Position: Organic Vegetable Farm Apprentice 2017 (2 positions)
Type: full-time May-November, with accom., stipend, more (see below)
Organization: Heart Beet Organics
Location: Darlington, near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Heart Beet Organics is a 1.5 acre mixed certified organic vegetable farm located in Darlington, PEI (about 15 minutes outside of Charlottetown) and is operated by Amy Smith and Verena Varga. We grow over 40 different vegetables (including some unusual items like turmeric and ginger!), with a focus on unique, high quality, heirloom varieties. Our farm also contains a small orchard and a few berry bushes, all managed organically/biodynamically. We are working to develop unique value-added products (like kombucha, tempeh and all sorts of krauts & kimchi!) and do as much fermenting, dehydrating and preserving as possible throughout the season. We are also learning how to save seeds from crops we grow and are helping to start a lending seed library!
We bought our farm together on PEI in 2010. Prior to that, Amy had spent 7 years working/apprenticing on organic/biodynamic farms in Western Massachusetts and Quebec. Those farms ranged from a small one acre market garden to a 28 acre large CSA with over 500 members.
We're happy with the size of our little farm and have proven that it's possible to feed a lot of people off of one and a half acres, while running a financially viable and sustainable business. We believe in working with nature and are certified organic and don't use any pesticides or chemicals on our farm. Instead, we are focusing on building healthy soil, and are attempting to create a farm rich in biodiversity; capable of producing food that is as nourishing as it is beautiful. We also follow the recommendations of Rudolph Steiner, the father of Biodynamic Agriculture, whose techniques offer us a way to heal the planet while healing ourselves with truly nourishing food.
Our growing season is now pretty much year-round, starting and finishing with cold-hardy winter greens grown in our 4 tunnels & unheated greenhouse. We sell our produce at the vibrant Charlottetown Farmer's Market on Saturdays with the addition of Wednesdays from July through September. We also sell our heirloom and cherry tomatoes to local restaurants. We also run a small CSA of 50 members with distribution at the market. Our apprentices will have the opportunity to work with us at the Farmer's Market and/or CSA distribution to learn about direct marketing.
We are looking for two individuals to join us during the main growing season (May through October). In exchange for their hard work: 5-1/2 days, 45 hours/week, we can offer a private, 2-bedroom apartment, which is attached to our home (it's a duplex), free wi-fi, all utilities paid, a small stipend (amount depending on experience), food allowance, and all the veggies you can eat! Also, there are plenty of money-making opportunities for entrepreneurial types on the farm. As an apprentice, you will be involved with the daily operation of the farm, including seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, going to markets, and many more farm related tasks. Farm work is always changing, and can be very physically demanding.
As farmers go, we're still learning ourselves, but we love what we do and enjoy sharing our work with others. We are more than willing to share what we've learned so far about growing and selling vegetables, and will do the best we can to offer a fun, educational experience. We believe learning how to farm involves more than just learning how to grow vegetables and are committed to sharing everything we know about the business side of things as well. There is plenty of literature to support the things you will learn in the field. We will have regular check ins to make sure you are doing well and are getting the most out of your time on the farm. We would like applicants to have had some experience working on a farm, but are open to people new to farming as well – as long as there is a willingness to work hard and a keen interest to learn. PEI is a gorgeous place to spend the summer and a wonderful place to farm. If you're interested in learning how to grow beautiful, organic vegetables, come join us!
Check us out on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heartbeetpei/
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GoodWork ID: 37572 Date posted to GoodWork.ca: Jan 15 2017