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Flat Rock
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 58 acres/23.5
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 7752
Region: South

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Last Updated: October 4, 2016

We are a diversified family farm working toward true sustainability. Our dream is to create and maintain a healthy, dynamic eco-system on these 58 acres in the Appalachian foothills. Through our stewardship, we strive to support our family and to offer wholesome, delicious, chemical-free foods to others in our community. We are located on beautiful Sand Mountain in north eastern Alabama approximately 35 minutes from Chattanooga Tennessee. Due to our location in the mountains our summertime temperatures average five degrees cooler with lower humidity than the valleys and the southern portions of Alabama.

We raise: meat goats for chevon, the herd consists of about 35 does which are browsed and grazed in a management intensive system; a dual purpose (wool & lamb) flock of about 20 ewes, which are pastured continuously on grass; Nubian dairy goats for farm family use and enjoyment, we are not a commercial dairy. Our dairy herd ranges between 35-40 does of varying ages, many are elders; and we day range a small flock of laying hens. Our Certified Naturally Grown market garden produces vegetables, herbs, and some fruits using a small artisanal approach. We are in our seventh year of commercial production.

Some of our projects and goals are to continue to improve permanent pastures and woods lots; build fencing and shelters; continue to improve the soil and production of the market garden; and to increase the laying flock size and construct additional chicken tractors. Internships are available to work with Sherry, a goatkeeper & shepherd with over 40 years of livestock experience, during the intensive spring kidding and lambing period. Duties and educational opportunities during this time will include, but are not limited to: feeding, watering, milking, pen cleaning, care and monitoring of laboring animals and newborns, and assistance with kidding and lambing as necessary. This is a physically demanding position which may require working through the night in unfavorable weather conditions, please consider this when making application.

Internships during other seasons are encouraged and include diverse educational opportunities in home dairying; grazing and browsing management; holistic shepherding/goatherding; pastured poultry; organic production of vegetables, herbs, and fruits; artisanal hand dying of wool using natural dyes; blacksmithing with Larry; identification and preparation of medicinal herbs and ethical wildcrafting. Please note that the season and needs of the farm will guide our work and must always be a priority.

Stays of at least 60 - 90 days are desirable, although stays of shorter duration may be accepted upon negotiation, for interns able to quickly acclimate and begin work. Spring kidding and lambing period is from approximately the first of March to the end of May. Volunteer interns are accepted year round, farm work is continuous, as the farm is a living community of humans, animals, and plants. Work days average approximately six hours.

Modest, separate, one room cottage is available for stays, two twin beds. Bathroom and kitchen facilities are shared with the farm family. Meals included, help with preparation and clean-up considered part of duties. Tent camping is also available, if desired, camping equipment provided on farm.

Sherry is a politically active farmer who serves as the Board President for the Chattanooga Sustainable Farmers cooperative, as a board member for the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, and on the board for the Mentone Farmers' Market.

Potential opportunities exist to assist at community farmers' markets, either helping with farm sales or with the market management.

We expect a strong work ethic, reverence for the earth and her creatures, reliability, integrity, good cooperative living skills, and a sincere desire to learn. NO drugs or cigarette smoking, moderate alcohol consumption acceptable. Farmers will provide shuttle to and from airports and/or bus or train stations, preferably Huntsville, Alabama or Chattanooga, Tennessee. Birmingham, Alabama or Atlanta, Georgia are possible on negotiation. No pets or children please. Very minimal Spanish spoken. We are able to accommodate vegetarians and meat eaters, but please inform us of any special requirements before making an agreement to intern on the farm.

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