FEI 2020 : registration is now open !

POSTER 2020

Click here to sign up or copy the following link : https://forms.gle/GWAGxgAzjKeoctBB9

Costs: €100,- This fee includes organic lunch, snacks, drinks, workshops, excursions and lectures during the preparatory and evaluation phase (week 1 + week 4). Your stay at the farm is for free, but it would be appreciated if you give a present and/or financial compensation to the farmer.

More information will become available soon. After the deadline, your registration will be confirmed and you will hear if you are accepted. Participants will then also be informed with more information regarding the FEI.

Farmers 2020

Here you can find the first farms we got positive answers from, the list is not complete yet, keep an eye out !

1. Voedselrijk

 

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Short Description: A 3,4 hectare food forest in the making in an existing coniferous forest.

Website: http://www.voedselrijk.nl
Contact: malika@circleecology.org
Labels: Food forest, farming the woods
Activities on farm: Observation, analysis, mapping, design, species selection, planning. Plus possible hands-on work on herb and shrub layer, creating paths and generals structure, mushroom cultivation, maybe some tree cutting and processing.
Name farmer(s): Malika Cieremands
Phone: 06-19159096
Visiting adress: The food forest is in the woods, about 20-30 minutes by bike from WUR campus. Exact adress on request only.
How to get there: Bike
Amount of students: 1-2
Accommodation: No (it’s in Wageningen)
Food: Tea and snacks offerd, please bring your own lunch
Comments/What to Bring etc: Positive spirit, open mind. Love for nature and forests, the wish to communicate and interact with all of life. Working clothes and closed shoes. Working gloves or hand tools (knife, clippers etc.) if you have. Some can be provided. Take care of tick protection.

 

2. Aarde-Werk de Stegge

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Short Description: “Earth-Work de Stegge” is a practical school of sustainability. Jan-Willem and Gea grow most of their food in the permaculture garden and they also sell the surplus. They also produce their own electricity and take care of the waste water purification. They work with volunteers, WWOOFers as well as schools and visitors. All the education is based on the philosophy of deep ecology which emphasises the emotional connection to nature.

Website: www.aarde-werkdestegge.nl
Contact: info@aarde-werkdestegge.nl
Labels: EKO
Activities on farm: working in the garden and the food forest, taking care of the animals (2 cows and 7 chickens).
Name farmer(s): Jan-Willem and Gea
Phone: 0543 563717/06 21566924
Address: Geessinkweg 3, 7107 Ar Winterswijk Kotten
How to get there: Take train to Winterswijk. From there you can take Regio Taxi Gelderland (make a reservation one hour in advance)
Amount of students: 1
Accommodation: yes / tent camping
Bike available: yes
Food: meals are provided in working days. In the weekend you are free to use the kitchen to cook for yourself.
Comments/What to Bring etc: an open mind, sturdy clothes and shoes for all kinds of weather, sleeping bag.

FEI team 2020

Louise 

louiseI’m Louise and since last May I’m the coordinator of the Boerengroep. I come from Belgium (Ghent), where I studied Conflict and Development. I’m interested to learn more about techniques and visions on how to farm within nature and with respect for natural ecosystems instead of against them. I also want to know more about the realities of more sustainable farming practices and the challenges of these systems, and how we can make land and investment capital more accessible for starting farmers. Someday I would like to buy a bit of forest and introduce edible plants in it that enhance biodiversity. This year will be the 2d time I organize and participate in the FEI, and I’m so excited for it. I think it’s going to be a transformative experience, both on a personal, intellectual level as on a social and practical level.

 

Shumaila

Shumi“The way Agroecology looks at the planet; full of potential, strength and beauty, is how I would like to look at life and everything around me. Growing up in a desert I don’t consider myself very eco literate but thankfully that can change. With this Farm Experience Internship we hope to align our head, heart and mind and gain a fresh and more personal insight on food and farming itself. ”

 

 

 

Capucine

75262312_2645653095494953_986203235092004864_nAlthough born and raised in Paris, I have been wanting to be a farmer for a while. Studying organic agriculture in Wageningen, I can finally come a bit closer to this dream.
Since February, I am doing my internship with Boerengroep, which allows to gain practical experience in farms, and to organize the FEI 2020, which is really exciting !

