New York – Bittersweet Farm hiring Interns

Heuvelton, New York

Ann & Brian Bennett
1249 St Hwy 184
Heuvelton, NY
(315) 344 0443

Bittersweet Farm is a 112 acre family farm located in the St. Lawrence River valley.   We are certified organic through NOFA NY-LLC, and have been in business for seventeen years. We came to St. Lawrence County from Maine and found not only beautiful farm land, but an extensive, integrated community.

We began our operation with the construction of two low greenhouse tunnels, designed to reduce use of petroleum based heat.  From this, the farm has grown to include vegetable and herb production, eggs, pasture raised lamb, pork, chicken, and beef. Our emphasis is on heritage breeds that thrive in a more natural environment with a reduced consumption of grain.  For the past 10 years, we have been working to ecologically manage our 30 acres of mixed, second growth woods by culling dead wood, and thinning unhealthy trees for both lumber and firewood for the farm. Cherry trees were recently planted, along with Black Walnuts and Silver Maples to reforest certain areas. We participate in two conservation programs and have expanded our food production to include two permaculture garden areas.

Our connection to the community involves course and volunteer work with students from work with St. Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University.  We are active members of the Canton Farmers’ Market and the Hammond Artisans Market.

Educational Internship Description

Bittersweet Farm is seeking two interns to share in the labor and joys of the 2017 growing season.  An educational internship at Bittersweet Farm is a full immersion experience. Interns will be involved in all aspects of farm and family life.

In addition to the daily activities involved in the running of an organic farm, interns will learn skills necessary for planning, planting, harvesting, and marketing of what is grown. Interaction with customers, as well as other interns, will help develop interpersonal skills and confidence. In terms of family life, skills involved in meal preparation and food preservation will be developed throughout the growing season.

An intern at Bittersweet Farm will play an integral part in soil testing, integrated pest management, and crop monitoring. Concerning any special research projects, interns will assist in establishment of the project, production, data collection, and resource and record keeping. Bittersweet Farm works to develop a method of farming that considers not only the farm, but the environment and the community. By the nature of their work, an intern at Bittersweet Farm would work towards creating and maintaining an extended community “eco-system” with sustainable, organic farming as a relevant component.

Work Arrangements    
Upon joining Bittersweet, you are considered “on call” 24-7 in case of emergency.  Personal schedules, however, are negotiable.  Most of our interns have strictly been agricultural apprentices, but we also accept workers with a wide range of interests. Writers, artists, musicians, journalists and filmmakers have all worked with us part-time and used the rest of the week to create and design pieces inspired by the area, the community, and the events they experience.

Interns, WWOOFers and volunteers all live in our off-the-grid cabin in the woods.  The cabin is 12′ by 26′, two stories with an additional loft. It is equipped with solar panels and lights, an outhouse and wood cookstove. One of the key aspects of Bittersweet Fam is our community, and there is often more than one person living in the cabin at once. Workers already in residence have first say, but one must be prepared to potentially host roommates.    We are not a vegetarian household, but are happy to accommodate various diets and allergies.

NO experience is necessary, but a good sense of humor and a dash of resilience sure come in handy. Come prepared for plenty of adventures. We must request that intern stays be a minimum of two weeks.

Overall, life here is messy. Life here is wonderful. It can and will be muddy, rainy, freezing, sweltering, smelly, dirty, disgusting, exhausting, and heart-breaking. It can and will also be eye-opening, heart-warming, awe-inspiring, beauty-filled, smell amazing, taste fantastic, nourishing, welcoming, educational and filled with love and excitement. Such is the nature of small-scale, biodiversified regenerative agriculture. You take your chances every day.

Tasks will involve, but are not limited to:

Animal Husbandry: Daily feed and water, brooding chicks, farrowing, manure cleanout, interact with livestock, (Tamworth Hogs, Chickens, Turkeys, Sheep, Beef Cattle)

Plant Production: Seedling production, transplanting, field planting, greenhouse watering, weeding, temperature monitoring, soil testing, water testing, greenhouse growing

Maintenance: Fencing, composting, building repair, cleaning of harvest shed

Harvest And Marketing: Pick, clean, and pack crops, farmers market 4 days a week, customer sales and service, set-up display, poultry processing (optional)

Woods Work: Tree harvest for lumber, cut, split, stack firewood, build wildlife brush habitats.

Miscellaneous: Cost and pricing, bird monitoring, farm tours, wildlife observation.

Family: Share in household chores, canning and food processing, cooking.

Special Projects: Value added food products, Food and Wine Festival.