Biodynamic Farm Apprenticeship at Camphill Village Minnesota Farm
The North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP) helps aspiring farmers develop the skills and knowledge they need to build successful organic and biodynamic farms. The program combines:
- 24 months of structured on-farm training and mentoring
- An independent, on-farm project
- Classroom study in biodynamics
Apprentices benefit from a comprehensive training curriculum, carefully selected mentor farms, and access to networking, support, and educational resources. Upon completion of their training, apprentices are awarded a certificate in biodynamic farming from the Biodynamic Association.
Camphill Village Minnesota (CVM) is an eco-village of around 50 people in Central Minnesota. Our mission is to create and sustain a community where people with and without disabilities live, work and care for each other in fostering social, spiritual, cultural and agricultural renewal. CVM is part of a global movement of Camphill communities that focus on curative education and social therapy, approaches to working and living with people with special needs inspired out of anthroposophy and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. The biodynamic approach to agriculture, also coming out of anthroposophy, provides the core tenets of our farming philosophy. In addition to biodynamic principles and practices, apprentices will also learn holistic management and permaculture approaches to agriculture and land stewardship. Apprentices will also have the opportunity to collaborate and work with other local farms, including our Amish neighbors.
Size of farm:
525 total acres. 120 acres in permanent pastures. 100 acres in a legume/grass-based rotation. Three acres in vegetables. Small orchard and herb garden. ~300 acres forest and wetlands.
Diversity of livestock and produce:
20 head grass-fed beef brood herd. 30 head grass-fed yearling and finisher herd. 3 head grass-fed dairy cow herd. Pasture-based four-sow farrowing herd. 60 hogs finished on farm per year on pasture during growing season. 70 laying hens. Broiler chickens done some years. Geese. Diverse vegetable garden grown in the field, and in greenhouses and high tunnel. Herbal ley hay making, wheat, barley, oats, peas, and buckwheat grown for grains. Honey bees. Sustainable forestry - harvesting for firewood and lumber. Permaculture silviculture conversion. Apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries. Diverse herb garden for teas and skin care products.
Biodynamic Farm Apprenticeship details:
Apprentices are housed in one of our community houses. They help with some household responsibilities and meal preparation. Apprentices are given the opportunity to focus on certain areas of our land work, or gain a broader experience a diversity of areas.
Provided by the community. Meals also.
Biodynamic Farm Apprenticeship Compensation:
Base - $200 / month stipend, health insurance, room and board, vehicle access. Needs-based fiscal conversation upon acceptance, to make sure financial dependencies are being met during apprenticeship. Three weeks paid vacation per year. Time provided to be away for trainings and conferences. .
Biodynamic Farm Apprenticeship Work schedule:
Winter - 9am-5pm, with one day off per week. Summer - 50 - 60 hours / week, with one day off per week. Hours are variable, due to schedule revolving around weather and harvest windows.
Stephen Briggs, Karen Davis-Brown
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