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Nature and Nurture Farm

Nature & Nurture Seeds is located near Ann Arbor, Michigan. We are a farm-based seed company offering heirloom vegetable, flower, and herb seeds. Read more about our certified organic farm below. Our Seeds Are: Heirloom/O.P. Certified Organic/Sust

Dexter Michigan United States
Website :
http://www.natureandnurtureseeds.com
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
info@natureandnurture.org

About the Farm:

We are nurturing a vibrant community that tends the Earth, enriches lives, and believes in healthy food for all. We honor the seeds passed down from our ancestors, seeds that nourish, connect, and inspire us.
Nature & Nurture Seeds is located near Ann Arbor, Michigan. We are a farm-based seed company offering heirloom vegetable, flower, and herb seeds. Read more about our certified organic farm below.

Our Seeds Are:
Heirloom/Open-Pollinated
Certified Organic/Sustainably Grown
Non-GMO & Untreated
Midwest Adapted

All of our seeds are heirloom (open-pollinated) - you won't find hybrids in our catalog! This is because hybrid seeds are proprietary; controlled by the corporations that own them. In contrast, anyone can save seeds from heirlooms, keeping the seeds in the hands of the people!
We are a Seed Company Partner of the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) which seeks to maintain fair and open access to seeds. Click here to see our OSSI seeds and to learn more about OSSI.
At Nature & Nurture Seeds, we reconnect growers and eaters with the places and faces who grow our seeds. We grow about half of the seeds in our catalog and are striving to expand our network to be able to grow more regionally-adapted seeds. To read more about the other amazing farmers who grow our seeds, see the “Growers” page.
All our varieties are trialed and evaluated for vigor, yield and taste. We are pleased to include Slow Food Ark of Taste Varieties in our offerings. We also have a breeding program to breed new, regionally-adapted seeds.

Our Farm:
We grow about half of our seeds on our 122 acre certified organic farm.
Gently rolling hills grace our farm, located on the outskirts of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Our fields offer us zesty tomatoes, mouthwatering melons, and luscious peaches. Buzzing bees visit flowers that create abundant seeds. Oak woodlands burst with spring wildflowers, teem with blue spotted salamanders, and chime with bird song.
Our farm hosts inquisitive interns, stellar students, vivacious volunteers, and other fun learning adventures! Nature Learning Community gathers youngsters together for the study of nature and to renew their young hearts’ connection to the Earth. Our annual Harvest Festival brings our community together at the peak of the season to celebrate food, fun, and farming.

We have signed The Safe Seed Pledge:

"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy, sell or trade genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities."

Some of our goals are to:
Increase organic seed growing in the Great Lakes region
Bring back food biodiversity
Foster public domain plant breeding via grower-breeders (and everyday folks like you and me!)
Preserve place-based foods, cultural knowledge and traditional foodways. Each seed has a story to tell and we aim to tell it. We believe that food has the capacity to reach across borders, whether they be real or imagined, personal or political, and create bonds where cultural understandings about and beyond food are shared and celebrated, bridging the gap between ourselves and the people we once called a stranger. We plan to expand our offerings of Great Lakes region varieties as we rediscover and gain access to them.

We Educate About:
Seed & food self-sufficiency
Seed growing, saving, trialing, & breeding
How to grow food under a range of space and size constraints (from urban and rural homesteading, community gardening, to container gardening and farm-scale food production)
To provide seeds for permaculture, edible forest gardens and beyond
Offer ideas & recipes to expand the growing, cooking, & eating of a wide variety of foods
Season extension & food preservation
We Are:
Preserving Seed Heritage
Cultivating Biodiversity
Celebrating America's Diverse Food Traditions

Seed Crops Grown :
hemp, brassicas, lettuce, okra, spinach, flowers, and others, tomato, pepper, and others, marigold, calendula, sunflower, zinnia, cosmos, natives
Other Crops :
Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Berries, Tree crops, Grain, Poultry, Shiitake mushrooms
Other Farm Activities :
Agri-tourism, Composting, Direct marketing, Farm machinery, Farmers market, Farm carpentry, Greenhouse management, Timber management

About the Internship

Status:
Accepting Interns
General Expectations and work flow :

Intern days are Thursdays and Fridays from 9-5 with occasional special events on other days. A car is helpful to get to our farm, but some people bike the 35 minutes from Ann Arbor or take the bus to Meijer and then bike/walk the last 2 miles. Carpooling might also be an option if other interns are available to help. We consider this an unpaid, volunteer internship. However, we offer a stipend for people who can volunteer at least 2 days/week. The stipend is based on experience, performance, and how things go for us during the season. Your first 2 weeks will involve training, orientation, getting to know routines, etc. If everything is working well for you and for us by the end of the month, then we expect you to stay until the end of your committed time. We let you set your commitment length and we are counting on you to live up to your commitment. If you need to end your internship with us for reasons beyond your control, WE NEED AT LEAST 2 WEEKS NOTICE ahead of time (more notice is preferred as it’s time consuming to find new interns).

On-farm training :

We are looking for self-motivated interns with a positive attitude and excellent work ethic, who would like to work on a diverse, bio-intensive, medium-sized, organic farm. Responsibilities may include soil preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, irrigation, seed cleaning, working on basic farm infrastructure (helping build fences, hoop houses, etc.), and helping with farm events. We do not have sleeping quarters for interns in our house, but we can discuss (on a case by case basis) options for interns who may want to sleep in a tent and share our bathroom and kitchen facilities.

This internship is experiential and will focus on hands-on application of sustainable agriculture principles and practices. Erica and Mike are both teachers and are committed to the education of interns. Interns who have a special interest may do additional projects in the following areas:
Growing and marketing of produce
Seed growing, harvesting, and cleaning
Shiitake mushroom growing
Restoration agriculture/permaculture
Organic invasive species control
Fruit growing
Nursery Propagation

Compensation, Accommodations and amenities provided :

At this time we cannot offer accomodations, We offer a farm to table lunch, produce to take home, education, and a stipend dependent on experience and performance. The growing season is from April through November; however, we have some flexibility for shorter internships. Preference will be given to interns who can commit to the whole season. Interns who are involved in seed cleaning will need to commit through October (seeds are cleaned in August, September, and October). Monthly stipends based on a 2-day work week will be $200 if your performance meets expectations. This means we expect you to take initiative, have a good attitude, a strong work ethic, a consistent work focus, a willingness to troubleshoot problems, and display responsible behavior, etc.).
Stipends are disbursed on the first day of the month following the month worked.
We will provide education, community, good vibes, a delicious farm lunch, toilet paper, first aid supplies, water, and a reasonable share of produce from the farm to take home when there is surplus. If you want something exotic for lunch that we don’t have, you may need to buy it yourself. We ask that our interns/farm crew supply your own personal hygiene products (sunscreen, bug repellent, etc.). Shoes are always required when you are outside on the farm.

Preferred start date :
April 2, 2020
Preferred length of internship :
at least 3 months, but please contact us anyway if you are looking for something shorter month
Willing to host a spanish speaking intern? :
Yes  - we aren't fluent, but we can communicate in spanish