Noepe Center for the Literary Arts in partnership with The Farm Institute at Katama Farm is offering a special two-week residency scholarship between September 17th-October 30th, 2016. Application is open to writers of any genre interested in learning and writing about the intersection of agriculture and community on Martha’s Vineyard. Applicants need not have previously written about agriculture nor do they need a farming background, merely demonstrate a desire and curiosity to explore the intersection between farming and writing. The scholarship provides two-weeks residency at Noepe as well a living stipend of $200.00 per week.
The Farm Institute is 15-year-old educational nonprofit dedicated to connecting people of all ages and circumstances with agriculture through the diverse operations of a working farm. Located on the 180-acre historic Katama Farm (a quick walk, bike ride or bus ride from Noepe Center) The Farm Institute hosts over 1000 children and youth at farm camp every summer, year-round programs through the Island schools, learning events for adults and also opens the farm to some 2500 people visitors from all over the country and world who stop by.
At the Farm Institute the working farm is the curriculum. Katama Farm is one of the largest farms on the Martha’s Vineyard and, with its beautiful grassland environment, it is one of the largest livestock producers as well. With some 60 head of cattle, 65 breeding ewes, chickens, pigs and an occasional goat, The Farm Institute plays an important role in the renewed interest in agriculture and local food on the Island. At one time, Martha’s Vineyard produced all its own food. Today, only 3% of food purchases are Island-grown products. There is much to think and write about in these facts.
The staff at the Farm Institute is passionate about food and the business, science and magic of the agriculture that produces it. With the hectic summer over, fall is a time not just for harvest, but to assess and share ideas. The farm welcomes the opportunity to include a writer in that process.
Requirements of Noepe on the Farm Resident
CHORE RESPONSIBILITIES: The Noepe Farm resident will be part of either the morning or afternoon chore team at the Farm Institute five days per week. Chores equal work, the backbone of the farm: feeding and watering animals, gathering and packaging eggs, weeding or harvesting in the garden, cleaning out the greenhouse, mucking livestock space, moving animals, moving fence. Morning chores in the fall are usually from 8 to 10, afternoon chores from 3 to 5. No prior skills are needed. An experienced staff person will always be on the team and chore assignments may vary from day to day.
In addition to chore time, the Noepe resident is welcome to take part in any other activities or even work at the farm, schedule meetings with staff, read about the farm history, or just watch what goes on.
The Noepe Farm resident will make use of his or her writing time to explore issues around agriculture, food production, ethics, sustainability and the past, present and future of farming. The farm staff will be happy to provide ideas for additional resources and experiences on these topics.
Toward the end of the residency, the participant will do a reading based on the farm experience. The reading will be open to the public, and invitations will go out to other writers, farmers and supporters of Noepe and The Farm Institute.
The Noepe Resident will need to:
Pass the Massachusetts Criminal Offense Record Information Screening
Bring appropriate clothing for farm work including waterproof boots, rain gear and work gloves.
Help with farm chores 2-3 hours per day Monday-Friday
Cover all travel expenses other fees other than those of the residency at Noepe Center.
The Noepe-on-the-Farm scholarship provides one two-week residency at Noepe Center as well as a ‘living stipend’ of $200/week.
One writer will be selected from the pool of applicants based on the quality of their written work. To apply, please out the contact form and attach up to 20 page writing sample. In the comment box of the online form, please describe how you feel this scholarship will benefit your writing and how your writing might explore the issues of local agriculture.