The FEI will provide a cross-disciplinary approach of agriculture. I am convinced that only a global approach (looking at ecological and social issues, economy…) can insure production and food security by optimizing interactions between plants, animals, humans and soils. Heed ecosystems and biodiversity is the only key to resolve the environmental stalemate we are in.

 

Study guide – FEI 2020

RSO-51303 Farm Experience Internship fei logo
Academic Year 2019-2020

Contact person
Name: Henk Oostindie
E-mail: Henk.oostindie@wur.nl

Introduction to the Farm Experience Internship
In the Netherlands, and Europe in general, policy advice and research is often disconnected from the reality of farmers, gardeners and peasants. On the one hand the knowledge of farmers is not valorised, on the other hand the knowledge produced at educational institutes is often too abstract, creating gaps between farmers’ needs and research. Within Wageningen University, many students of agriculture related topics have no experience with farms or farming and are not aware what is happening in the field. Students, destined for a future career as researcher, policy maker, entrepreneur or farmer will benefit from a more qualified professional education if they understand and experience the daily reality of a farm.

The Farm Experience Internship is set up by Stichting Boerengroep and offers participants an opportunity to put new farming, research methods, and approaches into practice. How can we truly work in an interdisciplinary way? How to work most effectively in groups with participatory approaches and in collective cooperation? These are two of the many challenging questions that will be addressed. The ultimate goal of the internship is to offer students the opportunity to experience the daily reality of farming, challenge their theoretical knowledge and stimulate the development of critical and creative thinking.

Capita Selecta opportunity with Wageningen University (RSO-51303)
The Rural Sociology group gives the opportunity to expand the FEI and turn it into a Capita Selecta course of 3 ECTs for students of the Wageningen University. In order to do so, students do a small additional research and reflect on the research in a written report.
➢ Only WUR students in their master track are eligible to turn the FEI into a Capita Selecta course as the student needs to have a certain background in knowledge to be able to write the final report.
Learning outcomes

After completing the Capita Selecta, students are expected to:
– Experience the daily reality of farming, challenge their theoretical knowledge and stimulate the development of critical and creative thinking.
– Understand the notion of applied research
– Reflect in a written report on Agroecology

Written report
To obtain the credits for the Capital Selecta, students do a small research and write a report on of the four themes explained below:

– Option 1 : Agroecology as a science, practice and movement. Students formulate and discuss an opinion and view on agroecology. Students can critically reflect on the gained knowledge and skills and actively use this during discussions and debates, e.g. regarding the need that we must combine knowledge of peasant agriculture, ancestral knowledge and scientific research in order to co-create innovative farming practices.

– Option 2 : Agroecology as a way of life. Reflect on the farming reality and farmers concepts. Understand the concept of reality regarding research vs. farmers and try to meet these realities to cooperate together. Is farming a job, a way of life, or maybe a mixture of both?

– Option 3 : Understand and reflect on the different ‘components’ of agroecology. Compare for example food sovereignty, peasant farming (‘boerenlandbouw’) versus industrial farming (‘ondernemerslandbouw’), the soil, access to land, the importance of biodiversity (especially also in seeds), local markets / income issues of farmers, gender issues in agriculture etc., and apply this knowledge in the analysis of your farm.

– Option 4 : Understand the notion of applied research. How does applied research supports individual farms or a certain farming sector. Reflect on the knowledge and skills gained regarding research methodologies and the analysis of farming systems.

Steps to take

1. After indicating their interest in the Capita Selecta, students choose a theme as the focus of their research.
2. In the first week, students develop a short research plan (no longer than 1 page) that include the choice for the theme and a small set of interview questions to guide their research. Students sent this plan to Henk Oostindie by the end of the first week for feedback.
3. Students participate in all the events of the FEI
4. After the FEI, students write their report. The finished report is sent to Henk Oostindie for grading. The final deadline for handing in the report is 1 October.
Structure of the report

Length report: approximately 2500-3000 words

Introduction (about 500 words)
• Give a general description of the option you choose for your report and relate that option to the context of the agroecology in the Netherlands. • Define your objectives of this report

Approach/Methodology (about 300 words)
• Describe the methods you used to achieve your objectives
• Include a description of your interview questions

Results (depending on the chosen option) (about 1200 words)
• Option 1: Agroecology as a science, practice and movement
Critically reflect on the gained knowledge and skills achieved during the FEI on agroecology.
Reflect on the need to combine knowledge of peasant agriculture, ancestral knowledge and scientific research in order to co-create innovative farming practices.

