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Building a Set of 4 Board and Batten Cabins - Over 90% local and salvaged materials


Living Roots Farm and Sustainable Living Center's Work Exchange Program

Update 5/26/18 - Currently have a spot or two for work exchangers for the 2018 Season. Could be short term or long term. Please apply below.

This is similar to an apprenticeship program, but it is quite different. The work exchange is only 3 farm work days a week, giving the work exchanger 4 days of flexibility and more freedom to choose what they are interested in learning. During these 4 days, it's a possibility for the work exchanger to do more farm work (if they want a fuller experience), focus on sustainable living skills (off-the-grid/homesteading skills, culinary arts, healing arts, etc.), personal growth/reflection, or do whatever they like (such as work another job). See below for more info.

The Living Roots Farm and Sustainable Living Center's Work Exchange program is for those wanting to experience farm life, farm work, and learn more about farming and sustainable living.

We have two options for you: a Long Term Work Exchange and a Short Term Work Exchange. Long Term Work Exchangers can become long term residents at Living Roots and hold significant roles and responsibilities. Short Term Work Exchangers are those that are looking for a shorter learning experience. Typically our minimum length of stay for Short Term Work Exchangers is 1 month; however, sometimes (especially during the summer), we take people for shorter amounts of time (for a week or two). For those who come for a week or two for a short educational experience, a campsite is provided, but food is not. Please email to confirm availability of short term work exchanges.

All Work Exchangers will work 3 full farm days a week (approx. 21 - 28 hours/week depending on need and season). This is in exchange for housing and food (except as mentioned above for very short work exchanges, food is not provided).

Housing will be bunkspace in a shared off-the-grid cabin in our tiny house village, camper, campground spot, or a private cabin - depending on availability.

Food includes produce from the gardens, eggs from the farm, and other bulk staples. The food supplied is predominately vegetarian; however, meat is sometimes available from our farm animals. All residents always get discounts on our grass-fed beef.

Other perks for staff include: individual garden plot in shared garden space, use of wood fired cob hot tub, limited free wi-fi, use of arts center (healing arts, creative arts, culinary arts), and free access to any classes taught in the healing arts space (yoga, massage, acroyoga, etc.)

Educational Opportunities in this Program Could Include (Based on Season, Current Happenings at Living Roots, and Work Exchanger Interest):-

  • The Farm Process - Seed Starting, Season Extension, Soil Preparation, Planting, Tending, Harvesting, and Farmers Market Sales
  • Animal Farming - Humane caretaking for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens, including butchering skills.
  • Permaculture Gardening in our perennial gardens.
  • Healing Arts - massage and yoga training to better balance the farming process - intended for beginners to both massage and yoga.
  • Sustainable Living Skills - we often make cheese, yogurt, and bread. Lots of cooking and creativity in the kitchen! Fermentation!. There are many opportunities for experiences in Sustainable Living, which depend on the season. They include: off-the-grid living, using a solar oven, drying herbs and produce in a solar dehydrator, herbal medicine making, food preservation/fermentation (canning, freezing, kimchi, sauerkraut), beer/wine/mead making, natural building, etc.

The 3 days of farm work (or other organizational work) and some light resident shared domestic chores are the only requirements to being a work exchanger here. Other learning aspects, such as healing arts, or culinary arts, are optional.

The farm owner, Michael Hicks, has been organic gardening and farming since 2002. He has been operating educational aspects within the farm since since 2006! Over 100 people have worked with him in a work exchange or educational capacity during these years. Many have taken away countless skills and have had many life changing experiences that have helped them live the life they want to live. We welcome you to join our team!

Our market farm produces just about any vegetable you can imagine for our 110 family CSA, Farmers Markets, local coops/natural foods stores, and restaurants. Main crops are garlic/onions, brassicas and hardy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, peppers,and beans. Other crops include: figs (in Hoophouse), stawberries, blackberries, melons, Jerusalem artichokes, yacon, eggplant, okra, other roots, etc.  We grow over 300 varieties of produce each year.  Also winter production in 3 hoop houses. And the farm now has chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, and grass-fed cows which you will also get to work with.

The Farm is within walking distance of Tucker Lake (Springs Valley State Recreation Area) and the Hoosier National Forest (lots of trails), and biking distance from Patoka Lake, French Lick, and Paoli.

