Turkey Foot Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
Mount Savage, Maryland, 21545-1218

Primary Contact: Ian Cheek
Primary Phone:
    Number: 443-717-1233
    Email: turkeyfootfarmmd@gmail.com

Website: https://www.facebook.com/turkeyfootfarmmd

Internship information
General Farm Description: My wife and I run a small, diversified farm in western Maryland and are heading into our 4th season. We have a 1/4-acre market garden that includes vegetables, cut flowers, raspberries and blueberries. We grow shiitake, oyster, and chestnut mushrooms and have a young peach and cherry orchard that may give us a small harvest this season. We also have a growing flock of Katahdin hair sheep that we rotationally graze around the farm with our guardian dog. We practice stockpiling pasture and winter graze with a future goal of feeding little to no hay to the flock. We also raise pastured broiler chickens. The rolling and steep hills of the farm lend themselves to grazing which is our primary land use. The farm was reverting back to forest and much of the existing infrastructure was failing or absent upon our arrival, building infrastructure is a big part of our day-to-day activities.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: On or after April 1
Internship Ends: November
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: March 1
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months

Internship Details:

We are seeking a couple or a self-motivated individual to join our team for the 2024 season from April to November. Our operations include a small but mighty market garden, raspberries and blueberries, a young stone fruit orchard, cultivated mushrooms, grass-fed lamb, and pasture-raised chicken. We are not certified organic, but we subscribe to and implement organic and no-till practices. We manage our sheep in a rotational grazing system and move our chickens daily in mobile chicken tractors.

Projects and tasks for the season include mushroom inoculation, seed starting and up-potting, perennial fruit and vegetable planting, and garden tasks (weeding, succession planting, trellising, harvesting and packing vegetables for market). Livestock chores include assisting with lambing (recording weights, ear tagging, etc.), hoof trimming, data collection, caring for sick or injured animals, moving sheep to fresh pasture (taking down/setting up temporary fence, watering, etc.), and moving/feeding chickens daily. We will be attending three farmers markets this season and you will be expected to attend and help out when needed. Depending on interest, there will also be potential to help out at a neighboring farm that raises grass-fed beef and visit other farms in the area.

Farming/gardening experience is appreciated but not required for this position. All that is required is a good attitude, flexibility, willingness to learn, and the ability to work well with a team as well as individually. Physical requirements include being able to lift/carry up to 50 pounds and work in varying weather conditions (rain, snow, heat, etc.). On average we expect 40 hours of work per week depending on the time of year. We strongly encourage an on-farm visit so we can all get to know each other and so you can get a good idea if our farm is the right fit for you.

Educational Opportunities: Intensive rotational grazing with electric fence, animal husbandry, natural vegetable production and irrigation, fruit orchard care and harvest, food preservation, whole hog butchery and smoking, sourdough bread production, chainsaw work and tree felling, tractor work, welding, machine maintenance, and carpentry. Opportunity to visit other local farms.

Skills Desired: Carpentry and mechanic skills desired but not required. Baking and culinary interests appreciated. Flexibility, the willingness to learn and a positive attitude are all that is required.

Meals: Yes, meals will be shared/provided. Cooking and cleaning tasks are shared.

Stipend: Yes

Housing: Yes

Preferred method of Contact: email