DEAR NEW FARM:
I just found your site. I run a small farm in northwest Massachusetts
and am looking to plan for the 2004 season. For me this depends
entirely on finding four totally reliable and mature helpers
willing to work hard in exchange for a place to live, a share
of the harvest, and a small monthly stipend that won't make
anyone rich. Perks include living in an area that is rich
in natural beauty and culture (while close to necessary amenities)
and opportunities for rest and relaxation during downtime.
There are a number of places where you can list your farm
and your specific needs:
North East Workers on Organic Farms (NEWOOF) (www.smallfarm.org/newoof/newoof.html)
is a regional farm apprenticeship placement service sponsored
by the New England Small Farm Institute (www.smallfarm.org).
Apprentices generally sign on for the entire season and typically
come with a deep interest in becoming farmers themselves.
There is an $18 fee to list your farm.
Or, for a suggested $5 donation, you can list your farm at
World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms-USA (http://wwoofusa.org),
part of a global network linking volunteers with organic farmers
in order to promote educational exchange and to build a community
conscious of ecological farming practices.
Last but not least, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural
Areas (ATTRA) National Sustainable Agriculture Information
Services offers a free regional listing at http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/intern.html
in order to help farmers and apprentices connect with each
other. The site boasts more than 1 million visitors a month.
Editor’s note: New Farm had a
couple of interesting email exchanges with Lucia, who shared
with us her vision for a frequent coming together of farmer
and apprentices to communicate their perceptions and experiences
in order to evaluate the lessons, challenges, and inspiration
that each week of farm work brings. If this is the kind of
apprenticeship you’re looking for, Lucia says you can
contact her directly
via email to learn more about the Lightwing Farm internships.