Farm Internships in Sheffield Massachusetts

Established in 1991, Moon In The Pond (Sheffield, Massachusetts) is a small, diverse, sustainable, permaculture farm where the relationship of people to nature is constantly explored in a myriad of ways that include animals, crops, self-sufficiency, sustainability, conservation of heirloom vegetable varieties and seeds, conservation of historic livestock and traditional and modern farming techniques; all while working at filling the needs of today’s culture and society. They raise heritage breed animals for meat (nearly ten thousand pounds annually) and heirloom vegetables, eggs, honey, fruit and more which they sell locally directly to families, (partly through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program,) at the farm and at three local farmers' markets.

Moon In The Pond Farm offers three types of farm positions: 1.) New Farmer Full-Year Apprentice (NFFYA), 2.) Seasonal Intern (SI), and 3.) Short-Term Volunteer/WWOOFer (WWOOFer). For NFFYAs they begin accepting applications in July for the following year. They accept SI and WWOOFer applications throughout the year. (Details below.)

THEY ARE SEEKING SEASONAL INTERNS for 2014 TO START IMMEDIATELY.

Moon in The Pond is unique in their commitment to a wide range of educational programs focused on providing many opportunities to share the experiences and passions of a real, functioning, productive farm.

The farm includes: 1/2 acre vegetable Market Garden, 150+/- acres pasture and hay, 10 Horned Dorset sheep (and 12-18 lambs for meat), one dairy cow, (and calf), 15 Scottish Highland cattle (beef), 3 Large Black (Cornwall) pigs (and as many as 30 piglets raised for pork), 30 New Hampshire laying hens, and 100-200+ meat birds, 12 Pilgrim geese (meat and eggs), 80,000 (give or take a few) honey bees (two hives) and Winecap and Shiitake mushroom production and more--lots more!

Internship Starts: NFFYAs: November 1, December 1, and January 1. SI and WWOOFers: Rolling start throughout the year.
Internship Ends: As agreed.
Number of Interns: 4
App Deadline: NFFYA applications accepted July-Dec. SI and WWOOFers: throughout the year.
Minimum Length of Stay: NFFYAs: 12 months. SIs: 3 months. WWOOFers: 3 days.

Meals: NFFYAs, SIs and WWOOFers prepare, cook, and eat meals together with Farmer Dom in the farmhouse kitchen. As part of the homestead household, and in keeping with the full experience of farm life, apprentices and interns share in the upkeep, housework, daily home maintenance. Full board is

provided. Meals are all organic and from the farm whenever available: veggies, meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, honey, fruit, etc.

Skills Desired: NFFYA Applicants: One full season (3 month growing season) of farm work required in addition to the details listed below.

SI and WWOOFer Applicants: Outdoor work experience. Ability and willingness to perform physical labor. Facility with hand tools, basic carpentry, and gardening skills a plus. Driver's license and clean driving record required. Ability and willingness to work alternately alone and with/or directing others is necessary.
NFFYA Applicants: One full growing season (3 months minimum) of farm work required. Details below.

Educational Opportunities: NFFY Apprenticeship provides a full, deep understanding of varied, modern homestead-like farming and community building. Running the full year's cycle from planning to implementation, from harvest back to planning, this is an intensive, in-depth, comprehensive program that results in a solid working knowledge of the many facets of a real farm: food production, CSA, community, marketing, organic techniques and farm life, science, philosophy, etc. An apprentice at MITP is required to learn and practice a broad range of skills and take responsibility for farm tasks.

Seasonal Internship and Short-Term Volunteer/WWOOFers work side-by-side with Full-Year Apprentices. Interns learn how to communicate effectively with each other, customers, and groups. Interns hone their skills and broaden their awareness and knowledge of working on a small, but highly intensive sustainable farm.

Stipend: New Farmer Full-Year Apprenticeship: A $200/week stipend is paid on the following schedule: $100/week for the first 6 months, $200/week for the second 6 months, and a $2400 bonus on completion of the full year.
Seasonal Interns: A $100/week stipend is provided to Interns signing on for longer than 3 months. The $100/week stipend is paid on the following schedule: $50/week for the first 6 weeks. $100/week for the second 6 weeks and beyond, and a $300 bonus on completion of three months.

Short Term Volunteers/WWOOFers do not receive a stipend.

Housing: Indoor housing in farmhouse available for New Farmer Full-Year Apprentices. New Farmer Full-Year Apprentices stay in their own rooms in the 1810 farm house. They have free access to and use of domestic facilities (bathroom, shower, clothes washer, etc.) As part of the homestead household and in keeping with the full experience of farm life, apprentices and interns share in the upkeep and housework of daily home maintenance. Accommodation on-farm for Seasonal Interns is provided as space is available. Interns may live off-farm—If no space is available they will provide assistance in finding accommodations.

Preferred method Of Contact: Email

Internship Details: New Farmer Full-Year Apprenticeship (3 positions). Seasonal Internship (4 positions). Short-Term Volunteers/WWOOFer (1-2 positions). Our Apprentices, Interns and Volunteers are a vital force on the farm. They look for passionate, intelligent people who can learn

quickly and work hard.

