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West Edmeston
All Year: May 2018-September 2018
Area (ha): 4.9
Persons: 1-20
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 37728
Region: Mid Atlantic

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Last Updated: April 10, 2018

*Now accepting internship applications for the 2018 season (May-September).*

We are building an off-the-grid homestead and education center following the principles of organic agriculture and permaculture design. We are situated on 12 acres of field and forest land in the rural hamlet of West Edmeston in the heart of Amish country in central New York.

Interns will gain hands-on experience in organic gardening, natural building, and food preservation. We are seeking interns interested in disconnecting from the mainstream, learning to support ourselves by growing our own organic produce, utilizing natural building methods to construct our barn and dwelling structures, making our own household products like soap and shampoo, reviving traditional agricultural and lifestyle practices, and living in community.

We grow a diversity of annual and perennial vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, and fruits to sustain us throughout the year, and we sell our surplus. Our orchard consists of over 40 varieties of cold-hardy fruit and nut trees and berries. We also forage for wild foods, and raise chickens for eggs. We follow a whole foods, plant-based diet and supplement our produce with organic American-grown grains, beans, and other staples.

We are using natural building methods, as well as local and salvaged materials when possible, to construct our farm’s infrastructure. Our completed projects include a mobile chicken tractor and a self-sufficient tiny home with rainwater harvesting and wood-burning stove. We are in the process of completing a traditional New England timber framed barn on a rammed tire “Earthship” foundation.

Interns will be required to work 6 hours/day, 5 days/week, and participate in tasks such as gardening, landscaping, natural building, food preservation, and firewood. Projects for the 2018 season include: building a stone wall with lime-based mortar, building a ram pump for our spring-fed creek, installing a rainwater catchment and drip irrigation system, and expanding our edible forest garden with additional fruit and nut trees and berries. We offer monthly workshops/classes for our interns throughout the season, such as soap making, lotions and salves, compost building, food preservation 101 (including canning, fermentation, and dehydration), and gourd craft.

Additional Information about Accommodations:

Sleeping accommodations include 2 unheated barn loft bedrooms, and 2 large tents on platforms, or you are welcome to pitch your own tent on various tent platforms and camp spots around the property.

All vegetarian/vegan meals are provided for interns and typically eaten communally. We have both indoor and outdoor kitchens, and indoor and outdoor compost toilets. We do not have electricity, and instead use solar lanterns after dark. We use a high-quality, carbon filtration system (the Berkey) to filter rainwater and spring-fed creek water for drinking. Cell phone reception is excellent with Verizon. We don’t have wifi, but we take weekly trips to town to use the internet. At least once a month, we take our interns on off-farm excursions, such as to the Cooperstown Farmers’ Museum, historic Fly Creek Cider Mill, Otsego County Fair, craft fairs, demolition derbies, and off-site natural building workshops.

Email us for more information and to apply. We are asking our interns to commit to a 1 month minimum stay. We look forward to hearing from you!

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