Contact informationFarm Address:
432 Grimm Road
Congerville, Illinois, 61729
Primary Contact: Henry Brockman
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Our 60-acre farm is on rich, black bottomland surrounded by wooded hills. 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. 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.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: March 1
Internship Ends: December 1
Number of Internship Available: 4
Application Deadline: asap
Minimum Length of Stay: Longer the better, but flexible
Apprenticeships and farm hand positions STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE 2021 SEASON!
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 their own farms and 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 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, the overall state of the farm and address any questions apprentices and farmhands may have.
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.
Meals: Apprentices and farmhands prepare their own meals with free use of whatever we grow on the farm, which usually includes eggs, and some grains, as well as vegetables. My wife cooks up a spectacular lunch for every Friday harvest day.
Stipend: Apprentices start at $275/week with free housing and 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: Housing is provided in a mobile home or cabin in the woods a few minutes walk from the fields.
Preferred method of Contact: email