Internships in general are about learning by doing. The same is true of our internship. Interns do all the work we do, and in the process of all that work, you can expect to learn about greenhouse operation, variety selection, soil preparation and care, planting techniques, fertilizer application methods, cover cropping, weed control, pest management, irrigation methods, harvest skills and methods, marketing skills and equipment needs, care and use.
We give instructions as we go and try to explain the hows and why along the way. We also do weekly field walks to practice the very important farmerly skill of observation. On these walks, we discuss how the crops are growing and get a sense of the work plan for the coming week. Occasionally, we will have evening classes on topics such as soils and fertility, basic botany, management of weeds, insects, and diseases, and possibly other subjects at intern suggestion.
We work a total of 5 days a week. Sundays are off and interns get either Wednesday afternoon or all day Saturday off. The day starts at 7 or 7:30 and ends at 5:30pm, with two hours for lunch. Because we have two small children, we try to stick to this schedule as it gives which ever of us is working in the afternoon time to see the girls for dinner and before their 7 o’clock bedtime. Weekdays we will prepare lunch and eat it all together.
A typical week looks something like this; Mondays and Thursdays are fieldwork days. Tuesdays and Fridays are harvest days. Wednesday is a long day of harvesting and going to market. Saturday starts early packing the van for market and ends around 12:30 when the market ends and the van is reloaded to return home. Sunday is a rest day!
The season is long and the relentless steady pace can be exhausting. We offer interns a paid week off in July or August and encourage people to take that week. It is important to get away for a break and avoid burnout.