Position: Farm Apprentice — April 1 – Nov 15, 2018
Type: full-time apprentice with housing, monthly stipend, more (see below)
Organization: Laughing Apple Farm
Location: Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
Please apply in January or February.
About our farm:
We are located in a scenic and quiet spot on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. We have been farming here for 20 years and have developed efficient methods for producing food year-around on a small scale using organic methods. Our farm was originally homesteaded on the west shore of Ganges Harbour in the 1880s and consists of about 120 acres of forest surrounding 40 acres of farmed area. We grow fruit, berries, and veggies using organic and no-till methods. We grow some crops in greenhouses to extend the growing season and be able to provide more heat. We also grow hay and propagate and sell nursery plants. In the fall we process most of our apple crop into apple juice. Our produce is sold at a local farmer’s market, our farm stand, and this year, through our CSA.
Dates of position: April 1 – Nov 15, 2018
About the job:
We are looking for someone to work the full seven months from April through October, with a few weeks into November to help with apple pressing. You will have a chance to participate in all aspects of farming and marketing our produce: bed prep and planting, plant propagation and greenhouse work, plant cultivation and weeding, harvesting and marketing. During berry season we typically hire a few high school students to help with the picking and you will be expected to help lead a picking team two days a week.
Compensation includes housing in one bedroom of a two-bedroom cottage and a stipend of $600/month. The cottage has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, living room, fireplace, washer and dryer; electricity, water, telephone (for local calls only) and Internet are included. Some gardening space can be provided for growing vegetables for your own personal use (this would be done on your own time). You will be covered under our farm insurance in case of injury.
Attributes we are looking for:
We are looking for a healthy, strong, enthusiastic person with integrity and a great work ethic, who can work in any weather, think for themselves, contribute to the job at hand, can work independently, and have a sense of humor! We prefer people with some experience of farming - maybe volunteering or woofing – who learn quickly, ask questions when the job isn't clear, and can contribute from the beginning.
Our expectations are that you will not smoke or use recreational drugs on our property. The cottage is in good condition and we ask that no pets are kept and that no parties occur on the property. We ask that no motorized farm equipment be used without an orientation and specific permission. We ask that you please respect our privacy and stay within the farm area.
What will your days be like here: We expect that you will work 35 hours most weeks, either on the farm or at the farmer’s market. During some very busy mid-season weeks it could be as much as 45 hours per week. We have a farm stand that runs most of the year and are just starting a CSA program in April 2018. We also attend one market a week from April through November. We have chickens that need feeding and tending. You will be expected to share all these responsibilities with us and we hope that you will be able to take on some of the responsibilities involved (e.g., opening and closing farm stand, CSA prep, chickens) independently. Sunday usually is a day off since the market is on Saturday and we work all day that day. Typically most days, one of us will be working with you, although some days you will be on your own working on a project we started together.
What you might be doing in:
April - May: There will be lots of bed preparation relating to the greenhouse, and also other areas - digging new rows, repairing rabbit fencing, amending and mulching rows, irrigation repair. Some of the regular jobs in these months are: transplanting veggie and perennial starts, direct seeding, bed prep, planting veggie starts in greenhouses and in beds, harvesting and washing greens, weeding, harvesting early crops (peas, asparagus), and marketing once a week (Saturday 7am to 4 pm).
June - July: start late crops - corn, squash, melons - in sprout house, harvesting berries, cherries, early plums for market, CSA, and farm stand. Haying in mid to late June. Planting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, cucumbers in greenhouses, direct seeding late summer crops, harvesting and stocking farm stand, CSA prep. Start winter garden veggies in mid to late June.
August - September: weeding and harvesting later crops, picking apples, planting winter veggies in greenhouses, pressing juice. Farm stand and CSA prep.
October: picking and pressing apples, preparing garlic bed, planting garlic, cleaning veggie rows and mulching for winter, stocking farm stand, CSA prep, greenhouse cleanup and weeding work.
This position provides a great opportunity for a self-motivated person to learn about small-scale farming and marketing in a hands-on way. The job is challenging and there is a lot to learn if you're keen. We hope that you will have a great experience as part of our dynamic island farming community as well as learning all aspects of farming and marketing. In addition you will learn to love weeding! We expect this experience to be a two way street – you learn from our experience, and you bring enthusiasm and new ways of looking at things to us. We both have a good time and enjoy working hard! And after the season, you go away with a sense of accomplishment, a deeper understanding, and good memories.
How to Apply:
(Note if you are offered this position, you may be subject to a general police background check)
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GoodWork ID: 43442 Date posted to GoodWork.ca: Dec 28 2017