One of the primary goals of Cedar Grove Farm is to help other people make their lifestyles more sustainable. In order to do this, there are a number of apprenticeships available each year. Apprenticeships at Cedar Grove are unstructured: this is a flexible and highly individual setting in which each apprentice works with Rick to tailor an experience to fit his or her interests and the on-going projects and needs of the farm. The most important attributes for an apprentice are a desire to learn, openness to other ways of doing things, self-direction, and a good sense of humor. Apprentices should be physically and mentally fit and have a strong, positive work ethic.
Every apprentice will have a different experience because it is up to the apprentice to choose what he or she wants to learn. Apprentices generally have daily chores and larger self-directed projects for which they are responsible. Apprentices may become involved in any aspect of the work that happens at Cedar Grove including eco-forestry, wood production, agro-forestry, gardening, natural building, animal care, resource management, and food production. Apprentices may work with Rick to come up with their own projects in these areas or work on one of the many existing projects.
There are certain on-going activities which always need doing, such as gardening, milling wood, and care for a herd of goats and flock of chickens. There are other special projects which future apprentices may choose to take on. These include building a water tower, making a sand water filter, building a wood shop, riparian restoration and installing natural log dams in the creek, pond building, developing alternative energy sources, completing a cob structure and rocket stove, and tree planting.
Past apprentice projects include building a solarium, tending the herb and home gardens, installing electric fencing in wooded zones for goat browsing, and working on the cob building project.
There is often group work on the farm but apprentices must also be able and ready to work independently to complete the projects of their choosing. Rick provides advice, knowledge, aid and resources but apprentices must be ready to learn by doing things themselves. In addition to larger projects, there are always a lot of other projects that an apprentice may choose or may be called upon to participate in. These include work such as bringing in the hay, harvesting garlic, weeding, planting, fencing, etc. These also include special events such as the cedar exposition, workshops and classes, felting and tide-pooling.
Apprenticeships are available January through November. In general an apprenticeship is full-time position. The work week is Monday through Saturday with Sundays free. Those apprentices who work with livestock will be responsible for their care including feeding and care on days off and care in emergencies. Daily hours are roughly eight to six with ample breaks for breakfast and lunch. The number of apprentices may vary at any time.
Apprentices are provided room and board in exchange for their work. Apprenticeships are generally unpaid though money may be available in certain circumstances. It may be possible for the apprentice to make money by marketing produce and crafts at farmers markets. Creative ideas about how to make money within the scope of Cedar Grove's activities are welcome. Accommodations for apprentices are first-come first serve. There is an independent apartment with a mini-kitchen and bathroom. The cob-house is intended for apprentices though the interior it is as yet unfinished. There is also a back bedroom and the hayloft in a pinch. All food is provided with the exception of luxury or special items for which apprentices are expected to share the cost. Meals are generally all shared as is the responsibility for food preparation and household chores.
If you are interested in this apprenticeship please send an e-mail to Rick Hazard, with the following information: Age, gender, education, work experience, expectations as to what you hope to get out of an apprenticeship.