Live and work with our young family and eat organic vegetables all year long! Learn all aspects of country living and organic herb and vegetable growing from plant propagation to harvest. Challenging and rewarding work as well as tedious and sometimes repetitive.
40 + hours per week for room and board and sustainable living mentoring. Please consider interning with us in a smoke, alcohol and television free environment. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us your resume, set up a site visit to come stay, work and dine with us for a few days, and send us two references (personal and professional). Give us a call at 814-849-9662, if you have questions.
Quiet Creek Corner— She’s a Pearl -- Interning at Quiet Creek 2009
For many years, students “in the school of life” have graced the farm with their presence, hard work, and learning spirit. In fact, the boys would find it odd not to have one or two extra folks at the dinner table on a regular basis.
Quiet Creek interns are an important component to our non-profit organization. The idea was adopted from other farms that open their doors to apprentices, interns, and volunteers. In lieu of forty hours of work, our interns are provided with room/board and as much information they can absorb from our knowledge, classes, network, computer files, and gardening library.
Many have come to learn the ropes of starting an educational facility; some have a keen interest in growing vegetables organically while others want to glean the medicinal, nutritional, and spiritual aspect of sustainable living. The process begins with an e-mail from a prospective intern who has read a posting on a website or book, or conversed with a former intern.
The next step is a phone call where Rusty has perfected, through the years, the proper interview technique. He attempts to talk the person out of coming to Quiet Creek. This may sound counter productive, but “if you are looking for a social life – try the city, if you need a mental health consultant – see a psychiatrist, and if you don’t like to weed – hang up.”
His intent is to NOT paint a rosy picture; the internship can be challenging and lonely. If the potential volunteer is still interested, we invite that person for an overnight stay and work day. This includes experiencing whole food meals, playing with the boys, and whatever farm project is in progress.
After checking references on one another, we as a team decide if there is a mutually benefiting fit. If so, interns are given ownership in part of the farm to match their learning expectations. They are mentored and nurtured in all they do. Rusty explains, if they don’t make mistakes, they’re probably not doing enough.
His famous question, “What is the best answer you can give your supervisor when asked to do a task?” Most reply, “Yes, I’ll do it right away.” Although a good response, he shares the best answer, “It’s already done.”
The internships are challenging to both the Quiet Creek family and the new residents, but the experience yields many rewards for all. We have been blessed with caring folks who have become family members. They have shared stories from when they have lived, Vermont, California, and Ireland. They relish the sustainably-grown food grown and prepared by all of us.
Arriving as wandering workers and leaving as lifelong friends, we continue to converse, send computer files, network opportunities, and pray for one another. Pearl, who arrived a year ago this month, will now journey on to her next “school of life.” She has brought three of her eight siblings into our lives; grown, harvested and preserved a beautiful bounty displayed on shelves she built; kid-sat our boys while we toured Italy; and made gallons of Kim chi.
She will always be welcome as a daughter, a sister, a colleague, and a steward of God’s resources. We love her and wish her the greatest success in all she does. Gladly, we will let her next fortunate mentor know, “She’s a Pearl.”
Junior Internship Opportunity Do any of you know a young person who would benefit from becoming a junior intern at Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living this year? We are interested in sharing our knowledge of growing, harvesting and using culinary, medicinal and decorative herbs with 12 –16 year olds. The internship experience is open year round to any young folks who in exchange for free one-on-one instruction and room & board would provide help on the farm with our young sons, Walker and Ashton. Please respond early to select your week(s). Call 814-849-9662 or e-mail us at email@example.com to reserve a space.
Stowe and Marina Comments-2010
We, Stowe and Marina, have truly arrived. This place is beyond description...I don't even know where to begin. Our new home is a strawbale structure with stone floors, radiant heating, a composting toilet, running water, an abundance of artwork, a tree in the center of it, electricity, wi-fi, the works! Our meals are provided for us (or we cook for others using the vegetables they grew last year) and dinner our first night was beans+rice, potato+mushroom soup, homemade (by Claire) sprouted bread with homemade herb-infused butter out of a mason jar, tortillas with onions and fresh cheese, raw milk and kimchi still bubbling from fermentation. Marina can hardly even speak and has been pie-eyed for about 2 hours- I'll say it again- We have arrived!
After I planted one bed with a cover crop, I pruned and strung tomato vines. Then I cut African Blue Basil from the high tunnels and peeled garlic for Rusty to make pesto for our lunch. Later it was time to can ripe tomatoes, pull a half bed of lettuce and replant it, and mix some new herbal teas. A day a Quiet Creek is unlike any other day. Rusty and Claire are knowledgeable and excited about their herb farm, CSA, herbal products, and classes. That energy spreads, and they are extremely open to new ideas and new projects.
I came to Quiet Creek with a desire to participate in an entire growing season on a small organic farm. Almost immediately, I was given trust, responsibility, resources, and encouragement. Rusty and Claire are both amazing teachers that understand it is better to teach through hands-on experience. Mistakes don’t upset or scare them; it’s another way to learn and teach as far as they are concerned. I felt as though all of my ideas were realistic possibilities, and received the support I needed to enact them. They don’t have a “script” – they let creativity and innovation rule the farm; they expect to learn from apprentices as much as we learn from them.
I never felt relegated to typical intern tasks of just weeding, clearing beds, or harvesting. Of course, I did participate in all aspects of gardening and living together (including weeding and doing the dishes) but because they allow interns such a high level of participation, it was about sharing responsibility, not doing someone else’s dirty work.
The rural setting provides ample hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking opportunities with Clear Creek State Park and the Allegheny National Forest nearby. It can be somewhat isolating if you are used to an urban lifestyle, but there is a small community of like-minded individuals. There is also a peaceful tranquility in the isolation that can be enjoyed with an open mind. I am sure I will miss Western Pennsylvania no matter where I go. I had several friends visit and decide to extend their stays here after hiking along the Clarion and laughing at Rusty’s puns. It really is a unique experience.
My satisfaction from this apprenticeship stems equally from learning the skills I came here specifically to learn and learning new things I had no idea I would be exposed to. Nutritional classes, educating school groups, making herbal teas and soaps, identifying, cutting and drying herbs, cooking with herbs, and building a straw bale house--- all added to my education here at Quiet Creek. I feel empowered and equipped to seek further employment in this field, as well as lead a healthier, more earth-friendly lifestyle. I recommend this apprenticeship to anyone with an open mind and desire to learn. Come with your own agenda, but be prepared to learn about things you’ve never even considered.
I was an intern at Quiet Creek Herb Farm during the summer of 2002. If you are looking for an experience from which you can learn about all aspects of organic farming and herbalism this is the place. Rusty and Claire are incredibly knowledgable, as well as kind and patient people who are dedicated to increasing the knowledge of their students, interns and community. You will gain experience in many aspects of organic farming, gardening and wildcrafting, and if these things are new to you, as they were to me, you will have two of the best teachers in the world to help you. If you are interested in the design aspect of gardening, the garden at Quiet Creek is beautifully designed by Rusty who is always quick to share his expertise. If cooking interests you, Claire's weekly batches of home-made bread are delicious, and she is very tolerant of experiments for new products and recipes. They have a small library with books covering many subjects including growing techniques and herbalism, which enhances the hands-on learning experience of the internship. They also have a variety of classes, Medicinal Use of Herbs, which as an intern are available to you at no charge. The practical experience that I took away from Quiet Creek has opened many doors for me, and I am indebted to Claire and Rusty's patient teaching and depth of knowledge. I highly recommend their internship/apprenticeship program.