Henry’s Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
432 Grimm Road
Congerville, Illinois, 61729

Primary Contact: Henry Brockman
Primary Phone:
    Number: 309-231-8353
    Email: henbcarlo@gmail.com

Website: https://brockmanfamilyfarming.com/henrys-farm/

Internship information
General Farm Description: On our 60-acre farm, we strive for biodiversity--raising over 600 varieties of vegetables on 15 acres--and sustainability--growing food that tastes good and is good for you in a manner that is good for the planet. We operate a 26-week CSA and sell produce at the Evanston Farmers' Market. Our current goal is to make the farm as resilient to climate change as possible, with a concentration on working towards eliminating fossil fuels and experimenting with no-till methods. You can learn more about our farm by exploring our website, watching our former farm hand Mike Mustard's YouTube series, "Hanging At Henry's Farm" (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKk1jgSZ7kUqLCkZA2hSl1uAgWg50r5F_), and by watching the trailer for the documentary "Seasons of Change on Henry's Farm" (http://www.seasonsofchangeonhenrysfarm.com/).

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: March 1
Internship Ends: December 9
Number of Internship Available: 3
Application Deadline: Until Filled
Minimum Length of Stay: an entire season is ideal, but we can be flexible

Internship Details:

Apprentices and farm hands will take part in every aspect of small-scale, sustainable vegetable production, including raising transplants, planting, weeding, mulching, trellising, harvesting and marketing. You will leave the farm with a good grasp of the skills and knowledge needed to start your own farm; many of our former apprentices have gone on to start and successfully run their own farms.

We are strongly focused on preparing the farm and our lives for the already unfolding climate crisis, which means moving towards self-sufficiency in energy, food, and fiber. You will be involved in and learn about our transition to no-till farming with a long-term goal of relying on draft animals, our exploration of alternative energy sources to reduce and replace fossil fuels, and our experimentation with growing our own grains, sugar, cooking oil, and fiber.

Salaried farmhand positions are also available for those with prior farming experience.

Educational Opportunities: I (Henry) am a farmer not a farm manager which means I am in the field every minute of the day working alongside the apprentices and this is where skills and knowledge are transmitted. The asking of questions about every aspect of farming is encouraged, from the concrete ("Is this arugula too bug-damaged to pick for market?") to the agronomic ("Why is this arugula being attacked by flea beetles?") to the economic ("Would it have been cost-effective to try to protect this crop from the beetles?") to the philosophical ("Is using row covers or 'organic' pesticides environmentally sound?"). We have a weekly sit-down meeting to discuss what happened and what we did the previous week, what the agenda is for the current week, what the future looks like, and the overall state of the farm. We also address any questions apprentices and farmhands may have. Apprentices are also encouraged to join our monthly potluck get-togethers with apprentices and farmers from nearby organic farms, and to participate in educational tours of these farms.

Skills Desired: For apprentices, prior work on a farm, experience with manual labor, and the use of hand tools are all valued, but not required. Prior experience is required for farmhand positions, however. The main requirements are a willingness to work and learn, conscientiousness, honesty, stick-to-it-ness, and a positive attitude. Apprentices and farm hands are also required to have received the coronavirus vaccine. To apply, please fill out the following form: https://form.jotform.com/80654834203151

Meals: Apprentices and farmhands prepare their own meals with free use of whatever we grow on the farm, which includes eggs as well as vegetables. My wife cooks up a spectacular lunch for every Friday harvest day.

Stipend: Apprentices start at $400/week ($1600/month) with free housing, utilities, and food raised on the farm, with opportunities for stipend increases when deserved. Farmhands will be paid a monthly salary based on experience and abilities.

Housing: Apprentices are provided with free lodging in a 14 x 60 foot mobile home located on the farm. The home has a full kitchen, bathroom, living room and three bedrooms. You will share the home with the other apprentices.

Preferred method of Contact: email