Sharing the experience and knowledge of sustainable agriculture has always been an important part of life at Moon In the Pond Farm, that’s why education has become an essential aspect of our mission. Apprenticeships, internships, full and part time, workshops and tours are a big part of how we share the growth process.

Click here to learn more about our several different long- and short-term learning/working opportunities.

 
 
Sharing traditional farming methods and heritage breeds with students and visitors is an important part of life at Moon In The Pond Organic Farm.
 
 
 

APPRENTICESHIPS AND LEARNING-WORKING OPPORTUNITIES

Established in 1991, MITP is a small, diverse, sustainable, permaculture farm where the relationship of people to nature is constantly explored in a myriad of ways that include animals, crops, self-sufficiency, sustainability, conservation of heirloom vegetable varieties and seeds, conservation of historic livestock and traditional and modern farming techniques; all while attempting to fill the needs of today’s culture and society. We raise heritage breed animals for meat (nearly ten thousand pounds annually) and heirloom vegetables, eggs, honey, fruit, and more which we sell locally directly to families, partly through our unique CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program) at the farm and at local farmers’ markets. We are involved in a great number of projects that involve community and education. The farm includes: 1/2 acre veg. Market Garden, 10 Dorset sheep (and 12-18 lambs for meat), 150+/- acres pasture and hay, one dairy cow, (+ calves), 15 Scottish Highland cattle (beef), 3 Large Black (Cornwall) pigs (and as many as 30 piglets raised for pork), 40 New Hampshire laying hens, and 100-200+ meat birds, 8 Pilgrim geese (meat and eggs), 40 Khaki Campbell Ducks (meat and eggs), 80,000 (give or take a few) honey bees (two hives), Shiitake mushroom production, etc.

Recreation:
Here in the bosom of the Berkshires, a cultural and alternative-culture Mecca, within view of Mt. Everett and Appalachian Trail, in the middle of about 700 acres of protected land, nature abounds. Hiking, biking, fishing, nature walking, birding, and other activities easily enjoyed. Nearby one can ride, canoe, dance, and attend world-class concerts and yoga classes, etc.

General Internship/Apprenticeship Information:
There are two categories of work-stay: “full-year apprentices” and “interns”. Please review each carefully and state the role for which you are applying in your application.

Work/Experience Desired:
Outdoor work experience. Ability and willingness to work at physical labor. Facility with hand tools, basic carpentry, and gardening skills. Driver’s license and clean driving record required.

Stipend/Compensation:
Interns: $100/week (for interns staying 6+ months)
Apprentices: $200/week.

Housing:
Indoor housing in farmhouse on the farm for apprentices and interns.

Meals:
Full board provided: All organic, mostly from the farm--veggies, meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, honey, fruit, etc., etc. All apprentices share meal prep and eat together.

Details about Internship/Apprenticeship:
There are two categories of work-stay: “full-year apprentices” and “interns”.

Full-year Apprenticeship: This is a good position for someone who wants a full, deep understanding of small, very varied modern homestead-like farming; someone interested in learning about, and participating in farm life and community building. Running the full yearís cycle from planning to implementation, to harvest and back to planning, this is an intensive, in-depth, comprehensive program that results in a solid working knowledge of the many facets of a real farm: food production, CSA, community, marketing, organic techniques and farm life, science, philosophy, etc. An apprentice at MITP is required to learn and practice a broad range of skills and take responsibility for farm tasks. Program starts in late winter (Jan.-Mar.).

This apprenticeship is intended to give participants a strong introduction to the life of farming and the breadth of knowledge, and scope of tasks, the logistics and the challenges of that life. Many, even most, of our past full-year apprentices have come with little or no farming experience, but have come with a strong commitment to the purpose of training themselves for a productive life of awareness and connection to nature through a real understanding of the source of their sustenance, food, and what it takes to produce and provide it for themselves and others. The very nature of farming is that of nurturing and is predicated on a functioning community. So a very strong part of the study and learning within this apprenticeship is centered on understanding and building of relationships and social structure(s): interdependent relationships that begin on the farm and extend around and outside the farm, on which the farm relies for its existence.

