One-Year Diversified Farming Apprenticeship
Hawthorne Valley Farm is a diversified 900-acre Organic and Demeter certified Biodynamic® Farm in upstate New York. Hawthorne Valley Farm is a part of the vibrant Hawthorne Valley Association, which also includes value-added food production, a natural foods store, Waldorf School and teacher training, educational outreach programs, and ecological and social research programs.
The farm is comprised of a 65 cow dairy herd fed entirely from the farm; a 15-acre vegetable enterprise supplying a CSA, farmer’s markets, and our farm store; and a diversified livestock operation consisting of beef cows, pigs, and meat chickens.
Our apprentices experience biodynamic farming through hands-on learning, balancing the demands of being a production farm with the goal of equipping our apprentices with not only the foundational skills needed, but also a philosophical basis to succeed in furthering a career in an agriculture of the future. To this end, we have built into our apprenticeship program a number of supplemental experiences that explore the more theoretical and observational aspects of farming and biodynamics that are equally important to a farmer’s development.
The opportunities of this apprenticeship include Biodynamic production, Milking, Pastured Livestock Management, Tractor Operation, all facets of vegetable production in fields and greenhouses, and community supported agriculture (CSA). All apprentices will have exposure to the whole farm, supporting a better understanding of how a diversified farm operation at our scale functions. Each apprentice will focus primarily in either vegetable or livestock production, decided based on conversations with the farm team.
On-site housing and a monthly stipend of $1100 are provided for all apprentices. Each apprentice has their own bedroom in a shared space on the farm with a communal kitchen, baths and living space. Food is also offered, including vegetables as seasonally available, milk, yogurt, soft cheese, sauerkraut, bread and meat.
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Additional Educational Opportunities at Hawthorne Valley