Be an intern on our farm
Do you like to dig in the dirt? Do you dream of befriending an alpaca? If so, our White Violet Center for Eco-Justice farm internship might be the place for you!
White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC) is located at beautiful Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, just 80 miles west of Indianapolis. As an intern you’ll get to work with the amazing people on our team as well as other interns from all over the country, in a hands-on, learning environment at our certified organic farm. You’ll also be able to meet and connect with the women who started it all, the Sisters of Providence.
What to expect
Specific duties vary depending on the time of the year, but will largely revolve around regular small farm operations.
Interns work approximately 35-40 hours per week. Because we are a working farm, interns will be expected to work some weekends.
As an intern you will:
- Plant, mulch, seed, weed, and other garden tasks
- Harvest, wash and pack veggies for farmers market
- Feed and care for animals
- Clean out barns and pastures
- Clean alpaca fiber
- Gather and process eggs
- Work in the Farm Store
Farming revolves around the growing season so assigned work will naturally reflect these seasonal cycles on the farm. As an intern you’ll be exposed to all the different aspects of farming depending on the time of year you’re with us.
In the spring, summer and early fall you’ll learn about planting, weeding, mulching and harvesting. You’ll also be involved in our local farmers market where we sell produce, flowers and the value-added products we create in our White Violet commercial kitchen.
In the late fall and winter, when the growing season slows, you’ll find yourself with more time for indoor experiences such as fiber arts.
Animals are tended to twice a day, every day. All interns participate in the care and feeding of our alpacas and chickens. You’ll learn how to gather and process eggs. You’ll also get to participate in any breeding and birthing processes.
Want to know even more? Open each section to see the nitty-gritty of White Violet Center’s operations.
WVC grows a variety of crops throughout the year that include vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs and flowers. As an intern you’ll learn what it takes to run a small USDA-certified-organic farm.
- planning, planting, nurturing and harvesting
- prepping for and selling at the local farmers market
- selling in our Farm Store
- assisting in our commercial kitchen
Daily care of our alpacas and chickens is another vital part of farm life at WVC. Our alpacas all have names and distinct personalities. You’ll get to know them as you will participate in their regular care. Because we are actively breeding, you may even have the opportunity meet a cria (baby alpaca). Crias are usually born in the late spring or early fall. Chickens are also part of life on the farm. Gathering eggs and preparing them for sale is a task you will learn soon after you arrive.
- feeding and care of all animals
- pasture and coop maintenance
- regularly collecting and processing eggs
- participate in the breeding and birthing process
If your internship extends into the winter months you’ll have the opportunity to spend more time learning about all the different ways to work with fiber. Each year our alpacas are professionally sheared. The fiber is cleaned and separated. The best of this fiber is sent off to be spun into yarn. The remaining fiber is used for felting and other projects. Interns who are with us during the winter season, usually from mid-November through February, will get to work with fiber on a regular basis when the growing season is slower.
- skirting (sorting and cleaning) alpaca fiber
- carding, spinning and dyeing
- knitting, weaving, crocheting and felting
You’ll be part of the team
As an intern you’re a part of the White Violet Center team. You’ll attend monthly staff meetings, weekly intern enrichment activities and any other educational opportunities or experiences that may arise. You could also be asked to assist in events, workshops, classes and tours that the center offers.
At the end of your internship you’ll present a project of your choice. We’ll work with you on finding an area that interests you and incorporates what you’ve learned while you were here. Some past intern projects have included the creation of an alpaca deck of playing cards, a handbook for beginning knitters and an organizational mapping system for the farm.
Other benefits and considerations
- Internships at White Violet Center may qualify for independent study
- Housing is included (details below)
- Monthly stipend
- Seasonal produce from the garden and eggs from our chickens
Life on the farm
As an intern you’ll be provided with a private room in a house that is shared with up to seven other interns. There are three bathrooms, a large living room and connected dining area that are perfect for gathering with other interns and friends. There is also a very large yard and plenty of parking if you choose to bring your car. The house is just steps away from the Center, fields, Farm Store and animals.
- Private furnished bedroom
- Fully furnished house
- Full kitchen
- Heating/air conditioning
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite laundry facilities
- Laundry soap and cleaning supplies
- Towels and linens
You can prepare meals and food in your kitchen at Marion House. The Center also has a kitchen. Both kitchens are stocked with pots, pans, dishes and utensils. Eggs and seasonal produce from the farm are made available at no cost. Additional food can be purchased at area grocery stores.