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apprentice at great song farm, hudson valley

Posted: December 15 2012
Great Song Farm -- located in New York's Hudson Valley, across the river from Kingston and the Catskills --  is looking for an apprentice this coming season, April through November. great song Great Song Farm is a community centered farm, providing fresh vegetables for 90 member families through the summer and 25 families through the winter months through an on farm CSA. We cultivate 5 acres, around half planted to vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and manage 25 acres of pasture, 50 in forest, 10 wetland, and an adjacent property of 40 open acres for hay and 50 in woods. Along with our two draft horses who help us with all of our fieldwork, we have 2 heifers we will begin to milk this spring and create yogurt and butter as well as a young bull.  There is also a small flock of 25 chickens for eggs.Our workweek is Monday through Friday and Saturday Morning. Hours will vary throughout the season; we will usually work 10 - 12 hour days with an hour for breakfast and an hour for lunch included, 6 hours on Saturday.
We will provide full room and board as well as a needs based stipend. The room will be either a 12 x 16 open, rustic cabin bedroom on the farm, a similar sized cabin bedroom on an adjacent CSA member's land, or a wall tent on the farm. There is a shared bathroom and kitchen facility which also serves as the farm's office. All food is shared and available. We have many vegetables and grains, butter, yogurt, eggs and are happy to provide you with your food needs otherwise. I currently eat a mostly vegetarian diet but there is meat around and I welcome it in the kitchen. The stipend will be needs based, to be worked out between us given your current financial needs and future direction and the needs and goals of the farm. I have budgeted between $500 and $800 monthly for this stipend. Workers compensation is also included.
The farm will be fully transparent and you will be as involved as you are ready and willing to be with everything from field planning to finances.
I have applied to be a mentor farm in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP) and am currently in the process. Participating in this program is entirely voluntary. I will be using it as a structure to help facilitate my personal apprenticeship program, but the formalities are not obligatory. See here for more information: https://www.biodynamics.com/nabdap
We will also be participating in the local CRAFT (collaborative regional apprentice farmer training) program which is a group of farms in the area, most of which also have apprentices, who host the apprentices for a tour of their farm and a presentation on a particular aspect.
Central to my work at Great Song Farm is biodynamics and anthroposophy. It is a departure from most of the rest of the worlds view, and certainly took me years coming back to it before it began to make sense. It is much more than the use of certain substances (and forces) but rather a way of coming to meet the world with refreshed and reinvigorated senses, with wonder and flexible and holistic thinking and a lot of questions about how and why things happen and how we could work with them in better relationship. To some it may seem dogmatic, especially at first, but it is really quite the opposite, more of an opening and questioning. It is about the primacy of personal experience, personal choice, and the elimination of perceived limitations of human capacities, senses, knowledge and science though deep exploration. The life of the farm moves into the social and community realms, education, medicine, nutrition, and health, art, economics, rights, and others, all of which will also be considered in relation to the farm.
What I am looking to offer an apprentice is embedded in this work. I am a beginner here, but a seriously striving, persevering beginner. I have been greatly enriched through finding my own latent, hidden faculties as a human being and am looking for someone who shares this interest of personal inner development, of cultivating observational skills, ways of seeing, refining perception, working with flexible and moral thinking, and artistic and social skills. We will be working full time on a farm, a wonderful backdrop for this work, and will also be learning and strengthening many practical farming skills along with this work on basic capacities. This work will be personally tailored to each individual, and is mostly yet to be determined.
We will be learning how to learn, how to know, and how to collaborate, together.
Please contact Anthony: [email protected] for a short questionnaire.
Great Song Farm
475 Milan Hill Rd
Red Hook, NY 12571
hudson, new york