Please share the news with whomever may be interested in our new project!
Seeking applications and proposals for the 2016 Beginning Farmer Fellowship at Willow Brook Farm, a permaculture and art center
Application Deadline: January 25, 2016
Willow Brook Farm is a 75-acre homestead in central NH founded in 2014.
After extensive renovation of the farmhouse, Willow Brook Farm is pleased to offer its inaugural Beginning Farmer Fellowship.
Our fellowship is a unique opportunity for a beginning farmer to propose and explore their own farming practice or unique project in a low risk environment with support, mentorship and collaboration. The fellowship includes: access to land, housing, a modest stipend, and equipment. The fellowship begins in early 2016 and may extend for two years.
The fellowship is different from a traditional apprenticeship in several important ways: the fellowship recipient does not work for farm ownership, but is self-directed. Guidance will be offered, but you will be in charge of planning and implementing your own farming operation. You will be responsible for developing your own market for crop sales and income earned will be yours.
We expect to dedicate one acre of land for intensive crop production for each fellow. Fellows may have access to the entire farm and the amount of space available may vary based upon your proposal.
Description of the farm and residence:
The farm was originally established in 1840 and used for agriculture through the first half of the 20th century. Most of the original fields have grown up into mixed hardwood forest over the years. In 2015, we began reclaiming some of the forest to return to field production. The land contains trails, streams and ample wood resource. Willow Brook Farm has been established as a farming incubator by the adjoining 24-acre Third Stone Farm to support beginning farmers’ access to land, and organic and permaculture practices. We are at the early stages of a long-term vision, which also includes public workshops, community events, public art and art residencies. Between the two farms, we have 100 acres, a Christmas tree operation, hops, maple sugaring, and honey bees. While not at a commercial scale, we also have apples, pears, and raspberries. The property includes a large barn.
The residence is a 5+ bedroom antique colonial farmhouse that has been updated with new heat, insulation, a modern kitchen, windows and plumbing. You should expect to share the house with another fellowship tenant as well as the occasional community event. You will have a private bedroom but share other living spaces. Washer/Dryer and Internet access are included.
Third Stone Farm has been in operation for thirty-six years. The current owners have been stewarding the farm for three years.
We are located in Barnstead, NH, not far from many lakes and mountains with ample outdoor activity. Concord is nearby and Portsmouth is one hour away. The community of Barnstead has just started their own farmers’ market.
- Applicants should be self-motivated
- You will be engaged in farming activities full-time as the seasons dictate.
- Organic practices only, we are working on certification.
- Please be interested in permaculture. Preference will be given to those who are enrolled in or have completed a PDC course. As part of your fellowship residency, you will be encouraged to contribute design and planting of the permaculture aspects of the farm.
- Applicants should be non-smokers and drug free.
- Applicants should have the available resources to start out their own production, and to buy food until you can grow what you need. Our stipend will supplement your needs but not cover everything for you.
- Do not construct or plant anything outside or your approved plan without prior coordination with Willow Brook Farm.
- You must have a reliable vehicle (preferably a truck).
- During the first year only, you will receive a small weekly stipend to help you get started. During the second year of your fellowship, you will be expected to contribute a small portion of your on-farm income to Willow Brook Farm to pay forward your support to a future fellow.
- You will be expected to participate in farm and property management chores as they come up.
- No illegal activity is allowed.
- You will keep your living space clean and farm tidy.
- You should have your own computer and phone.
- Two tractors with loaders and attachments
- A barn for storage and processing
- Introductions to other famers and resources
- Access to permaculture books and videos
- Some hand tools
- Help with started seedlings if necessary depending upon timing of your arrival
Send an email by January 25th to email@example.com expressing your intent to apply for the fellowship.
Include a brief (100 word or less) description of your farming experience and a brief (500 word or less) outline of how you propose to use the fellowship period. Indicate your preference for a one or two year term.
After receipt of your intent to apply, you will receive set of application questions and guidance on submitting your proposal by February 1st. Decisions will be announced by February 15th. The start of the fellowship term is flexible according to individual circumstance and will end by February 1, 2018. The finalist will be expected to visit the farm for a final interview.
Couples may apply as a team, or fellow may bring a spouse/partner.