The New Farmers Full-Year Program is designed for aspiring new farmers. Apprentices study, work, and live at Moon In The Pond Farm and participate in all of the broad series of tasks and functions required to support, maintain and operate a diverse, actively productive, small, sustainable farm.
While apprentices are participating in the work and life of the farm, they are guided in studies in a wide variety of farm related disciplines. The program’s informal ‘kitchen-table’ and in situ classes, workshops and studies use a spontaneous, natural curriculum that flows from and follows the seasonal work of the farm. This total immersion, intensive full year program also teaches students the nature of responsibility – the ability to respond with honesty, thoughtfulness, respect and maturity — to our environment in all its aspects: from weather and seasons, animals and plants, to personal relationships with family and community, both locally and globally. The New Farmers Program equips new farmers with working knowledge and familiarity, skills and awareness of sustainable farm life so that they can lead full and successful lives as well rounded, capable rural citizens. Our Apprentices are a vital force on the farm. We look for passionate, intelligent people who can learn quickly and work hard.
Young farmers also participate in, and learn to conduct aspects of other Moon In The Pond Farm School programs (e.g.: workshops, classes, tours and farm-to-farm exchange). On completion of the New Farmers Program participants may have the opportunity to participate in “Farm Ambassadors”, Moon In The Pond’s foreign exchange program at Tenuta di Paganico, in Tuscany, Italy.
Apprentices can expect to muck, mulch, milk, mow, herd, hay, harvest, hoe, water, weed, weed, seed, feed, fence, fix, forage, clean, weed, plant, transplant, tidy, weed, clean, scrub, pick, stake, rake, wash, weed, build, record, sweep, swear, study, organize, observe, report, clean, cry, compost, cook, swear, laugh, laugh and laugh. There are always special projects underway and all projects are special. Work is life and includes at least 55+ hours/week, with hours and days varying necessarily. We work hard at a steady pace, outdoors, in the sun/rain, cold/heat, beautiful Berkshire weather.
Participants stay in their own rooms in the 1810 farm house. Apprentices, Interns and WWOOFers prepare, cook, and eat meals together, with Farmer Dom, in the farmhouse kitchen. As part of the homestead household and in keeping with the full experience of farm life, apprentices share in the upkeep, housework, daily home maintenance. They have free access to and use of domestic facilities (bathroom, shower, clothes washer, etc.). Full board is provided. Meals are all organic and from the farm (veggies, meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, honey, fruit, etc.) whenever possible.
An Apprentice stipend of $600/month is paid in addition to room, board and instruction. It is necessary that applicants assess their financial status and determine if they are able to support themselves for the duration of their commitment.
Minimum of one full season of farm experience (3 month growing season) is required to apply. Varied work experience is valuable. Applicants must be willing to work long hard days and meet a broad range of physical, mental and emotional challenges inherent in farm life. Driver’s license required.
A work-trial visit of 7 days is required as early in the application process as possible. Please make necessary arrangements and provide dates with your application.
Driver’s license required
Sequence and Timeline
Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the farm (by arrangement) any time before beginning the application process.
While the following is the typical timeline, this Dec./Jan. WE ARE TAKING APPLICATIONS for ‘late start’ applicants until 1/15/17.
- July 1: Applications are accepted beginning in July and until 3 positions are filled.
- July through November:
- phone and personal interviews.
- one week (7 day) work–trial-visits are scheduled (required)
- October 15 – November 15: Apprentices are accepted.
- November 15 – Dec.15: Apprentices begin full year. (Please note: In keeping with the full experience of real farm life, holidays are spent on the farm.)
Submit the following by email with subject line “Full Year Apprenticeship”, no earlier than July 1st.
- Letter of intent—Give me your story and why you think this would be a good situation for you. Be specific.
- Resume—be sure to include: a) all basic personal information (Include date of birth, address, phone and cell phone) b) education c) work history—include dates (month and year), position, and responsibilities held, supervisors’ names, email, and phone numbers.
- References–2 work, 2 personal. For each include relationship, current phone number and email.
- Proposed dates for a) phone/personal interview b) work-trial-visit c) apprenticeship start date.
- Recent photo.