Farm Internship

Location: 
Richmond, VA
Publication Date: 
Thursday, October 11, 2012 (All day)
Company Name: 
Sacred Foods Farm
Contact Information: 
Elinor Sparks
Email: 
elinorsparks@gmail.com

Sacred Foods Farm is a 31 acre homestead an hour and a half from Richmond, Virginia and two hours from Charlottesville.  Just south of Farmville, we are in the midst of rolling hills, open fields, woods, and streams.  We started our farming adventure in August 2012.  Our intention is to create a bio- dynamic farm that feeds our family and serves to educate our community in the food wisdom of our ancestors.  After that, we will explore farming as our primary source of income.  We are currently seeking interns interested in helping us set up our homestead.  In exchange for work, interns receive room, board, and education about the food wisdom of our ancestors - which is priceless.

 We follow the food wisdom of our ancestors and appreciate the nutritional research done by Dr. Weston A. Price.  We regularly make and eat homemade raw milk yogurt, kefir, cheeses, fermented veggies, sauerkraut, broth and stocks, organ meats, grass fed meats, and pastured eggs.  All of these foods help build healthy babies.  We learned our food wisdom the hard way and are eager to share our experience, strength, and hope so that others can avoid the grief we suffered because we didn't have that wisdom.

 We’ve got chickens and ducks for meat and eggs.  We will be getting a dairy cow soon.  Our dairy cow will graze around the yard.  We will be getting a few dairy goats as well.  We are giving our pastures a much needed rest for a

year.  In August 2013, we will add a small herd of dual-purpose cattle.   The

cattle will help build the topsoil, invigorate the pastures, and feed our family.  What a fabulous partnership!

 

We’ve started to establish our garden and orchard.  We mimic nature by layering leaves, wood chips, moldy hay, and manure on our garden beds – no digging!  We will be building permaculture swales to capture and retain rain water for the orchard, thereby lowering irrigation needs.  We will be planting fruit trees, nut trees, raspberries, blue berries, strawberries, and other components for an edible forest.

 We will be making our old farmhouse more energy efficient by adding solar hot water and solar thermal.  We also plan to build a pergola on the south side of the house to provide shade for the house and structure for vines.  We are putting an herb garden in front of the pergola.  At some point in the near future, we will be building a second house designed from the start to be energy efficient and green.

 Working 20 - 25 hours per week, interns can help with daily chores and a variety of special projects listed above.  While we can’t offer pay for this work, we can provide room and board.  We will expect you to chip in with cooking and cleaning up after meals.  You will learn a tremendous amount about sacred foods.  This is wisdom we have acquired through self study.  We enjoy sharing it.

 If you plan to stick around for more than a couple of months and want to earn some money, we would entertain the idea of having you start a money-making venture on our farm during the remaining hours in your week.  It must fit with our land use and animal care philosophies.  After the project pays for its start up and on-going costs, we can share the profits in a way that feels fair to both of us.  It may be that you get to keep the financial profits while you are here, and we keep the animals or improvements and future profits when you leave.  Give us time to get to know each other, and then bring us a business plan.

 Interns live in a cozy renovated cabin on the property.  It is cute and comfortable.  The bathroom is in the main house, nearby.  We also have a guest room available in the main house.  We would like to build an outhouse and shower for the privacy and convenience of the cabin.  We can house up to 4 interns at a time, if folks are willing to share a bedroom.

 We have two teenage children.  We home-school our younger child.  Our older child has returned to public high school.  Hubby works in a workshop on our property.  He is a cabinet maker specializing in modern design and green building materials.  Wife works part-time off farm.  She is known for her expertise in sustainable health-building foods.  Our aunt is also a member of our team.  She lives off the farm but participates in decision making and vision setting.  You will get to work with both hubby and wife on the farm.

There will also be times during the week when you will work alone on projects.

Although, in all likelihood, our home-schooled son will visit you and lend a hand.  He really enjoys our interns.

 Please send an email elinorsparks@gmail.com introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about how you see yourself fitting into our farm.