Apprenticeship & Employment

We are always looking to connect with talented, energetic people with an interest in regeneration.  If you think you might have something to offer and want to learn more about our work and process, get hands-on skills at the research farms or otherwise collaborate please contact us.  Be persistent and if you do not hear back from us it is because we get numerous emails and attend to client work first.  

Apprenticeship Training Program

We look forward to hearing from you about 2019 which will run in the first half of May/end of April. We then hire on 1-2 people for the rest of the summer to perform farm management (horticulture and animal husbandry) building and other projects.  

  1. Review this website and page especially, thoroughly.  
  2. Paypal to (skills@wholesystemsdesign.com) for $10.00 USD to cover application/vetting process and filter out people who are not serious about this enough to invest 10 dollars. Or Venmo Ben-Falk-3.
  3. Send a letter describing your interest and 2 phone references to ben@wholesystemsdesign.com with "Apprenticeship" in the subject. 
  4. Apprenticeship is filled on a rolling basis.

General Overview

We are accepting apprentices on a rolling basis and are offering the following opportunity.

Cost:  A $20 one time learning program fee.  

Topical outline - a horticulture, landscape regeneration and permaculture management focused immersion. 

  • Hands-on practice in developing and managing a regenerative landscape and tree farm: including plant propagation and tree planting, spring development, medicine-making, vegetable production, forestry systems, earthworks, gravity-fed water systems, surveying, fertility-enhancement, and much more. Apprentices will work alongside Ben Falk and Erica Koch ND.
  • Client consults with Ben Falk to WSD's client sites and site consult locations via WSD - among the most active land consultants in regeneration.
  • Experience at the original WSD research farm with managing and enhancing established systems. This work at an established site will go along with work at the larger new site to form a whole picture of permaculture land use from year 0 to year 15.  
  • Planting and plant-care at the newer site, laying out, pruning, and grafting (top working) farm plantings.  
  • What skills will I be exposed to and practice?
General:

Site design consulting
Edible landscape design and installation as well as management over time from year 1 to 15.
Grafting and plant propogation
Medicine making, and medicinal plant system establishment and maintenance
Pollinator promotion
Hand tool use and
maintenance, sharpening and knots 
Design and site layout
Tree planting and tree care 
Site management day to day  
Vegetables: 
Garden design
Companion planting
Orchard renovation and pruning
Crop rotation
Weed control
Sowing/broadcasting, plant spacing
Successional planting and management
Season extension techniques
Composting Remineralization and 
Erosion control
Irrigation/gravity feed water
Fertility management
Tree/bush crops: 
Propagation of plants from seed. 
Plant ID Water/irrigation systems
And much much more as part of the daily life on a farm and homestead.

For 2019 some of the main learning themes / projects on tap are:
-Grafting and pruning existing trees, this will be what we start with. You will be asked to have some real grafting practice on your own (we provide the study materials) before you arrive so we can hit the ground running.
-Planting (as usual) but not as many trees as in the past. 
-Gravity feed water for pasture systems.
-Spring development and capturing of a spring (this is going be especially exciting and a historic event for the Rochester farm)
-Plant and other systems management of both the newer site's 4 year old newer agroforestry systems and Moretown’s older 15 year old site.
-Vegetable garden establishment and management,
-Nursery care, plant propagation, seed starting
-Misc non project learning time/practice/study, field trips/site consultations.
 
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED? 
People with basic carpentry, metalworking, plumbing, animal management, and basic farm skills or skills in the trades are most likely to be selected for these opportunities but are not the only ones chosen.

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Permaculture Site Co-Manager

We have work, hired pay commensurate with experience for one person all spring, summer into fall, avg of 30 hours per week but varied and flexible on both sites. Duties involve pruning, watering, mowing, harvesting, mulching and many other site management tasks. We usually hire one of the spring apprentices -so that is the best way to get this job. 

Grazier/Livestock Manager

Our second research farm has an opportunity for someone to start and/or manage a herd of beef cows (or other large grazing animals) on site.  

Vegetable grower

There's an opportunity on site to grow vegetables for the multi-thousand meals served on site and local markets. Inquire if interested. Ag. soil avaiable along with major equipment needed.  

A portfolio is recommended for most work-related opportunities.