Education Program

Beginning Farmer Training

In 2023, we are offering 2 opportunities for coming to the farm to work with us and learn about our farming practices:

  • New community volunteer days, open to the public. Throughout the season, we’ll be hosting volunteer days for folks to come help out on the farm, learn about our farming practices, meet others from the surrounding area, and help with our food access work. Volunteers will assist with tasks like planting and harvesting and packing veggies for delivery to local food pantries in the area. Subscribe to our email list to get announcements about the 2023 volunteer day schedule.
  • The new paid season-long Food Access Fellowship, open to Unadilla alumni. Read more about the fellowship below, and apply here.

How to Apply

Application deadline is April 1, 2023. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis from now until April 1, so apply early to secure your spot.

2023 Food Access Fellowship

2023 will be our 10th season at Unadilla Community Farm! This season, we are offering a paid Food Access Fellowship, a selective 22-week program for up to 4 fellows.

The Food Access Fellowship offers a paid season-long opportunity for beginning farmers with at least one farming experience under their belt to skill up and deepen their farming knowledge. Fellows will learn the day-to-day operations of a non-profit farm focused on increasing food access through partnerships with local food pantries.

Under the mentorship of Unadilla Community Farm’s Project Manager, fellows will learn how to:

  • manage a food forest by applying principles of no-till organic farming, regenerative agroforestry, and permaculture design, with a focus on tending perennial fruits & herbs, cover crops, and garlic
  • run the farm’s Veggie Box Program, with a focus on harvesting and delivering crops to food pantries in the region
  • manage volunteer days by leading crews of volunteers from the surrounding community in tasks such as harvesting and wash & pack

Day-to-day tasks will include: seeding; transplanting; irrigation; holistic pest management; no-till cover crop management; weeding; mulching; trellising; pruning; harvesting, wash & pack; landscaping including lawn mowing and weed whacking; and no-till garden bed preparation.

Off-Grid Accommodations

Our farm is entirely off-grid and is transitioning off of fossil fuels. We now rely 100% on off-grid solar for all of our lighting, charging electronics, landscaping tools, irrigation, and some power tools. For fellows who apply to live on-site, sleeping accommodations include 2 double bedrooms in the skoolie (converted school bus) or tent camping (bring your own tent & camping gear). For fellows who live on-site, all organic vegetarian/vegan meals and snacks are provided. The farm is a substance-free space. We have both indoor and outdoor kitchens, indoor and outdoor compost toilets, and a gravity-fed unheated shower as well as access to the Unadilla River. We don’t have wifi, but do have good cell phone reception with Verizon.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement

Unadilla Community Farm is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and to providing a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All hiring decisions are based on organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race/color, religion or belief, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations where we operate. We encourage fellows of all backgrounds to apply to our program. For the past 9 seasons, our beginning farmer training program has welcomed participants from a diversity of backgrounds and racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities from across 6 continents.

As first-generation farmers who met through the WWOOF network, accessibility to us also means that the practices we teach are intentionally designed to be easily replicable and financially accessible for fellow young and beginning farmers. Our interns, fellows, staff, and board members come from all walks of life and apply these practices in a variety of ways — from market gardening and garden therapy, to environmental advocacy and natural resource conservation, to plant-based cooking, intentional living, and so much more — but what unites us is a shared desire for sustainability in all its forms.

Beyond our community on-site, making our work accessible extends outward by providing access to fresh produce for low-income, low-access rural and urban communities across Central New York through our free and sliding-scale veggie box delivery program — grown, cared for, harvested, and packed by the beginning farmer training program participants.

Watering the tomatoes in the high tunnel
Shiitake mushroom cultivation on logs in the forest

History of Our Education Work

For the past 9 seasons, Unadilla Community Farm has run a variety of permaculture education programs, offering an immersion into a rural, off-grid sustainable way of life. Through a mix of hands-on experience and classroom hours, participants have learned skills related to no-till organic farming, regenerative agroforestry, permaculture design, natural building, foraging, herbalism, plant-based cooking, food preservation, food safety, conscious communication, fundraising, and more.

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