MoCo Organic Farmers’ Collective Apprenticeship
Primary Contact: Bridgette Downer
Primary Phone: 703-231-0411
Internship Starts: Spring 2023
Internship Ends: Fall 2023
Number of Positions Available: 2
Application Deadline: open till filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months
Stipend: $12.00 per hour after 10 hours/week
General Farm Description:
Chicken of the Woods Permaculture Farm consists of 5 acres of reclaimed farmland from a 1850’s homestead bordered by Seneca Creek State Park. We grow indigenous varieties of vegetables focusing on nutrient dense staples. We pasture goats, chickens and ducks and occasionally have extra eggs outside of our neighborhood CSA membership. We have grown high CBD hemp for artisanal tea and salve products.
We follow permaculture ethics and principles and do not use synthetic chemicals on any of our
soil, plants or in our products. Throughout the year, we host volunteers and a bi-weekly homeschool cooperative for families with children ages 5-18. All other farms where paid work hours are available are located within Montgomery County and practice organic growing techniques, large and small scale.
MoCo Organic Farmers’ Collective is now accepting applications for two full-time seasonal farm apprentices for the 2023 growing season. This apprenticeship consists of four elements:
1. Paid work on five organic Montgomery County, MD produce farms.
2. Administrative agricultural enrichment with Montgomery County governmental and non-profits.
3. Paid work for group harvests or plantings on additional organic Montgomery County, MD produce farms with a complimentary tour by owner or staff.
4. Work exchange for lodging at Chicken of the Woods Permaculture
The selected individuals will work at Chicken of the Woods Permaculture Farm for 12 hours/week in exchange for private tent lodging and use of outdoor kitchen, bathroom/shower facilities and forested fire ring area. They will have a minimum of 28 regular paid work hours at 4 local organic farms and can choose to work additional hours if they wish. In addition, we will offer opportunities throughout the season to participate in prearranged administrative agricultural enrichment programs at local governmental and nonprofits. We will also offer the
option for additional paid work hours at other farms during group harvest or project days with complimentary tours.
All farm duties consist of assisting with the production of vegetables, chicken/goat care, fence repair, landscaping upkeep and a wide variety of other jobs as needed. These positions are ideally suited to college students or recent college graduates (not required) with a passion for food and farming and are looking to gain hands-on experience with small-scale, ecological farming practices in addition to permaculture practices.
Permaculture design, goat husbandry, poultry care, bio-intensive gardening, cover cropping, farm market sales, CSA sales and behind the scenes shadow experiences with local governmental and non profits agriculturally based initiatives such as grant funding and Farm to Food Bank programming. With exposure to such a large number of farms and agricultural agencies, we hope this apprenticeship will provide a comprehensive in-depth experience of and training of potential future careers in sustainable agriculture.
● Demonstrated interest and passion for food and farming. Experience working on a farm/university farm/market garden/etc. is a plus, but not required.
● Ability to meet physical requirements of working outside, in varied weather conditions (including extreme heat and cold, rain/snow/humidity) in a working farm setting.
● Ability to do repetitive tasks for long periods of time (e.g., weeding, mulching, etc)
● Ability to work quickly, efficiently and thoroughly in every assigned task.
● Ability to work independently and also as part of a team.
● Excellent time-management, communication and organizational skills.
● Dependable, collaborative and supportive team player.
● Ability and willingness to operate machinery.
● Must have physical stamina to participate in rigorous outdoor activities.
● Ability to exhibit safe and responsible conduct in outdoor environments.
● Ability to lift at least 30 pounds.
● Interest in non-profit and agricultural governmental agencies is a plus.