Tree Syrup Farm Internship – Tonoloway Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
9943 Highland Turnpike
Mc Dowell, Virginia, 24458

Primary Contact: Will Shepherd
Primary Phone:
    Number: 5403963328


Internship information
General Farm Description: We are a forest farm in the Appalachian Highlands of Virginia, where we follow permaculture principles to value the diversity of our forests while producing good food for people. As young farmers, we learn from the experience of our community while experimenting with new ideas. We boil syrup on a high-efficiency wood-fired evaporator, harvesting energy from the same forests that share their sweet sap, while stewarding the woodlands for sustainability, diversity and carbon sequestration.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: January 15th, 2024
Internship Ends: March 31st, 2024
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: November 5
Minimum Length of Stay: 2.5 months

Internship Details:
We are hiring for the the winter syrup season, January 15 to March 31st. Tonoloway farm is a first-generation farm that focuses on the sustainable production of forest edibles, namely tree syrups (maple, black walnut, hickory and birch), and shiitake mushrooms. The farm is located on the steep and wooded slopes of the Allegheny Mountains in the central Appalachians. The aim of the farm is to grow what thrives naturally in its environment, while fostering diversity that supports sound ecology and providing nourishing food. The farm started marketing its products in 2018 mostly within Highland County, Virginia, and has expanded in the last year to include surrounding counties including two markets in Bath County, Staunton, and Richmond, VA, as well as a handful of wholesale accounts. Tonoloway plans to increase its production of tree syrups, mushrooms and garlic in 2024 with hopes to add additional markets.
Tonoloway farm is seeking a motivated paid intern/farmer to support its winter and spring activities, in particular the maple and black walnut syrup harvest, shiitake mushroom inoculation and site preparation, with other tasks as needed. This is a great opportunity to work in the opposite season of many other farms. The Farmer would engage in the following activities:
  • Setting up lines to capture tree sap
  • Tapping maple and black walnut trees
  • Collecting and processing sap, and making syrup
  • Bottling syrup
  • Cutting oak logs and inoculating them with shiitake mushroom spawn
  • Expanding mushroom yard
  • Managing inventory
  • Managing other forest crops
  • Finishing new timber-frame workshop
  • Any other tasks as relevant
The Farmer is needed for 35-40 hours/week between January 15 – March 31, with a possibility of extension part time into the market season to assist with a third market in Virginia and/or periodic farm activities.
The internship includes a stipend of $1,500 per month (prorated for January), in addition to living quarters on the farm
Please send resumé and short letter of interest including why you think you’d be a good fit for this position and your availability to

Educational Opportunities: n/a

Skills Desired: no

Meals: There will be some meal sharing but intern will need to prepare some of their own meals

Stipend: monthly stipend of $1500

Housing: yes

Preferred method of Contact: email