Market Garden Farm Internships in North Carolina

Market Garden Farm Internships in North Carolina

Market Garden Farm Internships in North Carolina at Highgate Farm – 2017

Highgate Farm is a small Certified Naturally Grown market garden and off-grid homestead in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We live on 25 acres of mostly forested cove near Marshall, NC.  Our main production fields occupy 4 acres of nearby 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. Both sites are surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Our business model is inspired by the traditional French Market Garden, with great attention to detail, supplying high quality and specialty produce, mushrooms, flowers and eggs to area tailgate markets, restaurants and grocers.  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).

We are offering 4 full-time (40+/- hrs/week) apprenticeships for the 2017 season, beginning as early as March and ending as late as November. We offer these positions as an opportunity for new/young/potential farmers & homesteaders to gain valuable education, training and experience on a working farm & homestead, under our tutelage, and within a community of likeminded individuals., while contributing their skills, knowledge, hard work and camaraderie to our farm & homestead.

We offer 1:1 and group instruction and hands-on training and experience in small scale produce, flower  and egg production following organic methods, as well as opportunities to learn and participate in homesteading activities such cooking, pickling & preserving, building, and harnessing renewable energy & resources. A generous stipend ($500/month) plus end-of-season bonus is provided, as well as room and board (details below).

Compensation for Market Garden Farm Internships in North Carolina

Educational Opportunities

We are happy to share our 30+ years of organic farming & homesteading experience and related knowledge, as well as a love and knowledge of food, cooking, and our natural environment. We encourage apprentices to take advantage of our extensive reference library. 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 my take advantage of the many educational and networking opportunities offered at nearby farms.


Accommodations include a shared bunkhouse,  use of shared kitchen, outdoor shower and composting toilet. Tent camping is also possible.


A shared kitchen & food for delicious balanced meals and snacks, including farm fresh products and kitchen staples will be provided for individual use and the preparation of shared meals.


Full time interns & apprentices will receive a stipend of $500 per month.

Skills and Expectations for Market Garden Farm Internships in North Carolina

Because our main focus is our Market Garden business, we are seeking individuals with a sincere interest and enthusiasm to learn about food, food production and marketing. The ability and desire to spend long days working outdoors is necessary. Workers should expect to get up early, and be prepared to work in sometimes harsh conditions. Those who are ready to learn and find satisfaction in hard work and a job well done will find much success here. Respect for others, the environment, shared resources and space, as well as general work skills of reliability and follow through, clear respectful communication, and attention to detail are expected. A cheerful disposition and ability to make work fun are most appreciated! Some experience working with plants and food is helpful.

Apprentices can expect to work alongside farmers, our other apprentices, and work-traders, as well as independently, and should be willing to accept direction from peers, and be involved in group decision-making. Based on skills and experience there will be opportunities to teach and lead others.

A typical schedule may involve from 6 – 10 hrs. of farm and/or homestead related training & work 5 – 6 days of the week. An afternoon break is taken during periods of extreme heat. Lunch in the field, shared dinners with apprentices and occasionally with host farmers is expected. Optional outings for swimming, ice cream and CRAFT/learning activities are offered & encouraged.

To maintain connections, we recommend guests supply their own (Verizon Wireless) phone/internet service. To access area amenities and attractions, we recommend guests come equipped to supply their own transportation, or expect to rely upon occasional and negotiated shared rides with hosts or other guests.

Area Attractions

Our town sits along the French Broad River and boasts a modern library, lively arts council including a public access radio station, a popular coffee shop/café, several restaurants and live music venues, art studios and craft galleries, a new brewery and a lovely riverside park. The Appalachian region is famous for the rich cultural heritage of its Scotch-Irish ancestry: music, crafts, storytelling, agrarian lifestyle and unique dialect. Madison County is known as the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge”, for its natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking and fishing. Area attractions include the Appalachian Trail, forest canopy zip line tours, rushing whitewater rivers and trout streams, hot springs for soaking, and the city of Asheville, known for its music, crafts, breweries, restaurants, and diverse, progressive community. The region is home to several college and University campuses including Warren Wilson, Mars Hill and UNC, as well as organizations offering demonstrations, conferences and workshops relating to farming, homesteading and self-sufficiency such as Organic Growers School, No Taste Like Home, Earth Haven, Blue Ride School of Herbal Medicine, and many more.

For more details search us on Apprentice Link, CFSA or ATTRA

To apply for the Market Garden Farm Internships in North Carolina, please send a brief letter of interest and resume to John Kunkle and Melissa Harwin at  An interview and 2 references are required. A farm visit is highly recommended. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until all positions are filled, and/or as vacancies arise.

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