For 2008 Duryea Farm of the Fellowship Community seeks 4Ã¯Â¿Â½6 Farm Apprentices and long term co-farmer/herdsperson.
Farm Name: Duryea Farm of the Fellowship Community
Address: 241 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Phone: (845) 356-8494 (Ext. 451, 236, or 444)
Web Site: http://www.fellowshipcommunity.org
Contacts: Chris Riger, Miriam Karnow
The life and work of the Fellowship Community is supported and made possible by the Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation. Our bio-dynamic farm is an important part of an intergenerational work-based long-term care community. Working here can be very enlivening and fulfilling as we have all ages interacting and much of our sustenance comes from our own land and labor. Our Jersey cows give their calves and all of us delicious milk, our Aracuna hens lay beautiful blue eggs, and with your help we will keep our soil strong and have real home-grown organic Bio-dynamic vegetables long into the winter. The communityÃ¯Â¿Â½s activities include not only farming and gardening but also cooking, baking, cleaning, building maintenance, child care, woodwork, pottery, weaving, candle-making, some retail, and much elder-care.
We will need up to 6 apprentices to cover the period April 15th to November 15th; seven weeks would be the minimum stay. Application deadline Ã¯Â¿Â½ OPEN. Seasonal and longer term co-workers will have the potential opportunity to be involved in all aspects of farm work, including: research, chromatography, planning, seeding, transplanting, tractor work, mulching, observation, record keeping, appreciation, weeding, harvesting, preserving food for winter, milking, haying, pasture rotation work, tending of dairy herd, laying flock and sheep, apple orchard work, creating and applying compost, working with and applying biodynamic preparations. They are also expected, in order to integrate into the life of the community, to help serve and clear tables at the common meals and to do a few hours a week of other community work, such as food preparation and/or kitchen cleanup. There also may be opportunities for some construction and repair for someone with experience.
We are in the midst of a very exciting and vital time in our communityÃ¯Â¿Â½s agricultural efforts. Our primary focus is providing the highest quality, diversity and full supply of food to meet the year-round needs of our community. We are also going to continue to sell and trade a significant amount of our produce and dairy products through our own shop, the local health food co-op, restaurants and caterers in NYC, and possibly contribute to a beginning effort at building a CSA. This year we are in the midst of a fresh commitment to meet these goals more fully.
All of our work to this end is, however, definitely and consciously being done in the context of the reality of what is happening all over the world right now as regards food and fuel/energy, and water. We will engage in regular workshop and mutual teaching sessions both on and off the field, again, in this same world-wide context. We want to try to document through writing, photographs and possibly video work some of this learning process.
The last 150 years has seen a completely unprecedented assault on the life systems of the earth and the viability and quality of human culture. The two trends are directly connected. This same period has also seen the emergence of sources of inspiration and insight that have the potential to reverse these trends and heal the unspeakable damage done. Only, however, if we act on them with the greatest urgency and commitment we can muster. At the request of farmers who were experiencing a decline in the vitality of soil, seed stocks, harvested produce and animal health Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures now contained in a book with the subtitle Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture. The material became a foundation of the agricultural efforts here in this community a decade later.
It so happens that this farm and land immediately surrounding us was the very first area in this country where organic farming as such was practiced in the early 1930Ã¯Â¿Â½s. This was the first bio-dynamic gardening done in North America. The learning process that we want to advance while doing the hard and fun work of growing food and building soil fertility here will be informed by the work of Rudolf Steiner and his Agriculture Course as well as the work of Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, John Muir, Rachael Carson, Thomas Berry, Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Sir Albert Howard, Johann Goethe, Vandana Shiva, Henry Thoreau, David Brower, Arundatti Roy, Loren Eiseley, Paul Scharff, Gunter Hauk, Jennifer Greene, Wes Jackson, Black Elk, Chief Joseph, Masanobu Fukuoka, Mac Mead, Marija Gimbutas, Craig Holdrege, Frances Moore Lappe, Lynn Margulis, Robinson Jeffers, Jerry Mander, Alastair McIntosh, William A. Albrecht, Charles Walters, Ivan Illich, David Korten, Ernst Callenbach, Charlene Spretnak, Gerald Karnow, Riane Eisler, Elliot Coleman, Joanna Macy, E.F. Schumacher, Roderick Nash, Carl Gustav Jung, Martin Luther King, George Washington Carver, Alan Chadwick, Rene Dubos, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Michael Pollan, Ani Difranco, Bruce Cockburn, Herman Daly, Gary Snyder, Barry Lopez, Annie Dillard, Ceasar Chavez, Howard Zinn, Wolf Storl, Nikolaus Remer, Paulo Freire, Maria Montessori, Janusz Korczak, and others.
It is our serious intention to build on this body of work, as others are doing, through our own learning process as we work the fields together and observe, appreciate and love the soil, the plants and our animals here.
