Forest Farming and Permaculture Design Apprenticeship

forest farming and permaculture design

Forest Farming and Permaculture Design Apprenticeship

This forest farming and permaculture design apprenticeship is ideal for those interested in permaculture, forest farming, small farm design, mushroom cultivation, pastured animal and perennial agriculture.

Cayuta Sun Farm is seeking individuals for a part-time program (20 hours per week) of farm work, design, and study from May through September. Weekly instruction is through a permaculture design practicum based on continuing assessment and analysis of the farm’s systems. Apprentices are provided with all their food and live at the farm. Short-term learning experiences may also be available.

Located between Ithaca and Watkins Glen, NY, Cayuta Sun Farm is a small woodland farm and permaculture education site. Currently, log-grown shiitake mushrooms, grass-pastured poultry and forest-pastured pork are grown for market. The farm occasionally hosts visitors, tours, and permaculture-related educational events, including those organized by the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute.

We can work with administrators and professors to document and supervise your work to earn credit from your institution. Students have earned credit while studying with us through Ithaca College, Cornell University, Paul Smith College, and Empire State College. Co-owners Michael Burns and Kelly Dietz are both professional educators with decades of experience teaching in high schools, universities and in community education.

Each participant in the forest farming and permaculture design apprenticeship will be chosen to fit any one of the following roles: 1) shiitake mushroom production 2) farm marketing or 3) livestock management. Additional taks will include daily farm chores and the ongoing permaculture assessment of Cayuta Sun Farm .

Shiitake: Our shiitake mushroom apprentice will learn the entire process of producing high quality, log-grown mushrooms. You will learn how to inoculate logs, manage forced fruiting, grade mushroom quality, harvest and package for market, and to schedule the production of over 1000 logs across a growing season.

Marketing: If you can write well, take great photographs, and communicate effectively in public you may be selected to learn about developing and delivering content for small farm promotions and to represent our farm and its brand at farmers markets.

Livestock: If you are comfortable, observant and sensitive around animals, you may want to learn about the management patterns and process of raising animals on pasture and under the canopy of trees to produce superior poultry and pork.

No experience is required for a forest farming and permaculture design apprenticeship, just a willingness to learn and work collaboratively with the farmers and your fellow apprentices.

Each week apprentices will also study outside their specialty to learn how to assess the site’s landscape and systems. These observations will be used to revise the permaculture design for Cayuta Sun Farm. No permaculture training is necessary but those with a Permaculture Design Certificate or similar training or experience are preferred.

Throughout the summer your assistance will occasionally be appreciated to prepare or assist visitors or students during educational programs and tours.

Please visit our website for a more complete description of the forest farming and permaculture design apprenticeship offering.

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