Contact informationFarm Address:
2563 Rumsey Canyon Rd.
Rumsey, California, 95679
Primary Contact: Michael Smith
Secondary Contact: Cathy Suematsu
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: We are an organic farmstead in the amazing Capay Valley, north of Davis, supporting 2 families (4 adults and 3 children ages 7-13). We keep milk cows and steers, goats and chickens mainly for our own use but sell extra eggs, milk, meat and cheese. We grow about 2 acres of veggies and about 4 acres of diverse orchards (apricots, peaches, plums, pluots, persimmons, figs, citrus). We're working to expand our market products from fresh fruit and veggies into more value-added products, and we're experimenting with raising pastured poultry for market. We do most of our work by hand or with a small walk-behind tractor. We spend a lot of time processing food for our own consumption: making cheese, making bread and corn tortillas starting from the raw grains, fermenting krauts, kimchi, pickles and olives, drying and canning fruits and veggies, etc. We are also constantly upgrading our infrastructure, including buildings, fences and irrigation systems. Currently we are building a packing shed and walk-in cooler, using straw bales and earthen plaster as well as conventional building techniques. Check out our web site: spreadwingfarm.com
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: ASAP
Internship Ends: rolling
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: until position is filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 6-12 months preferred
Interns participate in all aspects of farm life, from milking cows and goats to making cheese, raising chicks, cleaning the chicken coop and barn, slaughtering animals for food, mowing, weeding, planting and harvesting, pruning the orchard, harvesting and packing produce for sale, and attending weekly farmer’s markets. Interns also rotate with the 2 farm families through meal cook and clean shifts. We have a weekly meeting to coordinate schedules, discuss upcoming projects, and troubleshoot any difficulties that have arisen, and we are also open to meeting with interns in a classroom setting to facilitate their learning goals. Altogether we expect around 40 hours of work per week, which can be condensed into 4 days/wk for interns who want more time for personal projects or off-farm income (there are often opportunities to pick up extra paid work on neighboring farms). We have had interns stay anywhere from 1 month to more than 1 year. We find that 6 to 12 months is ideal to get the most out of the experience. We typically have 2-3 interns at a time, year round, and we like to line people up as far in advance as possible, so feel free to contact us if you’re interested in working with us at a later time.
Educational Opportunities: We love to share our over 6 decades combined experience with homesteading, farming, food preparation and natural building, and we have recently formalized the educational component of our internship. Each intern selects from 1-4 learning concentration areas at a time from a list of topics we teach (see below). Interns meet with one of the farmers periodically for lectures, demonstrations, discussions, reading and research assignments. There are lots of opportunities for picking up specialized skills such as cheese-making, fermentation, butchering, pruning and grafting, seed saving, and building. We occasionally host and teach natural building workshops: see www.strawclaywood.com. We also have an extensive library that is available to interns. Areas of learning concentration include: Beneficial and pest insects Carpentry Chicken management Cheesemaking and dairy Dairy cow management Farmers market management Goat management Greenhouse management and plant propagation Introductory botany Invoicing and accounting Irrigation systems Natural building Orchard management Rotational grazing Soil analysis and fertility management Slaughtering and butchering Vegetable production
Skills Desired: The most important attributes are enthusiasm about the work and lifestyle, commitment to learning, and a willingness to work hard. We do appreciate some background in farming, gardening, animals, and/or construction. Interns should be enthusiastic about food and comfortable in the kitchen, since so much of our time centers around food production and preparation. Clear and honest communication are also important to us. It's very helpful when candidates are clear what they want to learn during their internship, so we can facilitate those aspects of their education. Stipend may vary depending on previous farming experience.
Meals: 3 organic meals per day are shared with our family, sourced primarily from our farm and neighboring farms. We prepare nearly everything from scratch, including grinding our own flour for bread, making masa for tortillas from our own corn, rendering lard, making cheese, and lots of fermentation projects.
Stipend: We provide a small monthly stipend plus on-site housing and all organic meals, as well as most other living expenses. Rather than a job where earning money is the primary goal, this is an opportunity for interns to learn-by-doing diverse aspects of life and work on a small-scale regenerative farmstead. There are often opportunities for interns to pick up extra paid work on neighboring farms, which also gives a good introduction to the wide range of local farming operations.
Housing: Interns generally have their own room or one of 2 small stand-alone cabins. Our house is close by the cabins and the kitchen and bathroom are always available. We also have a composting toilet and we're working on a solar shower. At times when the buildings are full interns are sometimes asked to stay in a large, comfortable tent.
Preferred method of Contact: email