General Description: ShireFolk Farm is a family-owned and operated farm in Central Virginia that offers pastured proteins and naturally grown produce and mushrooms to several Richmond and Charlottesville-area markets, as well as select stores and restaurants. We raise chicken, turkey, and lamb, and ducks on pasture and hogs in the woods for meat. We have an egg laying flock of 300+, and we have about 3/4 acre of garden in permanent raised beds, as well as high tunnel production space for greens and tomatoes.
Please check out our Instagram to get a feel for our farm.
This year we are offering 2 paid internships with a focus on our garden and poultry systems. We are narrowing our vegetable focus this year to greens (salad and large leaf greens such as kale and chard) and roots (beets, carrots, turnips, radishes). We will grow other, more classic vegetables for ourselves (potatoes, onions, squash, etc.) but we need to pare down the retail offerings this year to get the garden to a more profitable and manageable state. We will work 5 days/week (typically Tues-Sat but we may change this around a bit or stagger days off) and we want everyone to schedule a week or long weekend off for themselves once or twice during the season (unpaid) to give your mind and body a rest. We will schedule these early-on so we can all plan ahead. Get thee to the beach!
Included in the internship are required processing days, which means that we need help turning all of our birds in the field into birds in the freezer. This is non-negotiable. Typically it will be 2 days every 3 weeks, but can be more depending on seasons, rotations, etc. There will be plenty of opportunity to learn about the animal systems, from chicks to fried chicken. Egg washing will also be required as a team activity.
We will take field trips to other area farms to see what they’re getting up to, we’ll have lots of potlucks with other local farmers and neighbors, we’ll take trips to the river to cool off after the hot days in July. We’ll work hard, have tons of fun, and learn lots.
You can expect to learn:
How to manage permanent raised-bed gardens
Weed control methods
How to operate a BCS tractor
Body mechanics for the garden
A basic understanding of Permaculture
High tunnel management, including vertical tomato trellising and pruning
Oyster mushroom care and cultivation
How to operate a farmer’s market stand
Harvesting and post-harvest handling
How to live outdoors (an underrated skill)
All about how nerdy the Tweardys are
How to process chickens, turkeys, ducks
How to properly use, move, store and charge portable electronetting in animal systems
A bit about rotational grazing
Serious farm to table culinary skills
Knots and tarps
So many other things...
Some previous farm skill is helpful, though not required. Experience playing or working on a team, and especially to a timeline, is more helpful still.
Mandatory skills include:
A positive attitude, willingness and ability to work outdoors all day under adverse conditions (heat, rain, wind, etc.), willingness to work with all sort of other people, creativity (is incredibly underrated in all professions) is often required in farming, communication skills must be strong, need to be able to lift 50 lbs., tendency to clean up after yourself, ability to take direction and work independently as well as on a team, independence from your phone. We value playful individuals who can make light of hard tasks, work all day, and enjoy the camaraderie of farm life in the evenings. Cooking skills are a major plus, but if you don’t have them coming in, you’ll definitely have them when you leave. We are a non-smoking farm, and we have a toddler and an infant. Patience with young children is a plus. Hateful rhetoric is neither tolerated nor welcome. We are liberal, open-minded folks and are a part of the local LGBTQ+ community.
For full details and instructions, visit our website at: