Story by Ariela Rose
Has your inner digger started demanding more than just a container, backyard or rooftop garden yet? Whether you have hours, months or a year to spare, opportunities abound to discover if the reality of working the land works for you.
The ideal place to start is with a workshare option at a local CSA. Workshare members take on farming basics like seeding, transplanting, watering crops and preparing shares for fellow CSA members in exchange for a discount on their own CSA share, or a small share itself. Both Greensgrow Farm in Kensington and Gardeners’ Earth Spring Farm offer workshare options each season.
Internships and apprenticeships offer a full-time experience living and working on a farm. Phoenixville’s Charlestown Farm and Perkasie’s Blooming Glen Farm take two and four interns, respectively, each season (April to November). Workdays of 10 to 11 hours are filled with seeding, transplanting, harvesting and preparing for farmers markets. At each farm, interns are rewarded for their commitment with a monthly stipend, housing and all the produce they can eat. Charlestown’s renovated stone carriage house is equipped with a gourmet kitchen, while Blooming Glen’s farmhouse offers interns private bedrooms, plus high-speed Internet.
Joining up with WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is the ultimate opportunity to live as a farmer anywhere in the world. Branches of the organization exist in North and Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Interested volunteers should contact a host farm via WWOOF regional websites to coordinate a work exchange with the farm’s owners. Length of stay is negotiable and farm work is done in exchange for housing, meals and full-on cultural immersion.
Greensgrow Farm: greensgrow.org/farm/overview/csa.html
Earth Spring Farm: earthspringcsa.com/content/9614
Charlestown Farm: charlestowncooperativefarm.org/opportunities.html
Blooming Glen Farm: bloomingglenfarm.com/jobs.html