A Way of Life Farm Apprenticeships in Western North Carolina – 2017
A Way of Life Farm is a diverse farm in the foothills of Western NC. We grow vegetables, strawberries, blueberries, and pasture-raised pork for sale. This commercial production fits within a broader permaculture design that also includes the development of fruit and nut orchards (persimmon, pawpaw, tea camelia, muscadines, chestnuts, and apples) and mushroom production. A combination of sustainable practices including low-till bio-intensive raised beds, cover cropping, Kinsey-Albrecht method, keyline plowing, Holistic Management, and permaculture design are used throughout our land. About 90% of our time is spent growing vegetables. We start our own vegetable transplants from seed and propagate perennials in a permanent greenhouse. Over 30 types of vegetables and herbs are grown primarily outdoors in raised beds. We also grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and winter greens in a large hoophouse and other veggies in low-tech, movable “caterpillar tunnels”. A tractor is used for initial bed preparation, but most of our work — planting, weeding, harvesting- is done with hand tools. Our products are sold through farmers’ markets, CSAs, and restaurants. Working with A Way of Life Farm offers an opportunity to see what it’s like to earn a livelihood from a farm. We are located an hour from Asheville and Charotte, NC.
Visit our website’s “work opportunities” page for more information and an application for the apprenticeship position! http://awayoflifefarm.com/A_Way_of_Life_Farm/Work_Opportunities.html
Farming really is a way of life and it is truly meaningful work! Apprentices take part in all aspects of the farm from vegetable seed to harvest, livestock chores, marketing, perennials, and infrastructure projects, but should expect to spend the vast majority of time growing vegetables. We aim to offer information and skills that will build your confidence toward managing a farm. As the season progresses, apprentices are given increased responsibilities and areas of focus around the farm. Apprentices work 40-50 hours/week. We respect your time and life away from the farm, trying our best to stick to a pre-arranged daily schedule. Occasionally, the farm will demand some longer days just to get the job done. Visit our website, www.awayoflifefarm.com for all the details and an application for this position.
A Way of Life Farm Apprenticeship Dates: 3/6/17 through 11/26/17, with opportunities for advancement and staying on.
Qualifications: We are looking for curious apprentices with good communication skills and self-motivation. Some previous experience on a commercial farm is highly recommended — this may take the form of previous farm internships or even just a couple days volunteering on a commercial farm. Experience with physical labor or intense outdoor activity is important. Our bodies are our primary tools on the farm. Hands-on learning is a given on a farm, but the ability to learn from listening is very valuable as a lot of information is conveyed verbally through informal “classes” in the field. We love committed partnerships, but unfortunately our housing doesn’t accommodate couples or pets.
A Way of Life Farm Educational Opportunities: We take our role as educators seriously. We work closely with apprentices, explaining tasks as they come up in the season and offer written information and informal “classes”. We also have an extensive farming library. Field trips to other farms in the area through CRAFT will provide an even broader perspective.
Compensation: starting at $600/month (taxes will be withheld and a W-2 is given at the end of the year). Merit-based raises are offered through the season. The farm crew (apprentices, farmers, grandparents, and kids) shares two meals in the farm house each week. You prepare other meals in your own kitchen or with other apprentices. Vegetables from the farm are available as well as food staples (flour, rice, beans…). A farm credit for up to $150 of pork is also offered. Housing is provided in a “tiny home” or camper-trailer, which includes kitchen, electricity and cold water; an outhouse; and hot outdoor shower (hot indoor shower in cold months)