Our internship program is a unique opportunity for future farmers to get training in natural process farming. Up to 12 interns join the Green String family for a 12 week semester; to live, learn and work.
Interns work 24 hours a week in the production garden under direction of instructors. Each weekday at 1:30 PM, the intern group will receive a two hour lecture focused on the foundations of natural process gardening/farming. Each intern will maintain their own hand-worked plot, filling out the 40 hour work week.
Farm work includes
Seeding flats/nursery work
Competition control (hand weeding/hoeing)
Harvesting fruits and vegetables
Processing/sorting storage crops
Tree pruning (winter only)
Interns have lessons weekday afternoons. Bob Cannard teaches the majority of the lessons and covers all practical aspects of natural process farming, from seed selection and pruning, to tool maintenance and forest renewal. Guest lecturers offer their expertise into subjects ranging from soil science to blacksmithing.
Each group of interns lives in a four bedroom house on the farm. We provide seasonal vegetables and fruit from the farm, as well as a limited amount of eggs, olive oil, meat and preserves that Green String produces. Staple foods such as beans, flours, sugar, and grains are provided. Interns are hired as employees of the institute and will have room and board deductions taken out of their paycheck.
Participants must be at least 18 years old, legally permitted to work in the US, and in good physical condition.
Interns are not permitted to have animals in housing.
♦ International applicants:
We host interns four times a year. Work activities vary from season to season, but all interns receive the same basic instruction.
Please do not apply unless you can commit to the entire 12 week term.
Fall 2016: August 28 - November 20
Winter 2016: November 27 - February 19
Spring 2017: February 26 - May 21
Summer 2017: May 28 - August 20
As much as we’d like to accommodate every person who wants to participate in our program, limited space makes that impossible. We try to select applicants who will get the most out of the internship experience.
What we look for in an applicant:
Goals in line with the experience and teaching we provide
Commitment and perseverance
Sincere interest in learning and teaching
Good work ethic
Cooperative and helpful community member
Term applications due:
Fall - July 1
Winter - October 1
Spring - January 1
Summer - April 1
Submit completed application and your resume by email, snail mail, or by dropping it off at the Green String Farm store by the deadline. Our address is 3571 Old Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA 94954. After we receive applications, we may contact you for and interview. If at all possible, we like to have applicants visit the farm for the interviews – it gives us a chance to meet you in person, and it gives you a better sense of the program. We will conduct interviews over the phone for applicants not in the area. We will notify applicants of our decision one month before the start of the term.
We offer a graduate program for up to four students immediately following their internship term. The graduate program is 12 week commitment with the potential to stay up to one year learning, working, and living at Green String. The graduate semester gives students and opportunity to gain experience working full time on a farm, teaching others, utilizing skills/knowledge acquired during the internship, and further study the generosity of nature.
Graduate students work 25 hours teaching the next intern group. The remaining 20 hours a week students have the opportunity to work with our Green String Farm crew. Here they receive exposure to large scale production, sales operations, and continue to develop the rudimentary skills studied as an intern.
Farm work includes
Weeding, hoeing, competition control
Harvesting fruits and vegetables
Each group of graduates lives in a three bedroom house on the farm. We provide seasonal vegetables and fruit from the farm, as well as a limited amount of olive oil, meat and preserves that Green String produces. Staple foods such as beans, flours, sugar and grains are provided. Graduates are hired as employees of Green String Farm and will have room and board deducted from their paychecks.
Participants must be a graduate of the Green String internship program. With that said, student’s attitude and effort during the internship term plays a large factor in the selections for open grad positions. Students interested will need to apply for the grad program toward the halfway point of their internship.
Fall: September – November
Winter: December – February
Spring: March – May
Summer: June – August
Bob Cannard has long been an important figurehead of the sustainable food movement in Northern California. Though he grew up in production retail nurseries in California and was taught to accept pesticides as a normal part of farming, he repudiated the use of synthetic chemicals at a young age, and has since adopted a system in which less human intervention yields higher quality crops. He founded Sonoma Missions Garden Nursery in 1972 and taught horticulture at Santa Rosa Junior College for 23 years. In 1976, Cannard began to farm on a heavily eroded hillside plot in Sonoma in order to observe nature and grow nutritionally sound food for the public, embarking on what has become a life-long project of soil rehabilitation. Cannard now grows by the motto “50% for humans, 50% for nature,” maintaining an important balance between crops grown for human consumption and crops grown for soil improvement. He is a consultant to many farms and responsible for implementing natural process agriculture on over 1500 acres in Sonoma. In 2000, he ran a statewide ballot measure to have genetically modified foods labeled in stores. He is the primary grower of vegetables and herbs for the Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse, a frequent keynote speaker at industry gatherings, and an Acres USA honoree. Today, our beloved Cannard runs the Green String Institute, where he shares his skills, techniques, and knowledge earned through a lifetime of work and observation with our students year round.
Aurelio Lofaro - Blacksmithing
Aurelio teaches old world iron techniques to the interns from his workshop on the Green String property. Aurelio, a native of Italy, has been studying the art of iron works since he was six years old. He teaches French, Roman and Gothic iron work styles. With Aurelio, interns have the opportunity to make hand forged square nails, copper bowls, knives from recycled materials, and more.
Miriam Blachman - Food Preservation
Miriam Blachman is our canning and preserving supervisor. She has worked at Green String since completing the internship in the summer of 2012. Before coming to the farm she worked as a bakers assistant, a pastry cook, a line cook, a catering cook and a kitchen manager. Miriam has always liked cooking almost as much as she now loves farming. She has a BFA in Wood/Furniture from CCA. She also manages a two acre garden and works as a farm hand at Bob's old home farm, both in Sonoma. Miriam shares the canning and preserving process with our interns. All preserves sold at the Green String Farm Store are a product of Miriam, graduate and intern efforts. The students get the full kitchen experience from preparation to sterilization.
2016 Special Guest Lecturers
Aurther Frazier - Beekeeping
Billy Pirola - Winemaking
Chefs of Chez Panisse - Cooking
Eliot Coleman - Soil economics/scale
J.M. Fortier - Market Gardening
Kelly - Machine maintenance
Rick Vincent - Woodworking and Beekeeping