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Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, Inc. (MEVO)
1170 Ramapo Valley Road
DescriptionMEVO (Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, Inc.) is recruiting kick ass high-school, college, and graduate students for our 2013 Summer Farm Crew. This internship is designed for someone who wants to be a leader in environmental sustainability, an activist throughout their local community, and make a difference in creating a better future. We are looking for people who are passionate, friendly, and independent thinkers who want to volunteer throughout local communities to change the suburbs to be ecologically sustainable. This is the third year of MEVO’s Farm Crew builds on a legacy of environmental activism and education by empowering and training sustainable agriculture leaders. It is a hands-on learning experience that shows you how to create, develop, and implement community farming on a local level and how to manage, grow, and lead a not-for-profit farm and teach about farming.
This summer you and your fellow crew members will work throughout the Northern New Jersey area to accomplish several large food sustainability projects:
1. Building the Bergen County Educational Farm, a one acre (44,000 square foot) sustainable farm at Saddle River County Park in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. This farm will be the only one of its kind in Bergen County and will be a model for sustainable community based agriculture throughout the State. The space will be used for educational field trips for schools, horticultural therapy for people with disabilities, and community workshops on environmental ethics and sustainability.
2. Teaching horticultural therapy in partnership with Pony Power Therapies. Each summer we have the pleasure of operating our organic garden with Pony Power and offering a educational organic gardening program to children in abuse shelters, children with disabilities and developmental delay, children in hospice, and more.
3. Planting, maintaining, and harvesting all of MEVO’s community gardens / farms. This summer we will have over 1.5 acres of land in cultivation maintained by our crew. This land will grow food that is donated to hunger organizations and prepared into nutritious meals for our volunteers. In addition, our crew will also help several other community gardens manage their crops and learn how to farm ecologically.
4. Building and managing over 18 MEVO Bee Hives. This March, MEVO is building a 13 Hive Bee Apiary at our farm in Paramus and maintaining hives at several of our other farms in North Jersey. Our crew will be trained as beekeepers and taught how to manage our bees, from identifying the queen to harvesting honey.
5. Teaching sustainable agriculture. This summer MEVO will have multiple summer camps and schools visit our farms and we will visit their classrooms. Our crew will teach educational programs on organic farming, local food systems, the impact of conventional food systems, and environmental values around food, beekeeping, and more.
(Description continued in requirements)
ResponsibilitiesDuring the internship you will spend your day outdoors maintaining organic farms, organizing community members to take action on environmental problems, teaching horticultural therapy programs, beekeeping, harvesting food, growing mushrooms, scouting space for organic farming, maintaining our compost systems, tending our chickens, learning about various organic farming practices, meeting with community members to engage more local residents in sustainable agriculture and building solutions to local and global environmental problems. You will also spend time in our office developing sustainable food projects, outreaching to local community groups about sustainable food, meeting with school groups, connecting with disabled adult groups, and getting hands on experience managing a not-for-profit farm from social media and website development to planting seeds and donating food.
Other responsibilities are:
1. Physical volunteering and getting dirty: MEVO’s volunteer work is tiring and you need to be in good physical shape and willing to work hard. You will spend A LOT of your summer outdoors on the farm in the heat and mud!
2. Emailing, phone calling, and meeting: Community organizing today requires you to use technology! You will get a huge amount of experience emailing, phone calling, and meeting with schools and groups from all spectrums of our communities. There will be indoor office work so be ready for it!
3. Public speaking and making decisions: This is an unpaid internship and as an unpaid crew member, we want you to end your internship with skills, abilities, and an education on how to be a leader and get people involved. This means that you will speak in public in front of groups of people of all ages and be asked to make difficult decisions with sometimes little guidance and help.
4. Teaching: We value directive education as a huge part of our organization. Every Farm Crew member will work with school groups, disabled groups, and more to teach about sustainability and growing food. You have to be willing to teach, develop curriculum, and have patience with your students. You also need to be energized!
6. Building school and community gardens. Several schools and towns have reached out to our crew and want us to build them an organic garden this summer. The crew will be in charge of designing and building several organic learning gardens in a variety of spaces.
7. Using the practices of strategic volunteerism and directive education to inspire social change in local communities and grow a larger environmental movement in Northern NJ.
You will also take several half-day, full day, and one five day field trip with our crew to visit partner organizations and learn from leaders in the sustainable agriculture field covering topics such as: foraging, herbalism, naturalism, mushroom growing, beekeeping, green design and architecture, environmental art, community based social change, organic vs. GMO seeds, food systems, local vs. conventional farming practices, “natural” farming and more.
In this internship you will receive a strong education in:
1. Social Change
2. Farming and agricultural practices
4. Food systems
5. Ecological Sustainability / Environmental Sustainability
6. Opportunities for careers and futures in the environmental, food, farming, and sustainability fields
7. Directive education
8. Alternative ways of life and the ethics around environmental issues
9. The environmental and food movements and ideas around there place in society
You will learn valuable skills such as:
1. How to farm, grow food, and tend plants.
2. How to manage bees.
3. Effective teaching skills and curriculum development.
4. How to find information, research, and implement solutions.
5. Effective email writing, phone calling, networking, and public speaking.
6. How to organize people to support your cause and believe in you as a leader.
7. How to be a leader.
8. How to take action to stop global environmental problems.
Title: Crew Member
Days for the Internship: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
1. Mode of transportation: MEVO operates throughout North Jersey, which means during the internship we will travel throughout this greater area. You need a way to get to our meet up location in Mahwah, NJ. We carpool most days so you will likely either be driving the carpool or carpooling in someone else’s ride.
2. Attendance: As a crew member, you are required to be at every day of our internship. You can’t have a crew if only two people show up. We allow one week of vacation time from our internship.
3. Working Laptop: Our office work requires a laptop that you can use. We have electricity and internet access. Sorry, but hand written letters just are not a way to get things done quickly and we are running out of time!
4. 5 Day Ananda Ashram Trip: This trip is going to be one of the most-awesome experiences of the summer. You must be able to take a few days off to attend this trip. It will be directly in the middle of summer mid or late July.