Green String Institute's Sustainable Farming Internship Program
Our internship program is a unique opportunity for future farmers to get training in sustainable farming. Eight interns join the Green String family for three months, to live, learn, work, and play.
Interns work about 30 hours each week, helping out in the fields, in the farm store, and with special projects. We aim to involve interns in as many aspects of farm work as possible build a breadth of experience.
Farm work includes:
- harvesting fruits and vegetables
- caring for egg-laying chickens
- weeding, hoeing, and competition control
- site maintenance
- assisting in the farm store
Interns are expected to work weekends to help with farmers markets, farm outreach, and caring for animals -- chickens don't take weekends off! We expect interns not to have outside jobs during their time here.
Interns have lessons most weekday afternoons. Bob Cannard teaches the majority of lessons, and covers all practical aspects of natural process farming, from seed selection and pruning to tool maintenance and farm finances.
Each term, local agronomist Bob Shaffer gives a lecture series on soil science. The series includes eight or more lessons that build a foundation of knowledge on minerals, soil-dwelling microbes, compost, and plants' relationships with soil.
Because many of the people who join our program have an interest in starting their own farm or related business, interns also attend lessons with Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Winery staff. Heads of the wineries' marketing, sales, accounting, and events departments each give talks on small business strategies.
Each group of interns lives in a four-bedroom house on the farm. Interns receive a stipend of about $50 per week.* We provide seasonal vegetables and fruit from the farm, as well as a limited amount of eggs, olive oil, meat, and preserves that Green String produces. Staple foods such as beans, flours, sugar, and grains, are provided.
* Technically, interns are employees of Green String Farm and will have tuition, room, and board deducted from their paychecks, leaving them with about $50 per week.
Participants must be at least 18 years old, legally permitted to work in the US, and in good physical condition.
We host interns year-round. Work activities vary from season to season, but all interns receive the same basic instruction.
Please do not apply unless you can commit to the entire three-month term.
- September to November
- December to February
- March to May
- June to August
As much as we'd like to accommodate every person who wants to participate in our program, limited space makes that impossible. We try to select applicants who will get the most out of the internship experience.
What we look for in an applicant
- Goals in line with the experience and teaching we provide
- Commitment and perseverance
- Sincere interest in learning and teaching
- Good work ethic
- Cooperative and helpful community member
- Submit the application by email, snail mail, or by dropping it off at the Green String Farm store by the deadline. Our address is 3571 Old Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA 94954 -- see greenstringfarm.com for map and directions.
- After we receive applications, we may contact you for an interview. If at all possible, we like to have applicants visit the farm for their interviews -- it gives us a chance to meet you in person, and it gives you a better sense of the program. We will conduct interviews over the phone for applicants not in the area.
- We will notify applicants of our decision one month before the start of term.
An application form is available for download below. You can either print out the PDF and write answers in, or you can type information directly into the file, save it, and email it to email@example.com. (Some people are unable to save their answers to the PDF file; if this happens to you, feel free to save the information in a text document instead.) You can also include a résumé or additional information if you wish.