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Internship & Apprenticeship Details

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Against the Grain
Zionville, NC 28698

Contact: Holly Whitesides, Andy Bryant

Phone: 828-406-4439

Email: atgfarm@gmail.com, afb500@gmail.com

Website: http://www.atgfarm.com

Last Updated: 10-12-2018

General Description: Against the Grain is a small-scale diversified farm located 15minutes from downtown Boone in Zionville, NC. We live on a 35 acre farm and raise a broad spectrum of certified Biodynamic and Organic vegetables on a little under 2 acres. We also raise pastured turkey and Animal Welfare Approved chicken, pork, beef and goat. We focus on three main market channels: Watauga Co. Farmer's Market and King Street Market (weekly farmer's markets), Vegetable and Meat CSA, and several local restaurants. The 2019 season will be our eight year in crop production and sixth year in animal production at our current farm place. We are continuing to refine our crop rotation, cover crop management, harvesting and composting techniques. We no longer use a rototiller as a part of our soil prep, and consider ourselves to be a "reduced tillage" operation. Our focus at Against the Grain is to nurture the soil in order to grow high quality, nutritious food for our local community.

Internship Starts: february-april
Internship Ends: october-november
Number of Interns: 5
App Deadline:
Minimum Length of Stay: 6 months

Meals: Interns are responsible for preparing their own meals in a shared kitchen. Vegetables, eggs and a meat stipend will be provided.

Skills Desired: Farm work demands an open mind and a willingness to do physical work. We work in all weather conditions, so interns will need clothing to protect them against the elements. We do not require previous farming experience, but landscaping or trail building experience is a plus, in that it shows the propensity toward physical work. Tractor/mechanical experience and carpentry skills are a plus, but not required. It is essential for perspective interns to understand that farm work is very physical. We do our best to vary the tasks throughout the day, in order to prevent too much time being spent on one job; however, farm work is often repetitive by nature and very physically demanding. It is important to be realistic and honest about your past work experience and physical stamina. The ability to take direction and constructive, positive feed back from crew members and farmers is required.

Educational Opportunities: We make an effort to explain "how" and "why" while we work. There is also a small library on the farm, to which interns have access. We encourage interns to visit other farms through the local CRAFT program and by participating in the High Country Farm Tour. In general, we live in a vibrant and active small farming community with opportunities to connect and learn.

Stipend: Stipend amount will be based on experience and is negotiable, but generally, we start at $600/month. We offer a 2 week, unpaid trial period, during which both interns and farmers can evaluate if an arrangement for the season is mutually beneficial. After two months, a $25/month raise can be expected each month. Stipend is negotiable for interns who commit to a shorter stay or who come to the farm with significant experience.

Housing: We have off-grid sleeping quarters and an insulated/heated community kitchen for cooking and relaxing. There are composting toilets and an outdoor shower. WIFI is available at the farmhouse and occasionally at the packshed.

Preferred method Of Contact: Email primary or phone secondary

Internship Details: Internships generally involve learning by doing. In the process of doing the work of the farm, interns will have the opportunity to gain experience in planting techniques, soil fertility, weed control, pest management, irrigation, harvesting, marketing, equipment use/maintenance, record keeping, Biodynamic preparations and livestock management. Some tasks may seem redundant or monotonous, so it's very important for interns to be able to maintain a positive attitude. For the 2019 season, we plan to have five "point positions" that apprentices will fill. These positions will include a livestock point, greenhouse point, soil point, pack shed point and crop point. The farm has a diversity of enterprises with many moving parts. The point positions will provide some framework in which the apprentices can feel accomplished and proficient. Once an apprentice has been on the farm for a month or two, we hope to settle them into one of the point positions. All apprentices will work in all areas of the farm, but will have more clear responsibilities within their area of focus.


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