Positions: Farm Apprentices
Remun.: accom. + food + stipend, more (see below)
Farm: Heyday Farm
Location: Salt Spring Island, BC
Heyday Farm is looking for three apprentices who want to learn organic market gardening skills and experience the market gardening life for a full season. We are offering a six to eight month farm immersion on our seven acres in the Fulford Valley on Salt Spring Island. Apprentices are a key part of our farm. They help us grow vegetables, berries and cut flowers for our two weekly markets as well as seeds for the farm and staples for the house such as quinoa, flint corn, garbanzo beans and a variety of other legumes. We truly appreciate the hard work of our apprentices and do everything we can to make sure their experience at Heyday is positive and fulfilling.
We grow a diverse array of crops but we specialize in fall and winter vegetables and in cut flowers.We keep a small flock of heritage chickens that provide the farm with eggs and meat and we have a century old pear orchard which provides us with fresh fruit, cider and vinegar.
We produce good food for our community and ourselves by encouraging a healthy environment on our farm. Our flowers and seed crops provide food for birds, beneficial insects and pollinators. We care for our soil by using a well planned crop rotation, semi-permanent raised beds, reduced tillage and by adding lots of organic matter such as hay mulch, manure and cover crops.
2020 will be Colin and Sofya’s ninth season running Heyday Farm together. We both prepared for our farming careers by studying philosophy at McGill and making art! After University Sofya worked in urban agriculture in Montreal, apprenticed at a 250 member CSA farm near Montreal and managed the farm at the Salt Spring Center of Yoga for three years. Her favourite things about Heyday include teaching farming skills to apprentices, selecting and saving seeds and growing flowers, pulses and grains. Colin ran a gardening business in Montreal for fifteen years, apprenticed at Foxglove farm on Salt Spring and managed Golden Maple farm on Salt Spring for three years. He enjoys providing good food to our very appreciative customers. He loves to prepare lunches for the crew, care for the old orchard and watch the farm get better every year. We both love to cook and share food from the farm. Eating well is one of the greatest pleasures we derive from farming. We put a lot of care into our work and we are especially proud to offer our community beautiful and delicious winter produce.
We want applicants to know that growing for market is challenging and takes dedication.
Reduced tillage means that we prepare our 110’ beds mainly by hand with broadforks and a wheelhoe. This demands much more time and human energy than preparing beds with a tractor would. We try to maintain a steady pace throughout the season but the work load does vary. May is very busy and we experience a crunch in July when we juggle harvesting for market, caring for established crops, preparing beds and transplanting fall and winter crops. Another crunch occurs in October when the days get shorter but we are still harvesting for market, harvesting storage crops, cleaning seeds and preparing beds for the following year. Our field plan and planting schedule help things run smoothly throughout the busy season and, in spite of all the hard work, we find that farming is a wonderful and satisfying lifestyle with many rewards!
The Fulford Valley where Heyday is located is a great place to spend the farming season. It is home to community farmland, organic beef, lamb, and dairy operations, vineyards, a micro-brewery and a young olive orchard. The farm is close to lakes, beautiful oceanside trails in Burgoyne Provincial park, the Tsawout reserve and Ruckle Park. We are also on the bus route. The bus can be hailed from the end of our driveway!
Apprentices who would like to work with us must be able to commit to working on the farm from the beginning of April, May or June until early December.
They will help us with (and learn about) most aspects of running a market garden: farm planning, preparing beds, seeding, transplanting, weeding, thinning, harvesting, post harvest handling, seed saving, record keeping and selling at market. Apprentices work between 40 and 50 hours a week. In general work days are Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm with a one and a half hour lunch break. On harvest days the work hours are longer. Apprentices help work the Saturday and Tuesday markets every third week. Additionally they are required to work a Saturday Market relief shift once a month between 2:00 and 5:00 PM and will be compensated $80 dollars for this three hour shift.
In exchange we offer accommodation, a monthly stipend of $600 and incredible produce from the farm to cook with. We also supply some bulk dry goods. The team eats lunch together a couple of times each week but otherwise apprentices are responsible for preparing their own meals. Each apprentice has a private cabin or trailer to live in and they share a common space that is a kitchen/living room with a shower and an outdoor composting toilet.
We have weekly meetings to discuss upcoming farm tasks. We also use these meetings to teach about farm related topics, to taste and compare new vegetable varieties, to share feedback, to take questions and suggestions and to keep track of personal goals and intentions. Monthly farm walks help us and apprentices view the farm as a whole as it changes throughout the season. Taking the time to do this keeps us all aware of crop health and any areas that need attention.
There will be opportunities to visit several local farms throughout the season. These visits will be tailored to suit apprentice’s particular interests. Apprentices will also be able to schedule a weeks’ vacation sometime in August or September.
The ideal candidate:
To apply, please send an email to email@example.com
Your application should contain your preferred start and finish dates, your resume, two contacts for references and a cover letter describing what is motivating you to do a farm apprenticeship. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Current status: Open/apply now. Date posted: Jan 28 2020 ID: 55793