Troy Community Farm Internships
All 2015 Internship positions have been filled.
Our 2015 Internship Application is now available!
Continue reading below for more information about interning at Troy Community Farm, or visit the Community GroundWorks' Internship Opportunities page for information about all of our intern programs.
What do they do?
Farm interns work in every aspect of vegetable production on our certified organic urban farm including: seeding and transplanting from our passive solar greenhouse, composting, cover cropping, weeding, mulching, trellising, bed prep, pruning, harvesting, and post-harvest handling. Interns also assist with marketing our crop through our CSA and weekly on-site farmstand.
Available Positions: All farm interns receive the same training and education, as well as access to “farmer food” and our u-pick CSA flower and herb garden. (Farmer food is blemished or unsold produce that is available to farm staff, interns, and volunteers.) All these positions are educational internships and should be considered as such, whether or not they are paid. Paid interns are required to work at least 300 hours over the season and roughly 20 hours per week during the height of the season. They also receive a stipend of $2175. Volunteer interns are required to work at least 200 hours over the season and roughly 8 or 15 hours per week. They also receive a Market Share CSA membership. Priority for paid internships is given to applicants who have worked on our farm before and/or have previous experience on other farms.
Schedule: Ideally interns will work 20 hours per week through the height of the season (May through August). Interns who wish to start in April would work 8 to 12 hours per week for that month; and those who continue on into the fall could work anywhere from 8 to 20 hours per week in September and October. Our field schedule is: Mondays, 7 to 3 (3:30 on class days); Tuesdays, 7 to noon; Wednesdays 7 to 3; and Fridays, 7 to 12. All interns are required to be at the farm on Mondays for the weekly field tour and intern intensive day as well as the intern classes. Interns are also required to attend the field trip, which will be on a Tuesday afternoon in July or August from noon to 6:00 PM. Interns design their own schedule with the Farm Director within the above parameters.
Professional Development: All farm interns attend our series of formal intern classes on Mondays from 2:00 to 3:30 PM beginning on May 18th and ending on August 24th. The class series covers topics such as greenhouse production, soils, cover crops, irrigation, starting your own farm, and pest management, as well as several elective topics that interns choose as a group. There is also a field trip to a nearby vegetable farm, scheduled for a Tuesday afternoon in July or August. See the 2015 Intern Class Schedule.
Interns help to distribute the CSA share on Thursday evenings from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. Working the CSA pickup provides an important opportunity to interact with the community that eats our food. As a symbolic graduation from the farm internship program, interns can choose to participate in the intern solo week during the third week of August. For that week the farmers step aside and the interns harvest, pack, and deliver the CSA share all on their own.
All farm interns receive a copy of the Troy Community Farm Intern Training Manual. The manual provides detailed information about how things work at the farm, and includes copies of all the farm’s planning and record keeping documents, such as our planting schedule and crop spacing guide. Interns use the manual as a learning tool, as a reference while working at the farm, and as a lasting resource once they leave the farm. The written manual in combination with weekly formal instruction, hands-on experience working side-by-side with the farmers, and increasing responsibility supervising others at the farm gives interns a solid foundation in small-scale organic farming.
Interns will also receive access to professional development opportunities from other Community GroundWorks' programs.
Why do they love it?
Interns walk away with knowledge, skills, fond memories, and new perspectives on life. Read what interns have to say about their experiences on the farm!
"I am starting a small farm operation next year, and the planning tools and general farming knowledge gained at Troy will be extremely helpful to my efforts. The experience was both empowering and humbling, and has caused me to be more cautious and methodical about starting out on my own. I am extremely grateful to the managers at Troy for being so open and honest with us interns, and for being such good teachers and motivators."
– Eric Udelhofen, 2012 (now operates Taproot Farm & Fruit)
"I am so thankful that I was able to be part of such an exciting and innovative farm this summer, working with an incredible crew and learning from two gifted farmers and teachers. I can see why so many interns come back to visit or to become worker-shares—Troy Community Farm is a special place."
– Megan Bjella, 2010
"I found that the internship offered a number of challenges, all of which helped me grow not only as a potential farmer but also as a leader, effective communicator, and member of a community."
– Alex Lyon, 2009
"I learned that there is a lot more to farming than romance. Working at Troy, I gained a more clear-eyed perspective of what it really means to be a farmer... a sweaty, sore, stressed, and sleep-deprived farmer. I learned that while reality may not live up to the romance, it's still pretty good."
– Lisa DiPietro, 2008
"One of the things I wanted to experience most on the farm, was just working outside. I worked under whatever weather the sky had to offer that day. I listened to the breeze. I felt the hot sun on my back. I dug, scraped, plucked, bent, squatted, and hauled. I got dirty. I worked hard. When I got home, I always felt so satisfied."
– Cassie Nolterwyss, 2004 & 2005 (now operates Crossroads Community Farm )