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INTERNSHIPS & VOLUNTEERS

Positions: Organic Farming Internship
Type: paid full-time internship; housing optional, more (see below)
Organization: Four Seasons Farm
Location: Maitland, near Truro, Nova Scotia

*** Note: Our internship positions are filled for the season 2017, but if you would like to come and volunteer for a couple of weeks we might still have some spaces available.

Four Seasons Farm is a place where many opportunities await both the aspiring farmer and the curious person looking to understand food. While the farm is a commercial business, the resources to learn about farming are many; there is a library of periodicals and books, a small plot of land to play with, experienced farmers to answer questions, and a successful, well established farm to experience. Owners Sina and Owen strive to accommodate and challenge interns so that when they finish the season feel fulfilled and ready to continue their journeys. Those who bring questions, motivation and a sense of humor find the best fit here. Also, previous experience is valued but passion and hard work trump all else. A commitment to a whole season is expected, benefiting the farm and the intern most. Interns who have these qualities enable the farm to move forward in producing healthy organic food, sharing ideas of permaculture and sustainable agriculture, and enriching the farm and the community that surrounds it (Maitland!).

Located in rural Nova Scotia, 25 min west of Truro, and 1 hour north of Halifax, Four Seasons is a unique and well-established medium sized farming operation beginning its 25th year as an organic farm. Family owned and operated since 1992, the farm went through a transition of ownership from one generation to the next in 2012. Mixed greens play an important role at the farm, while the rest of the focus is put toward shoot mix, herbs and market vegetables, particularly garlic, cherry and heirloom tomatoes, carrots and beets.

There are ten greenhouses that are used for season extension, which allow growing to start in February and finish harvesting in December. A processing building houses a walk-in cooler and allows us to process more effectively and out of the elements. The farm currently cultivates 6 acres on owned and leased land. Slowly, the farm is incorporating fruit trees and chickens for eggs into the system to create a more sustainable, permaculturally inspired approach to organic farming.

The farm is a place to learn about food in its many aspects, especially growing it but also cooking and eating it. Experience farming as both as a lifestyle and a livelihood alongside seasoned farmers who want to teach what they know and learn what they don’t. We offer each intern a small plot of land where they can experiment with crops and have their own garden to grow what they want. Inside, everyone is encouraged to read from the constantly expanding comprehensive farm library.

2nd year interns who are invited back can have a new arrangement with access to land and tools to start their own initiative and a potential employment on the farm.

The farm family includes friends Sina and Owen as owners, Moira (Owen's wife), and their daughter. The former owners Nancy and David Roberts play a part, two full time people, local part-time helpers, two interns, friends & volunteers and a few others in between. Oh yeah, and Hali our dog and Rocky & Red the cats.

Come and join our fun farm family!

INTERNSHIPS

Interns are invited to join us from March until November

Qualifications:

  • A strong interest in local, sustainable food
  • Previous work experience/education in agriculture is preferred
  • Positive and inquisitive
  • Energetic, hard-working and highly motivated
  • Desire to work and live in a cooperative setting

Work/Learn Description

  • Over the course of the season interns will develop the skills to grow from "seed to plate." Some of the tasks and themes include: seeding and transplanting; soil health and fertility; cover cropping; irrigation; trellising and pruning; weed, pest and disease management; intercropping; succession planting; managing and improving high tunnels; post-harvest handling; direct farm marketing; delivering to clients and selling at a farmers' market; cooking and preserving food; poultry care; implementing some permacultural practices; compost making; breaking and working fallow ground; fixing and maintaining small machinery; and general farm maintenance
  • Some building projects are also planned for this year include: finishing the processing building, building a new glorified mudroom, painting the house, hooking up a well to solar power, building a small cabin and dozens of other projects in mind. And there is always upgrading & maintaining the greenhouses.
  • Learning and working take place in both individual and group settings; there is individual instruction, group demonstrations, and working with one another to pass along skills
  • Detailed instructions are given to develop the skills necessary to perform tasks on the farm
  • There is an extensive farm library for everyone to use
  • Special workdays and celebrations with friends and community several times a year for a change of pace

Responsibilities:

  • The regular work schedule is full days of work on weekdays running from 7am – 5pm, with a 30 minute morning break/aka second breakfast, and a 1 ¼ hour lunch break
  • Interns are in charge of watering the farm crops on a rotating basis, this includes the weekends and is usually once a month or less
  • Helping with deliveries
  • Selling our produce at the farmers market in Halifax on Saturdays, usually once a month or less

Housing:

  • Housing can be provided in the beautiful family farm house for a fee. Interns will have their own rooms.
  • Access to Canada-wide long-distance phone calls and wireless internet
  • Laundry facilities available
  • Detergent, soap, sunscreen and some over the counter medication provided
  • Regular opportunities to cook almost anything with fresh and local ingredients
  • Interns are also expected to take part in managing an orderly household, clean the house weekly, do household chores and take turns cooking for everyone

Farm conduct:

  • There is a reasonable list of household guidelines which outline rules of respect and procedure followed in the house and on the farm
  • Safety is first and foremost; taking care of potential dangers and being mindful as we work.
  • No drugs allowed, responsible drinking practiced

Compensation:

$11/ hr

Additional Benefits:

  • A space in our farm garden of your own to grow what you want
  • An opportunity to explore this beautiful region of Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy (several bikes available, mud sliding, swimming, sports, hiking and foraging are all things that are commonly done here)
  • The chance to meet others locally and from around the world, involved in the farm and food revival movement
  • Campfires, playing music and socializing are common activities enjoyed on the farm (sing it!)

To Apply

The 2017 season will run from March until November.

There is no deadline to apply.

  • Only full season interns get accepted
  • preference will be given to applicants over 20, as well as single applicants
  • International applicants are encouraged to apply to the internship. However, the applicant will be expected to research information regarding visa and travel restrictions. Please keep in mind that we are not English teachers and we expect applicants to have a basic knowledge to communicate in English
  • Please email us a request for a questionnaire. It can be send together with your resume and 2-3 references to: info mask fourseasonsfarm.ca* . Follow up communication and an interview will be done by phone or Skype with Nancy Roberts.
  • Please note: the initial two weeks of an intern’s stay is a probationary period where both the farm management and intern will assess whether they are happy with each other

Check us out at http://www.fourseasonsfarm.ca

A warm welcome to those who enjoy hard work, tasty food, good conversation, music, and living with a diverse group of people. We sincerely look forward to working hard and having a great time together!

From Maitland

Owen & Sina

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GoodWork ID: 37081       Date posted to GoodWork.ca: Dec 7 2016