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A Way of Life Farm
Sunshine, NC 28018
Contact: Sara Jane Davis, Jamie Davis
Last Updated: 01-14-2019
General Description: Ready to dig deeper into your farming experience? Located in the foothills of Western North Carolina, A Way of Life Farm grows Certified Organic vegetables and fruit, as well as pasture-raised pork for sale through farmers' market and CSA. This commercial production is integral to a broader permaculture design and land revitalization, including the development of fruit and nut orchards (persimmon, pawpaw, muscadines, chestnuts, pecans, and apples).
Internship Starts: March-April
Internship Ends: November-December and beyond
Number of Interns: 4
App Deadline: until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 9 months to 1 year with opportunities to stay on thorugh winter and/or the following season
Meals: The farm crew (four apprentices, farmers, grandparents, and kids) shares regular meals together (1 or more/week). You prepare other meals in your own kitchen or with other apprentices. Vegetables from the farm are available as well as food staples (flour, rice, beans, oats...). A farm credit for up to $150 of pork is also offered.
Skills Desired: Apprentices should have good communication skills, self-motivation, and an interest in all aspects of food from growing to cooking and eating. Some previous experience on a commercial farm is highly recommended - this may take the form of previous farm internships or even just a couple days volunteering on a commercial farm. Experience with physical labor, sports, or intense outdoor activity is important since our bodies are our primary tools on the farm. Hands-on learning is a given on a farm, but the ability to learn from listening is very valuable as a lot of information is conveyed verbally through informal "classes" in the field. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets.
Educational Opportunities: We take our role as educators seriously. We work closely with apprentices, explaining tasks as they come up in the season and offer written information and informal "classes". We also have an extensive farming library. Field trips to other farms in the area through CRAFT will provide an even broader perspective.
Stipend: starting at $700/month, housing, utilities, food from the farm, and a priceless education!
Housing: A private "tiny home" or camper-trailer, which includes kitchen, electricity and cold water, an outhouse, and hot indoor/outdoor shower. Washing machine is shared.
Preferred method Of Contact: Email
Internship Details: Visit our website's "work opportunities" page for even more information and an application for the apprenticeship position! http://awayoflifefarm.com/A_Way_of_Life_Farm/Work_Opportunities.html
Farming really is a way of life and it is truly meaningful work! Apprentices take part in various aspects of the farm from vegetable seed to harvest, livestock chores, marketing, and perennials, but will spend the vast majority of time (approx 90%) growing vegetables. A combination of organic and sustainable practices including no-till raised beds, cover cropping, Kinsey-Albrecht method, keyline plowing, Holistic Management, and permaculture design are used throughout our land. We start our own vegetable transplants from seed and propagate perennials in a permanent greenhouse. Over 50 types of vegetables, fruit, and herbs are grown outdoors in raised beds and under cover of high tunnels and caterpillar tunnels. A tractor is used for initial bed preparation, but most of our work -- planting, weeding, harvesting -- is done with hand tools.
We offer information and skills that will build your confidence toward managing a farm. As the season progresses, apprentices are given increased responsibilities and areas of focus around the farm. Apprentices work 40-50 hours/week. We respect your time and life away from the farm, trying our best to stick to a pre-arranged daily schedule. Occasionally, the farm will demand some longer days just to get the job done. Positions start in March or April and can continue through December and beyond, with a minimum 9-month commitment required. If it's a good fit, we encourage apprentices to come back for another season with increased responsibilities and pay.
"I had a truly transformative experience working with Jamie and Sara Jane at A Way of Life Farm...I genuinely feel like I couldn't have gone through this experience with better mentors. Jaime and Sara Jane are both incredibly knowledgeable and patient teachers...It in incredible to think back on my first days on the farm and the transformation that has occurred. I have learned so many of the technical skills and basic knowledge to help jump start my farming career, but even more importantly I have a greater sense of drive to achieve my goals after experiencing what life as an organic farmer is really like."
"My apprenticeship with A Way of Life prepared me to go from very little formal farming experience, to the job I have now: running a farm with a 180-member sliding-scale CSA... A Way of Life farmers, Sara Jane and Jamie Davis, dedicate themselves to educating their apprentices. I've never seen a farm achieve such a balance between maintaining financial stability while also continuing to deepen ecological practices. My apprenticeship gave me both the hard skills and the inspiration to farm in a way that is both idealistic and realistic."
Read more apprentice and customer references at https://organicgrowersschool.org/farm/a-way-of-life-farm/