This more extensive internship will span from May or June-October as a farm intern with the possibility of implementing a test plot during a second summer. During this first year the interns tasks will include soil building and cover cropping, starting and planting vegetables, and canning and preserving excess produce for the market. Interns will learn seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting, and preserving. During this time the intern will engage in two research projects driven partially by the interests of the intern but that may include; cultivation methods, soil fertility, carbon sequestration, harvest densities or marketing. The intern will present these topics to the Farm Collaborative Staff during staff meetings. This first summer on the farm will expose the intern to daily farm work and give them an idea of different farming methods. Interns will also take park in infrastructure upkeep and animal husbandry including rotating chicken and sheep, mucking chicken coops, fixing fencing and irrigation, digging trenches, and pulling thistle.The second stage of the internship will involve planning and implementing their own incubator farm. During the fall or winter the intern will work to create a farm business plan and seeding and planting plan with the Production Manager of The Farm Collaborative. This will include documenting the calculations on what to plant, projected farm harvests and sales, seed purchases and orders based on projected plantings, and research on market opportunities. The intern will be able to do these projects in conjunction with the Production Manager and will have access to the Farm Collaboratives harvest and sales data from previous years as a baseline. This second year the intern will not receive a stipend for time spent on their personal test plot, but they will have the option to work part time for the farm collaborative to supplement their pilot year.If the intern chooses, they will then be able to take and implement this farm plan during the subsequent summer. The Farm Collaborative will provide allocated space for this farmer as a test plot, space at the Aspen Farmers Market booth, and access to wholesale or CSA connections forged by the Farm Collaborative. They will be able to utilize the farm equipment provided by the Farm Collaborative, including small greenhouse structures, seeding materials, and machinery. This final project collaboration will culminate in a comparison of the planting, harvesting, and business plan projections to the actual harvests and sales achieved during that year. It will give the new farmer a taste of what a real farm year would be like without having to make the big investments.
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