Though we are just completing our first year in residence we have a thriving livestock program cultivated by DoubleSnake (né Jim Montgomery) who managed the livestock at Green Faerie Farm (an urban homestead) in Berkeley for 20 years. Jim is a faculty member of the Institute of Urban Homesteading based in Oakland, California.
Many of the animals at Groundswell came with DoubleSnake from Green Faerie Farm. Dairy goats, meat rabbits, a rat terrier and a flock of laying chickens traveled from Berkeley to Groundswell. In recent months, they have been joined by a herd of alpacas, a flock of guinea fowl, and two pigs. We also have two guardian llamas, a guardian Great Pyrenees and Australian Shepherd.
Regenerative practices such as permaculture and the pioneering work of Polyface Farm are inspirations for the management of our livestock program. For example our pigs will consume whey from our cheese making, clean up windfall fruit, and consume leftovers from our retreat facility. Our chickens help manage the fly population and eat fallen grain in our barn. We have much to do to build a system that follows our values and in that process we have an opportunity for a livestock intern to learn about an integrated farm.
We are offering 3-month internships and are open to extend this for an additional 3 months, when there is desire on both sides. During this internship we will provide hands-on and formal education in exchange for your labor and assistance with our livestock. Interns will also live with our community and participate in exchange for room and partial board. This program begins with a one-month trial period.
Curricula & Activities Include:
In general, the internship will cover basics of caring for goats, alpacas, rabbits, pigs, chickens and other fowl including feeding and nutritional needs, general grooming and health maintenance especially first aid and preventative medical care, housing needs, pasturing and fencing maintenance (mobile solar powered as well as permanent fencing) plus breeding, gestation, and care of young.
Skills related to the different types of livestock are listed below:
(Goats) Milking by hand and machine
(Goats) Milk handling, cheese making and other dairy products.
(Chickens) Egg production and handling
(Chickens) Managing a mobile chicken coop and pasture.
(Alpacas) Fiber production including shearing cycles and fiber handling
(Pig) Pasturing and rotation
(Chickens, Rabbits, Goats, & Pigs) *optional* Humane slaughter and dressing livestock
WHAT WE PROVIDE
~ A room in our group house
~ 50% of your food costs (you provide the other 50% in cash or via Calfresh—see below) Group dinners 90% of the time. Food for lunch and breakfast will be provided (you will need to prepare those meals yourself).
~ Formal and informal instruction as detailed above.
WHAT WE EXPECT
~ 20 hours per week hands on work with the animals
~ Participation in group living which will include approximately 10 additional hours per week helping with meals, maintenance of common spaces, and other common needs of the community.
~ $200 per month which we have determined to be half of the cost of food per person. (If this expense seems to be too much for you; please be aware that if you qualify for CalFresh [formerly known as “food stamps”], you can completely cover this expense.)
YOU WOULD BE A GOOD FIT IF
You are passionate about animals and interested in learning a more ethical and integrated methods of working with livestock. You enjoy physical labor and are willing to work hard. You enjoy living in community and get along with diverse personalities. You are comfortable with omnivores and with a range of queer expression and gender diversity. You enjoy communal food sharing including preparation and clean up of meals.
If this description sparks your interest, please contact DoubleSnake via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. He will send you an application form. All applications will be due by September 28, 2015 but earlier submission will have a slight advantage.
Upon review of the applications we will interview the top candidates. If possible we’d like this to include a tour of our eco-village but if you are too far away to make a quick visit, we can conduct the interview via Skype. After the interviews we will contact all applicants.