Highgate Farm – 4 FT Internships

Farm/Organization Name: Highgate Farm
Contact Name: Melissa Harwin
Contact Email: highgatefarm@earthlink.net
Location: Marshall, NC

Region: Mountains NC
Farm Description – Basic information about what is produced on your farm.: Highgate Farm is a small Certified Naturally Grown market garden and off-grid homestead surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Marshall, NC where we produce high quality mixed vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, flowers and eggs for sale at area tailgate markets and through our CSA. Our main production fields occupy 4 acres of bottom land where we cultivate most of our annual vegetable crops. Older production fields occupy a sunny ridge of terraced beds, where we are establishing perennial crops such as asparagus, flowers and small fruits. Our business model is inspired by the traditional French Market Garden, producing a broad selection of products with great attention to detail. As a small scale CNG farm, our practices are closely aligned with NOP standards. We employ a walk-behind tractor, hand tools, drip irrigation, a passive solar propagation house, spun row cover, NOP compliant inputs and integrated pest management (IPM).
Number of Available Positions: four
Job/Internship Description: We offer training and experience in small scale produce, flower, mushroom and egg production following organic methods, as well as opportunities to participate in homesteading activities such cooking and preserving, building, and harnessing renewable energy. Tent or shared cabin, shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, generous stipend, and fabulous food will be provided for individual use and the preparation of shared meals.

Interns & apprentices are expected to participate in farm and homestead related activities as needed, from 30 to 50 hrs. each week throughout their stay. Activities will include greenhouse propagation, all aspects of field work from seeding/transplanting through cultivation, to harvest and clean-up, processing and packing product and participating in market sales. Regular field rounds, and a weekly planning and debriefing meeting are also part of the schedule. A minimum of one day off each week will be provided to each individual. Occasional group outings for swimming, ice cream, beers, music, etc. are also included.

Opportunities for hands-on individual and group training, experience and education, in all aspects of market gardening following organic methods, from planning through sales, including propagation, fieldwork, harvest, handling and record-keeping. We also provide opportunities to participate in farm and homesteading activities such cooking and preserving, building, and harnessing renewable energy. We are happy to share our 30+ years of organic farming & homesteading experience and related knowledge, a love and knowledge of food, cooking, and our natural environment, as well as our extensive library on related and other topics of interest. Other nearby farmers and beekeepers are often willing to offer opportunities for work and learning. The NC Cooperative Extension Service is nearby, and provides resources including education, training, information and facilities. As a member of CRAFT, interns/apprentices may take advantage of the many educational and networking opportunities offered, often at nearby farms.

Current accommodations include a lovely shared bunk house or private tent platform, shared kitchen & sitting areas, hot outdoor shower and composting toilet, all surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Limited access to electricity for charging electronics is available on site.

A shared kitchen is provided for meal prep. Generous food including farm fresh products and kitchen staples as well as a grocery stipend is provided for individual use and the preparation of shared meals. A mid-day light picnic lunch is also provided, on long field days.

Job/Internship Start & End Dates: March 1st to November 30th
Qualifications: Most important is interest, enthusiasm and a strong desire to learn about food and food production. Those who are ready to learn and find satisfaction in hard work and a job well done will find much success here. General work skills of reliability and follow through, clear, respectful communication, and attention to detail are expected. A cheerful disposition is most appreciated! Some experience working with plants and food is helpful. Expect to get up early, and to work long and hard in sometimes harsh conditions.
Salary/Compensation: Room & Board plus $500/month stipend. End of season/tenure bonus.
Application Instructions: Email a brief letter of interest and resume. Interview and 2 references are required, on farm visit is highly recommended.
Website: n/a
Closing Date: when positions are filled
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