Walden effect internship?
Mark and I have been
tossing around the idea of interns. On the one hand, I think we
know enough that a homesteader wannabe could learn a lot from us, we
certainly have plenty of extra work, and it would be great
to have more like-minded people around. On the other hand, we're
dyed in the wool introverts and the idea of having even a
low-maintenance, fascinating person on the property seven days of the
week gives me shivers.
There might be the possibility of housing the intern somewhere else
and/or sharing them with another farming group so that we don't
overwhelm our people-sensors --- we probably won't even give the idea a
shot if we can't find someone to fill that gap. That said, I
wonder if the idea even holds water. Time for a poll!
(Those of you reading
this on Facebook or via an RSS feed will probably have to come directly
to our website to participate.)
Our current idea is to
give the intern a place to stay and plenty of hands-on mentoring in
exchange for 20 hours of work per week. (They'd have to buy and
cook their own food, but might have a place to grow a garden.)
The work would involve learning, but would probably also involve a lot
of repetition, because that's what farms are like. If you were a
potential intern, would that sound good?
We actually have two
different potential internship ideas: the living homestead and the
microbusiness. Mark could really, really use an inventor's
apprentice, while I could really, really use someone good at weeding
and mulching. Do you think the same person would be likely to be
interested in both or are the farmer wannabes different from the people
who want to be financially independent?
How many interns do you
think we should have at one time? On the one hand, starting with
one intern sounds much less scary. On the other hand, maybe
interns are like chickens and goats --- more self-sufficient in flocks?
I dream that an intern
would take some training, but then would make work happen faster.
On the other hand, my nightmares involve interns who take more time to
teach than they give us back in labor and who are so needy that I never
get any alone time. I'm especially interested to hear from those
of you who have managed interns. Which reality is most true?
We're trying to decide
on the best time of year for an internship. Presumably,
most potential interns would be young, so the summer when they're out
of school might be a good season. But I'm not convinced that any
of our readers other than Jalen are under 25. What do you think
is a good time period for the internship?
How about length?
We'd really like to try the idea on a short term basis, maybe a month
at the most, but we learned our lesson by soliciting WWOOFers --- the
people who are interested in short-term internships are also the people
who call at the last minute and cancel. How long is the optimal
internship period to attract serious candidates?
Are you or someone you
know interested in being a Walden Effect intern?
Do you think we're crazy
to even consider this?
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