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Dancing the Land Farm
19485 Estes Road
Clearwater, MN 55320
Contact: Liz Dwyer
Website: http://www.dancingtheland.com, http://www.facebook.com/dancingtheland
Last Updated: 09-06-2017
General Description: Dancing the Land Farm is a non-certified organic farm in Central Minnesota, run by sweethearts Liz Dwyer and Curtis Weinrich. (We're working on our organic certification for the 2018 season!) We grow a vast variety of heirloom veggies, flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs for ourselves, Farmers' Markets, local Co-ops, restaurants, and our little veggie and flower CSAs. We raise a small fiber herd of Angora Goats and Icelandic Sheep, and we do our own shearing in spring and fall. We have very prolific dairy goats, whom we milk every day and they keep us well stocked with fresh milk and cheese, and endless compost building materials. We also raise a whole flock of laying hens, guinea hens, and ducks who keep us in eggs and entertainment, in addition to raising several rounds of meat chickens on pasture each season. We're a very diverse, young farm, offering a rich and full apprenticeship experience, and a unique look into the ins and outs of getting a new farm established in today's big-ag culture.
Curtis and I spent seven years studying organic farming in Northern, Coastal California before we moved back to my family's farm in 2012. 2018 will be our 7th growing season back here, and our 5th as a farm-business. Every year we grow in our garden capacity, our herd sizes, our markets, and our relationship to this land. Specifically in 2018 we're approaching turning our little dairy goat herd into a full licensed dairy!
Internship Starts: 03-15-2017
Internship Ends: 10-31-2017
Number of Interns: 3
App Deadline: Open until the positions are filled.
Minimum Length of Stay: 4 months, negotiable.
Meals: We love to share meals together! We employ a cooking rotation, so it usually works out so that everyone cooks about once a week. If you made dinner, you're responsible for lunch the next day as well--ah, leftovers. If you didn't cook, you get to chip in and help clean up. Breakfast is on-your-own. The farm grows most essentials: meat, milk, cheese, eggs, veggies, etc. And we also buy bulk bags of flour, oats, rice, beans, lentils, polenta, etc. Folks are responsible for their own fancy powerbars and any exotic vegan necessities--or other such specialty items.
Skills Desired: Experience is not necessary, a desire to learn is. We really appreciate folks with a good attitude and the ability to be curious and ask questions. We want folks who really want to be here, who really have a deep desire to learn these skills and use them later in their lives. We want folks who not only have the motivation to do the fun/cute things, but also have durability and spirit to attend the neccessary/hard things with good presence and attention. A good work ethic is essential. Farming is physical and active work with much of the day spent out of doors.
And, it'd be best if all folks applying liked good food. Also, folks with building and/or mechanical skills are coveted.
Every season that we've welcomed folks into our home, we've ended up making valuable friendships with amazing people. We live close, work together, eat together and tend to hang out together, too. We find it to be incredibly helpful if folks have good communication skills. Living in community can be amazing, and it is also challenging--we're people, we feel things, it's really helpful if we can talk about those things in a respectful, open way.
Educational Opportunities: The Dancing the Land Farm Apprenticeship is an incredible, seed-to-seed educational opportunity on a diverse, bustling, young farm. Apprentices will be given the opportunity to learn as much as their minds and bodies can hold in a beautiful, multi-faceted, and active environment. This is really what it's all about! Passing on our love of farming and the skills necessary to be successful is such a crucial part of what we do. Both Curtis and I are products of many farm internships, and really value the experiences we've had. In the spirit of our history, we'll teach you everything we know about farming. From starting seeds to planting, harvesting, and cooking, harvesting for markets or CSAs, selling produce and chatting with customers on market days. We're up to so many things here on the farm, you're likely to learn about milking goats, harvesting veggies, pruning fruit trees, living in community, body mechanics, respectfully harvesting chickens, making cheese, arranging flowers, marketing, making pizza, making felt, spinning yarn, making herbal medicine, cooking, wildcrafting--gosh! So much! Folks will get hands-on experience with organic and biodynamic growing methods, animal husbandry, conventional-to-organic conversion, natural/salvage-style building, and a first-hand look at the balance between business, spirituality, and lifestyle. I think the biggest concept we teach, every day, all the time, is simply about adaptation. Working with Nature is not just a science, it's a constant conversation and a deep responsibility. And then there's that ineffable knowledge that this land will teach, which, I think, is why we're all drawn to farming in the first place. Farming isn't a just a job, it's a whole life. Living and working with plants and animals and sun and rain and soil teaches SO much.
Also, we've had folks get college credit for spending their summer with us.
Stipend: In lieu of a weekly or monthly living stipend, we offer apprentices a percentage of Farmers' Market gross profits. Percentages range from 10%-20% depending on the level of involvement and autonomy apprentices exercise for each individual market. We do two markets during the week. When the farm is successful, we all benefit. That does mean there is no financial support in the pre-season before farmers' markets start, though room and board is still covered by us. Markets most often begin in early May.
Housing: For full-season folks, we have a vintage, retro-fitted 1970's school bus that could house two people comfortably, great for a single person, couples, or good friends. We also have a loft in our workshop which is a space for two people, bunkhouse style. The downstairs of the straw-bale farm house is considered respectful communal space and is open to folks for cooking, hanging out, using the wifi, laundry, and the like. The bathroom in the house is open for daily community use, and we have a more private shower/bathroom in a building near the house for showering and storing toiletries. We have lots of space for tents for short-term folks--we even have some tents for those traveling light. For folks applying for the Building Apprenticeship, depending on design, there could be an opportunity to build your own cabin for the season!
Preferred method Of Contact: email or phone
Internship Details: We take 2-3 full season Farm Apprentices (from March to October, or a minimum of 4 months) to learn the ins and outs of taking a season from seed to harvest with everything in between.
We also offer a Building Apprenticeship. For someone, or a couple, who has building skills they'd like to hone and experiment with! We've got tons of projects, lots of materials lying around, and the desire for someone with some focus and energy. Curtis and I have a combined 20+ years of experience in natural building and farm-funky construction. Please see our website for full details!
For the 2018 Season we're also hiring an Assistant Farm Manager. This is an epic opportunity for someone with a bit of experience and passion, who's not quite ready to start their own project yet. Couples welcomed to apply. Please find full details and applications on our website: www.dancingtheland.com under the Get Involved Tab. The application process for this position is currently open as of August 2017 and will be open until January 1st 2018. Priority will be given to folks with intent to run/own their own farm someday.