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Goldfinch Gardens

Contact information
Farm Address:
77 Paw Paw Hill Rd
Burnsville, North Carolina , 28714

Primary Contact: Cedar Johnson
Secondary Contact: Ben McCann

Primary Phone:
    Number: 828-284-1700

Secondary Phone
    Number: 828-675-1740



Internship information
General Farm Description: "Goldfinch Gardens is a 4 acre production vegetable farm in Celo, in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. We grow specialty vegetables for the high end restaurants of Asheville and the surrounding area. In addition, we operate an Online CSA at to get our produce onto the plates of our neighbors. Using 3 hoop houses (2 of them moveable) and a passive solar propagation house, we are able to grow and market from March thru December. We also raise 4-6 beef calves using rotational grazing as well as have a home flock of laying hens. Our farm is on two different sites 1/4 mile away from our home, intern cabin and wash/pack area. On the main site, we grow using intensive methods similar to Elliot Coleman and JM Fortier. We do lots of experimenting with no-till methods and mostly use hand tools. We also grown potatoes using mechanical cultivation on a nearby field. Our farm is Certified Naturally Grown, a peer reviewed, small farm friendly alternative to Certified Organic. We work hard,but strive to prioritize quality of life. See photos of our farm at A working interview is required.

CRAFT Member Farm? Yes

Internship Starts: 4/1/2020
Internship Ends: 10/31/2020
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: Full Season

Internship Details:

“This is a full season apprenticeship. You will work closely with Cedar and Ben. We like to involve interns in all aspects of our operation, including seeding, greenhouse work, cultivation, harvest, marketing, working with the cattle, pasture management, and crop planning depending on the seasons. Tractors are not a large part of our operation, but we do provide interns time on them as well as with a BCS. We also provide a basic overview of farm business planning, looking at income and expenses and how to set up a farm business. Clear expectations and communication are key to making this work. 42 – 45 hours of working and learning per week are expected. Cedar is the full time manager/farmer on the farm and Ben is part time, focusing on animals and infrastructure in addition to his work as an electrician.

Though more of the time is spent with the vegetables, there is time with cattle and chickens as well. The cattle project involves setting up temporary fencing, moving the animals to fresh paddocks within the large pasture every 5-7 days and hauling water to them. “

Educational Opportunities: "As previous interns ourselves, we highly value the educational component. We will do our best to help you explore your areas of interest as well as covering all the basics. We are members of the regional CRAFT program that provides farm tours and potlucks with other farms in the area once a month. We will conduct informal classes periodically on subjects of interest to you. We also have a large library of agricultural related books for your reading. We aim to teach you both the day to day details of running a farm and the bigger picture how the farm and business of farming works. We have a regular crew of community work trade volunteers as well as a seasonal employee that will work along side interns. "

Skills Desired: "We seek motivated individuals who are especially interested in commercial production of vegetables and pasture raised meat. A strong desire to learn the craft of intensive vegetable production with an eye towards applying these experiences in their future is a must. We ask for 8 -9 hour days, Monday thru Friday. We don't sell at a farmers market, so weekends are free throughout the season, although we strongly encourage attendance at monthly CRAFT tours. We enjoy sharing what we know with others who are starting out. Interns need to be in good health and able to handle the summer heat as well as the cool rainy spring and autumn. Of course, good attitude is expected. A personal vehicle is required as we live in a rural area.

Meals: "Unlimited vegetables and eggs when we have them. Meals are generally independent of our family, as the cabin has kitchen. Limited meat is also available. There is a food co-op within walking distance that interns can shop at. There are times when interns can share in can milk our neighbors cow for. "

Stipend: "We provide a weekly stipend of $125 per intern. We withhold medicare and social security tax from the stipend. We have liability insurance on the farm that covers interns while they are here if there were to be an accident, but we strongly encourage having health insurance for obvious reasons."

Housing: "A nice straw bale cabin with loft, bathroom, kitchen, water and electricity. Queen bed in loft, deck, very sunny and warm. Wi-Fi in cabin, and limited cell phone reception. Due to the small size of the cabin, no dogs or children please. The cabin is well set up for a couple but would be a challenge for two people who were not accustomed to sharing a bed."

Preferred method of Contact: "Email, we will send an application"