Contact informationFarm Address:
25451 East Lane
Covelo, California , 95428
Primary Contact: Steve and Gloria Decater
Secondary Contact: Stephen Decater
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Our commitment is to Biodynamic agriculture and a whole farm organism which attempts to generate all of its needs-animal feed, fertility, tillage and mechanical power- out of its own organism. This is unique in today’s largely fossil energy dependant agriculture and is healthier for the climate, the earth and all living beings than modern input/output agriculture. As people are a very important part of the farm organism, we attempt to keep the farm open and in support of people re-entering the Garden and through their own direct experience developing the love and skill and strength to care for it. We believe that besides transforming farming practices, we also need to transform economic practices to move towards associative and co-operative economic and social relationships where the bottom line is the good of all the players-the whole, rather than primarily gain for individuals or individual parties as we too often experience in market capitalism. This requires developing concern for others, self discipline, and recognition that everything in the farm is giving to and serving others. The diversified garden utilizes both raised beds and row crops, all watered with overhead irrigation. While soil preparation and row crop cultivation are initially done with the horses, there is a good deal of handwork in the garden. We start all of our seedlings in soil that we make ourselves, and raise the vegetables for our 100 household CSA, generating our own fertility. The garden harvest is distributed weekly to 100 families in Mendocino County from May through November. We generate our own fertility through compost, no till regenerative cover cropping, and field rotation. The farm produces most of its own hay and uses intensive rotational grazing for a small herd of beef cows and a flock of sheep. We keep six draft horses, dairy cows and a flock of hens for our own eggs and dairy, and raise feeder pigs each year. We also maintain a small orchard of apples, pears, peaches, and plums. Field crops include annual and perennial pasture, alfalfa, 26 acres of hay and occasional grain and other forage crops. Joining the farm for a season provides the opportunity to try small-scale sustainable farming without capital investment, risk, or living expenses on a 40 year old producing farm in a work-study environment with guidance from experienced farmers. The farm is in a beautiful rural setting at 1300 feet elevation in a 7 mile diameter mountain valley bordered by the Mendocino National Forest and Eel River. It is 1.5 miles from the small town of Covelo, population 3500, which has an excellent library. It is 30 miles from the main Hwy 101 corridor and 50 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. It is not easily accessible to public transportation. The area receives approximately 45 inches of rainfall from October through April or May. It is a clear, dry, and hot Mediterranean climate in the summer month with January low temperatures in the 20's at night and warmer in the day. Frost generally ends in early May and returns in mid October. Summer temperatures range from 100-110 Fahrenheit but cool to 50 or 60 at night with low humidity and light afternoon breezes in the summer. We also host 7-10 school classes of 3rd and 6th graders each year. During their three-day stay on the farm, the children participate in all aspects of life on the farm, including plowing with the horses, shearing sheep, and making compost. Live Power also hosts various workshops and field days throughout the year.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: March 1st, 2020
Internship Ends: November 25, 2020
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: March 30, 2020
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months
Work/learning opportunity in an entirely self supporting family/small community scale biodynamic farm operated with “ Live Power “ PV solar electric and e-tractor, draft horse tillage, and on farm generated fertility to minimize fossil energy use and climate pollution in food production. Interns participate full time, with mentoring, in intensive vegetable production for 100 members, school children class visits, livestock and forage raising for food and land and fertility management, and overall farm care maintenance and operation.
Interns will participate and be mentored in:
1.All aspects of the vegetable garden –CSA crop planning, bed preparation, planting and sowing, raising transplants, weeding and cultivation, setting up sprinkler lines, harvesting, watering, processing, trellising.
2.Stiring and applying BD field and crop sprays and compost making-collecting manure and crop residue materials, building piles, inserting BD preparations, and loading manure spreader to distribute compost.
3. Feeding and caring for livestock-setting electro-net for strip grazing, herding animals, stacking hay, castrating and docking, hoof trimming, cow milking, and hand shearing sheep and custom on farm slaughter.
4. General farm maintenance- Fencing, repairing fence, clearing blackberries out of fence lines, repairing farm tools, wheelbarrows and hoses, and fruit tree pruning.
5. Participation in school class visits-leading groups of children in farm activities during school class visits.
6. General farm planning and management.
Educational Opportunities: Interns will rotate through the various areas of learning/responsibility. . Monday after breakfast there is an organizational meeting to outline work for the week and field questions and communications. Intern tasks are explained and supervised by farmers until the intern is proficient. As time and energy allows there are hands on discussions of individual tasks in the field and 1-2 hour educational discussions on general basic topics such as garden planning, cover cropping, composting, BD preparations and uses, forage plants, hay making, animal management, strip grazing, farm log and record keeping, draft animal equipment and tillage practices, harness and harnessing, basic work horse handling, field irrigation, garden irrigation, sprinkler and plumbing maintenance, cultivation, crop timing, community farm operation, and associative economic principles. We will help interns attend the quarterly Northern California Biodynamic Association meetings at other farms in the region and local Farmers Guild meetings and educational workshops.
Skills Desired: We prefer to work with people who have at least one season of farming experience and who are committed to pursuing a career in agriculture.Knowledge of or interest in Biodynamic agriculture is helpful.
Preferred method of Contact: phone or email