• Option 2. Agroecology as a way of life.
Reflect on the farming reality and farmers concepts of your internship.
Reflect on the reality of researchers vs. farmers and the potential for these two
worlds to cooperate.

• Option 3. Understand and reflect on the different ‘components’ of agroecology
Analyse the farm in terms of issues related to soil, access to land, the importance of
biodiversity (especially also in seeds), local markets / income issues of farmers,
gender issues in agriculture,etc
Contrast and compare this analysis to for example food sovereignty, peasant farming
(‘boerenlandbouw’) versus industrial farming (‘ondernemerslandbouw’)

• Option 4. Understand the notion of applied research
Reflect on how applied research supports individual farms or a certain farming
sector.
Reflect on the knowledge and skills gained regarding research methodologies and
the analysis of farming systems.

Conclusion (about 500 words)
• Refer to your objectives of the introduction and the overall findings of your resulst
Reflection on the FEI (about 200 words)
• What were your personal learning experiences?
• What knowledge did you gain?

 

Registration FEI 2019

Registration for the Farm Experience Internship 2019 is open now! The deadline is the 31st of May.

Click here to sign up or copy the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfO5h8Kc-vMfvhZkSXshKLioGklNbHzoZcoiwc9fTNhJrjuNg/viewform

 

The FEI 2019 is a full time course and will take place from 22nd July – 16th August

PART I: lectures, workshops and excursions

PART II: Internship at a farm or garden (somewhere in NL)

PART III: Reflection / linking theory and practice

 

Costs: €100,- This fee includes organic lunch, snacks, drinks, workshops, excursions and lectures during the preparatory and evaluation phase (week 1 + week 4). Your stay at the farm is for free, but it would be appreciated if you give a present and/or financial compensation to the farmer.

More information will become available soon. After the deadline, your registration will be confirmed and you’ll hear if you are accepted. Participants will then also be informed with more information regarding the FEI.

 

Farm Experience Internship, Wageningen University

 

RECAP on Farm Experience Internship 2018

From 23rd – 27th of July Boerengroep organised a very successful Farm Experience Week, which is the first part of the Farm Experience Internship (FEI). Twenty-four participants, from eleven different nationalities, have completed a full week of workshops and excursions focused on agroecology as a science, a movement and a practice. This large diversity in nationalities and backgrounds offers a unique opportunity to learn from each other and to get into dialogues on sustainable ways of food production. Most of the participants are currently continuing their learning process by working alongside a farmer in a farm or garden somewhere in the Netherlands. The 5th of October all participants will meet once more to share their experiences and reflect on the theory and their learning processes.

The FEI is a movement co-created by peasants, farmers, gardeners, scientists, students, activists, NGOs and agroecological companies – working together towards a sustainable, healthy, viable food system that is fair and just for the earth, the consumer and the producer. This edition marks the 6th edition of the FEI at the Wageningen University and we are very pleased to see the FEI movement growing with every edition.

Students of Wageningen University can expand the FEI and turn it into a Capita Selecta course with The Rurual Sociology Group. The group offers this option because it acknowledges the added value for students to be part of the FEI. As students, destined for a future career as researcher, policy maker, entrepreneur or farmer will benefit from a more qualified professional education if they understand and experience the daily reality of a farm.

During the mornings of this years’ Farm Experience Week the participants took part in interactive workshops guided by experts from the field and from research; WUR, Louis Bolk Institute, Biovitalis, Van Akker Naar Bos, Cultivate! and Boeren in het Bos. In the afternoons the group went on excursions to farms, gardens and fields, allowing the participants to bring their knowledge to the field and to learn more about ‘agroecology in practice’. The following places were part of this years program; Nieuwe Ronde, Ommuurde Tuin, Ketelbroek foodforest, Veld en Beek, Anna’s Tuin en ruigte and a research plot of Stichting Heideboerderijen.

