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Internship & Apprenticeship Details


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Plowshares for Appalachia
3581 Schollsville Rd.
Winchester, KY 40391

Contact: Alice Melendez

Phone: 859-556-0112

Email: alice@plowshares4patriots.com

Website: http://www.plowsharesforappalachia.com

Last Updated: 12-26-2014

General Description: The central site for the program is a commercial beef cattle and grain farm using rotational grazing practices and studying ways to improve ecological/agronomic practices in our crop fields including cover cropping and transition to organic production. We have also started to offer homesteading skill-shares as a way to build community and try out new things.

Internship Starts: rolling
Internship Ends: Open
Number of Interns: 3
App Deadline: rolling
Minimum Length of Stay: 12 weeks

Meals: Interns must cover their own meals, although cooperative buying/cooking/clean-up is encouraged and makes eating more affordable. They will be welcome to eat from what we grow as much as possible. Sometimes there's venison.

Skills Desired: We are open to work with a people with a broad range of past experiences with farming. The best fit for our positions at this time would be people who wanted to stay a good while, who are ready to take ideas that they've maybe picked up reading or traveling and put them onto the land from start until they are really producing something. People who might want to come through for a shorter time might work out too, if you are a person who will bring good energy to the house -- fixing something to eat together, making some music and conversation, finding a good project outside that matches the amount of time you can be here.

Educational Opportunities: I would like to do book study groups with interns starting this winter and we are offering a series of workshops called "Homes to Homesteads" between now and planting time. We have a garden site and I'm putting hugelkulture beds in to mellow over the winter and be ready for spring planting. Our farm team includes a great machinery operator/mechanic; a pair with good financial/planning sense; and get-er-done farm workers with real experience. You shadow to learn skills. This includes going on rounds checking, moving and feeding cattle, and help during calving time to see what veterinary medicine looks like in the field; watching the decision-making and doing of field work-- when to plant, cultivate, build soil fertility; learning the books and cash flow of our operation.

Stipend: Interns who stay beyond an initial 6-week discovery phase are eligible for revenue-sharing arrangements from Plowshares production projects and potentially from casual labor on the farm. Don't expect to make much money, but you will get valuable experience and should do better than break even.

Housing: Interns share an 1840s-era log house (and one spring/summer loft room in an out building) with one member of the Mt. Folly Farm team. The place was built by Daniel Boone's brother, Squire Boone in a beautiful area of Central Kentucky. So you would have your own room and shared kitchen/living room. If you don't have your own transportation, you will have the ability to hitch a ride to town to go to the library or the store, but obviously your mobility will be limited and you are out in the country.

Preferred method Of Contact: email or phone

Internship Details: Expect to work outside and respond to the needs of the growing plants (water, soil amendment, timely cycles of planting, harvest, compost) and livestock (feed, water, movement, veterinary care, birth, death) with direction and cooperation from staff. Contribute your expertise to the development of our operation even as you learn from the experience we create. The main internship site for the Plowshares non-profit is Mount Folly Farm. There, we run 140 head of cattle plus calves in a rotational grazing system, and we manage 200 acres of row crops. We have built grain storage, transitioned our first acreage to organic and will be using only non-GMO seed starting in 2015. We are experimenting with new ways to seed cover crops to try to improve our winter stands and studying the "Biological Farming" method to improve soil health.


 

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