Ways You Can Get Involved with All Things Better

Photo/Erin Fulton
Love reading about what we're doing out here at Better Farm, but unsure how you can get involved? Here's a quick cheatsheet of ways you can hop aboard, no matter how far or near you are, or how much time you have:

Participate in our Internship Program
2011 interns Natasha Pietila, Soon Kai Poh, Lizzi Musoke, and Jaci Collins.
Better Farm’s internship program runs in one- to three-month intervals and is available to individuals interested in a myriad of sustainability issues. Each internship is carefully tailored to suit a specific person’s needs and goals. We offer internships geared toward organic small-scale farming and gardening, general farm management, alternative building, rain and graywater collection, aquaponics, community outreach, organic cooking, canning/preserving, participation in local supper clubs and/or food kitchens, and outdoor survival. Many sustainability specialists visit Better Farm throughout the year to offer mentoring and guidance to students interested in coming here to work and gain valuable experience. Additionally, interns have the option of taking any workshops scheduled during their time at Better Farm. We can host up to six interns at a time. Click here to learn more and for the application!

Apply for a betterArts Residency

betterArts residencies seek to provide an opportunity for creative exploration and growth to artists, writers, and musicians within the context of Better Farm's dynamic environment. The property boasts an on-site pond, vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens, shop space, open-air sheds for pottery and painting; a multimedia room, and a practice space for musicians (recording equipment available for a nominal additional fee).  Room and board, all food, linens and towels, wireless Internet, on-site parking, movie nights, and field trips are included in a low stipend we require of all residents. The environment is simple and communal. In addition to their work, betterArts residents are asked to interact and participate in the goings-on around the property; such as helping with farming or assisting at farmers’ markets, and participating in art-related community outreach projects. Residencies are for one week, two weeks, or month-long periods. Basic facilities at Better Farm will be provided; but betterArts residents are expected  to provide the majority of materials and equipment they would need for the production of their work.  Click here to learn more and download an application.

Teach For Us
betterArts resident Eric Drasin volunteers his time to give a music lesson to teenagers in Redwood.
betterArts is looking for instructors! We seek specialists in every area for private instruction, group workshops, lectures, and presentations for every age group and skill level. All classes, lessons, workshops, and lectures are held at BETTER FARM, 31060 Cottage Hill Road, Redwood, N.Y., unless another agreed-upon location is selected. Click here to fill out a proposal. Better Farm will also be hosting workshops throughout the summer in areas such as alternative construction projects and rainwater harvesting—click here for more information on that.

Spread the Word
Telling the people you know about the work we're doing is the best way for us to gain momentum with our projects. Sign up for our newsletter, forward links to our websites and blog, and share our Facebook posts with your friends.

If you're local, get in touch with us about times you're available to help us out. We can always use an extra set of hands out in the garden, in the wood shop, or helping out at different events. If you're not local and would like to come help out for a weekend, shoot us an e-mail to set something up.

We offer overnight rates for guests throughout the year. This is a great way for you to meet the people at Better Farm, check out what we're up to, and enjoy an extremely low-cost alternative to the hotels and bed and breakfasts in the Thousand Islands Region. Also available for rent are bicycles, kayaks, a sailboat, canoes, and (of course!) studio space. Click here for more information and to make a reservation.

We rely on volunteers and donations to allow us to do the vast amount of work we do, and to allow us to offer internships, residencies, and workshops at such a low cost. Click here to make a donation of any size. We are also always in need of other donations: furniture, bicycles, instruments, art supplies, construction materials, appliances, etc.—anything that makes a big old farmhouse tick!

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.