2016 Intern Experiences
Having just recently completed my internship with Earthly Delights Farm, I can happily say this internship is truly a keystone event in my life. If you have ever wanted to master your understanding of how to grow food for yourself, your family and/or others this is a wonderful program. And when I say food, I really mean from plant to seed to plate. The seed saving portion of this internship is certainly the greatest in Idaho and one of, if not the greatest in the country. Casey’s care and thoughtfulness as a farmer-mentor was evident every week as I learned everything from the most efficient way to harvest potatoes to how to hand pollinate cucumbers to the impact of global trade agreements on subsistence farmers in Guatemala. If you’re considering this program, my only advice is to make sure you’re in a place in your life that you can really commit the time. This program is jam packed with information for you to scoop up by the handful, but you have to be present and have the space in your life to take it all in. Oh and you really should ride your bike to the farm – besides that wonderful spirit satisfaction you get up front parking! Lastly, this is one of the greatest learning experiences in my life and I will be forever thankful to Casey and my fellow interns for it.
If you are ready to take your gardening skills to the next level or considering entering the food production business, this internship will be life changing! I went into it with a totally open mind and willing to do whatever I needed to do. It was hard at times, like when the weather was really cold or the project was particularly tedious, but I was inspired by Casey and my fellow interns and wanted to do a good job for the team. There is a strong element of camaraderie and solidarity in learning how to farm together. I learned about farming techniques, socio-political aspects of growing food for others, the US and global economy, how to prepare new-to-me foods, the science of pollination and fruit production, how water shapes a farm, relationships between eaters, producers, and landowners, and so much about my own goals in this community. I would recommend this to anyone who is able to commit themselves to the experience who wants to play a bigger role in our sustainable food community. It was amazing and I will be forever grateful.
Get that application in pronto! This internship is eye opening and soul filling. Casey has created the perfect multifaceted experience here. You get so much more out of this than just learning to farm. You learn about food, plants, seeds, your local community, the world, yourself and even more. My advice would be to jump in with your mind open and your shovel ready, it’s going to be an unforgettable ride.
This experience was worth all my time and sacrifice. I feel like the time I put in on a weekly basis wasn’t enough for what I got in return. Casey is generous with her knowledge, her patience, her time, and food(and seeds!) that the farm produces. The curriculum was astounding. It opened my mind to relevant topics, it empowered me to become more educated and helped me find a way to be proactive, whether that be in conversation, politically, in the community, my own garden, or in simple decision making at the grocery store. You will find out that Casey is driven by a raw, radical, heart full of passion and pure love for this work. She holds herself accountable, and teaching others is one response to, ‘What can be done about it?’ She is an incredible teacher and will meet you wherever you are, day by day. She values what everyone brings to the table in conversation and on the field. She surrenders control, lets the interns make decisions, and to make mistakes as a part of the learning curve. She seems more concerned about educating both her interns and her CSA members than making a profit and this is the purity in which I refer to. This can be seen in the vibrancy of the food she grows, and the smiles of her CSA members. I have worked on several farms, and I have never experienced this. It was a day dream come true but better. Working with the interns helped me become more tolerant, taught me how to engage with different work styles, communication styles, and how to traverse deeply personal and passionate subjects respectfully. I learned an incredible amount from the beautiful array of people she choose as interns. This diversity in people reflects the diversity of her fields and aspects to the internship. Not only do you get hands on experience growing food a full season while working with others, you learn about soil health, seed saving, plant breeding, pollination, wild foraging, and so much more. You will learn about so many varieties of plants, your head will spin and you will keep coming back for more. You will see more bees in the field, along with other pollinators, and worms in the soil then you may have ever seen. Casey quickly became one of my favorite people, the internship became one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I learned more than I could have guessed or share here. You must find out for yourself. If you have a calling, deep down, to reclaim the position in growing your own food, in learning about the process of doing so, learning to save seeds, to maximize your space at home, to become a mover and a shaker in this growing local, national, and global agricultural scene, this is the program for you.
