Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News from Elsewhere

Here are a few articles I've found online recently:

I've been thinking about 2010 apprentices, and I thought it would be a good idea to read descriptions from other farm internship programs. I found a number of farms with great programs, and I also found this article from the New York Times about college students doing internships on farms. What surprised me is how many of them were not majoring in agriculture or related fields.

It's exciting to see the documentaries being produced about the food revolution, like Fresh and Food, Inc. I just became aware of Dirt! The Movie. It's something most of us don't think about much, but it's really a deep subject. I can hardly wait to get the DVD and watch it.

Hard-hit community learns to grow food
is an article about Wilmington, Ohio, which has 15% unemployment. Through volunteers and donors, the local college is teaching people how to garden, as well as providing garden plots, tools, and seeds for them to actually grow their own vegetables. Although the program started with only 20 families, they're hoping to increase that number next year. They also offered instruction in preserving and cooking. If a family doesn't take care of their garden plot, they are quickly replaced by a family that is committed to the program.

And I also wanted to share this great recipe for Roast Pork with Maple and Mustard Glaze. We don't get any of our pork smoked, because we don't want nitrates in our meat, so this is a great way to have a pork roast that tastes a lot like ham. Do not try this with bacon (fresh pork sides) however, because it will stick to your skillet and make for a terrible mess to clean up!


clink said...

I thought the article was interesting about apprentices ....... do we hire apprentices/interns or do we hire field hands?

I think there is a difference and the job description should be totally different. I've been working on requirements for my intern. Hopefully, we will be able to make this fall into place.

An apprentice/intern should walk away with marketable skills.... something tangible for the resume. Something more than the ability to weed.

Goals and expectations need to be set and we need to teach. If we don't teach and expand an intern's knowledge and ability -- we are simply taking advantage of a situation.

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Excellent points! I guess I never even thought about hiring field hands, because that just sounds so boring to me. I mean, I do like weeding for a little while, but I couldn't do it all day, and I wouldn't ask someone else to do it. That's the beauty of the diversified farm. We have so many different things going on all the time. Most of the descriptions I've seen for interns and apprentices have a section that talks about learning opportunities, and that's something I want to be sure to include.

I also came across a listing in a forum where someone was CHARGING $900 a month to "teach" someone to work on her farm, and she was teaching them even fewer skills than my interns will be learning.


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