Contact informationFarm Address:
856 Brooks Rd.
Sunshine, North Carolina , 28018
Primary Contact: Sara Jane Davis
Secondary Contact: Jamie Davis
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Ready to dig deeper into your farming experience? Located in the foothills of Western North Carolina, A Way of Life Farm grows Certified Organic vegetables and fruit, as well as pasture-raised pork for sale through farmers' market and CSA. This commercial production is integral to a broader permaculture design and land revitalization, including the development of fruit and nut orchards (persimmon, pawpaw, muscadines, chestnuts, and pecans).
CRAFT Member Farm? Yes
Internship Starts: February or March
Internship Ends: December 20 and beyond
Number of Internship Available: up to 4 apprenticeship positions available, up to 2 summer positions available (May-August)
Application Deadline: until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: 9 months for Apprenticeship; 2-3 months for Summer Internship
Farming really is a way of life and it is truly meaningful work! Apprentices take part in various aspects of the farm from vegetable seed to harvest, livestock chores, marketing, and perennials, but will spend the vast majority of time (approx 95%) growing vegetables. A combination of organic and sustainable practices including no-till raised beds, cover cropping, Kinsey-Albrecht method, keyline plowing, Holistic Management, and permaculture design are used throughout our land. We start our own vegetable transplants from seed and propagate perennials in a permanent greenhouse. Over 50 types of vegetables, fruit, and herbs are grown outdoors in raised beds and under cover of high tunnels and caterpillar tunnels. Most of our work — bed preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting – is done with hand tools.
We offer information and skills that will build your confidence toward managing a farm. As the season progresses, apprentices are given increased responsibilities and areas of focus around the farm. Apprentices work 40-50 hours/week. We respect your time and life away from the farm, trying our best to stick to a pre-arranged daily schedule. Occasionally, the farm will demand some longer days just to get the job done. Positions start February-April and can continue through December and beyond, with a minimum 9-month commitment required. If it’s a good fit, we encourage apprentices to come back for another season with increased responsibilities and pay.
Only have a couple months in the summer? Visit our website to about our 2-3 month summer internship opportunities!
Visit our website for even more information and an application for the positions:
“I had a truly transformative experience working with Jamie and Sara Jane at A Way of Life Farm…I genuinely feel like I couldn’t have gone through this experience with better mentors. Jaime and Sara Jane are both incredibly knowledgeable and patient teachers…It in incredible to think back on my first days on the farm and the transformation that has occurred. I have learned so many of the technical skills and basic knowledge to help jump start my farming career, but even more importantly I have a greater sense of drive to achieve my goals after experiencing what life as an organic farmer is really like.”
“My apprenticeship with A Way of Life prepared me to go from very little formal farming experience, to the job I have now: running a farm with a 180-member sliding-scale CSA… A Way of Life farmers, Sara Jane and Jamie Davis, dedicate themselves to educating their apprentices. I’ve never seen a farm achieve such a balance between maintaining financial stability while also continuing to deepen ecological practices. My apprenticeship gave me both the hard skills and the inspiration to farm in a way that is both idealistic and realistic.”
Read more apprentice references at https://awayoflifefarm.com/info-and-application
Educational Opportunities: We take our role as educators seriously, offering information and skills that will lead to a greater understanding of farm management and systems. We provide a syllabus outlining the areas of focus that will be covered in the entire season. We explain tasks as they come up in the field and offer written information and informal “classes” periodically throughout the year, but most of the skills and information will be communicated within the context of farm work. You may periodically be given reading or listening assignmen to specific podcasts in your free time so we can discuss these topics as a group. As the season progresses or as specific skills are developed , apprentices have increased independence, responsibilities, and specialization in their work around the farm. We teach thoughtful and efficient execution of farm tasks, which is essential to the success of any enterprise (the goal in production work is to get the job done right and get it done quickly).
Skills Desired: We are looking for applicants who are engaged learners, take pride in their work, have good communication skills, and are self-motivated. Some previous experience on a commercial farm is highly recommended -- this may take the form of previous farm internships or even just a couple days volunteering on a commercial farm. Experience with physical labor or intense outdoor activity is important. Our bodies are our primary tools on the farm. You need to be both physically and mentally fit to enjoy the challenges of farm life and meet them with determination and levity. Hands-on learning is a given on a farm, but the ability to learn from listening is very valuable as a lot of information is conveyed verbally through instruction in the field or morning meetings. Over the years we've found that those who flourish the most on our farm tend to have or develop a strong interest in food and cooking (this gives a full appreciation for the work you're doing here!). Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets. Couples can apply, though our housing is only comfortable for a single person, so you can expect to be assigned separate, but adjacent houses.
Meals: Vegetables from the farm are available as well as food staples (flour, rice, beans, oats...). A farm credit for up to $150 of pork is also offered. Most meals are prepared in your own kitchen with periodic potlucks, or shared meals throughout the season.
Stipend: Apprentices start at $700/month, housing, utilities, food from the farm, and a priceless education! Summer interns start at $500/month and the same amenities as apprentices.
Housing: A private tiny home or camper-trailer, which includes kitchen, electricity and cold water, and a shared outhouse,shower, and washing machine.
Preferred method of Contact: Email