Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community:
We have 320 acres of forestland, about 300 acres of certified organic cropland, a 5-acre USDA certified organic vegetable garden, a small apiary from which we harvest and sell raw honey, and a herd of 35 alpacas.
We have a greenhouse, two high tunnels in the field, outdoor and indoor vegetable washing stations, and a field garden shed.
In addition, we have a walk-in refrigerator located in the back of the main WVC office building.
Describe your farm operation:
The produce grown at WVC is used in the Sisters of Providence kitchens and sold through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and at the local farmers’ market. Our vegetable garden utilizes a fair degree of mechanical labor, but hand labor is required, as well. Our small apiary is used for education programs and our small amounts of honey and wax are sold, as well.
We breed and sell alpacas and use their manure for compost in the garden. Their valuable fiber is harvested every spring to create handmade yarn, scarves, hats, shawls, and other garments that we sell at Linden Leaf Gifts at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.
Our row crops are primarily corn, soy, wheat, alfalfa and hay. All row crops are certified organic. We need all hands on deck to bring in the hay.
WVC is strongly dedicated to education and we host a variety of workshops and retreats throughout the year, as well as host to school field trips and scout trips. These programs use the farm as a classroom to teach care for creation, fiber arts, eco-spirituality, and much more.
Are all your crops organically grown?
White Violet Center’s business hours are Monday-Friday, roughly 8 a.m.-4 p.m., though these hours fluctuate according to the season.
Garden interns will need to work some Saturdays in the market season (June-October) and alpaca interns will rotate regular weekend chores.
Applicants must be physically fit, capable of lifting at least 50 pounds, must be able to use a shovel and wheelbarrow easily, and able to work in a variety of weather conditions.
Previous experience with animals and in organic growing systems is preferred, but not necessary to apply. Above all, we encourage a willingness to learn and ability to self-direct.
Explain how you intend to provide instruction and training to an intern:
From time to time, we will offer formal classes and workshops that interns are encouraged to attend. We will also lead special educational sessions with WVC staff. Interns do have a required reading list, though it’s relatively light, but most learning will be done “on-the-job.”
Due to our relatively small staff, interns who can work well on their own and are self-directed are strongly desired.
Are you a full-time farmer?
We are a ministry site that operates full-time, year-round.
If so, what are you offering and under what conditions?
We provide a dorm-style room and one paid meal per workday, to be eaten in the cafeteria. In addition, interns get their share of produce from the garden and a monthly stipend of $150. WVC is tobacco-free.
Do you offer college credit?
College credit can often be arranged via the intern’s college or university, if desired.
Do you require a prospective intern to visit your farm before a final arrangement is made?
This is strongly encouraged, but not required.
Do you require a trial period?
For more information or to apply
Sister Mary Montgomery, internship coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-535-2932.