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Role: Eco farm apprenticeship
Farm: Yonder Hill Farm

Location: Laconia, near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
Housing: Room & board (grocery stipend + farm produce) with possibility of end of season bonus

Yonder Hill Farm is a heritage homestead located on Nova Scotia’s beautiful South Shore. We’ve been growing seed commercially since 2009 – we established Yonder Hill Farm in 2012 – and believe it’s an important way to support food security & food producers. We grow close to 200 varieties of vegetable, grain, flower, & herb seeds, all by hand & ecologically. We sell only what we’ve carefully grown ourselves, which means we can assure high quality seeds...

Seeking a Season Long Farm Apprentice or Couple on our Ecological Seed Farm & Homestead

This apprenticeship is ideal for those who have a strong interest in homesteading & seed saving, love to spend most of their time outdoors, enjoy physical work, and are comfortable living rustically. Candidates who have interest in carpentry/renovation as well as the garden-related tasks will be preferred.


  • Duration is ideally April/May through October/November (we also host shorter stays, contact us for details on that arrangement)
    • There will be a 2 week trial period to start with, so each of us can determine if we work/share space well together.
  • This is an immersive experience, but expect to average 7 hours of farm labour per day for 5 days per week.
    • Work is task based: pace of work plus attention to detail determines productivity.
    • Some longer days may be needed to complete certain tasks when the timing is critical.

Our primary commercial product is ecologically grown vegetable, grain, herb and flower seeds – we currently maintain close to 200 varieties which we sell through our website, retail locally, and wholesale to seed companies. We grow a homestead-scale vegetable garden, selling excess produce to a local cafe. We also raise ducks (eggs and meat) and sometimes pigs for home use.

Our current projects are:

  • maintaining the garden for seed production and homestead food
    • Includes harvesting and processing seed crops
  • maintaining/establishing perennial crop systems/nursery (nut, fruit, berry & herbs)
  • erecting a new 20 x 24 ft seedling greenhouse
  • barn renovation, specifically building a cold storage system in the cellar
  • basic homestead tasks (firewood, animal chores, processing storage crops, other building and equipment maintenance)

Farm Setting: Yonder Hill Farm is tucked away at the end of a gravel road on the South Shore of Nova Scotia-- 10 km to downtown Bridgewater, 20 km to Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, or LaHave, 25 km to beaches, and less than 100 km to Halifax. We have 20 acres of fertile soil on a gently sloping drumlin hillside, 200 acres of forests and wetlands to explore, and frontage on a spring fed lake. Wildlife is abundant, though kept from the main farm area by our trusty farm dogs. The heritage 30'x50' post and beam barn is where much of the seed processing and shop work takes place. We have a couple of outbuildings and a 20'x48' greenhouse. There is a small orchard, abundant wild blueberries, and we have around 2 acres in cultivation for annual vegetable and grain crops (1 acre fenced).

About Us: Owners Chris and Garrett have a diverse background of farming and homesteading experience in Nova Scotia and the Northeast U.S. Chris has been small scale organic farming (vegetables, fruits, nursery, seed crops) for over 20 years, including apprenticing and managing crews, and she has taught gardening workshops & provided sustainable landscape consultations/designs professionally. Garrett is a skilled carpenter, craftsman, farmer, teacher, and artist, as well as general fixer of things. We both love sharing skills and knowledge about living off the land. Our daughters Ruth (10), Joyce (4), & Flora (1) are a delightful and dynamic force on the farm who will seek interaction with apprentices. We work hard and enjoy relaxing by a campfire, playing music & swimming in the lake. We are well connected socially with the active and growing rural community on the South Shore. There are frequent social events and concerts, and there are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities in the area.

Accommodation: Our 17’ camper trailer is reserved for the full season apprentice/couple (equipped with double bed, kitchenette, dining table & storage). A shared composting outhouse is nearby, as well as an outdoor shower with hot & cold taps. We have rural satellite internet – slower wifi with a data limit (sufficient for the basics, no streaming). Please plan to unplug and enjoy the natural setting.

Board consists of fresh farm raised food as available (veggies/fruit, duck eggs), and a weekly groceries stipend ($100 single/$150 couple). We enjoy communal meals in the farmhouse, so as our family’s schedule allows are open to incorporating a shared evening meal. In this scenario we provide all meal ingredients with your help to cook and clean up from meals.

For those interested in shorter stays, please contact us ( or find us on WWOOF/Workaway.

What to Expect: Throughout the season, heavy physical work is a must – lifting, wheel-barrowing, shoveling, digging, raking, hoeing etc. We believe strongly in setting a pace that is both productive and healthy for body and mind, being present & mindful, and taking adequate breaks, but it must be understood that hard physical work is central to small-scale farming and will be a necessary central feature of the Apprenticeship experience. That being said, our farm experience includes varied tasks with lots of interesting things going on to learn from. Please note – this is not a clock in, clock out job experience, our schedules are flexible. When we take on apprentices, we are committing to teach you our skills and welcome you as a community member.

The Ideal Full Season Candidate:

  • Brings a positive attitude to their work
    • While previous farm experience can be an asset, we have found it to be less important than a person's attitudes and inclinations
  • Enjoys and understands the need for maintaining an efficient work pace and safe work practices
  • Has attention to detail and can self direct
    • Will be comfortable working alone, with us, and possibly directing short term farm-stay volunteers
  • Has good physical stamina
  • Is comfortable and responsible being around children
  • Has their own transportation

To apply:

Please send an email to . Your application should contain your preferred start and finish dates, your resume, two contacts for references and a brief cover letter describing what is motivating you to do our farm apprenticeship. We have references available for you, too. Please indicate you saw this posting at FoodWork.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Deadline for full season position submissions is April 1st, 2023. We accept interest in short term stays on a rolling basis. 

For more information please see our website, Facebook/Instagram pages, or contact us with any questions. | Facebook | Instagram | | (902) 685 3470


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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jan 1 2023    ID: 66329