Contact informationFarm Address:
307 Amberhill Rd
Yadkinville, North Carolina , 27055
Primary Contact: Eric and Melissa Brown
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: "If you sell all you grow, you will want to sell as much as possible; your interest, then, is in quantity. If, on the other hand, you intend to eat at least a part of what you grow, you naturally want it to be as good as possible; you are interested, first of all, in quality; quantity, important as it is, is of secondary importance." "Might it not be, I thought, that subsistence farming is the very definition of good farming–not at all the anachronism that the 'agribusinessmen' and 'agriscientists' would have us believe? Might it not be that eating and farming are inseparable concepts that belong together on the farm, not two distinct economic activities as we have now made them in the United States?" --Wendell Berry Although we farm full-time for a living, more than making money we want to live well and live responsibly, and the first part of that for us is eating well and farming responsibly: we grow all of our vegetables, all our fruits, most of our nuts, wild and cultivated mushrooms, all of our dry beans/peas, the heirloom corn we use for all of our tortillas and hominy and cornbread, the wheat for all of our bread and biscuits and pie crusts, oats and buckwheat, all of our honey which we use for all our homemade ice cream and just about everything else we sweeten; we raise goats and cattle for all of our dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt…) as well as for meat; we raise various poultry and an occasional hog; we make our own rennet, cure our own hams; our butter and animal fats provide all our cooking fats; we also feed our animals in exceptionally homegrown ways. If you come for a farmstay on our farm, you’ll not only have the chance to learn about growing and producing and preserving all these different things, but we also share all our meals together with our visitors, so you’ll complete the experience with what for most of our visitors are the most homegrown-organic meals they've ever eaten in they lives, too. We sell at a local farmers’ market and through a CSA (since 2004/5). Garden crops account for a majority of what we sell, but we also sell honey, beef, grains (as wheat and buckwheat flour, cornmeal and grits, etc.), orchard fruits, dry beans/peas, peanuts, shitake mushrooms, eggs… We save a majority of the garden seeds we plant, well over 100 different open-pollinated/heirloom varieties, and propagate lots of the fruit trees and other perennials we grow. We grow a couple hundred different varieties of several dozen different species of fruit and nut trees (and bushes and vines...) We grow other things for use on the farm like bamboo for stakes and trellises…, harvest grass seed, manage our forest areas for lumber, posts, and some random non-timber products like pine rosin to use for grafting, poplar bark shingles for siding… We make some non-food products like soap. We’re very interested in and have just barely begun to dabble in traditional building methods like timber framing and log construction using our own timber. Our farm consists of about 5 acres of tilled ground, about 20 acres of additional open ground used for pasture and orchard crops, and about 20 acres of woods. We don't use any synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, etc., although we do make some organic compromises with some things (e.g hay) that we buy from neighboring farmers. We use very little plastic (plasticulture/irrigation/row covers, etc.), preferring low-tech, homegrown methods. We have a '52 Ford 8N and '70 MF 135 tractor and an old pull-type combine we bought for $600.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: Anytime
Internship Ends: Anytime
Number of Internship Available: 1-2
Application Deadline: Rolling
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 weeks
We enjoy hosting visitors mainly for the opportunities to interact, make friends, share the food and farm things we’re passionate about, to inspire an appreciation in visitors for homegrown food and homegrown farming, and to teach and mentor (and also learn from) people interested in doing the same kind of things we’re doing. Having visitors stay on the farm with us and help allows us to integrate visitors in our family farm, to share our farming lifestyle and homegrown meals while continuing with the substantial demands and work of our farm life. We (Eric and Melissa) are both full-time farmers.
Minimum stay is generally 3 weeks. 6 weeks is normally the maximum for first time visitors. Winter visits are a possibility, but the best time for visits is generally from the beginning of March through early November. A 6-12 month internship with stipend is something we would only be ready to consider after completing an initial 3-6 week farmstay, and those multiple-month opportunities are further limited by our housing and kitchen set-up, especially if you don’t have family and alternative housing within at least weekly commuting distance. Our farm is in a very rural setting, but we’re only about 35 miles west of Winston-Salem and about 65 miles north of Charlotte. We could pick up and drop off visitors from a nearby bus station, etc., but a car would be pretty necessary for doing anything independently off the farm during your stay.
Work typically includes milking, setting out transplants, weeding, hoeing, harvesting, packing up for the farmers market, rotating/watering animals, fence work, food preservation, and lots of other random farm projects. Options for beekeeping.
Except for day visitors/commuting interns we can normally only host two visitors at a time in the warmer months and only one visitor at a time in the colder months. No drugs. No pets.
Educational Opportunities: You'll have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of our farm life. We don’t hold any farming secrets, and we love to discuss your how-to, why-not, what-if… questions. We especially enjoy mentoring and helping with any farming/homesteading goals, plans, or projects you have for yourself. We'll share all our meals together, and you can work much of the time alongside us, too, so there’s lots of time to discuss farming things and answer questions. We're happy to step into a more focused role as teachers and we enjoy that role but only if we get clear indications (which typically means receiving lots of questions) that you really want to be more of a student (as opposed to simply a visitor and helper, which is fine, too.) Additional educational opportunities can be arranged in cooperation with other farmers/people nearby doing similar and related things, although those opportunities are very limited unless you're a full season intern with your own car.
Skills Desired: Farm experience is not necessary for an initial 3-6 week farmstay, although prior reading and/or experience makes for a richer exchange. Although you wouldn't necessarily have to work directly with the bees if you have a life-threatening honeybee allergy our farm isn't the right choice for you.
Meals: All meals are provided and shared together with our family. With very limited exceptions we eat what we can grow and raise plus some local game and some wild foraged things. Separate cooking facilities are not available, although there might sometimes be (optional) opportunities to lead meal preparation. We're not able to accommodate vegetarians or lactose- or gluten-intolerant diets. If you live locally and aren't staying on the farm with us, you can share meals with us while you're here, and we'll also send food home with you.
Stipend: Room and board only for initial 3-6 week farmstay. Our circumstances offer more limited opportunities for subsequent full season internships, but full season interns would receive a small stipend.
Housing: For the warmer months a bed and personal space is available in a wood-framed building with electricity and internet access that we also use for drying/storing garlic and seed, as well as storing tools. Farm visitors would come to our house for use of running water and for meals. In the colder months we have visitors stay in the upstairs room of the house.
Preferred method of Contact: e-mail