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Role: Live/Work Urban Homestead Apprenticeship
Type: 10 hours/week in exchange for apprenticeship and subsidized lodging (not a job)
Project: Wild By Nature

Location: Toronto, Ontario
Housing: shared, subsidized accom. (see below)

This is a unique opportunity to live on site and work 10 hours per week in exchange for apprenticeship and subsidized lodging. Your guide is a seasoned mentor in botanical medicine, organic gardening, horticulture therapy, nutrition and healthy lifestyle practices, self sufficiency and homesteading in the city.

About us:

Wild By Nature is an urban homestead in east Toronto. Our methods are based on permaculture principles. We garden organically and follow biodynamic practices. We strongly believe it is possible and vital to grow your own food and medicine in the city. We operate with a growth mindset and are ever curious to discover what we can learn each day in the garden.

We are a family of three and we live in our little cottage like bungalow with our cat.

We have a large pie shaped lot nestled in a residential neighbourhood. There is a huge ravine system right across the street that we regularly enjoy. There are all amenities that are expected in an urban setting, including public transit, grocery & health food stores within walking distance and whatever other conveniences you might wish for.

Things you could learn in your time here:

  • Organic, biodynamic and permaculture methods and principles
  • Soil building, care and regeneration
  • Starting seeds - indoor and out
  • Hardening off plants and transplanting seedlings
  • Plant care and pest/disease management
  • Harvest and processing techniques
  • Whole food cooking
  • Medicinal herbs - growing, care and preparation
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about herbal tisanes
  • Season extenders- Cold frames, greenhouses
  • Pollinating plants and cut flowers
  • Companion and rotation planting
  • All about mulch!
  • Garden planning and design/build techniques
  • Plant identification - fruit and vegetable plants, edible “weed” harvest, invasive species management, ornamental and native plants
  • How to be resourceful with everything you do
  • How to improvise in almost any situation
  • Living more with less
  • Our part in our micro ecosystem as well as the world
  • Syncing your rhythm to nature’s rhythm

Terms of Apprenticeship:

In exchange for your time helping us, you will have abundant learning opportunities as well as lodging for a subsidized rent. This includes a furnished (with linens) private room in a fully furnished basement apartment shared with one other person. Kitchen (fully equipped), bath, work and living space are your own and shared with one other. All utilities, high speed internet, and laundry machines and supplies are included. You would be responsible for providing your own food, but as the season progresses, you can harvest from the garden. The work schedule is flexible and can be worked out to be of mutual benefit, though some tasks are better done at certain times of the day.

You will learn by working alongside Maria as we work in the garden. You will also be given tasks to learn by doing, so being able to work self directed is important. There will be no formal classes, but plenty of opportunity and support for self directed learning, time for questions and discussions, and access to a library full of books relevant to growing plants and homesteading lifestyle that you are welcome to borrow.

The rent subsidy is available between April and October, which reduces the rent to $500/month. If we mutually agree that you would like to stay on until the next season, rent for your space would be $900/month between November to March.

Background of your mentor:

Maria Solakofski is a self taught food and ecological pioneer, who has been involved in the local food community for 25 years. Some of her unique leadership initiatives and experiences include:

  • Founding Guerrilla Gourmet, a slow food movement forging connections with local farmers and food enthusiasts
  • Mentoring people of all ages and from all walks of life with enthusiasm, patience and compassion
  • Selling home grown fresh herbs and home made herbal products at farmer’s markets
  • Establishing systems to provide seedlings through her own nursery
  • Designing and overseeing the installation of residential and public teaching gardens
  • Building community and growing resilience through public gardening initiatives
  • Creation and delivery of children’s garden programming
  • Running a flourishing local food catering business
  • Headlining cooking classes focused on local food and seasonal harvests
  • Growing herbs, edible flowers and herbs tisanes to supply restaurants
  • Composing bespoke home grown cut flower bouquets for events and special orders
  • Conceiving recipes and organizing workshops on herbal medicine and edible cosmetics

How to apply:

Please express your interest by submitting a few paragraphs about yourself to mariasolakofski (at) Gmail (dot) com and include:

  • what you would like to learn
  • what you wish to contribute
  • anything else you feel relevant about yourself
  • your résume if you wish, but not necessary

Please indicate you saw this posting at FoodWork.

You can find out more by visiting our webpage: Wild By Nature. We will be in touch with every applicant.


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Note: This posting is provided on an "As Is" basis and for general informational purposes only. People and Planet (also known as "FoodWork") is not responsible for the content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, legality, reliability, quality or suitability of this posting. We do not screen or endorse the organizations or individuals involved. If you decide to accept an offer of employment, volunteering or any other arrangement, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against injury, abuse, non-payment or any other loss. Please read our full Terms & Conditions.

Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Mar 26 2021    ID: 59243