Internship: For people who have a limited amount of time for an abbreviated version of our apprenticeship. Any amount of time is considered, though longer terms (3-4 months) will be given preference. Internship applications accepted at all times of year.

Type of work to be done:

All manner of farm work required: mucking, mulching, milking, mowing, herding, haying, harvesting, watering, weeding, weeding, seeding, feeding, fencing, foraging, planting, transplanting, picking, staking, raking, building, recording, studying, observing, reporting, etc., etc. There are always special projects and all projects are special. Hours and days will necessarily vary--likely 55 hours/week. It's hard work, at a steady pace, outdoors, in the sun/rain, cold/heat, beautiful Berkshire weather. Ability and willingness to work alternately alone and with/or directing others is necessary.

Please take note of the requirements for application: 1) Letter of intent. Why you want this type of experience, what you hope to learn, and what you can offer. Be specific. 2) Résumé. Include all basic personal information. Use dates and names. 3) References. Provide addresses, emails and phone numbers. 4) Proposed dates for interview visit. 5.) A working farm visit is required before final acceptance—3days for internships and one week for apprenticeship.

To Apply
Send detailed letter of intent (what you want to learn, why, and what you expect to contribute-specifically why you think you fit this listing) and résumé and proposed dates for visit/interview. Please put either "Apprentice Application" or "Intern Application" in the subject line. More information will not be sent without résumé. DO NOT send generic requests for more information.


Application Timeline
Interns: Interns should apply no more than 3 months in advance with the understanding that space fills up quickly.


Apprentices: Applicants are very welcome to come and visit and volunteer at the farm anytime during the year (even before they actually apply to the full-year apprenticeship program—in fact it’s encouraged). Applications are accepted beginning Jul. 1 for the full-year program. Applications sent before then MUST BE RESUBMITTED in July. This is the application calendar for the full-year apprenticeship program:
July 1: We will be accepting applications for the upcoming year. We will accept applications until the positions are filled.
August - November: Interviews and work visits will be scheduled.
November 1, December 1, January 1, February 1: Begin dates. Ideally each apprentice will begin on one of these four dates. There is some flexibility in this scheduling.

 
     
 

FARM TOURS

Farmer Dominic Palumbo offers tours of his farm Moon In The Pond by arrangement.

This is an exciting opportunity to see a real working modern “old fashioned” farm from the inside as a guest of the farmer.

The farm is tucked away on a quiet and picturesque country road in the town of Sheffield in Southern Berkshire County Massachusetts two hours and 45 minutes north of NYC. The tour runs approximately 2 hours walking through the fields and woods of Moon In The Pond to see and talk about the various heritage breeds of animals raised on the farm. Breeds include: Jersey dairy cows, Scottish Highland beef cattle, Large Black pigs, Dorset sheep, Brown Swiss oxen, Pilgrim geese, Narragansett turkeys, Khaki Campbell ducks, New Hampshire chickens. Discussions range: the history of breeds; modern agriculture, organic agriculture; cultural heritage; nutrition; traditional food preparation techniques; livestock feeding: grass-fed vs. grain-fed; and a wide variety of other topics as conversation allows.

Lunch or dinner can be arranged at the marvelous nearby Verdura before or after the tour, or a snack and glass of wine at the wine bar Due to complete a splendid day in the countryside.


Cost of the 2-hour tour is $200.

Children (Specific age groups are preferred. 2o person maximum)

  • up to 12 years = 15 children maximum + 5 adult chaperons (3 chaperon min.)
  • 12+ years = 20 person maximum

Adults

  • price includes groups up to 20
  • additional persons $15 ea.

Tours will be designed to be age and audience appropriate
and cover a range of topics from:

  • Farm cycles
  • Farm language
  • Natural resource conservation
  • Heritage breeds
  • Industrial vs. sustainable
  • When, what, where, how and why of food
  • Our culture, history and how agriculture has informed it
  • Animal names/nomenclature
  • Nutrition
  • Emotion, compassion, intelligence, intuition, instinct—animal and human
  • Value and cost of food production

Call 413-229-3092 or email dom@mooninthepond.com
for more information and to book a date.

Moon In The Pond meats are seasonally available at the farm—bring a picnic cooler and ice packs to bring home your purchases!

 
     
 

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Website design and principle photography by Jason Houston