Help Needed on Biodynamic Farm
Located on a small, beautiful island in the San Juan Archipelago in the Pacific Northwest,
S&S Homestead is a 50-acre self-sufficient biodynamic farm that produces most of its own inputs: food for farm residents, learners, and the island community; feed for farm animals; fertility to sustain the soil; energy directly harvested from the sun; water collected from roof-sourced catchment systems; and wood products from its own, small forest. The farm is fully capitalized, has excellent buildings and infrastructure, and carries no debt. While primarily an educational farm, S&S Homestead markets production surpluses to the local community through meat sales and a CSA.
As a biodynamic farm, the Homestead is dedicated to the idea and practice of agriculture as a sacred and healing art. Students of all ages come here to satisfy a widely held desire to be reconnected with Nature and Spirit, to experience nutritionally whole and deeply satisfying food, and to learn to grow it in a manner that does not deplete resources, but rather builds healthy soil, clean water, fresh air, nurtures surrounding ecosystems, and cultivates vibrant human communities.
Having managed the farm since 1970, owners Henning Sehmsdorf and his wife, Elizabeth Simpson, now are looking for help in working with the land and animals until such a time when the farm can be passed on to the next generation.
Initially they are looking to trade room and food for one day of work per week. An additional day of work per week (400 hours annually) for cash compensation is an option. An additional option is for the helper(s) to run on-farm enterprises (such as a vegetable or whole-diet CSA, seed production, production of biodynamic preparations, dairy operation, educational programs, etc.) for profit. If successful, after a couple of years the helper(s) would qualify to assume the whole farm on a lease basis.
The successful candidate(s) for this position will be a single person or couple (married or permanently partnered) with formal training in biodynamics (completed apprenticeship preferred), and with at least two years of practical farming experience. The candidate(s) will be physically and mentally strong, committed to the biodynamic world view and practice, disciplined self-starter(s) and hard worker(s). The candidate(s) will be able to think critically and communicate effectively in speaking and writing. They will be well-organized, clean, neat, and able to take responsibility.
College degree (or higher) in a related field
Driving a tractor and handling (and maintaining) farm machinery
Animal husbandry, especially beef and dairy cows, sheep, pigs, and poultry
Pasture management, rotational grazing and electric fencing
Water systems, rain catchment, and drip irrigation
Vegetable and fruit production
Forest management, construction and wood working
Food processing, especially dairy, and food fermentation
Farm management and associative economics
Developing and teaching on-farm educational programs (including intern- and apprenticeships)
Developing and implementing agro-therapeutical programs
Relevant computer and website management skills
Public relations and community outreach skills
Artistic, craft and musical interests and skills
Interest in anthroposophy and other religious philosophies and traditions