THEY ARE SEEKING SEASONAL INTERNS TO START IMMEDIATELY. (Mar./April 2014). They are now accepting applications until the positions are filled.

The New Farmer Full-Year Apprenticeship Program

The NFFYA Program is designed for aspiring new farmers committed to a career in sustainable eco-agriculture. Apprentices study, work, and live at Moon In The Pond Farm and participate in all of the broad series of tasks and functions required to support, maintain and operate a diverse, actively productive, small, sustainable farm. While apprentices are participating in the work and life of the farm, they are guided in studies in a wide variety of farm related disciplines. The program’s classes, workshops and studies use a spontaneous, natural curriculum that flows from and follows a year of the seasonal work of the farm. This total immersion, intensive full year program also teaches students the nature of responsibility – the ability to respond with honesty, thoughtfulness, respect and maturity — to our environment in all its aspects: from weather and seasons, animals and plants, to personal relationships with family and community, both locally and globally. The New Farmers Program equips new farmers with working knowledge and familiarity, skills and awareness of sustainable farm life so that they can lead full and successful lives as well rounded, capable rural citizens.

Young farmers also participate in, and learn to conduct aspects of other Moon In The Pond Farm School programs (e.g.: workshops, classes, tours and farm-to-farm exchange). On completion of the NFFYA Program participants may have the opportunity to participate in “Farm Ambassadors”, Moon In The Pond’s foreign exchange program at Tenuta di Paganico, in Tuscany, Italy.

Apprentices can expect to muck, mulch, milk, mow, herd, hay, harvest, hoe, water, weed, weed, seed, feed, fence, fix, forage, clean, weed, plant, transplant, tidy, weed, clean, scrub, pick, stake, rake, wash, weed, build, record, sweep, swear, study, organize, observe, report, clean, cry, compost, cook, swear, laugh, laugh and laugh. There are always special projects underway and all projects are special. Work is life and includes at least 55+ hours/week, with hours and days varying necessarily. They work hard at a steady pace, outdoors, in the sun/rain, cold/heat, beautiful Berkshire weather.

Full-Year Apprentices must have a strong commitment to understanding the source of their food and its responsible production. Additionally, study and learning is centered on understanding and building the relationships and social structures on which the farm relies—as the very nature of farming is nurturing communities. NFFYA Program begins in winter (November to January).

Seasonal Internship Program

Seasonal Internships of 3-6 months are offered for people who want a deep experience of farm life but who may not know if farming will be their career; want to enhance their understanding and appreciation of food and nature and who love hard, very physical work, outdoors, doing something worthwhile for the planet. Seasonal Internship at Moon In The Pond also helps build an aspiring farmer’s skill and experience in a variety of areas. Like “New Farmer Full-Year” apprentices, Seasonal Interns participate in most of the same tasks and operations of the farm (please read “New Farmers” listing), but for a much shorter term: a growing season. As with all farm positions it is full-immersion-whatever-it-takes, farm life.

4 positions that start on a random, rolling basis according to applicants’ availability. Applications are

accepted year-round within 2 months of proposed start. For Seasonal Internship, a 3-6 month commitment is required.

Short-Term Volunteer/WWOOFer Programs

Short-Term Volunteers and WWOOFer (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, formerly Willing Workers…) programs are provided for people who have limited time to participate in farm activities but are interested in contributing their efforts to the work of the farm while learning a bit and getting a real and true taste of farm life.

Participants get an intense, quick immersion into farm life, work and issues. They are required to work side-by-side with Full-Year Apprentices and Interns in their normal daily activities.

TO APPLY:
Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the farm (by arrangement) any time before beginning the application process. Also please check out our website and FB page.

Please take careful note of the requirements for application and indicate for which position you are applying.

A working farm visit is required before final acceptance: One week (7 days) for Full-Year Apprenticeships, 3 days for Seasonal Internships. Working visits are not required for Short-Term or WWOOFer applicants.

To apply submit the following by email with subject line “Full Year Apprenticeship” (no earlier than July 1st) or “Seasonal Internship” or “WWOOF”.

Contact Dom by Phone: [Home] 413-229-3092 or Email: dom@mooninthepond.com your:

1) Letter of intent—Give me your story and why you think this would be a good situation for you. Be specific!

2) Resume—be sure to include: a) all basic personal information b) education c) work history—include dates (month and year), position, and responsibilities held, supervisors’ names and phone numbers.

3) References–2 work, 2 personal. Include relationships, current phone numbers and emails.

4) Proposed dates for a) phone/personal interview b) work-trial-visit c) apprenticeship start date.

5) Recent photo.

NFFYA Applications Sequence and Timeline:

>July 1: Applications are accepted beginning in July and until 3 positions are filled (Nov.-Dec.?).

>July through November:

-phone and personal interviews.

-one week (7 day) work–trial-visits are scheduled (required).

>October 15-December 15: Apprentices are accepted.

>November 15-Janurary 5: Apprentices begin full year.

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