A Way of Life Farm
Last Updated On: February 12th, 2024 at 08:40AM MST
Contact informationFarm Address:
856 Brooks Rd.
Sunshine, North Carolina, 28018
Primary Contact: Sara Jane Davis
Secondary Contact: Jamie Davis
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: A Way of Life Farm has the goal of fostering healthy people, a healthy economy, and healthy ecology through food production since 2009. We grow no-till Certified Organic and Real Organic Certified produce, as well as pasture-raised pork for sale to farmers’ market, CSA customers, and local food pantries. This commercial production is integral to a broader permaculture design and land revitalization, which includes the development of fruit and nut orchards (persimmon, pawpaw, muscadines, chestnuts, and pecans). A combination of sustainable practices including no-till raised beds, cover cropping, Kinsey-Albrecht method, keyline plowing, Holistic Management, and permaculture design are used throughout our land. About 95% of your time will be spent growing, harvesting, and marketing vegetables. We start our own vegetable transplants from seed and propagate perennials in a permanent greenhouse. Forty types of vegetables and herbs are grown on about 2 acres. Most of our production is outdoors on permanent, no-till raised beds. We also have two large high tunnels that we use for year-round production. We have 4 wheel and 2 wheel tractors, but most of our work – bed preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting- is done with hand tools, which you will become intimately familiar with! We are raising nutritious food from the ground up with deep appreciation for the complex system of life within the soil. We believe the health of the plants is intrinsically linked to the balance of nutrients and diversity in the web of life in the soil. By caring for the soil, we have seen an abundance of life return to this land, from earthworms and fungal networks underground to a dramatic increase in amphibians and birds. We are located an hour from Asheville and Charlotte and 15 minutes from the lovely towns of Forest City, Spindale, and Rutherfordton.
CRAFT Member Farm? Yes
Internship Starts: March-April 2024
Internship Ends: December 2024 and beyond
Number of Internship Available: 5
Application Deadline: until filled, www.awayoflifefarm.com/info-and-application
Minimum Length of Stay: 9-12 months
Interested in environmental stewardship? Nutrition? Local food access? Meaningful work? A Way of Life Farm brings all these passions together, growing nutrient dense produce and pork for farmers’ market, CSA, and local food pantries in the beautiful foothills of Western North Carolina. The farm integrates this production into a broader land revitalization project, rejuvenating a former clear-cut forest into productive vegetable fields, fruit and nut orchards, wildlife habitat, and forage for pastured pigs.
Farm Apprentices gain hands-on experience and learn the ins and outs of vegetable growing from seed to harvest including no-till bed preparation, seedling propagation, transplanting, harvest, marketing, and practical implementation of the five principles of soil health.
For lots more details, testimonials, and application, please visit our website: www.awayoflifefarm.com/info-and-application
Educational Opportunities: We take our role as educators seriously, offering information and skills that will lead to a greater understanding of farm management and systems. We explain tasks as they come up in the field and offer written information and informal “classes” periodically throughout the year, but most of the skills and information will be communicated within the context of farm work. You may be given reading or listening assignments in your free time so we can discuss these topics as a group. As the season progresses or as specific skills are developed , apprentices have increased independence, responsibilities, and specialization in their work around the farm. We teach thoughtful and efficient execution of farm tasks, which is essential to the success of any enterprise (the goal in production work is to get the job done right and get it done quickly).
Skills Desired: We are looking for applicants who are engaged learners, take pride in their work, have good communication skills, and are self-motivated. Some previous experience on a commercial farm is highly recommended for apprenticeship applicants at least 12 months of farming experience are required for journey person applicants. Experience with physical labor or intense outdoor activity is very important. Our bodies are our primary tools on the farm. You need to be both physically and mentally fit to enjoy the challenges of farm life and meet them with determination and levity. When these qualities are in place, our work is so fun and rewarding! Hands-on learning is a given on a farm, but the ability to learn from listening is very valuable as a lot of information is conveyed verbally through instruction in the field or morning meetings. Over the years we've found that those who flourish the most on our farm tend to have or develop a strong interest in food and cooking (this gives a full appreciation for the work you're doing here!). Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets. Couples can apply, though our housing is only comfortable for a single person, so you can expect to be assigned separate, but nearby houses.
Meals: Vegetables from the farm are always available as well as food staples (organic flour, rice, beans, oats...). A farm credit for pork is also offered. Most meals are prepared in your own kitchen with periodic potlucks, or shared meals throughout the season.
Stipend: A monthly stipend ($1000-$1200 starting stipend for apprentices, $1400-$1600 starting for journeypersons, DOE) plus housing, utilities, food from the farm, and a priceless education are provided! Please see our website for more details- www.awayoflifefarm.com/info-and-application
Housing: A private, furnished tiny home which includes your own kitchen and a shared bathroom, shower, and washing machine.
Preferred method of Contact: Email