internships

Here's a picture of 4 awesome interns from 2014, and 3 awesome farm-team members:

Do you ever wonder what life is like on an organic vegetable farm? Do you have a desire to learn about growing and distributing healthy vegetables and fruits? Do you yearn to make an impact in local food justice? Do you want to get serious about lowering your carbon footprint? Do you dream about being a farmer but lack some of the practical skills? Mustard Seed Community farm would be a great place for you and we have great opportunities for interns this 2017 season.

Interns at our 11-acre farm will learn about and participate in all farm activities. Ethical food production and distribution, ecological land use, and community building comprise our primary identity and mission. Using organic and sustainable methods, we grow a diverse variety of vegetables and fruits for distribution to local food donation venues, volunteer workers, and paying members in roughly equal proportions. The farm also practices beekeeping for honey production and tends a small flock of chickens and ducks for eggs. Land stewardship activities include prairie restoration, cover cropping, and permaculture-inspired practices.

We promote community interaction directly through weekly public potlucks and discussions, among other activities. Interns play a vital part of daily life on the farm, including preparing and sharing meals, and also help the farm team with consensus decision making. Other activities could include carpentry, seed saving, publishing, scientific research, teaching, candle making, food preservation, spiritual reflection and music, or projects of your own design. We expect 30 hours of work per week from interns living on the farm. Basic room and board are provided. Other flexible internships and schedules are available for people not requiring housing.

Education is an important part of our mission and we want to design a partnership that aligns your goals and passions as a learner with the strengths and needs of the farm. We have many possibilities for volunteering or internships, with flexibilities for different schedules, interests, focuses, and skills. There is a lot to learn on our farm and we have found that an internship of more than 8 weeks is best. If you want to learn about growing food it is good to work with the plants regularly for a whole season, from planting to harvest.

Our ideal (living on the farm) internship would be from May 1 - October 1, coinciding with our frost dates. While there's a lot going on in March and April, and October, it is too cold to live on the farm in our intern housing at those times. We also have a few spots available for college students from mid-may to mid august.

Farm interns also have the opportunity to get involved in unique projects. Want science experience? Help us manage our on-farm research. We usually participate in replicated, controlled experiments in collaboration with the Practical Farmers of Iowa. Make observations, collect, and analyze data. Want teaching experience? Teach kids at the summer food and learning program in town, or teach kids and adults in summer classes at the farm. Want design, art, or writing experience? Focus on our newspaper, CSA newsletters, or web presence. Or, focus on another aspect of the farm, like prairie or fruit production.
We are open to persons of all backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. Plenty of learning, working, and fun are close at hand at our rustic rural Iowa location, near Ames, in Boone County.

For more information email: mustardseedbee@gmail.com