Christopher Farm Internship Position, 2023
Located in a rural area of Indiana, we are passionate about doing what we do here for several reasons. The number of organic farms in our area is very limited, and we believe that providing this model for people is important. We have amazing customers who deeply appreciate our products, and we are an integral part of a developing local food system.
At our farm we care about each other, the communities we serve, and the land that we steward. We care about good food, good questions, and good laughs. We care about soil health. We are not afraid of hard work or long hours. We work in the rain, the sun, the wind, the cold, and everything in between. We are not afraid to give the farm our all.
We strive to work quickly and efficiently, while still remembering why it is that we do what we do. This means being eager to communicate and receive feedback, learning systems, and paying attention to details. This means continually working to do better than last time.
We are looking for people who have experience with physical labor and hopefully agriculture or food production. We want curious people who are always interested in learning more, and who work to make the world a better place. Communication, responsibility, initiative, and motivation are imperative. It is important to be able to follow directions, work quickly and efficiently, and to be able to recognize that any criticism is not personal. We want you to do work that you are proud to take ownership of. We want you to be an essential part of the farm. And we want you to learn.
We believe that a just and local food system is an imperative part of addressing food security, the health of our local economy, and the health of our planet. Teaching others how to raise food, the building block of that system, is what inspires us to host interns. We have over 25 years of experience with a variety of production practices and techniques and we want to share that knowledge as widely as we can. This happens both through hands-on learning and discussion. Video and literary resources are also available for interns.
We do our best to keep the work varied and interesting, and to make sure that everybody gets to learn everything that they are interested in, but there are moments when the work is difficult, tiring, and monotonous. We do try to keep a balance and make sure that no one person is pulling too much weight or, reversely, failing to pick up their own slack. Everybody will be involved with all aspects of the operation, but ideally interns will be able to step into positions of responsibility over certain areas (ie. CSA packing, greenhouse planting, flower production, harvesting, etc.)
The farming that we do is extremely rewarding. We love the work of growing amazing food, building relationships with the people who eat it, bringing beauty into people’s lives with the colorful flowers that we grow, forming an intimate connection with the land, and helping to mitigate the impact of the climate disaster. Doing this work is extremely demanding, however. More often than not, it is without glamor, and it pushes us to our limits at times. We think it’s worth it. We hope you’ll join us.
Compensation: We provide room and board (vegetarian), plus a $1000/month stipend. Anything less than two months qualifies as a WWOOFer. Accommodations are quite comfortable and we eat well. Most work day lunches are shared, with a rotating cooking schedule for the main meal.
Work Schedule: The intern season starts in April and runs through October. Work prior to and after those seven months is negotiable. The crew is expected to work in the field Tuesday - Saturday, 8:00 - 5:30 with a one hour lunch break. We will alternate who is scheduled to work markets on both Saturday and Sunday, which are different hours than the field crew. Everyone will be rotated through these positions. Being at market is an important part of the experience because it gives you a sense of how all of our work comes together, as well as providing interaction time with customers who are deeply appreciative of your work. We ask that you are willing to be flexible with the schedule. Farming is a risky and unpredictable business, and there are times when weather or other unforeseen circumstances force us to change plans at the last minute.
Time Off: Full season interns will be given one paid week off. Please communicate plans for time off as far in advance as possible so that we can do our best to accommodate you. If plenty of advance notice isn’t given or if multiple people want the same days off, we can’t promise that we’ll be able to grant those particular dates. People who are not here for the full season will be given time off on a case-by-case basis.
How to Apply
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following.
A cover letter explaining why you are interested in working with us, what you are hoping to learn, and what your past experience is.
Two references for us to contact.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled. We will begin conducting interviews in January.
"My internship at Christopher Farm allowed me to pursue my interest in Organic farming while living in a beautiful area in Indiana. Wendy and Adrian listened to what I wanted to learn and specifically taught me those things. With decades of farming experience, they showed me the entire process of their business, beginning with seeds and ending at a farmer’s market or CSA delivery. I was able to participate in all stages, including learning how to create the perfect soil block mix and learning to set up a farm stand at a market. The living arrangements at Christopher Farm were another highlight, with the interns having access to a full kitchen, recipe books, and plenty of staples (and fresh veg) to cook with. Having a daily community meal, which we took turns cooking for, allowed me to develop my interest in cooking and helped create community among the farm team."
Aaron, Intern (2022)
"Wendy and Adrian take great pride in the work they do and the best practices they adopt in running Christopher Farm as they embrace the land and the energy of the plants. Wendy and Adrian labor with love, but it is hard work of which they never ask anyone to do anything they would not do themselves. They are warm, kind-hearted and generous making one feel accepted and an important part of the organic farming process. The living space at Christopher Farm is homey with sleeping areas, kitchen and bathroom set-up for comfort and functionality. Customary communal lunches bring about a sense of unity and synergy. The bucolic farm area with good-natured pets roaming and likeable neighbors who regularly stop by to lend-a-hand brings about a sense of peace and interconnectedness."
Katherine, WWOOFer (2022)