We offer internships at the farm. A person can spend a day, a week, a month or the entire season at the farm. An intern can arrive as early as March and stay as late as November.
For those that stay for long periods we have travel trailers with kitchen, bath and bedrooms and we stock the cupboards and refrigerator with food. We eat some meals together. Sometimes we cook the meals and sometimes the interns cook the meals. The food mostly comes from our farm or an organic farm that is local. If we fill our trailers you are welcome to pitch a tent on the farm. For the earlier arrivals we have a heated building with bathroom facilities where you can sleep.
We spend time teaching our interns about farming and our farming methods.
We allow our interns to set their own time schedule for working the only exception would be on harvest day which generally occurs once a week. Since we do not have jobs off the farm we can spend time working with our interns, although there are still times when Dale is baling hay or I am making delivers that we cannot work side by side or near our interns.
We totally love our interns even when they come with no experience to the farm. Although having prior experience is a plus we find that often we can learn from each other. We encourage the interns to ask questions and learn as much as they can. We do have a great deal of experience as Dale has farmed his whole life and I have farmed most of my life. Often times we do many things simply because they work, sometimes because we are experimenting, or other times because that is the way things have always been done. We welcome suggestions from interns because they come with a new perspective and may see things we may have been to busy to notice.
For those interns that do not have transportation we will lend them bicycles so they have some mobility and can ride into the town of North Branch and take advantage of the high speed internet at the library. We also have a bus that can come to the farm and take an intern the City of Lapeer and other recreation sites. If an intern enjoys nature we have wooded trails for hiking on the farm, fish ponds and binoculars available for bird watching.
For those with transportation there are other bicycling and hiking trails nearby and a river for canoeing. The Sierra Club and the Flint River Watershed Coalition are great groups and welcome our interns to join them in these activities. The small towns in the area have festivities on different weekends, often with parades, rock bands and fire works.
The tasks an intern does depends on the needs we have at the time they are here. They may be planting transplants or seeds, changing irrigation filters, installing and repairing irrigation tubing, fertilizing, mulching, harvesting, picking potato bugs, covering plants with floating row covers, building an add on greenhouse, repairing an old building, packing farm orders, sending emails to our CSA members, weeding, putting cardboard between the planted beds, installing panels for the tomatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers to trellis on, training plants to trellis on the panels, making soil blocks, planting seed into the blocks, caring for plants in the germination chamber, moving chicken tractors, mowing lawn for the mulch and cultivating. This continues of the possible things an intern may be doing.
As Certified Organic Farmers we also use a variety of farming methods, sometimes they can be described by the new catch phrases bio-dynamic and permaculture. These systems utilize principles that have been around for a long time prior to the words describing them. Many of these principles are part of our farming methods simply because they are good principles.
We can house up to four interns simultaneously who stay on the farm. If an intern lives near by and wants to come to the farm for a day—we welcome them also.