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Position: Sustainable Farming Intern
Type: sustainable farming internship with food, accom., stipend, more (see below)
Organization: Our Farm CSA & Lone Oak Farm
Location: Woodlawn, near Ottawa, Ontario

We at Our Farm CSA and our neighbours at Lone Oak Farm would like to jointly host an intern (couples welcome) for a full-time, well-rounded farm work and learning experience from the beginning of April to the end of October (dates flexible, if necessary, to accommodate school schedules).

The Farms

At Our Farm CSA, Katie has a small market garden CSA, raised rotationally grazed lamb for market, and raises pastured chicken and some laying hens, as well as growing hay on 100 acres. At Lone Oak Farm across the road, Kevin and Louise milk 25 Holstein cows, grow corn, soybeans and mixed grains as well as cutting and baling hay for themselves and a few neighbours, in addition to feeding themselves from a large kitchen garden. You will get a hands-on education in seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting and packing vegetables, farmer's market experience selling veggies and frozen cuts of lamb, and managing a CSA, as well as caring for sheep and dairy cows (including milking duties in the evening), learning about the principles and practicalities of rotational pasture grazing for livestock, fencing, and pasture and irrigation management. You will be able to experience lambing season and assist with managing three groups of ewes birthing approximately 150 lambs, as well as learning about calving and all that goes into running a dairy from breeding cows to the 'ins and outs' of the dairy quota/supply management system. Depending on circumstances, you may be given instruction on driving tractors as well as learning about cutting, raking, baling, and stacking hay. You must like dogs. There will be opportunities to learn about food preservation techniques such as canning and dehydrating, and if there are projects that interest you such as mushroom propagation or selling eggs, we are willing to work with you and support your initiative for a side project.

The Accomodations and Schedule

Because an internship is a work for learning exchange, we provide food (on-farm grown or as local as possible), accommodation, and education in exchange for your commitment and time, as well as a small stipend (see below) as a thank-you.We generally work 55-60 hours/week and take turns doing animal chores on Sundays so that even though some work needs to be done, everyone gets a bit of a break. Some days we'll work a bit longer if, for example, the hay needs to get done ... and some days it will be too hot and we'll take the afternoon to cool off in Kevin's pool. You need to be prepared to work outside in all weather conditions, though.Accommodations are provided in a private trailer at Our Farm CSA, and we're located just a short bicycle ride from the beaches at Constance Bay along the Ottawa River where a friend has kayaks we can sometimes borrow, as well as being located a short 15 minute drive from several cute villages with cafe's, pubs and galleries for exploring on days off. Meals are prepared and eaten communally in the house, and you will be expected to share in common household chores such as washing dishes or sweeping the floor, keeping your bathroom clean, etc. Laundry facilities are provided in the house, as well.

Educational Opportunities

We are committed to providing a learning environment that will expose you to all aspects of a mixed farm that matches your responsibilities with your areas of interest as much as possible. While we will also facilitate field trips to other farms to cover topics such as permaculture and provide exposure to other types of livestock, most of your education will come in the form of mentoring by farmers at Our Farm CSA and Lone Oak Farm, invaluable hands-on experience, and access to extensive on-farm libraries.

Responsibilities and learning opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Greenhouse management & seedling production

  • Seeding & transplanting

  • Weed management & pest control

  • Harvesting & postharvest handling

  • CSA distribution, and customer management & retention

  • Marketing & farm stand management

  • Soil building practices & fertility management

  • Management (grazing, watering and care) of pastured poultry, sheep and cattle (including milking), along with lambing and calving

  • Irrigation & fencing

  • Infrastructure building & maintenance

  • Training on Massey Ferguson & New Holland tractors, along with implements such as hay bine, rake, and baler (as deemed appropriate)

Required Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Strong work ethic

  • Collaborative and reliable team player with other interns, farm volunteers, and farmers

  • Openness and commitment to learning about sustainable, mixed farming

  • Ability to take and follow direction from supervisors

  • Ability to practice good time management

  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently

  • Most work tasks are performed outdoors - must be able to work outside in a variety of weather conditions for long hours performing various tasks

  • Ability to lift 50lbs for short periods of time

  • Health insurance valid in Ontario for the term of the internship (OHIP acceptable, but not required)


  • Experience on a comparable market garden farm, growing for CSA and markets

  • Experience working with pastured livestock

  • A valid driver's license

  • Experience with tractors and implements


Interns will receive a stipend of $75/week, with a $500 bonus to be paid upon completion of the agreed-upon term of the internship, and are given one week of vacation taken at a time of the year other than lambing and haying season.

Please send a resumé and cover letter explainging why you want to spend a season farming and what you hope to learn, to:
ourfarmcsa mask*
and those selected for an interview will be contacted shortly.

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FoodWork ID: 37718       Date posted to Mar 1 2017