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We need 10 volunteers
*Now accepting interns for the 2019 season (May-September).*
We are building an off-the-grid homestead and education center following the principles of organic agriculture and permaculture design. We are situated on 12 acres of field and forest, in the rural hamlet of West Edmeston, located alongside a growing Amish community in central New York State.
Our accredited internship program has attracted interns from North & South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand. Interns will gain hands-on experience in low-till organic farming, regenerative agroforestry, permaculture, natural building, and food preservation. We are seeking interns interested in disconnecting from the mainstream, learning to support ourselves by growing our own organic produce, utilizing natural building methods to construct our barn and dwelling structures, making our own household products like soap and shampoo, reviving traditional agricultural and lifestyle practices, and living in community.
We grow a diversity of organic annual and perennial vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, and fruits to sustain us throughout the year. We sell our surplus to local natural food stores and restaurants in our region, and we offer a CSA program for families in our area. Our orchard consists of over 50 varieties of cold-hardy fruit and nut trees and berries. We also forage for wild foods, and raise chickens for eggs.
We are using natural building methods, as well as local and salvaged materials when possible, to construct our farm’s infrastructure. Our completed projects include a mobile chicken tractor and a self-sufficient tiny home with solar panel, rainwater collection, and wood-burning stove. We are in the process of completing a traditional New England timber framed barn on a rammed tire “Earthship” foundation.
Interns work 6 hours/day, 5 days/week, and participate in tasks such as organic farming, landscaping, natural building, food preservation, seed saving, harvesting and prepping veggie boxes for sale, and firewood preparation. Projects for the 2019 season include: installing rainwater catchment and solar-powered pump for our drip irrigation system, erecting a high tunnel (depending on grant funding), building 2 timber framed wood sheds, and expanding our edible food forest with additional fruit and nut trees, berries, and beneficial companion plants. We offer monthly classes for our interns throughout the season, such as soap making, lotions and salves, compost building, foraging/wildcrafting, food preservation (including canning, fermentation, and dehydration), cast iron vegan cooking, and gourd craft.
Email us for more information and to apply. We are asking our interns to commit to a 1 month minimum stay. We look forward to hearing from you!
Sleeping accommodations include 2 barn loft bedrooms and 1 large tent on a platform, or you are welcome to pitch your own tent on various tent platforms and camp spots around the property.
We have both indoor and outdoor kitchens, and an outdoor compost toilet. We do not have electricity, and instead use solar lanterns after dark. We use a high-quality, carbon filtration system (the Berkey) to filter rainwater and spring-fed creek water for drinking. Cell phone reception is excellent with Verizon. We don’t have wifi, but we take weekly trips to town to use the internet. At least once a month, we take our interns on off-farm excursions, such as to help our friends with their annual alpaca shearing day, to the Cooperstown Farmers’ Museum, historic Fly Creek Cider Mill, Otsego County Fair, craft fairs, the annual county demolition derby, etc.
All organic vegetarian/vegan meals are provided for interns and typically eaten communally. We follow a whole foods, plant-based diet and supplement our homegrown fruits, veggies, and free-range eggs with organic American-grown grains, beans, and other staples.