Summer Internship Program: Lynchburg City

Lynchburg

Primary Program Area Focus: ANR

1. Describe your plans for this internship.  (i.e. What specifically will the intern be doing?)

The purpose of the internship is to gain hands-on experience in sustainable urban agriculture.  The intern will primarily be working at Lynchburg Grows and using the Lynchburg Grows facility for VCE educational programming.  Interns will have the unique opportunity to work in an urban farm that actively engages the community to increase food access and help curb food insecurity.  This internship is for applicants that are familiar and passionate with urban agriculture and have demonstrated success in farming or gardening.

Intern Responsibilities:

  • Work to address food insecurity by growing local produce using sustainable agriculture practices. Full responsibility of four 100ft raised beds in main producing greenhouse which will assist with produce production for 115 member community supported agriculture (CSA);
  • Tasks include planting, weeding, and harvesting in the greenhouses.  Plant, maintain, weeding, harvest, wash, and store produce grown in assigned raised beds. Also covered will be integrated pest management, composting, soil health and sustainable farming practices;
  • Assist with coordination of 4-H day camp(s) and VCE educational/demonstration programs at Lynchburg Grows educating inner-city youth with direct, hands-on experience with farms, food sources, and nature;
  • Work with the farm manager to maintain planting schedule;
  • Develop and discuss alternative and innovative strategies for farm planting and maintenance which applies to small-scale greenhouse farming;
  • Assist with education and outreach in Lynchburg’s food deserts via the Veggie Van, Lynchburg Grows’ mobile food van program that delivers unsold produce to several stops around nutritionally at-risk communities in Lynchburg weekly.

2. Describe the knowledge / skills you expect the intern to gain from this experience.

  • Understanding of the different components of a local food system
  • Sustainable urban farming practices
  • Small scale composting
  • Farm Management
  • Management of CSA
  • Work and communicate with a diverse group of individuals
  • Providing culturally appropriate food for low-income individuals living in food deserts

3. How will the intern learn about the breadth of VCE and our various program areas?

The partnership with VCE and Lynchburg Grows will undoubtedly influence the local community and cover many aspects of the various program areas of VCE.  Lynchburg Grows is a non-profit 6.8-acre urban farm located in the heart of Lynchburg, VA.  Lynchburg Grows’ mission is to work with our community to provide access to healthy food and afford purposeful employment to individuals with disabilities.  The intern will be working with vulnerable clientele as well as with youth K – 12 through day camps and daily work (4-H).  The intern will learn best management practices and the various methods of urban agriculture as it pertains to IPM, soil interrelationships, plant production, and more (ANR).  Through the Veggie Van and the CSA, the intern will learn more about the food deserts across Lynchburg as well as entrepreneurial facets of being a producer (FCS & SNAP).  It is our hope that the individual will be able to utilize skills learned in order to make a difference in his or her community’s food system (CV).