Since 2009, over 100 aspiring biodynamic farmers have participated in our North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP), learning side-by-side with exemplary biodynamic mentor farmers across the continent. We have celebrated the graduation of 37 new biodynamic farmers, and 12 more are on track to graduate this year. Just as each farm individuality needs to grow and evolve over time, so does our work to train the next generation of farmers.
Building on the strengths and accomplishments of NABDAP, we are delighted to introduce two new intensive one-year programs that will provide more flexibility, as well as a solid and broad foundation in all of the essentials of biodynamic farming for everyone who participates. Individuals will have the option to participate in just the first year, or both.
For both programs, we are inviting established farmers interested in learning more about biodynamics to participate as well continuing to offer apprenticeship opportunities on exemplary mentor farms.
The Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year offers aspiring biodynamic farmers the opportunity to build a solid foundation in the principles and practices of biodynamic agriculture. Individual support from an experienced mentor farmer and a cohesive, integrated, and interactive learning curriculum bring biodynamics to life.
The Biodynamic Farmer Development Year, which will begin in 2019, will develop and deepen the skills needed for biodynamic farm management for those who graduate from the foundation year. This program will allow for more scope and specialization in specific farm management and production areas.
Applications for the Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year will open at the end of November. Contact Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail) or by phone at 262.649.9212 x14 with any questions or to be notified when applications open.
The NABDAP pages will remain in place for those interested in seeing the strong foundations we are building our new programs on. The graduate profiles are especially inspiring! You can find all the details on our new Farmer Training programs at our new Biodynamic Farmer Training page.
These are Mentor Farms from NABDAP, which is retired. We will have mentor farm pages up for our Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year very soon!
Hill and Hollow Farm is nestled in the woodland of south central Kentucky, our fields lying low with the Flat Rock creek as their boundaries. We are entering our 15th year of a 75 member CSA which serves Nashville, TN, Glasgow and Edmonton, KY. Our apprentices are fully integrated into our diverse operation which includes an active on farm educational program hosting students from our region's Waldorf schools. We created and are active participants in the Kentucky CRAFT program which offers our apprentices monthly opportunities to visit and learn with this region's other organic and BD farms. Hill and Hollow is a small thriving family farm, we offer to our apprentices the chance to see how we bought an abandoned Kentucky homestead in 1998 and turned it into the successful family operation that it is today. With small scale dairying, significant food preservation including canning, drying, freezing and lacto-fermenting, raising and using natural dyes with our farm's wool products, shiitake mushroom cultivation and myriad of other homesteading skills used here in addition to BD management of our vegetable operation, Hill and Hollow offers a great deal of diversity and a lot of fun within our boundaries.
Size of farm: 150 acres with 5 in vegetables/flower/herb production, 25 in pasture and the remaining 120 in woodland.
Diversity of produce and livestock: 5 acres of mixed vegetables, cut flowers, herbs and small grains. Hill and Hollow's pasture land is shared by Addie our Jersey/Brown Swiss milk cow, a herd of 25 Jacob's sheep that we shear for their beautiful wool, pigs, a flock of mixed laying hens, 2 horses, Jack and Rosie, and Earl the donkey.
Skills that can be learned: See Hill and Hollow Farm's Skills Checklist.
Apprenticeship details: We want apprentices to be involved in all aspects of life here at Hill and Hollow. Our apprentices work with either Paul or me each day learning what it takes to run a CSA and live in a sustainable way off of the land. Typically, Hill and Hollow hosts 2 full-time apprentices who remain here for the duration of the main growing season, March through October. We also have other short term volunteers who come during the peak summer months. We have monthly educational workshops at regional farms as part of our Kentucky CRAFT group. Allowing apprentices to see what other Kentucky farms are working on and offering a wonderful chance to meet and spend time with the area’s interns and farmers, the CRAFT group has proven to be one of the most successful cooperative initiatives in our region. On the farm, we begin work early each day and break at midday to share our main meal, followed by a siesta during the hottest part of the day; we regroup for an evening work period. Tasks vary with each day and with the seasons, but apprentices can expect to do some of each of the following during their stays with us. Apprenticeships are provided room and full board; accommodation varies depending on who is on the farm and length of stay. To apply please visit http://www.hillandhollowfarm.com/apprenticeships.htm
Mentor Farmers: Paul Bela and Robin Verson
Address: 8707 Breeding Road Edmonton, KY 42129
Phone: (270) 432-0567