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Internship & Apprenticeship Details

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Rhizosphere Farm
3306 Lima Trail
Missouri Valley, IA 51555

Contact: Terra Hall, Matthew Hall

Phone: 712-310-3715

Email: rhizospherefarm@gmail.com

Website: http://www.rhizospherefarm.org

Last Updated: 12-02-2014

General Description: Rhizosphere Farm is just under 6 acres in the Loess Hills of Iowa. The farm was started in 2009 in Waterloo, Nebraska. After four years of continued growth, we moved to a permanent location just south of Missouri Valley. Having ten years of varied experience in growing food organically, we focus our attention on more than 35 (mostly heirloom) varieties of annual vegetables. The farm integrates education, sustainable food production, and community events throughout its main season, April through October. The food we grow is sold at two Omaha farmer's markets, through a community CSA, and wholesale to local restaurants and grocery stores. Of special interest to us is permaculture. Along with the annual vegetable production, we are integrating permanent perennial systems such as: a food forest, spiral herb garden, chickens and ducks, bees, and perennial crops like berries, asparagus, and rhubarb. Rhizosphere Farm has developed its own integration of field practices that incorporate mindful attention to care of the land and crops, low impact hand work and simple organic practices that eliminate the need for chemical pesticides. Diversity and crop rotation, loving care and attention in the field, excellent variety selection, and articulate soil building with natural amendments all make up a healthy, fulfilling, and sustainable practice that supports its inhabitants, human and otherwise. The farm is committed to reinvigorating a human scale agriculture and developing healthy community. Each year becomes a unique lively unfolding of the season marked by exquisite flavors, wild prairie weather patterns, and festive celebration enjoyed by farmers and friends who come together to experience intimacy with the land, contemplation and reflection, and the satisfaction of meaningful work.

Internship Starts: May 1st
Internship Ends: October 25th, with an option for extended stay
Number of Interns: 2
App Deadline: April 15, 2015
Minimum Length of Stay: 5 months

Meals: Partial board is provided. Along with the bounty available in the field, a list of ingredients is provided, and shopping is done each week. Lunchtime meals are usually as a group, and individuals take turn cooking. Some evening meals will be enjoyed together as well. A separate full kitchen is available at all times for individual cooking.

Skills Desired: Most of our applicants are seriously considering farming or gardening as a career. Apprentices do well here if they are open to what there is to learn and not necessarily attached to a specific agricultural philosophy or technique. Prior field experience can be very helpful but not as important as a willingness to meet the demands of the farm each day. It is essential that you: --Are able to commit to the entire season mid April through October and have a good work ethic --Are physically able to do field work, which involves a combination of stamina, strength and flexibility --Are able to work well with others in a team, have good communications skills, and are prepared contribute time and energy to the well being of community life

Educational Opportunities: Along with field work, interns will have several informal classes that will enhance their farm practice. We will discuss topics such as soils, greenhouse management, and others. Given the limits of time and focus, discussions are designed to introduce these topics as a springboard for students further research since most subjects involve a lifetime of study. We hope that apprentices finish with a good framework and continue to delve into the subject matter as the need and interest arises. In addition, field trips will be arranged to other farms to provide for a more well-rounded and diverse view of sustainable agriculture in the area. Often, interns will work for a bit with the host and receive a guided tour in order to gain a deeper understanding into various specialties of farming.

Stipend: Interns receive room and partial board. There is a monthly stipend to be paid at the end of each month (currently $450/month) Extra pay for farmer's market shifts.

Housing: Housing is provided in a renovated space in the barn. There is a large, heated room with both a bedroom space and a kitchen dining area. Its a bit like a cross between camping and a studio apartment. The living quarters is close to the house where there is access to a modern bathroom and laundry.

Preferred method Of Contact: phone or email

Internship Details: Interns at Rhizosphere Farm learn mostly by doing. The program is primarily hands on, and interns will spend most of their time weeding, planting and harvesting. They will also go to farmer's markets, keep records, and do deliveries. By working each day to refine these skills and immerse yourself in the rhythm of the work, you will learn to inherently become more efficient and effective at small-scale farming. This program is particularly well-suited for those seeking to connect and work with nature and those considering a future in farming. Unlike conventional classroom learning, interning integrates body and mind by strengthening the body, developing endurance and flexibility, and cultivating the mind through direct observation and building intuition through experience.


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