Agricultural Internship: Talus Wood Farm

posted May 19, 2014, 9:05 AM by Jv Hampton-VanSant

Internship Program 2014

We are offering 4 week and 8 week internship sessions for 2014 summer season. There are also options to start before the summer holidays. We welcome interns from both the US and Abroad. We have special skills in teaching English as a second language.

We are looking for motivated and interested interns to work alongside us this summer. Please have a willingness to do hard physical labour with a cheerful attitude and gain some skills that you'd never thought to attain. Come and enjoy our peaceful surroundings and wild areas and have some fun.

Our projects this summer include:

·         Building: out buildings, conservatory/glass house space, small poly tunnel & large tunnel, root cellar & sugar house.

In our building work we aim to use as much of the natural materials from the farm. Wood will be sourced from our woods and milled on our own saw mill. Other materials will be sourced from local recycling centers. We strive to make both functional and aesthetically pleasing structures that fit within the landscape and also are in keeping with our ethos of hand-crafting.

·         Growing: Organic vegetables, fruits, herbs both culinary and medicinal. Wildcrafting woodland herbs and mushroom cultivation.

Our field space is small so we strive to fit a lot into a small amount of space, using the principles of Permaculture, Biodynamics and Organic practices. We are also beginning to integrate more Agroforesty practices into our farm, using the woodland areas for growing and cultivating crops. We have a small mixed flock of chickens and guinea fowl.

·         Crafting: Herbal Skin Care Products, Baskets, Wood Crafts & Landscaping structures,

We make handmade and locally grown herbal skin care products. This includes the growing of the herbs, picking, drying and making the herbal products. We also make crafts like handmade baskets, bird houses, spoons, etc. We are also in the process of creating outdoor structures, like stonewalls, arbours, fences & trellises out of the materials that surround us. We will continue to develop new areas of cultivation, as well as maintaining forest paths and logging trails, hedgerows and garden beds.

What can you hope learn from your experience with us:

·         The fundamentals of Organic growing: composting, mulching, soil development, companion planting, natural pest control, etc.

·         Skills in keeping poultry, including the use of herbs and homeopathy for healthcare.

·         Wood craft & basketry, with a focus on hand tools and handwork

·         Gain more confidence in hand tools such as axes, hatches, pitch forks, scythes, wheel hoes, pruning saws, etc.

·         Learning to use complex machinery (depending on skill and experience): tractor, saw mill, chain saw, log splitter, etc

·         Systems Design and Thinking

·         Agroforestry – sustainable forest use

·         Experience off-grid, low input/impact living

About us:

From the slopes of Sugar Loaf on the edge of Mt Greylock, we are slowly creating a farm. Our focus is on small scale production of herbs, fruit and vegetables, while incorporating the bounty of the woodland through using Agroforestry techniques to sustainably harvest and wild-craft other food and medicinal crops.

The farm is 73 Acres, of which three will be cultivated intensively, along with extensive wild-crafting of herbs and fruit in the remaining woodland. The house and out buildings are completely off-grid, we use solar energy for electricity.

Mari and Nathan have been living here since 2007, after building a little "fairy cottage" which we all refer to as Moon Cottage. They bought the land in 2001 and have since been devoted to creating a haven for all kinds of native plants, insect and animal species.

Dylan and WindRose have recently moved over from the UK. Where they were farming on the coast of Cornwall. Since arriving they have been a moving force to get more crops of vegetables, fruit, herbs and some livestock on the land. So all told we are a group of people, cats, dog, chickens, guineas and some bees thriving amongst the green and lush trees.

Our first crop we harvested was a gorgeous bounty of ramps... wild garlic. A delicacy round these parts. In 2013 we were happy to be supplying Guido's Market and Wild Oats.

This year our harvests to date have been Maple Water, Maple syrup and soon ramps. We have mushroom logs all ready to go and more field areas in preparation for mixed vegetables. Last year we doubled the number of fruit trees and we are waiting a new order to arrive any day now.

To apply please submit your resume, cover letter and portfolio to elctronically and mail hard copy to Global Academic Link/Multicultural BRIDGE 17 Main St. Suite 2 Lee, MA 01230. 413-394-4029.  Pauline Dongala, Coordinator. Gwendolyn VanSant, Executive Director.