The Pfeiffer Center provides a unique opportunity to focus in on the essentials of caring for soil, plants, and animals. To learn ideal handwork methods in making compost, making beds, seeding and transplanting, cultivating, harvesting, processing, and storing as well as basic animal care provides an essential background towards any further career in agriculture. We focus intensively on the making and use of the biodynamic preparations as well as many other practical aspects of the biodynamic method. We work hard and also study hard. In the midst of the practical work we set aside time to study the Agriculture lectures by Rudolf Steiner and have a work related meeting to oversee the weeks work. Interns can attend all of the Pfeiffer Center courses and workshops. Interns can also participate in the Outdoor Lesson, a public elementary school farm program that we teach and gain skills in working with children in an agricultural setting. Volunteering at the Duryea Farm of the Fellowship Community and helping with their cows or field work is also a possibility. There are several other institutions based on the work of Rudolf Steiner in the surrounding area that help create a very lively and inspiring community to be in.
Size of farm: 3 acres
Diversity of produce and livestock: The Pfeiffer Center has a central 2 acre area which includes a Â½ acre raised bed handwork vegetable, flower, and herb garden. There is also a small orchard including soft fruit, and dye and rock garden. Our greenhouse, apiary, and compost area are located here as well. In another one acre area are located our two small draft horses and fields which we work with them for vegetables, and forage crops for the bees.
Skills that can be learned: See Pfeiffer Center's skills checklist.
Apprenticeship details: The Pfeiffer Center internship is intended for individuals who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of organic sustainable agriculture and the biodynamic approach. This full-time, one-year program combines academic work with hands-on field experience. Interns attend all courses and workshops of the Pfeiffer Center, including the One-Year Part-Time Training in Biodynamics, and a weekly seminar on Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture course anchors the academic work. Interns also work with school and camp groups attending our children’s program, The Outdoor Lesson, which helps contribute to the future health of the earth by fostering an attitude of reverence and joy toward nature and all its beings. The internship’s focus on agricultural handwork represents an opportunity not available in farm apprenticeship programs, and helps develop skills that are invaluable when applied to larger-scale agriculture. The academic opportunities that are integral to the internship afford our interns an unusually balanced life of work and study. The focus on biodynamics leads to a heightened understanding of issues of quality which are generally not given sufficient attention in today’s agriculture. The Pfeiffer Center offers a Farm Based Education Track to interns interested in working with children. Interns in the FBE track spend about half of their working hours supporting the Pfeiffer Center's programs for children and teens. Interns in the FBE track also participate fully in the work of the garden. Internship applicants who wish to pursue the FBE track should indicate their interest on their application. Intern positions become available throughout the year and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please visit http://www.pfeiffercenter.org/internships.aspx to download the application.
Mentor Farmer: Mac Mead
Address: 260 Hungry Hollow Rd. Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Phone: (845) 352-5020, ext. 20
Fax: (845) 352-5071