Apprentices on Fat Rooster Farm live with our family either in the spare room or in a rustic cabin about 3/4 mile away from the farm. The tiny cabin has no heat, no electricity or plumbing, but it sits adjacent to the White River and the Dearing Brook. Sometimes, the intense experience of living with a family and working extremely hard has its rewards in the remoteness of this cabin site, where you can immerse yourself in the solitude of living closely with the land. Others can choose the comfort of the spare room, close to the bathroom, kitchen, and amenities such as the computer and clean sheets (whichever you choose is equally acceptable to us). Either way, you should prepare yourself for living as part of the family, where we share evening meals and where our ten-year-old son is connected with your experience on the farm. We also have three house cats and two dogs who contribute to the general clutter of the household. We have wireless Internet and limited cell phone reception. We ask that you use your cell phone during your break or after hours; cell phones in the field are not permitted unless you're expecting an important call. We have lots of music on vinyl, cassette and cd.
As an apprentice, there is no prior experience required. We are willing to teach you all that you would like to know and as much as we know about our small farm operation. You are expected to work hard, many times unsupervised, with the opportunity to make decisions regarding fundamental operations on the farm. Both Kyle and I work off-farm jobs on some days during the week, and a willingness to take the reins while we're away is encouraged.
We view this learning experience as both beneficial to us as farmers and to you as an apprentice. We offer full room and board (you're responsible for your own alcoholic beverage purchases) and a small stipend weekly. You are offered use of our vehicle for small trips, and there are farm swaps, where you can visit neighboring farms and meet their apprentices. There is no smoking at all in the house or in the vegetable fields.