Besides co-organising the program of the FEI, the FEI receives financial sponsorship and sponsorship in kind from many of the co-creators. Sponsorship in kind ranges from offering a free tour at a farm, or giving a guest lecture for free to contributing by giving products such as vegetables or seeds. This character of jointly wearing makes it possible to keep the participation fee low and thereby accessible for every student.

While working towards better food systems, the joy of sharing a nice meal in the middle of the day can not be left out. This year the local caterer ‘Vreemde Streken’ turned the sponsored food products every day into another delicious meal showing what is possible with local products and limited budget.

Patricia Lemmens – Coordinator Boerengroep & FEI 2018

THE FARM EXPERIENCE INTERNSHIP

The FEI is a growing movement, that is being co-created by peasants, farmers, gardeners, scientists, students, activists, NGOs and agroecological companies – working together towards a sustainable, healthy, viable food system that is fair and just for the earth, the consumer and the producer. Together, we co-organize a 3 ECTS international summer course at the Wageningen University every year (since 2013), which intends to bring together theoretical knowledge from students with practical skills and knowledge from farmers. Are you interested in growing your own food, discovering local knowledge and practices on organic farms and gardens in the Netherlands? Do you want to learn about agroecology, food sovereignty and sustainable food systems? Or would you like to interact and discuss with farmers to find creative, innovative ways of farming? Then don’t wait any longer and join the FEI!

SET UP OF THE COURSE

1. PREPARATION [2018 is all about this!] – Lectures, workshops, excursions.
During the first phase of the FEI, you will get to know about all kinds of topics related to agriculture, e.g. agroecology, sustainable food systems, food sovereignty, seed patents etc. We share knowledge, eat together and have a good time. The preparation week will be held at The Building with the Clock (Generaal Foulkesweg 37, Wageningen) and the schedule is full day.

2. LET’S GO FARMING! [2018 we support you to start farming!]
Practical experience on a Dutch farm.
After the preparation week, each student is sent to a different farm somewhere in the Netherlands. Before the start of the FEI, you can tell us your preference, e.g. food forest, goat farm, organic garden etc. For two weeks you will be full time working together with the farmer, following his/her working rhythm, learning practical skills and local knowledge. Students are asked to make pictures or a short video about their stay at the farm, which they will present later on. The participating farms are mostly organic, however some are currently still seeking for a more sustainable management practices (which is very interesting for you as a student: can you find ways to support the farmer?).

3. EVALUATION  [2018 we will have one reflection day in September]
Present your pictures, share your experience
After two weeks harvesting, weeding, feeding cows, goats, or making cheese, students will come back to Wageningen for the evaluation phase. Share experience, discuss what you’ve learned and create the one and only FEI Story Book!

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CREDITS or CERTIFICATE. Wageningen University is supporting the FEI through the chairgroup Rural Sociology (RSO). Via this chairgroup, WUR students can obtain 3 ECTS after completing the Farm Experience Internship and after handing in the evaluation report. For non-WUR students, a certificate is handed out by the RSO group. Note that you can only receive credits when you are enrolled at the Wageningen University.

ACCOMMODATION. During the Preparation and Evaluation phase, you will have to arrange your own accommodation. The FEI team recommends participants to first try to arrange a place to stay themselves via couchsurfing (free hosts). Later we will send a mail in advance to all participants so we can arrange hosts for those participants who do not live in Wageningen and have not find a host yet.

COSTS. The Costs for the FEI are only €40, since we think it is important to offer this knowledge to everyone interested in sustainable food production. This fee includes organic lunch, snacks, drinks and also workshops, excursions and lectures during the week. Your stay at a farm is for free, but it would be appreciated if you give a present and/or financial compensation to the farmer. (note: not all farmers are able to host you – check the farmers list for details).

INSURANCE. Participants of the FEI who are not enrolled as WUR students have to arrange their own insurance during the FEI. Both Wageningen University and St.Boerengroep are not responsible and will not provide an insurance to FEI participants. By enrolling for the FEI, particpants agreed to have arranged their own insurance.

PARTICIPANTS. The FEI mainly aims at university students in order to connect them (and thereby the University) to farmers. However, non-students with an interest in sustainable agriculture are most welcome as well! Do you have any questions or are you interested in organizing a FEI? Send a mail to farmexperienceinternship@gmail.com