Interning here should be considered a cultural experience, akin to traveling in a foreign country where you learn the customs. Expect to embrace many opportunities to try on new practices, ideas, and ways of communicating that feel unfamiliar. You are here to learn and experience, so expect to “go with the flow” on a daily basis. In addition to being mentored in emotional skills and immersed in cooperative living, interns have access to a wide variety of hands-on skills here, including: growing and preserving food of all kinds, cooking from scratch, construction and fencing, animal husbandry, hide tanning, friction fire, basketry, herbal medicine, etc.
One longer-term resident will be your primary guide, and this person will help you integrate and also offer you suggestions and new perspectives for your own growth and best interests. They will talk with you about any questions, requests, interactions, or ideas that need to be discussed.
After an email interview and possibly a phone conversation, we generally invite interns on a trial basis for 3 days, and if it seems like a good fit we may invite you to stay longer. Some stay with us a few days, some stay a month, some stay a full season or even longer. It is very important to us to work with people who enjoy the magic and beauty of the world and are happy to try new things (and ideas). If you feel like you’re always being taken advantage of in life, it probably won’t be a very good fit. Read our community principles to get a feel for our philosophy.
If you’re interested in interning here March through October, please answer the below-listed questions in an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. When is your birthday?
2. Why are you interested in farming and in coming here?
3. Do you have any hobbies that involve creating things with your hands? If so, what?
4. Can you light a fire with one match?
5. What role does forgiveness play in your life?
6. What does feminism mean to you?
WWOOF PROFILE – More Details About Interning Here
Here is the text from our profile on the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) with more details:
About Interning Here:
We host WWOOFrs because they offer us enthusiasm, and your attitude is more important to us than your productivity. We want to work with people who are excited to be here and experience everything this farm has to offer, and who want to learn by doing (not just by talking). We also favor people who take care of themselves and offer others a good example of “nagdeo”.
We generally share everything, including cleaning and cooking. We definitely favor interns who help equally or more with the chores and make an effort to cook for the whole group. Everyone shares the space and the food, so everyone helps cook and clean. Your help on basic chores supports us to have more energy to work alongside you and teach you what you want to learn.
Our core values are far from the mainstream, so consider your stay a cultural experience even if you grew up in this region. You can expect to be sponsored by one of the long-term residents here, and that person will take responsibility for communicating with you about the community, your needs, and your exchange with us. Your sponsor will support you by offering honest constructive feedback about what you are doing or thinking and supporting you to grow, with your best interests in mind.
We don’t usually have set schedules because we prefer not to do things by force or obligation and value self-care and resting when you’re tired. At the same time, we want an equal energy exchange and expect you to try to support us in return, primarily by participating with an enthusiastic and grateful attitude. It is essential that everyone living here recognize the gifts they are receiving and choose to use their vital energy (when they have it) to support others in return.
We can offer you tent space in the woods or in our large horse barn, and sometimes we have spaces open in our small cabins (see pic), with access to our shared bathroom and small kitchen. We generally share everything, including food and tools as well as cleaning and cooking, and we expect you to help equally with daily chores to maintain the spaces we all use.
We do eat meat and regularly butcher animals and we appreciate adventurous eaters since we often eat nearly every part of the animal. If you have special diet considerations (i.e. vegetarian, gluten-free, etc), please provide alternative foods for yourself.
There is a wooded creek on our farm and our neighbors are in the nursery business. We are near the small towns of Boring and Orient, 20 miles southeast of Portland. The Springwater biking/walking trail which goes to Portland is just around the corner. The end of the Portland Max train line is 3-4 miles from us, and there is a bus which runs (infrequently) right past our driveway. We go to Portland at least once a week, so you can ride in with us if you want to see the city.
About the farm:
We are a small homestead community with a focus on subsistence agriculture, ancestral and homestead skills, and philosophy and emotional tools for personal growth and cooperative living. Our topmost priority is to enjoy life and “cultivate” a loving home environment and a truly cooperative lifestyle. Right now there are 3 of us living here long-term, with 0-5 resident interns or guests at any given time.
We keep horses and goats for fun and raise pigs and ducks for food. We grow the majority of our produce in the 2-acre vegetable garden and fruit orchard and raise almost all of our own meat. We have an expanding medicinal herb garden and are harvesting herbs regularly for tea and medicine. We do a lot of cooking and preserving and put a lot of time and care into our food. We usually have a number of small construction and fencing projects in process and we are still cleaning this place up: picking up garbage, organizing our tools and materials, amending the soil, planting trees, and pulling blackberry. All of the above activities might be part of your trade with us.
If you are interested in tanning hides, weaving baskets, spinning yarn and knitting, bone/stone tools, fire skills, wild edible plants, or woods survival, you may have opportunities to explore some of those skills here. We sometimes teach at a variety of “primitive” skills gatherings such as Rabbitstick (www.backtracks.net), Echoes in Time (www.echoes-in-time.com), Saskatoon Circle (www.saskatooncircle.com), and others.