Retire to Farm? Reality Check Internship
Are you, your spouse, or maybe both imagining your “encore” career as operating a small farm? Before you sink your retirement savings into buying ten acres in some remote valley of Virginia, spend a few weeks on Viola’s Kitchen Garden near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Test your physical endurance, receive information on costs and profit margins, and learn the basics.
Viola’s Kitchen Garden is a very tiny operation on a family farm. The farmer is herself retired to farming after many years behind a desk. You will work with her on the chicken unit, which will include ordering feed, daily flock management, hauling to the processer, marketing, and, yes, butchering a few to eat yourself. Work in the vegetable garden includes the usual planting, weeding, and pest control, plus locating markets and pricing. In addition, you will have the opportunity to spend days on other farms to broaden your learning experience.
A minimum stay of one week is offered, but three weeks is recommended. You will stay in the 150 year old farm house and be provided with simple meals in exchange for a minimum 6 hour work day. Breaks and naps are recommended, as well as tai chi sessions to keep the energy flowing.
You must provide proof of health insurance and a deposit of $200 to secure your place. This will be refunded at the end of your stay provided you complete the time you commit to.
The farm is located seven miles from a state park and one mile from a bike trail. There are numerous rivers and forest trails to explore in your free time.