Farm Apprenticeships

Buttermilk Falls CSA in Osceola, WI is seeking two apprentice farmers or interns for September-October, the end of the CSA garden season.  As a garden volunteer, you will experience CSA farming on a beautiful member-supported, therapeutic community farm. The program is tailored to individuals who are not daunted by hard work and are motivated by being part of the inner workings of this special project. This opportunity is especially useful for folks looking to own/operate their own small-scale or family farm someday, or those hoping to supplement their experience-based farming skills at a time when the future of food seems so uncertain.

About the Farm

Buttermilk Falls CSA is a project of Philadelphia Community Farm, a non-profit since 1989. Our CSA  feeds 120 members from our to-be-certified biodynamic farm in the St. Croix River Valley of western Wisconsin. We do not use any chemicals or synthetic substances on our fields, and practice an ideology which acknowledges the farm as a whole organism. 

Philadelphia Community Farm, an elder in the midwestern CSA movement and leader in farm-based education in the region, consists of 300+ acres of fertile river valley land, with 68 acres developed for the farm, residential living and retreat center, and 245-acre Buffalo Skull in conservation managed along with Standing Cedars Land Conservancy.

Program Details

Apprentice farmers live onsite and work full-time alongside Buttermilk’s lead farmer, Carter, from Labor Day until the end of the (outdoor) garden season at the end of October. Currently, two full-time year round co-workers, two artists-in-residence, the intern CSA manager, and a senior citizen with special needs live at Philadelphia Community Farm. We share most meals, weekly meetings, and various workshops, celebrations and host and attend many social activities like music by the campfire, swimming in the St. Croix River, canoeing, fishing or attending Minneapolis-based arts/theater events. We are a vibrant community in a sacred setting, replete with restored native prairie, forest, an expanding barnyard, and a fresh water spring and waterfall along the limestone cliffs of the St. Croix River. Your time here includes:

  • Free housing in a large community farmhouse or tiny summer sleeping room with porch. This year we are looking for two interns willing to share a room with each other, so friends and/or couples are especially welcome!
  • Communal bathroom/shower and laundry
  • Free home-cooked farm meals
  • Free WI-FI and domestic phone calls
  • A living allowance of $200 per month
  • Free farmer training
  • Access to inspired natural sanctuary replete with hiking trails, prairie, waterfall, spring, sacred beauty, fresh air, clean water, and nutritious food. 
  • Free or reduced classes whenever available at Buttermilk Folk School
  • Opportunity to engage in a therapeutic community lifestyle that includes meaningful work, personal development, and owning your path. 

Skills You Can expect to Gain

  • Planning: Spring arrival will allow you the opportunity to work side-by-side with the farmer to plan garden rotations, field configurations, seed orders etc.
  • Greenhouse Propagation: Seeding, record keeping, seedling care and troubleshooting, greenhouse organization, composting
  • Field work: irrigation systems, seeding, transplanting, weeding, thinning, mulching, tractor skills, frost protection, composting, “farmer intuition” and observation analysis, record keeping, heat/cold tolerance, biodynamic preparations
  • CSA management: The following will be supplemental to the tasks of the onsite CSA Manager Tracking of CSA data, record keeping, communications, marketing, community building, delivery logistics 
  • Life skills: Communal living in a multi-ability, multi-age household, healthy communication, cooking, hearth-keeping, responsibility, empowerment, work ethic
  • Animals: May be included DOI, mostly in the context of their role on a biodynamic farm

Ideal Candidates

We seek two people with a sincere interest in sustainable agriculture. The work is undoubtedly demanding on physical, mental and emotional levels, and is also incredibly rewarding for those that are willing to meet the challenges. A genuine commitment to the farming lifestyle and all of the joys and hardships that go along with it will be an invaluable asset to Buttermilk apprentices. We will consider all applicants but will favor those available for the full-term, those with two or more seasons of farming under their belt, and those applying in pairs. Interpersonal attributes required for this position: 

  • Possess an open mind and an open heart toward 
  • Communicate openly and honestly; ask for what you need
  • Self reflective and ready to engage deeply on both inner and outer levels
  • Healthy relationship to a lifestyle unencumbered by substance use. 
  • Wiling to help co-create and cultivate a healthy social atmosphere 
  • Healthy and without significant mental or physical health issues
  • Comfortable with heavy lifting, good manual dexterity and multi-limb coordination while using tools and small machines.
  • Experience not required, but be eager for a hard-working wholesome lifestyle of service
  • Display a passion for learning sustainable agricultural methods in a community farm environment
  • Demonstrate a high degree of self-motivation and initiative with the willingness to take direction and the drive to complete tasks in a timely manner.
  • Commitment to our collective liberation, new social forms and social justice. 

Your Steadfast Leader

 Carter Beck

Carter Beck

In many ways, Carter epitomizes the archetypal Midwest farmer of Scandinavian descent. He is sturdy, resilient, patient and a man of few words. He works deliberately on the land from sun up until sun down, in hopes of serving his members and creating a space where children and families can connect to the land and enjoy nature. Apprentices will learn best from this farmer through astute observation and inquiry. If you wish to learn while getting your hands dirty, in an outdoor classroom, this experienced farmer will be a good match. If, upon reading and reflecting upon everything above, you find your interest piqued, please send a letter of interest and your resume to: Buttermilk Falls CSA, P.O. Box 668, Osceola WI 54020 or email

To begin the application process please fill out the questionnaire below.

Please submit the following questionnaire: 

Name *
If applying alongside a friend or partner, please enter their name here. They should fill this form as well and list you as their co-applicant.
please provide any details about the conditions under which you can or cannot share a room.
 Almo the Great Pyrenees, Carter the Farmer, and Medha the CSA Manager. Sept 2017

Almo the Great Pyrenees, Carter the Farmer, and Medha the CSA Manager. Sept 2017

Farm Internships 2017

The Buttermilk CSA 'Farmily' of summer 2014