Better Farm's 2012 Sustainability Internship Features New Initiatives

Better Farm's sustainability internship program has since its inception in 2010 welcomed a dozen individuals from all over the world to join us in our efforts to live more in tandem with natural earth systems. Whether building raised beds, wiring for solar panels, implementing a rainwater harvesting system, serving the community, or gardening organically, our internship program has equipped people of all ages and backgrounds with practical skills they can bring back to their hometowns and neighborhoods to continue their journeys and inspire their friends and families to incorporate natural earth systems into their daily routines.

We will continue all those initiatives into 2012, and plan to expand our organic herb, flower, fruit, and vegetable gardens. We'll also be revamping certain elements of the 2012 season to include (check back on the application page for more updates in the coming weeks!):

  • Poultry Care—We plan to participate in the New York State DEC's Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program, which means Better Farm's interns will try their hand at raising chicks, monitoring their health, and releasing them into the wild when they are eight weeks old. We will also be adding some more hens to our chicken flock!
  • New Workshops!—Knitting, sauna construction, rainwater-fed outdoor showers, earthships, and DIY chicken coops are just some of the on-site workshops we're slating in 2012. Stay tuned for specific dates!
  • Tree Planting Initiatives—We will be continuing our work to plant several hundred black walnut trees on the property here, and will be expanding our planting efforts by linking up with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's School Seedling Program, which would provide interns here with 50 seedlings to nurture and grow. 
  • Farm to Table—Better Farm's interns will put on one large farm-to-table dinner party in September, and work throughout the summer to integrate home-grown, local food into soup kitchens, supper clubs, and local restaurants. Our interns will also make strides in researching and designing our budding delivery CSA program, due to launch in 2015.
  • Homesteading Tips—We're going to team the 2012 interns up with seasoned locals to learn about canning, freezing, living off the land, and more. Stay tuned for the weekly rotating schedule!
  • Dragonfly Surveying Initiative—Better Farm has volunteered to survey dragonflies on the property during peak summer months and submit that data to a statewide dragonfly and damselfly survey. Information collected by interns here will help guide conservation activities beneficial to those species that are in greatest need of such efforts.
  • Better Farm's 2012 Local Farm Outreach Program—In 2012, we'll be upping our community outreach efforts to include local farms. Our interns will spend all or part of one day each week at a different local farm to learn about the processes involved with milking dairy cows, grooming horses, raising alpacas, harvesting maple syrup, rearing bees, and more.
  • Festival Season Participation—Better Farm's interns will help coordinate, organize, and present at the summer festivals in the North Country, including: Redwood's First Annual Dandelion Wine Festival, the Keith Brabant Memorial Music Scholarship Festival, North Country Arts Council's Summer Arts Festival, and more.
We'll continue updating you with our plans as we get closer to spring! To learn more about Better Farm's sustainability internship program or to apply, click here.