Ã¯Â¿Â½Humanity has only two choices: either to start once again, in every field of endeavor, to learn from the whole of nature, from the relationships within the whole cosmos, or to allow both nature and human life to degenerate and die off. There is no other choice.Ã¯Â¿Â½
Rudolf Steiner Ã¯Â¿Â½ The Agriculture Course 1924
Ã¯Â¿Â½A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.Ã¯Â¿Â½
Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½. As the ethical frontier advances from the individual to the community, its intellectual content increases. The mechanism of operation is the same for any ethic: social approbation for right actions: social disapproval for wrong actions.Ã¯Â¿Â½
Aldo Leopold Ã¯Â¿Â½ A Sand County Almanac 1948
The biotic community includes, of course, the human community.
Work Experience Desired:
Prior solid organic farm experience is desired, especially growing vegetables. Some tractor work experience and/or livestock care experience would be a definite plus. We would consider those without a full season's experience, but with a very strong interest and dedication to this work.
Whatever your level of experience you must be able to be fully present to this work.
Details about Internship/Apprenticeship:
The days will sometimes be long in keeping with the sunÃ¯Â¿Â½s rhythms and the work can be demanding. We can also have fun, learn a lot, and be fulfilled by the value of the work and the learning.
We provide home-cooked meals in our common dining room where we eat family-style with the other co-workers and community members including elderly residents. Housing is provided (generally private rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens). There is internet access in the community. A medical clinic exists on the premises serving the community and the public. We will also provide a stipend as do many other organic farms which depend on seasonal apprentice help to meet their production needs. In the case of the Fellowship Community this will be worked out individually in accordance with individual needs.
In your initial inquiry about this position please give us a short description of your farming experience, what you feel about this work and why you want to pursue it Ã¯Â¿Â½ along with your availability dates. All of these details are important when you first contact us.
If you are currently living within a manageable distance we would very much like to meet you, have a personal interview and show you the farm and community; if that is not possible we will want to engage in a detailed phone conversation/interview in addition to email communication.
Description of our Community:
Our human community includes 73 elderly members who help support the community economically, 51 co-workers who are supported economically by the community, 18 children (most of whom attend the nearby Waldorf School), and over 40 volunteers. People from around the world come here to work for various lengths of time. Altogether our quality of life supports all that live and work here, including our elderly, who have opportunities to participate and share in all the activities. Meaningful daily experiences in our multi-generational community help to sustain the human spirit.
Work Groups are an integral part of our community life. They include the group that cares for the elderly, craft groups including Weavery, Mercury Press, Pottery, Candle Shop, and the Wood and Metal Shops. In addition there is a group centered on our Medical Practice, as well as a group which supports the Hand and Hoe (our small store). And, there is a large group which supports the Farm and Gardens.
The Farm and Garden activities provide extensive opportunities to fulfill the many needs of this aspect of our work. We grow a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, apples, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, grapes, and a good part of our own hay. We blanch and freeze vegetables and fruit for our own use, make yogurt, cottage cheese, pickles, jams, relish, apple cider, and dried herbs. Our products are consumed primarily in the community, but we also operate a cafÃ¯Â¿Â½ and retail store one afternoon a week where garden and farm produce is available. A good local Co-op heath food store - which is less than a mile from where our cows graze, our vegetables grow and we all live - carries our milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and surplus vegetables.
The agricultural portion of our 100 plus acreage consists in 10 acres of vegetable beds, 30 acres of pasture, hay, and cover crops, as well as a 250-tree apple orchard. Right now we are working with 9 Jersey cows (dairy), 5 sheep with lambs and about 200 chickens. Cultivated areas and areas for housing and non-residential buildings are interspersed with woods, 2 streams and small ponds. Our Dairy Barn, milk-handling facilities, farm education center and farm house residence are provided with electric power during the day from an array of solar panels on the south-facing roof of the barn. We have recently intensified our production of high quality carefully made (with Bio-Dynamic preparations) cow manure-based compost, and have between 200 and 500 tons in production at any given time.
Located 30 miles north of New York City we are the only remaining diversified farm in Rockland County, an oasis of rural life in an otherwise suburban area. Within walking distance is the Pfeiffer Garden Center, the Green Meadow Waldorf School, anthroposophically based Sunbridge College and Bookstore, the Eurythmy School of Spring Valley, and the Hungry Hollow Co-op. And an outdoor community swimming pool! Bus service to NYC is very convenient.
As you move just a little farther north of the community there are many wonderful natural areas and great little and medium size Hudson River Valley towns to explore. For example the town of New Paltz, New York with its nearby Schwangunk Range, a unique natural preserve and world-famous climbing and hiking area, is barely more than an hour from here. Harriman Park and Bear Mountain are also very close by.
There is a distinct possibility of your staying on here as a full time working member of this community or returning as such, in which case you would likely become involved in other aspects of the communityÃ¯Â¿Â½s work. We are especially looking for people who cultivate the inner life and are committed to the value of worthwhile work done well. All of life has evolved and will continue only as an interdependent and mutually enhancing community of intimately related individuals. Thus our efforts here at building this community are simply a reflection of what will be needed now all over this earth of ours.