Interns and apprentices at S&S Homestead Farm are undergraduate and graduate students in agronomy, ecological agriculture, nutritional science, pharmacognosy, landscape architecture and related fields who want to learn about sustainable food production through biodynamic farming methods, and carry out guided, individualized research. Interns also make important contributions to the development of farm infrastructure, such as a strawbale house.
Individualized programs, which will be developed by a guidance team consisting of the student, representatives of the student’s academic department (if applicable), and Henning Sehmsdorf (Adjunct Professor, WSU and Huxley College, and farmer) will be implemented in two, complementary ways:
• Guided farm work emphasizing the philosophy and practices of biodynamic agriculture, including integration of animals, flowers and vegetables; composting; soil preparation; seeding and transplanting; weed and pest control; irrigation; harvesting; processing and marketing.
• Independent readings, as well as on-farm research or applied projects as appropriate. Interns are expected to keep reflective journals, write reports on their readings and discuss their work at weekly farm seminars. A final, comprehensive project or demonstration will be evaluated by the guidance team.
The choice of on-farm research or applied project is up to the intern. A list of suggested projects that are practicable on this farm during the internship will be sent upon request. Interns select one or more of these projects depending on the length of their stay on the farm.
Desired Qualifications and Education
Curriculum-based internships are offered to student interns who currently are in an undergraduate program in a relevant field, have completed an undergraduate degree, are in a graduate program, or have comparable experience. Interns interested in academic credit (for instance, for independent study) should arrange for this through their departmental faculty contacts at their home institutions.
Production-based internships are offered to applicants who have substantial previous experience in growing row crops, CSA management, and whole farm management. Other desired skills are machine skills and maintenance, animal husbandry, bookkeeping, marketing, teaching experience, skill in developing comprehensive farm plans, excellent communication skills, and a college degree in relevant field. Interest in writing publishable articles concerning education and farm production is a plus.
S&S Homestead Farm is a North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NAPDAP) Mentor Farm, and offers two-year training programs in biodynamics leading to a Certificate in Biodynamics (for details, please see www.biodynamics.com/nabdap-s-s-homestead).
On-farm housing, shower, laundry, and access to a fully equipped kitchen as well as food from the farm are available at cost. Interns are required to provide their own health insurance coverage. For interns to get the maximum benefit, the farm owners would like to host them for the entire planting/growing/harvesting season if students’ schedules permit (April through October). The minimum stay is early May through mid-August.