Contact informationFarm Address:
10099 West River Rd
Palmyra, Virginia, 22963
Primary Contact: Emilie Tweardy
Secondary Contact: Logan Tweardy
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: ShireFolk Farm is a family-owned and operated farm in Central Virginia that offers pastured proteins and naturally grown produce and mushrooms to several Richmond and Charlottesville area markets, as well as select stores and restaurants. We raise chicken, turkey and lamb, (occasionally ducks and hogs, too) on pasture for meat, we have an egg laying flock of 300+, and we have about 3/4 acre of garden in permanent raised beds, as well as high tunnel production space for greens and tomatoes.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: 3/15/2020
Internship Ends: 12/1/2020
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: 2/15/2020
Minimum Length of Stay: 4 months. Position open until filled. If you're seeing this ad we still need help.
We are offering 2 paid internships with a focus on the garden. We are currently tweaking and perfecting our poultry systems, and we do need animal systems help at processing days and some other times as well, but your job as an intern will be focused on vegetable production. We have calculated the amounts that we need to produce and sell of certain vegetables to pay for the internship, and we will start there. We are narrowing our vegetable focus this year to greens (salad and large leaf greens such as kale and chard) and roots (beets, carrots, turnips, radishes). We will grow other, more classic vegetables for ourselves (potatoes, onions, squash, etc.) but we need to pare down the retail offerings this year to get the garden to a more profitable and manageable state. We will work 5 days/week (typically Tues-Sat but we may change this around a bit or stagger days off) and we want everyone to schedule a week or long weekend off for themselves once or twice during the season. We will schedule these early-on so we can all plan ahead. Get thee to the beach!
Included in the internship are required processing days, which means that we need help turning all of our birds in the field into birds in the freezer. This is non-negotiable. Typically it will be 2 days every 3 weeks, but can be more depending on seasons, rotations, etc. To be clear, there will be plenty of opportunity to learn about the animal systems – it is just not the main responsibility of the internship. As the vegetable season draws slows down in the fall there will be more opportunity for learning about the animal systems. Egg washing will also be required as a team activity.
We will take field trips to other area farms to see what they’re getting up to, we’ll have lots of potlucks with other local farmers and neighbors, we’ll take trips to the river to cool off after the hot days in July, we’ll go to the drive-in. We’ll work hard, have tons of fun, and learn lots.
We will also have weekly check-ins as a group, and you will be assigned one of the farm owners as a your personal mentor so that you have a specific point person to help meet your needs.
To apply, please send a resume with 3 references and answers to the following questions:
How old are you? Do you have transportation?
What is your availability? How long are you interested in staying and do you have any time that you can’t work?
Are you travelling with any pets?
What interests you in ShireFolk?
What specifically would you like to learn while you’re here?
How would you describe your communication style?
Our housing is an outdoor “glamping” setup. Are you comfortable living outdoors?
How do you feel about helping us process poultry?
Do you have any special dietary needs?
What’s your general experience level in the kitchen?
This will sound obscure but we’ve found it to actually be extremely relevant – do you have any experience in competitive sports? If not, totally fine, but have you worked in any job, on any team, or had any experiences where it was necessary to hustle? We have tons of fun here, and we don’t run ourselves into the ground or anything, but there is a sense of urgency when we’re working. Mouth breathers need not apply! We are often on a timeline, particularly on harvest days before markets, and on processing days with the poultry. What experience do you have that lends itself to the hustle?
Bonus points for:
What’s your favorite book?
What are 5 words others use to describe you?
What are you nerdy about?
Thanks for your time and interest!
Educational Opportunities: You can expect to leave the internship knowing: How to manage permanent raised-bed gardens Crop planning Weed control methods How to operate a BCS tractor Body mechanics for the garden A basic understanding of Permaculture Tree planting High tunnel management, including vertical tomato trellising and pruning How to operate a farmer's market stand Harvesting and post-harvest handling How to live outdoors (an underrated skill) All about how nerdy the Tweardys are How to process chickens, turkeys, ducks How to properly use, move, store and charge portable electronetting in animal systems A big about rotational grazing Serious farm to table culinary skills Knots and tarps Grant-funded projects So many other things...
Skills Desired: Some previous farm skill is helpful, though not required. Experience playing or working on a team, and especially to a timeline, is more helpful still. Mandatory skills include, a positive attitude, willingness and ability to work outdoors all day under adverse conditions (heat, rain, wind, etc.), creativity is incredibly underrated in all professions and is often required in farming, communication skills must be strong, need to be able to lift 50 lbs., clean up after yourself, take direction, and work independently as well as on a team. We value playful individuals who can make light of hard tasks, work all day, and enjoy the camaraderie of farm life in the evenings. Cooking skills a major plus, but if you don't have them coming in, you'll definitely have them when you leave. We are a non-smoking farm, and we have a toddler. Patience with young children is necessary, as our toddler loves to "work" alongside us.
Meals: Meals: Vegetables, eggs and meats grown on-farm are available as we produce them. One communal meal will be prepared daily (typically lunch), with ingredients and facilities available for the other two meals to be produced by interns themselves. No one goes hungry here! We are mostly dairy free and entirely gluten free. We can be flexible with a vegetarian diet for the right apprentice, but we just can't accommodate a vegan diet.
Stipend: Stipend: $600 per month is paid semi-monthly plus great food and glamping.
Housing: Housing: Private glamping tents (check out Bell Tents online to get a picture) are available in the woods in our back 30. These are new, so making them furnished an cozy on a thrift store budget will be an early apprentice project. There is a camper if we have someone who prefers hard walls, but it needs some TLC. We are currently installing an outdoor shower and we have a composting toilet. Kitchen space is available and open to interns 24 hrs/day. There is internet available at the house, and you are welcome to be in-house during daylight hours. There will be one day during the week (probably Sunday) that our house is off-limits to interns, to preserve our family privacy.
Preferred method of Contact: Email