Agro-ecology Internships at Mustard Seed

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 on local food justice? Do you want to get serious about lowering your carbon footprint? How about gaining experience in community-based, consensus decision-making? Mustard Seed Community Farm would be an excellent place for you, and we have great opportunities for interns this 2016 season.

Interns at our 11-acre Catholic Worker 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 for eggs. Land stewardship activities include prairie restoration, cover cropping, and permaculture-inspired practices. We promote community interaction by sponsoring regular public potluck discussions and a variety of classes and workshops, as well as participating in other community events and groups. Interns play a vital role in the daily life of the farm, including preparing and sharing meals, and also help the farm team with consensus decision-making. Other activities could include carpentry, seed saving, candle making, food preservation, spiritual reflection, and music.

Agro-ecology interns will also have the opportunity to get involved in unique projects. Want science experience? Help us manage our on-farm research. This year we will again take part 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.

In this 2016 season, we plan to especially focus on 3 aspects of our relationship to climate change, strategies of which we will be actively practiced on the farm. First, how personally and community-wise we can help lessen our contribution to climate change. Secondly, what adaptations to the changing climate can we make for resiliency in our immediate environment. Thirdly, psychologically and spiritually how we can we deal with the repercussions of the unprecedented changes in our ecology.

We are open to persons of all backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. We expect 30 hours of work per week from interns living on the farm. Simple room and board are provided. Plenty of learning, working, and fun are close at hand at our rustic rural Iowa location, near Ames, in Boone County.

To apply, send a cover letter with personal goals for an internship with us, resume and 2 references to Questions can be directed to Nate at this email address or call 515-231-2002.