ShireFolk Farm Internship Description 2016
Welcome, and thanks for your interest. ShireFolk Farm is a very new farm in Palmyra, VA, between Charlottesville and Richmond. They are a diversified Permaculture farm, raising pastured meats and naturally-grown vegetables. They’re looking for 2-3 interns for the full season of at least early May – mid August this year, possibly longer. This is their first full-time year, and everyone will be learning A LOT!! They haven’t hosted interns before, but are looking forward to the challenge and camaraderie that these experiences can offer.
ShireFolk is owned and operated by Logan and Emilie Tweardy. They are both graduates of Colorado State University with degrees in Natural Resources Management. Before buying the farm, they spent a year travelling, WWOOFing, and interning on farms and ranches to get some experience before taking the plunge themselves. After working and interning for lots of other folks, they feel uniquely able to put together a great educational work-trade for the right people.
The Tweardys are looking for folks who are ready to work hard and play hard. Ideally, they’d like folks over 21 for insurance liability purposes. They like to bust ass in the day and throw horseshoes and drink beer in the evenings. They strive not to work after dinnertime, and they take care of their minds and bodies with meditation, community check-ins, and yoga. During the season, they’re in bed at ten and up with the sun. They have a very structured schedule, but within their specific work hours there’s a lot of freedom to choose your own tasks. They don’t have any intern housing built yet, but they’d like to include that experience as the beginning of the internship by having a yurt-building week to kick off the season. As an intern, you’d get to help build the yurt(s) and then live there. They’ll also be building an outdoor shower and composting toilet this year, so there will be a fair amount of building experience available to you in your time at ShireFolk.
The business includes pastured chicken and eggs, as well as a CSA and market garden. This year they’re expanding: Getting a few pigs to experiment with pastured pork, getting dairy goats (they’re already experienced with these) to help supplement their (and the interns’) nutritional needs, they are putting in a cut flower garden, and also a pick-your-own Fall Decor garden – to include pumpkins, gourds, squash, and decorative corn. They plan to get bees this year, set up rainwater catchment, and experiment with new livestock and crops. They are also avid food and beverage fermenters who have lots to share and learn. Intern work would include caring for and processing animals, all aspects of garden care, harvest, and maintenance, selling at Farmers Markets, and helping with CSA dropoffs, among many other things. They don’t need people with vast experience, but they do want folks with a positive attitude, a commitment to communication and a willingness to work.
They are currently unable to offer a monetary stipend to our interns. However, they would be exchanging free room and board for the work here, which would likely be full-time. They value the room and board, plus their time to educate interns, tool damage, etc. at >$125/wk. So the experience has at least a $500/month value monetarily, not to mention the intrinsic and educational component. They really want to incentivize this program, and are currently chewing on a few different ideas. One is to partner with some other neighbors (wineries in the area, etc.) to offer part time work to interns on a cash-pay basis. This is still up in the air, and would be irregular, not a steady offering, but might help offset the burden of a summer without a steady income stream. They’re also considering letting one of their newer operations – probably the cut flowers – be run by the interns for a profit-share. Lastly, Emilie teaches Permaculture Design, and ShireFolk is offering a 72-hr. Permaculture Design Certificate course on-site in August. She’s working with her teaching team at the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute on negotiating a way to offer this to their interns at a free or reduced cost. This is roughly a $1500 value, and this course would only be available to full-season interns.
If this sounds like a good fit to you, you’re a hard-working and responsible adult, and MOST IMPORTANTLY you’re a good communicator, ready to learn and share with them, please email the Tweardys with a cover letter, resume and references . The position is open until filled.
Please look up ShireFolk Farm on Facebook, and feel free to email them with any questions. ShireFolkFarm@gmail.com