We are looking for people that want to work hard in the fields, in the kitchen, and around the bonfire. In other words we really want a tight-knit team this year that prioritizes both getting the farm work done, and forging strong bonds with the other wild folk and our community. We have a strong vision for the land, and there is also room for new pioneering ideas and projects, both on the farm and off. We intend for this land to be a home to many individuals, in some form of cohesive community and are in still in the early stages of this.
We do not use much machinery and will be implementing complex systems and practices in a diversity of evolving ways. Thus, physical labor in conjunction with critical thought and attentiveness are important. Experience we favor includes permaculture, education, manual labor, off-grid living, livestock husbandry, gardening & building. Personal characteristics including honesty, reflection, adaptation, motivation, curiosity, and love are paramount.
The amount of work will vary during the season, being more intensive in the first half and more rewarding as the season goes on. Being so diversified, we mix tasks throughout the day and week (weeding is never more than a few hours a day). There will be a mix of working together as well as working independently.
Communication and Instruction
I, Ben can only speak for myself here. We plan to hire another manager, who will also take a role in education, and leadership for apprentices.
I like to tailor my instruction and training environment to those involved, so I don't have many set guidelines or rules. I do believe there is a lot of value in learning and problem solving together, but also want to balance that with individual motivation and education. Instead of focusing on "what" much of the time, I like to focus on the "why" so as to give those involved the tools to problem solve and form autonomy in creation and formation. I do prioritize communication, reflection, and adaptation. Questions are always welcome and I have no issue repeating or reviewing something. In general supervision and demonstration of my way (not necessarily the right way or your way) for doing something will be given in the beginning of a new task or skill. I don't like to create hierarchies so I hope we will all be working as a team and growing together. As the apprentice gains more skills and knowledge, they can gain more responsibility and I hope apprentices take initiative in developing and working on projects they feel passionate about. I see the apprenticeship as training but also a hands-on living classroom. I work well with people who are self-motivated, driven and comfortable communicating their desires. I do not see production, education, and reflection as opposing forces, and rather promote their unity. If people want specific workshops, tailored discussions or reading I am happy to be involved. There will be others living on the farm, including a few with a lot of farming experience and plenty of visitors and work parties so people will have an opportunity to be working, sharing, teaching, and learning from a vast array of people and biota.
Education for the farm crew will include: soil health, nutrient management, foliar sprays, cover cropping, livestock management, system integration, pasture care, no till systems, scything, perennial care, mycology, farm design, wild edibles, low impact forestry, chainsaw work, rice systems, human powered equipment and more!
Spring: design and planning, building, forestry, seedlings and planting, Bed preparation, perennial groundwork. Early Summer: scything, annual care, CSA and market deliveries, weeding, planting, mulching, perennial groundwork. Late Summer: CSA and market deliveries, preservation and processing, vegetable maintenance. Early Fall: harvesting, building, forestry, preservation. Late Fall: putting beds to rest, building, forestry, chilling.
Rice schedule: In early may we will directly sow rice as part of a SARE grant. For half of May, rice transplanting/paddy weeding will take up a few days a week, and we will host a work party. From June – August we will spend 1 day a week on average in the paddies, except for early August when we will spend a few days putting nets up in the paddies to keep the bobolinks out. Work will pick up again in mid September – October, when the harvest kicks into gear, and roughly ½ of the time will be spent in the paddies. During this time we will have a few work parties and many friends will be visiting the farm.
Logistics & Scheduling
Work schedules will vary. People will be in charge of tracking their own time. Work shifts will run either half days or full days. There will be regular check-ins on projects depending on the amount of collaboration or independence for the project. There will also be a lot of work trade/parties throughout the season as well and we like the farm crew to spearhead these.
Morning meetings occur most every work day and weekly meetings will include the agenda of work (bigger picture), community and living arrangements. There will be three individual check-ins tied to evaluations, goals, and expectations throughout the season.
Room, Board and Community: Housing and food from the farm will be covered. Part of the exchange for this, and tied to our long term outlook for community on the land, will be participation in additional projects and events. This can take many forms including: biomass heating, arts coordinator, event manager, natural building, herb garden mgmt., education onsite, spiritual /sanctuaries/relaxation areas, smoker grill set-up, treehouse, bike power, etc. These projects are meant to be fun and stimulating and the idea is that some research and planning will take place on personal time, so that during the 5-10 hours allocated per week one can hit the ground running.