Prospective interns should come to this program with the desire to learn the art and science of organic farming. This is a work-based education program, founded in the philosophy that the best way to learn about farming is to do it! Farm work can be boring, tedious and exhausting, in conditions that range from hot sun with mosquitoes to cold, rain and wind. However, with the right attitude, many people find that they acclimate to the work and find it offers a good challenge which is enjoyable, satisfying and fun. There is something about looking back on a cleanly weeded or cultivated field, or stacking up a mountain of winter squash, that can’t be achieved in an office environment. There is no better connection to one’s food supply than being able to watch a crop from seed to harvest.
We are committed to instructing interns in the “whys and hows” of the various techniques employed on our farm. This education will take place during fieldwork sessions, periodic farm walks and after hours, if desired. Educational field trips are organized and encouraged, and may include visits to other farms, markets, special events or other activities as the interest arises. The College has an extensive library, to which interns have free access.
Our goal is to train a new generation of sustainable farmers, as well as environmentally and socially conscious citizens. We seek dedicated and interested people to help run our farm. We expect our interns to have a willingness to work hard, conscientiously, quickly and efficiently, with the goal of getting the job done well while learning the craft of farming. Keep in mind that the weather and CSA schedule dictate the farm's work schedule. This guarantees hours working in the hot sun or early, cold, and frosty mornings. But this is the life of a farmer!
After a season at Fulton Farm, it is our hope that interns seek more opportunities to continue their farming experiences and education. And depending on prior experience and individual motivation and confidence, one may feel qualified to seek management roles or begin their own farming enterprises. However, staying of more than one season at the Fulton Farm is also encouraged!
Particular skills our interns typically learn include: low-input greenhouse propagation and production; seeding and planting techniques; irrigation design and operation; compost production and use; soil preparation and conservation; manual and mechanical weed control; cover cropping; harvesting efficiency and quality control; planning CSA distribution; managing a farmers market stand; and potentially, tractor work and equipment maintenance. Other topics can be researched according to the intern’s desires and in consultation with the farm manager.
What an intern takes away from Fulton Farm depends a large part on what she or he puts into it. In addition to being a great learning experience, a summer on the farm will certainly be memorable! Like any job, communication is important and is stressed to complete tasks effectively and to promote crew satisfaction. We require applicants to visit the farm to assess compatibility.