We welcome you to join us in sharing the abundance of this land!

Please download the application (please make sure to download pdf application to your comuputer, fill out, then save) and email completed application, along with a current photo of yourself, to Michael Hicks, at michael (at) indianacommunity.org. Contact us if there are any questions.

What Past Work Exchangers or Apprentices Have to Say About Our Program

An original song and video written by Virginia B., a former EcoVillage farm and healing arts apprentice: 'O Southern Indiana'

"My experience at the Living Roots Eco-village was enlightening in ways I did not expect.    The holistic program put me in touch with my roots through daily farm work, healing practices and pure, healthy foods.  Even my dreams vividly expressed the transformative lifestyle that I was leading!  All in all, it helped me to rediscover my own path and move down it with newfound confidence."  Rachel M.

"One of my favorite aspects of the apprenticeship was learning body kinesthetics and massage. Michael is an excellent massage instructor, and I feel as though my training was better than what you'd receive in massage school. It really takes your farming experience to the next level!:" Jen H.

"Mother Teresa once said, "There is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and working with people who can make a difference. They get the benefit of your participation and you gain a direct understanding of the real problems and potential solutions." After my summer as an apprentice with Living Roots, I know this to be true. I have never walked away from any other experience with the same sense of having both given and received so much (both physically and mentally), which I attribute both to the inclusivity of the community at Living Roots, and also the wide spectrum of topics that the program covers. I entered the program hoping to gain a better understanding of how small, organic farming could be successfully carried out, and I without a doubt did - but I also took so much more from it." Hannah L.

"I interned at the center for community empowerment from March-September 2011.  I had come originally for only 10 weeks but after learning quite a bit about starting plants, massage, and energy in general in the first 2 weeks I had decided it was best to stay and nearly a whole season.  I wanted to know if those little tiny plants we had transplanted into such a big, stormy world would really grow large and produce food.  Sure enough even the scrawniest 2 inch tomatoes grew taller than me by July!  Micheal let me take on quite a bit of responsibility training new interns as they came, caring for the sales at the Jasper farmers' market, even getting the chance to manage that market, and be a part of the decision-making of daily farm tasks.  By the end of the 6 months I felt ready to start my own small farm.  I also enjoyed the weekly massage sessions as they were both greatly needed considering the consistent physical labor on a farm and also Michael teaches the techniques thoroughly and with care.  Finally, the Jasper community as whole I found very welcoming, interesting, and enjoyed a number of new, interesting friendships in my time there." Mackenzie S.

"Being an apprentice, taught me to be more connected to the Earth, the body of community, and ultimately back to myself.  In order to successfully apprentice, I feel that one needs to fully embrace the idea of service to others. The apprenticeship program provides the opportunity to do this; not simply on an intellectual level, rather as a full embodiment of love for this planet.  This program offers maximum benefit by integrating the healing arts with organic farming.  I am now equipped with whole new skillsets, perspectives, and a phenomenal sense of wellness and community." Shristi T.

"I really enjoyed my 3 weeks in this farm...fresh, organic and healthy food from the garden, yoga class and massage a such good combination with the hard working...Amanda, Michael and the little Leo are a lovely family, Jasper is a really nice town to live and if you want to learn a lot about permaculture this is the right place: Michael is always enthusiastic to teach you everything! and what satisfaction to prepare and go to the farm market!" Iris G.,

"What I like most about the program is the  introduction to the idea of personal health with farming. People growing the plants must be healthy to create healthy yields on the farm. By teaching massage techniques and encouraging yoga and spiritual growth through the apprenticeship program, Living Roots does a great job at providing a unique and educational experience for those interested in farming, permaculture, spiritual growth, and community." Trevor R.

"Living Roots provided me with the opportunity to grow as a person, while never losing its focus as an organic farm operation. I met many awesome people, many of which I would consider great friends now, and was amazed by how welcoming everyone in the community was. Of course, there are boundaries, but when followed and respected, Living Roots can provide you with such a rich experience, socially, economically, and even spiritually. My favorite aspect was the ability to personally interact with the food we were growing, from soil to the plate at such an intricate level. Nothing went to waste, and the sustainable principles I've learned are something that will never leave my mind. " Rob P.

 

 

 

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Team Fall 2016


Team Spring 2016


Living Roots Inc., 5907 W. County Road 375 South, French Lick, IN 47432





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