, a permanent-housing community built for the chronically homeless of Austin. We grow food and tend animals with and for our neighbors at the Village, cultivating and sharing our harvests freely to build community, relationships and nourishment for those most in need of it. Apprentices work directly alongside folks who have experienced homelessness, as well as volunteers from around the city and around the world. The Genesis Gardens program is committed to: * Overcoming disparities that have taken an unfair toll on the health of our neighbors by creating equal access to fresh, nourishing food. * Cultivating relationships as we tend the land together. * Inviting individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences to take part in and shape our program.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: February 1, 2021
Internship Ends: May 1, 2021
Number of Internship Available: Up to 4
Application Deadline: We expect to make decisions by January 10, 2021. However, we accept applications on a rolling basis for consideration for future seasons, or in the event a slot opens mid-season.
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months

Internship Details:

**Please review full details, requirements, and sample apprenticeship syllabi at***

We are looking for apprentices each season who are excited to learn about sustainable agriculture in practice and as a tool to empower marginalized communities. Apprentices will be expected to participate in farming and programming approximately 25 hours per week, and will work alongside folks who have experienced homelessness, as well as volunteers from around the city and around the world.

While apprentices will get experience in all aspects of our sustainable agriculture program, we currently offer two different specializations, summarized below.

Apprentices focusing on annual vegetable production should expect to learn market garden approaches to soil health, crop planning, integrated pest management and harvesting. Apprentices will gain skills utilizing hand-tools and small equipment, direct seeding, transplanting, irrigation installation and maintenance, harvest tools and vegetable washing and storage techniques. Apprentices will be required to complete a safe food handling course (paid for by the program). Readings for this focus area will come from:

* The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier
* The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman
* Teaming with Microbes by Lowenfels & Lewis
* Farming While Black by Leah Penniman
* The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone
* Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening by Garrett & Beck

Apprentices focusing on pastured chickens and goats should expect to learn small farm approaches to management and care of laying hens and dairy goats, egg handling and storage, predation prevention, pasture management and rotational grazing, maintenance of animal housing, and animal health. Apprentices will gain skills working with livestock, working with small tools and equipment, soil improvement, food safety and biosecurity. Apprentices may be required to complete an online safe food handling course (paid for by the program). Readings for this focus area will come from:

* Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Damerow
* Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Belanger
* Small Scale Livestock Farming by Ekarius
* Farming While Black by Penniman
* Feeds and Feeding by F.B. Morrison
* Temple Grandin’s Guide to Working With Farm Animals
* Teaming with Microbes by Lowenfels & Lewis
* Selections from Holistic Management International

Educational Opportunities: In addition to the hands-on learning described above, apprentices will have access to our growing agricultural library and record-keeping tools. Farm staff will meet with apprentices weekly to build leadership and knowledge of sustainable agriculture. Staff will also recommend and facilitate off-farm learning opportunities as available and appropriate during the pandemic.

Skills Desired: We expect apprentices to be punctual, capable of working alone and with a team, able to lift 30 lbs and work happily in the Texas heat for 25 hours per week on average. Apprentices will be expected to practice clear and consistent communication. Given the unique circumstances of Genesis Gardens and the neighborhood we serve, please expect to process through diverse relational needs and trauma-informed care. Apprentices will also be asked to follow organization-wide guidelines around COVID-19 response, including mask-wearing, social distancing, and visitor limitations as needed. We are all still practicing caring well for one another and will work alongside you to pursue these skills, in addition to agricultural skills and knowledge. We hope every apprentice shows up ready to both work and have fun!

Meals: No meals, but apprentices will receive a free weekly share of farm produce. This share of produce will be provided in connection with the weekly onsite farmer’s market that serves all of our neighbors at the Village. Available produce will vary, but apprentices can expect to receive an average of one dozen eggs, 3-4 vegetables and fruits, 2-3 herbs, and seasonal flowers.

Stipend: No

Housing: Yes. Apprentices will be given the option of living in a single-occupancy tiny home onsite at Community First Village for the duration of the apprenticeship program, and extending up to one week before and after the program. Tiny homes do not have internal plumbing, but they do have electricity and are a short distance from shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. Apprentices living onsite will be expected to follow all of the rules of Community First Village, including rules related to COVID-19 and visitors.

Preferred method of Contact: Email