The Pfeiffer Center is located 30 miles from New York City, in the heart of a community of institutions based on the work of Rudolf Steiner. Our internship, a full-time, twelve-month program that combines academic work with hands-on field experience, is intended for individuals who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of organic sustainable agriculture and the biodynamic approach.
Size of farm: Our land base of 9 acres (3 acres in cultivation) is located in the 140-acre campus of Threefold Educational Foundation, which also includes woodlands and undeveloped open space along with residential and institutional buildings. Some activities also take place at Duryea Farm of the neighboring Fellowship Community, which includes 40 acres under cultivation and a small dairy.
Skills that can be learned: Agricultural handwork, plant care, pest management, making and using compost, bed preparation, crop rotation, succession and companion planting, greenhouse work, beekeeping, and orchard management. Biodynamic methods in relationship to seasonal and cosmic rhythms. Those with the interest and ability can also work with our draft horses.
Our interns participate in all aspects of planning, growing, and harvesting vegetables and herbs; making and marketing teas, salves, and herb salts; and working with the business and social aspects of bringing crops to market through our CSA and farm stand.
Interns attend all courses and workshops of the Pfeiffer Center, including the One-Year Part-Time Training in Biodynamics. A weekly seminar on Rudolf Steiner’s agriculture lectures anchors the experiential work with the foundations of the biodynamic method. Interns may also work with school and camp groups.
The internship’s focus on agricultural handwork and working with draft horses develops 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.
Apprenticeship details: Interns work and interact with many people every day; the internship is a social rather than a solitary experience. Candidates must be physically fit, and willing and able to do a wide variety of tasks. Some gardening experience and familiarity with biodynamics is helpful but not necessary. Most helpful are an open mind and a positive disposition.
Interns are provided with a room in Holder House, a 40-room student dormitory on campus, and produce in season. No stipend is provided.
Intern positions become available throughout the year and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit http://www.pfeiffercenter.org/internships.aspx to download the application.
Mentor Farmers: Mac Mead and Megan Durney
Address: 260 Hungry Hollow Rd., Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Phone: (845) 352-5020, ext. 120
Fax: (845) 352-5071