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Seeking: Homestead / Eco-farm Intern(s) or Couple
Type: Stipend plus work-trade in exchange for housing, food, learning, more (see below)
Farm: Plainfield Heritage Farm

Location: near Belleville, Ontario
Housing: private on-farm accom. (see below)

Dates: 3 to 6-month stay

Want to experience living in nature on a vibrant, diverse, organic, regenerative 64 acre farm & homestead?

Want to learn self-sufficiency skills like growing organic food, food preservation, fermentation, sourdough, cheese making?

Love animals? Learn to work with oxen & livestock while learning about organic farming and ways to mitigate climate change through practices like permaculture.

Be one of the many who have come through our year-round farm mentorship program learning strategies to live in harmony with nature through a wide variety of practices. We offer unique experiences as the only Canadian farm mentoring folks to work with oxen. Farm activies focus on regenerative farming and self-sufficiency tasks including permaculture, organic fruit & vegetable growing strategies, care of livestock, sustainable logging, holistic pasture management and organic farming. We will be birthing cattle, geese and you can hatch chickens too.

We offer a $500 stipend/ month.

Farm interns tell us they learn a lot; not only are the skills they learn here transferable to the larger world but, they discover they are far more capable than they imagine. You are encouraged to read the former farm intern reviews on our Facebook page.

Part-time duties are varied & interesting. Work with our oxen daily and use them in a variety of tasks. Care for oxen, cattle, geese and chickens. Very limited stall cleaning; prepare, plant, maintain the home organic permaculture food gardens, orchard, plant guilds, food forest build. Practice sustainable logging and firewood preparations. Help us rehabilitate hedgerows and historic fencing. Based on your learning goals, make sourdough breads, cheeses and fermented foods. Learn the many roles of willow, help us harvest and try your hand at basket weaving. We gear work towards your interests & learning objectives.

You’ll leave with experiential understanding of the interdependence of ecology & regenerative, organic food production with concrete strategies to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. You will have a clear understanding of why permaculture is an effective approach mimicing nature to foster food production on farms and on homesteads. You will have practiced self-sufficiency strategies and developed homesteading skills. You will be experienced with how to be around large animals, how to herd geese, partner respectfully with oxen: all within a cooperative, supportive, hands-on learning environment.

This minimum 3-6 month stay opportunity is appropriate to an individual or couple who is not maintaining an off-site job and is willing to be predominantly on-farm. We are diversity friendly! Must be able-bodied, trustworthy, value the natural environment and care about animals. The right candidate has good self-awareness, values non-violence, cooperative approaches, possesses excellent observational skills, and is a dependable, independent self-starter. Many of our interns come with zero experience of cattle, carpentry, farm machinery etc. What is required is a willingness to try, possibly fail yet, keep at it until skills are learned. Steel-toed boots, working gloves and maintaining farm safety protocols are a must.

Accommodation is a newly renovated private apartment or large room in farmhouse. Wifi available. Feel free to take online courses or connect with friends. Cell service works well here. $500/ month stipend plus housing valued at $1000/ month plus mentoring plus food; work hours in lieu of rent are 4.5 hours 6 days a week) or 6.75 hours per couple. We will treat you like family: we encourage eating dinners together. Food is excellent, organic where possible and predominately our produce. In your downtime, work on your special projects taking advantage of the infrastructure here, receive talks, films etc on organic farming & marketing & sustainable living, learn willow basket making, bread making, cooking/ preserving. Walk our farm enjoying the varied habitats & trails. Our place is close to hiking trails, Frontenac Park, Bay of Quinte. Local tourist attractions & wineries within an hour's drive. This is a great opportunity for people who are exploring being more self-suffiucient, organic food production, sustainable living, homesteading or are writers, meditators, painters, readers, naturalists, bird watchers, or interested in experiencing a little of intentional community.

Farming and taking care of ecological land is serious work. It is not suitable for people who smoke, who cannot do sustained physical labour, or who need to make a lot of noise as we are conscientious to our neighbours.

Interested in the food business? My spouse has been working for decades in the natural food industry, had developed private labels so can speak to new food product development and trends within the natural food industry.

Note that many of our interns stay connected, return to us and form part of our farm-based community here.

Our high-welfare heritage farm is 64 acres of varied habitat including meadow, coniferous & hardwood forest. It is truly a paradise. We are focused upon fostering the best in people and seek the same gentle care in return. Our major enterprises are heritage grass-fed beef, goose for table, oxen teams, registered heritage cattle.

Do check out our Facebook page under Plainfield Heritage Farm for more photos, comments about our program from previous interns, videos and to get a sense of who we are. Here is a video of my oldest oxen pair logging.

If you have questions, call us at 613-849-7552.

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jul 1 2023    ID: 67111