Minnesota: Ploughshare Farm seeks 2011 Interns

6 Dec

We are an organic vegetable farm located on 160 acres. We market through our 400 member CSA (Community Support Agriculture) and food coops throughout the metro area. We are also founders of the Food or Folk Project which provides organic and sustainable food to organizations working with low-income folks through the state.

Of the 160 acres our family owns, we presently manage 40 acres with approximately 20 acres in vegetables on an annual basis and the remaining acreage in “green manure” (crops such as soybeans, rye, and vetch that are plowed under as fertilizer rather than being harvested).

We are semi-mechanized, though most harvesting is still done by hand. We use hand tools, rototillers, and small and large tractors. Our methods are based on the latest advances in agricultural ecology. We are constantly evaluating our methods and adapting our systems to meet market demand and the concerns of our customers and the organic/sustainable agriculture community.
 
Requirements for interns.
Internship starts: 4/1(desired) -6/1 (latest)               Internship ends: 10/25(desired)
Application Deadline: 2/1(desired) 4/1(latest)
Minimum Length Stay: 1month   Number of Interns: 4-6
 
We also have summer possibilities for college students.
 
Work/Experience Desired: The work that we do is often hard. Farming is not for everyone. Apprentices should enjoy physical work and being outside all day. It is not necessary to have previous experience in farming. The skills/traits we consider most important in an apprentice are: The ability to take responsibility and be accountable The ability to think clearly and act decisively A positive attitude and personality Communication skills Self-knowledge of goals and life direction The ability to enjoy being outside doing physical work A good back and generally good health Ability to make and keep commitments Common sense and safety skills

Education Opportunity: What you will learn (a partial list):  greenhouse operation,  variety selection  garden site selection , soil preparation and care,  planting techniques, fertilizer application methods,  green manure planting and management, weed control: (preventative, mechanical, manual)  pest management: (preventative, curative)  harvest skills and methods,  marketing skills for retail and wholesale sales  equipment needs, care and use
Details about Internship/Apprenticeship: Apprentices are involved with the farm 55-60 hours per week, and most of these will be weekday hours.

We have eight intern positions available for the 2011 season. Experience is helpful, but a commitment to farming organically is essential. If you are serious about learning what it takes to establish an ecologically and financially sustainable farm, and are willing to invest in the 2011 growing season to insure that you get off to a good start, please contact us.

Interns will participate in all phases of the farm, will become familiar with the financial side of the farm (budgets/profit margin), and have opportunities to interact directly with CSA members and the public.Stipend/Compensation: $5.25/hour plus Housing: We have a cabin with 2 bedrooms, a Yurt style tent with 4 bedrooms and a 25 foot camper trailer with kitchen, and another small trailer.  Interns will have their own sleep quarters.  In addition there is a “worker” kitchen, community space, and bathroom available.
 
Meals: Produce from the farm is provided as well as many week day lunches is provided. We encourage interns to cooperatively prepare all other meals.

If interested contact (emails preferred): Gary and Jennifer Brever
gjbrever@midwestinfo.net
www.ploughsharefarm.com

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