Contact informationFarm Address:
2388 County Highway 107
Amsterdam, New York, 12010
Primary Contact: Rose Fera
Secondary Contact: Dan Fera
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Leaning Birch Farm is a highly diversified micro-farm located in Broadalbin, NY. We grow a wide variety of Certified Naturally Grown produce on our home property with just over an acre of land under cultivation. We grow year-round in two high tunnels and produce all of our seedlings on site in our small propagation house. We use sustainable methods to grow intensively on permanent raised beds to ensure the continuing good health of our soil, and never use artificial sprays or fertilizers. The farm is expanding, with ongoing upgrades in infrastructure, equipment, and methods – an exciting and fast paced place to learn. The mission of our farm is to sustainably supply our local community with as diverse a selection of fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers as we can manage, from the mundane (tomatoes, carrots and salad greens) to the exotic (fresh ginger and turmeric). Our distribution methods include a CSA, three farmers markets, and a few chosen restaurants and specialty food stores. We plan to add a farm store to our operation during 2021. The farm is located just minutes away from the Great Sacandaga Lake, about ½ hour from Saratoga Springs, and also about 1/2 hour from the city of Schenecady. We are just minutes away from the city of Amsterdam, as well.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: Flexible, typically April 15
Internship Ends: Flexible, typically October 15
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: Although we are looking for interns to commit to the full season, consideration will be given to candidates who are students.
We are looking for interns who have a passion for learning about vegetable farming, as well as more experienced farm crew members to join our team. Preference is given to applicants who are approaching farming as a possible career path. An internship on our farm will help you gain knowledge and skills to manage a profitable market garden.
We can provide opportunities to learn about all aspects of mixed vegetable farm management from seed propagation (greenhouse and field), transplanting (timing and successions), crop rotation, weed management, pest and disease management, cover cropping, soil fertility, harvest and post-harvest techniques. While Interns can be involved in many aspects of the farm including irrigation, season extension, greenhouse management, harvest management, building of infrastructure, and more, the primary focus will be on crop production in the field and in our high tunnels. We are often experimenting with new varieties and growing techniques which offer unique learning experiences. For the right people, there are possibilities for multi-year learning and continuing in advanced positions in future years.
Due to the nature of farming, hours may vary over the course of the season. At times, longer days may be necessary in order to complete all the tasks necessary to bring our crops to market on time.
Educational Opportunities: Every day is a learning experience at our farm. We believe the best way to learn about growing food is by observing experienced farmers as well as by getting your hands dirty. Additional learning opportunities are available and encouraged through participation in off farm conferences and workshops as well as Sustainable Farming Network meetings and farm tours outside of work hours throughout the season, as the COVID-19 pandemic allows. In addition, interns associated with a college degree program may develop an independent project on the farm that is related to their specific area of interest.
Skills Desired: While experience working on a vegetable farm is preferable, enthusiasm, passion, can-do spirit, and proven ability to tough-it-out can substituted for that experience. Being able to regularly lift 50 lbs., work fast, and keep up the pace is required. The ability to work long hours in the heat or cold or rain, and the ability to work independently are important characteristics. Willingness to stick with a chore until it is completed is highly valued. Applicants must be in good health, physically fit, and a desire to learn about and practice sustainable agriculture is a must. A valid driver’s license is also necessary.
Meals: Meals are not provided on a daily basis although, from time to time, we do prepare large, shared lunches for the entire crew. Space is available in the cooler for the crew to store their lunches each day.
Stipend: Hourly pay begins at $12.50/hr and is paid on the books with NY mandated workers compensation insurance coverage. Applicants with higher level experience may begin at higher rates. Raises are given during the season if earned, and feedback is provided to our crew members to let them know how they can qualify for raises.
Housing: Housing is not provided, although there is space where a camper could be parked if an intern has one available. No electric or septic is available for campers. Interns who choose to bring a camper will have access to the main house for bathroom and shower and space in the cooler for perishable food.
Preferred method of Contact: Email, provide resume Will also need to complete our online application, found on our website.