Description of organization: Apricot Lane Farms, established in 2011, is a thriving biodynamic farming project. We grow an abundance of avocados, citrus and vegetables, and raise soy-free, pastured chickens and grass-fed lamb. We also raise cows, horses, goats, pigs, ducks, and guinea fowl on a biologically diverse, 160-acre plot of land about one hour outside of Los Angeles.
Mission of organization: To create a self-sustaining environment with nutrient-rich soils that produce great tasting foods through biodynamic farming practices.
Description of internship opportunity: We currently host up to 8 volunteers/interns depending on the season and the needs of the farm. You will work long hours: 7am to 5pm, 6 days/week - in exchange for exposure to a very knowledgeable and dynamic staff, professionally prepared, highly nutritious meals and very comfortable, communal living arrangements. Our volunteers may take on just about any task that could be considered “farm work,” which is often strenuous, tedious, and repetitive – weeding, fence building, chicken coop construction, landscaping, animal care, and building compost piles to name of few of the many activities. For a complete overview of potential involvement, see below.
- Machine-powered farm equipment use, maintenance and repair
- Basic construction and materials use
- Traditional foods preparation
Skills desired: Prior farming experience or relevant skills are preferred but not required. Rather, maturity, situational- and self-awareness, and a desire for an intense, educational farming experience are paramount. Must be receptive to constructive feedback and be able to communicate well with others in a close living situation.
Skills to be developed: You cannot learn how to farm in three months, but you will learn the basics of organic and biodynamic farming practices. Many of our volunteers request to extend their stay to six months or a year to continue their apprenticeship. This is a hands-on, immersion style internship program in which you will gain knowledge about the interconnectedness of people, plants, animals, the environment and food, in addition to a diverse range of applicable skills.
Compensation (academic credit or monetary): In addition to room and board, you will receive a weekly $30 stipend for personal effects. You will also be able fulfill internship units and/or receive academic credit, however this is your responsibility!
Requirements: We require a 3-month minimum commitment, with the potential for a longer stay if the arrangement proves beneficial for both the farm and intern. Student must be 18 years or older. Physical fitness and the ability to lift over 50 lbs are a must.
- Short biography addressing why you are interested in interning at a biodynamic farm
- Class year, major and relevant educational experiences
- Dietary restrictions
- Dates of availability
- A picture
Learning outcomes: Students will learn a variety of farming techniques applicable in almost any organic “farm” setting - backyard beekeeping to urban gardening, permaculture and sustainablehomesteading, and of course, organic and biodynamic farming. Students are often granted freedom to develop a special project during their internship. Past special projects have included video documentation, design and construction of mobile chicken coops, using ducks to control terrestrial snail populations, developing sheep breeding protocol, creation of a vet room, and advancing compost tea and vermiculture operations, amongst others.
Organizational Outcomes: Apricot Lane will benefit through help with animal husbandry, plant cultivation and harvest, support on daily farm tasks, and visionary development of sustainable farming practices via special projects. Student will ideally become a participant in a traditional, whole foods system and develop into an enthusiast and believer in the transformative and regenerative effects of biodynamic farming, representing a potential consumer and advocate for local, sustainable food systems.
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