It’s a big commitment but if you have the time and the inclination its an amazing experience.
2015 Intern Experiences
Committing to an internship at Earthly Delights is a great decision on so many levels. The obvious benefit, you are signing up to spend time with a passionate, empowered, educated, honest, and wise mentor who will answer your questions, appreciate you, and do her best to make your experience what you want it to be. Casey is a person who genuinely believes in the work she is doing, not only because its her business, but because it is critical for the future well being of our entire community and planet. Her passion is powerful, contagious, and inspirational and spending time supporting and learning from her vision will only empower you and increase your faith in the good of humanity. You are definitely going to gain invaluable information on the technical aspects and the physical act of farming through this internship, but you will also gain a broad view of why small scale farming is so important for the future of agriculture around the world. The internship is extremely well structured and jam packed with information and expanding ideas, but you still have the opportunity to pursue extensive knowledge and experience in anything specific in the farming world that interests you. Not only will you be learning from Casey, but from your intern peers, the land you are working, and from yourself as well. This year’s intern crew brought together a beautiful diversity of perspective and a great deal of passion and genuine desire for learning and connection. We learned from each others ideas, observations, and questions and inspired each other to believe even more deeply that good change is possible and happening all around. The farm itself is a magical piece of land that you will instantly fall in love with and look forward to rolling around in every week. This internship gets you outside, in the dirt, moving your body, doing good work that is critical for the health of our community and our planet. You’re going to feel real good. And then there is you, learning the systems, gaining information, trying new things with a great support group, being encouraged, absorbing minerals and vitamins from the dirt and sunshine, pushing yourself, discovering your own value in a community effort system, discovering new interests, asking questions you never knew you had, feeling what it’s like to work directly with the earth, what it’s like to take care of the Earth that takes care of and gives life to you. This internship was the highlight of my week, every week. I will never forget my time on this farm, working with Casey and our incredible group this year, seeing a real life example of a healthy, natural community based system that you can feel so good about on absolutely every level of your being. Just commit to bringing your passion and a ready to work attitude for a few hours every week and the magic will envelope you and reward you.
Definitely do it. You won’t regret it. t is a chance to grow, learn and meet like minded individuals. It can satisfy the urge to take action in a state of global environmental emergency. You gotta see Ron with the hoses. It’s hilarious. Don’t piss Casey off. hehe.
2014 Intern Experiences
Hops, coffee, blood sausage…. some things are an acquired taste. Soil is not. Getting your hands in the soil is primitive and satisfying. There is something truly magical about the feeling you get from preparing the soil, planting seeds, watering, weeding, harvesting, and then, finally, enjoying the fruits of your labor. Working on Earthly Delights Farm is not easy; a year on the farm is a grind. The weather beats up on you, manual labor is in abundance and some days you might want to stay in bed but you know your seed crop will not be taking the day off.
To put it simply, however, this internship is amazing. Casey’s passion for the farm is contagious. She’s a natural teacher and takes the time to share all she knows in regards to farming and more. This internship is such a value to our community for allowing city-folk to get their hands in the soil and truly learn where our food comes from!
I feel like a lens was removed from my eyes, and now I see things in a different way. I was aware of the local movement, and aware of what was “right and wrong” as far as wastefulness, re-using, and good food, but that is different than feeling with your heart the origins of every product in the grocery store. The internship allowed me to develop a much deeper connection to the food and products I buy because I can see more clearly what had to happen for them to arrive before me.
This is a commitment that is more than just two days a week, learning how to grow food. It’s an emotional commitment that will forever change the way you look at the world, your community and the grocery store. It’s a commitment to a new group of people who count on you, your labor and your input to smoothly operate a small farm. It’s not something you can skim the surface of and bow out when you feel like it, it takes a lot of physical and mental input and what you receive in return is ten-fold what you put in. This is not your granny’s gardening class, it’s an opportunity to plug into the community in a permanent way and truly make a difference in your own life and those around you.
