Lokahi Garden Sanctuary-Hawi, HI

This farm is on the Big Island in Hawaii. I loved being here mainly because of the people in the community of Hawi. The owner of the farm was an older man who was extremely grumpy and passive aggressive. He never directly told me what he wanted and we were always a disappointment to him. He never appreciated our work and talked down about us behind our backs. He made us feel less than him and kept us at a distance from his family. He did let us come have dinner with them once a week but he wouldn't say much and you could feel that you weren't welcome. However, his wife was very sweet and loving and always played the role of the peace maker. You could tell she cared about us to a certain extent and invited us to her yoga classes. I did learn a little about growing asparagus and a good way to manage tomatoes in a green house but that was about it. In the end my experience here was only amazing because of how much I loved the people in the town. I would absolutely recommend anyone going to the town itself to spend time but i do not recommend going to the farm itself. However despite all of the negative aspects of working at this farm, I learned a lot about the importance of managing those who work for you. It really does make a difference in someone's work ethic when you treat them with respect and gratitude!

Earthship Biotecture-Taos, NM

This was my first natural building internship. I had a wonderful experience here, partially because the other interns were so awesome, and also because what we were doing was so fun. The experience was a lot what you made of it because you weren't really directed what to do, you just had to keep asking. It was all very hands on building, continuing onto an Earthship that was already started. I packed tires, did a lot of shoveling, learned about roofing, and helped with a bottle wall. I learned a lot about basic construction, however if you are genuinely interested in building your own Earthship I would definitely say that doing the academy would be more beneficial than just the internship. The academy is more classwork and really understanding how to build an Earthship from start to finish. However, it is quite pricey. Overall I would say this was a really great learning experience and I made a lot of awesome friends. Unfortunately this is not free, but I absolutely recommend it to anyone who has the money for it. The internship cost $400 and I think was well worth the cost!

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Healing Ponds Farm-Buxton, OR

This farm is owned by a very nice older couple who I really enjoyed working for. Their main focus for the farm is raising animals for meat and dairy products. The animals included cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, and bees. The day  I arrived they got a newborn calf and it  was my job to raise and bottle feed him. I also had to help milk the adult cows and goats, feed all the animals, collect eggs and help with cleaning the kitchen. One of the few things that bothered me a little was that the man who was hired to work on the farm thought women should have the role of cooking and cleaning.  So while Mark, the owner of the farm, was working at his shop in town,  the hired man wouldjust have me inside cleaning rather than letting me help with the farm work. I do wish I had had a little bit more opportunity to be outside getting dirty, but other than that I had a really great experience. I loved raising the calf and Mark was able to answer all my questions I had to ask. I learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed my time. Mark's wife was a very soft spoken and sweet woman who I really grew to love . In the end I would definitely say this was a great experience and would recommend this to anyone interested in learning about raising animals.

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Sojourner Farms LLC- Olean, NY

Sojourner Farms was the very first farm I ever worked on back in 2012. My mom met Pierre, the owner of the farm, at a medical meeting and he invited me out to come work. This was what made me fall in love with farming and decide I wanted to do something with it long term. However, at the time I was still very unsure of what that would look like. Their farm was an animal farm that had cattle, pigs, laying hens, and  meat chickens. My job was to feed the animals and move the cows from pasture to pasture everyday so they would have enough grass to eat. During my stay I also learned how to make soap and bake bread from scratch. I got to work at my first farmers market and had an overall amazing experience!

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