ClimateFarmInternship.jpg

We are accepting applications for a June start!

This three month internship program brings together a global online climate learning course/network with rooted, place-based farm experience for those wanting a deeper sense of purpose, role and responsibility in mitigating the climate crisis. 

 

Live, work, learn, and connect on Midnight’s Farm while taking a deep dive into the landscape of climate change through the Terra.do “bootcamp course.” Learn with a worldwide climate network while getting your hands dirty with experiential, in-the-field farm work. 

 

Midnight’s Farm is a small diversified farm on Lopez Island in northwest Washington. We strive to model stewardship and production that tends the soil and the climate, including; community scale compost production, rotational grazing, biochar production and intensive no-till market garden. We are always seeking to improve our practices and incorporate new ideas and information.  Our current curiosities/projects include refining our carbon footprint modeling, stabilizing carbon in compost and wood chips applications, hedgerow design, refining biochar production, reducing bovine methane emissions through asparagopsis supplementation, and incorporating climate storytelling into our promotion materials.

 

Intern commitment: 

  • Enlist and respect good covid precautions! These will include a test within three or four days of arriving on the farm, reducing exposure both for the two weeks prior and during your stay at the farm, and some heightened precautions during a 10 day period after arriving.  (These to be clarified…)

  • Fill out both the Terra.do and the internship application..  (There will be a place for you to let Terra.do know you are also interested in this collaboration with Midnight’s Farm.  There may also be some overlap of questions so saving your answers might ease the second application..)

  • Three months on-farm commitment from approximately March 1st to approximately May 31st.  

  • Roughly 32 hours of farm work per week. 

  • Full engagement and completion of the Terra.do 12-week course “Climate Change: Learning for Action” (this will be an additional 10+ hours per week).  This might include hosting a fireside chat for interested Terra.do fellows.

  • Help preparing and cleaning up from shared meals.  

  • Help us make this experiment a success!  While we’ve had interns before and taken the Terra.do course ourselves, combining these elements will be new for us.  Your engagement with feedback and adaptation will likely be required to make this a success for all of us!   

 

Midnight’s Farm commitment:

  • On the farm learning experience tailored to your interest.  Most of our farm education (as opposed to the climate course aspects) for this particular internship will be experiential, while working together in the fields and in setting up projects, with reflection and discussion opportunities at mealtime conversations.

  • Open environment for BIPOC applicants- (island culture is predominantly white, politically liberal, 10% Latinx)

  • A review of a carbon footprint modeling exercise for Midnight’s Farm

  • Use of sauna, yoga studio, swimming pond, farm bikes

  • Coverage for on the job injury through WA state L&I Small Farm Internship Program

  • On Farm Housing - The quarters are cozy and rustic. You will have a composting toilet and shower that is in a separate space.

  • Food including work day farm lunches​

  • Access to farm library for additional reading on regenerative ag and soil health 

 

Experiential Farm Learning

From composting, rotational grazing, heavy mulches, biochar, no-till market garden, many of our practices are in the regenerative agriculture playbook.  We are still highly dependent on our numerous diesel engines and obviously have a long way to go in the climate realm towards minimizing GHG emissions and maximizing land-based sequestration.  Part of our motivation to forge this collaboration with Terra.do is to up our “climate game.”  So there will certainly be an emphasis on the climate impacts of the various aspects of the farm and places to plug in.  

 

At the same time, there’s work to be done. Depending on the season interns will gain first hand experience with the following: 

 
Compost 
  • Fundamentals of Aerated Static Pile compost system

  • Compost feedstocks

  • Basic components of compost

  • Understanding of the thermophilic cycle 

  • Understanding of microbiology of compost

  • General maintenance of machinery

  • Benefits of compost for soil and plant health

  • Sales and customer service

 
Livestock
  • Rotational grazing of cattle

  • Electric fencing set up and maintenance

  • Low stress stockmanship

  • Haylage production 

  • Benefits of overwintering off pasture

  • Pig handling and feeding

  • Beef and pork sales

  • On farm slaughter 

 
Market Garden
  • Seeding

  • Transplanting

  • Weed control

  • Drip irrigation

  • Harvesting

  • Strategies for no till 

  • Cover crops

  • Season extension

 
Marketing and Sales
  • Website management

  • Social Media

  • San Juan Island Food Hub

  • Telling our story

 
Infrastructure and Maintenance
  • Machinery maintenance- greasing, oil changes, etc.

  • Energy efficiency

  • Construction basics

  • Safe use of power tools including

    • Table saw

    • Chop saw

    • Skill saw

 
Woodlot management
  • Fire reduction strategies including 

    • Ladder fuel reduction 

    • Biochar production

    • Creation of litter piles

Ideal candidate will:

  • Bring the values of “Curiosity, Generosity, and Optimism”

  • Have or be developing an end goal in mind for this combined farm/climate learning experience. 

  • Be reliable – show up on time ready to learn and work.

  • Communicate clearly – respond to calls or emails or text with clarity and in “real time”.  Ask questions and make suggestions when information or tasks aren’t clear or don’t make sense.   Bring up issues directly with the people concerned.

  • Engage fully and be capable of the hard physical work – shoveling, raking, weeding, lifting 40 lbs, etc.  

  • Show some hustle and enthusiasm for getting stuff done! – while running really isn’t necessary, we confess to having little patience for dawdling.   The “.do” extension for the Terra.do program was intentional!  

  • Think about what they are doing and be interested in learning.  We expect those that are working/learning with us to pay attention to the details of the job and ask questions.  We are constantly learning ourselves. An ideal candidate will be a keen observer and bring a love of learning -- researching and looking up new information.  

  • Look for and communicate ideas to make the operation or particular task more efficient, safe, green, profitable and/or pleasurable (sense of humor is a plus).  

  • Pay particular attention to theirs and others' safety.