I applied for this internship because I was tired of sitting in a classroom, feeling powerless to change the world; I wanted to do something tangible, and what’s more tangible and significant than the food we put in our bodies every day? But I gained so much more than the ability to grow my own food from this internship. I learned about all the hard work it takes to run a farm, a CSA, and a seed business. I learned the challenges specific to the local food movement in Boise by touring local farms and meeting incredible farmers and gardeners. I made lasting friends with amazing people. And, I gained an incredible friend and mentor in Casey. You will get dirty, work harder than you ever imagined, and get super personal with squash—and it’s all worth it! My advice: Do it! It is a huge commitment of your time and energy, but anything worth doing isn’t easy, and your life will forever be changed for the better.
It is a beautiful, life-changing experience. I would recommend that you have more than the 10 hours where you will be working at the farm. It will be better if you have the time to linger after lunch, if you have the time to really read and think about the articles, and the time to not feel pressured about making lunch. It is not an adventure to be squeezed in amongst an already busy life. Do yourself the favor of having time to savor the experience. Have the time and energy to give of yourself fully in order to reap all the benefits of participating in this program.
2013 Intern Experiences
Working on a human powered farm is “grind it out” kind of work. Every ounce of effort is worth it! The very act of being in the dirt, tending to the land, and experiencing the seasons through farming is no doubt one of the most important experiences of my life. I am humbled by what the farm has taught me. It has given me a place in the cycle of life. My relationship with the land has become more sacred. Additionally, the community of people that I have shared this experience with are some of the most inspiring friends in my life. I’m so grateful to have been a part of this program.
The Earthly Delights internship isn’t a walk in a park. It’s a farm. Be prepared to not want to come to the farm. Be prepared to have every muscle in your body ache. More importantly, be prepared to experience the most educational, emotional, intellectual 8 months you’ve ever had! This isn’t just an internship about learning how to farm. It’s really about how you interact with the world.
For me personally, I expected to learn basic gardening and farming methods. I also had an inkling of maybe wanting to be a farmer. Over the course of the internship, I realized that I in fact don’t want to be a farmer. Rather be a supporter of local food. The internship taught me the importance of farming and knowing where our food comes from. You’ll learn that onions produce their seeds like fireworks! Who knew?
If I could sum up my advice for a future intern it would be this: Set your expectations, beliefs, and judgments aside. And be open minded. Casey is a wonderful, patient teacher. If you are willing to work hard, expect to learn a lot!
I came to the internship looking for the opportunity to make connections with other people and to gain experience in all aspects of farming, from planning and planting, to harvest and marketing. I was already a gardener, and loved getting things to grow, but after working with Casey, I feel like I have the skills and the confidence to lessen my footprint on this world by growing much of my own food. I loved the internship’s combination of hands on farm experience with the discussion of the philosophical aspects of how our society views and uses resources. The farm’s emphasis on Permaculture is exciting to me because I believe that permaculture is an important way for our society to approach the future as we deal with climate change, diminishing resources, population growth, etc. Earthly Delight’s program as a hands on, local way to get these ideas into circulation, first at the individual and neighborhood level, and then spreading outward in ever increasing circles. Like so many former interns have said, this internship has changed my life. It has opened my eyes to the need for sustainability in our agricultural systems and the need for those of us who consume to inform ourselves about how our food is produced. I worked hard, in the cold, in the heat, in rain, in snow. I rode my bike a lot. I made friends. I ate some incredible food. I am so grateful that I made the commitment to this internship program – and it is a big commitment, of your time and your effort: to yourself, to the other interns, to Casey, to the CSA members, and to the earth.
Oh boy! I am only beginning to understand what this monumental experience meant to me. Last night I cooked up some winter farm squash for a potluck and I loved knowing that I had been involved in every stage of its life. It was lots of hard work and a big commitment but the sense of accomplishment and pride I feel for being involved in this project really leaves me at a loss for words. All in all, it’s tons of fun and one of the best things someone could possibly do but just be prepared to work hard and not bail out for optimal results!
2012 Intern Experiences
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2011 Intern Experiences
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2010 Intern Experiences
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2009 Intern Experiences
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