Yarrow Hill Farm Internship Information
Are you someone who is interested in learning about homesteading in general and specifically about gardening and livestock work? If so please read on and respond to all of the questions at the end of the description.
Yarrow Hill Farm grows for market, local businesses and for extensive canning and preserving for our family throughout the year. Located in North East Missouri on 25 acres with 15 acres of rotational pasture, 1 acre of vegetable gardens, 2 acres of field crops and the balance wooded draws and reforestation project. We’ve been at our new farm for four years and are starting to learn the seasons and soil variability here including how to sustainably graze our dairy cows, goats, and sheep. We also raise pigs, turkeys, ducks, and chickens.
Work will include vegetable production work from seeding to sales and animal care from breeding to butchering. You’ll also have opportunities to spend time at farmers markets, and community events, learn food preservation, how to prepare meals from seasonally available produce, seed saving, foraging, knitting and spinning, season extension, tractor operations, irrigation maintenance, record keeping, seedling production, welding, carpentry, and access to a growing library of farming and homesteading books.
Interns are expected to help keep the farm running while working along side Valerie, Jack, Natalie, Layla, Gwen, other community members and visitors. We expect our interns to work 5 -6 days a week beginning at 5 – 8 am and ending around 5 – 9 pm. While the days are long often we take a significant break at midday, depending on time of year, to avoid working in the heat of the day. Work weeks will average 40 hours but during certain times we have worked well over that for time sensitive tasks. While production of food ends with marketing for some farms there is also a lot of work to be done after the gardening. Last year we put up over 500 cans and many gallons of frozen and dried veggies from the garden. We hope to do much more this year. We are still eating much of our own food. – so there is always a lot to do. We are working to gain efficiency with our time and accomplish as much as we can each day, but we also take time to enjoy being farmers too.
Farming is hard work and we want you to be prepared for long days in the sun, or picking in the rain, lots of heavy lifting, bending over, weeding, hoeing, pulling, picking up, and walking (just to list the fun things!). Be prepared to get blisters, a sore back, sunburns, bug bites, poison ivy rashes, cold numb ﬁngers, aching muscles, dry cracked hands and then go to bed exhausted and get up the next day to do it all over again (just trying to keep things in perspective). It’s important that you be a self motivated individual. Interns are expected to accomplish tasks in a reasonable time frame (be efficient and work quickly), and may be asked to work on a single task for an extended period of time. A positive and pro-active attitude is necessary.
We attribute a significant part of our current success to our internships, and now that our basic infrastructure is in place we’re looking to start passing those experiences along. We’re very interested in teaching you what we know. As a small farm family, we can take time to discuss various farming topics as we work. You will also receive dedicated sitdown time on focused topics if you are inclined. We’re always looking for better ways to accomplish tasks and spend a lot of time brainstorming and improving on what we do – so new ideas are always welcome!
Preference will be given to interns that are available for a full season (May – October/November) are available for a 2-3 week trial period at the beginning. Feel free to email or call with any further questions.
We’d like to know a few things about you too:
What are your preferred dates for the internship?
Why are you interested in farming?
Do you have farming experience? Please describe.
Why do you want to have an internship here at Yarrow Hill Farm?
How do you think the experience and knowledge you gain here at our farm will ﬁt into your future plans and goals?
What do you expect or hope to learn from your internship?
What do you think is your best trait when working in groups? What do you need to improve on?
Can you handle hard work and being exposed to the elements (sun, heat, cold, rain, mud, bugs, poison ivy)?
Do you have allergies (environmental (pollen), food, drug)? Please be speciﬁc.
Please provide us with two references (name, phone number and email):
Thanks for answering these questions.
We’ll review your answers and get back to you – please feel free to ask more about what we do and what your roll may be here on the farm. We strongly encourage you to come visit us here at the farm. There’s no better way to learn about what kind of work you’ll be doing here – then to check it out for yourself!
Jack and Valerie Walter