Eighth Day Farm » Farming in the City

Internship Program

We are now accepting applications for the 2014 growing season.

Applications with instructions: Eighth-Day-Internship-Application 2014

Applications are due March 31, 2014.

Visit our blog to read from our interns 2013.

The invitation:

Eighth Day Farm, (Holland, MI) is recruiting up to six people to participate in an intern-apprentice practicum, May-August 2014. Selected interns will possess an interest in agriculture and creation care along with the physical and emotional dedication to work and learn. Interns will also need to demonstrate a commitment to the Christian faith and a desire to live, cooperate and grow in a spiritual community. Housing, food shares from the farm and food stipend will be provided. 40-hour work-week.  Independent study for college credit (optional and pending approval). Applicants should apply through application form and submit one character reference.

The Internship Practicum exists to fulfill Eighth Day Farm’s mission in at least three ways:

  1. Service Learning. Interns provide service that allows them first hand, introductory experience of practicing the necessary disciplines of a working urban farm.
  2. Training future food growers. Some of our interns will discern a long term calling to farming and will continue to work with Eighth Day Farm after the internship is completed, or they will go on to other apprenticeships and training programs.
  3. Formation. The practicum is designed to allow all participants to deepen their practiced values necessary to, as our mission states, “cultivate healthy and sustainable communities locally and globally.”

Who should apply:

The Eighth Day Farm internship practicum is designed for younger adults, currently enrolled or recently graduated college and graduate students. The program is ideal for someone discerning a vocation as a farmer but also for anyone interested in exploring and practicing a holistic and close existence to food and land with the encouragement and support of a Christian community.

Content of the practicum:

Creation care/stewardship

  • Interns will develop a working understanding of how to grow vegetables from germination to harvest. Basic regular tasks include seeding, watering, weeding, transplanting, digging, soil preparation, composting, cleaning and preparing food for sale.

Formation

  • Spiritual. The practicum is grounded in the practice of daily morning prayers during the workweek.
  • Relational. The residential nature of the practicum is highly rewarding for interns as they learn to work, pray and live together.
    • Both intern residencies in 2013 were located within blocks of our lead farmer and several other families involved in the farm. We are hoping to have similar proximity for intern accommodations in 2014.
    • Each intern is assigned to a host family who is substantially involved in the farm. Host families provide a meal once in a while and also model a lived practice of the spiritual and environmental values of the farm.
    • An important part of the practicum is not just growing the food but also cooking and eating the food grown.  Interns will participate in weekly potluck with Eighth Day staff, CSA members, neighbors and friends.
    • Reading & Writing. After the weekly potluck interns gather for a book discussion and prayer. In 2013 we read Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight by Norman Wirzba.  Interns are also asked to write two blog posts each throughout the summer that reflect on their learning and experience.

 

Overview of the farm:

 Proposed Vision: Empowered by God’s redemption in Jesus, Eighth Day Farm has a passion for joining the restoration of land for food with the flourishing of communities both locally and globally.

Proposed Mission: Eighth Day Farm exists to address our fragile food system by growing healthy food, feeding, educating and connecting the residents of Holland Michigan.

Proposed Values:

Disrupt current food systems

Build community

Care for creation

Love of neighbor

Train future food growers

Promote nutrient dense food

Develop local partnerships

Increase access to nutritious foods for under resources families.

Eighth Day Farm was started by Jeff Roessing (MDiv, Western Seminary) in the Spring of 2010 on two small plots of land outside of Holland, Michigan. In 2011 we began our identity as an urban farm by appropriating a .4-acre plot of land in town that was formerly a pre-school. Based on the success of that location, a developer passionate about New Urbanism invited us to farm a 2-acre section of a parking lot in a dying strip mall on the north side of Holland. Asphalt and the soil beneath were removed. New soil and several treatments of compost were added to reclaim land that was otherwise lost to the sprawl of consumerism.

Community development is difficult. Organic farming is also difficult. Reshaping our community through urban farming is thus highly daunting. As we reclaim properties for agriculture, teach people how to raise plants and eat nutritious food; as we love our neighbors and carefully deepen our faith practices, we believe we are merely returning to old patterns of living that have been forgotten by our present society. Daunting as the vision and mission may be, we are compelled by faith to move ahead into our fifth growing season.

The internship practicum is a substantial part of the farm’s educational mission and will also position able bodies to ensure a stability of labor for the farm’s longevity. The intern program will be directed by Jeff Roessing, Joshua Banner and Kyle VanEearden.

Further inquiries can be sent to joshuacbanner@gmail.com