[sust-mar] Organic Farm Apprentices, accom., near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

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Tue Mar 8 14:30:47 EST 2016

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Position: Apprentice
Type: full-time apprenticeship with accom., stipend, fruit/veggies, more (see below)
Organization: Heart Beet Organics
Location: Darlington, near Charlottetown, PEI

Heart Beet Organics is a 1.5 acre diversified vegetable farm located in Darlington, PEI (about 10 minutes from Charlottetown) and is operated by us, Amy Smith and Verena Varga. We bought our little piece of paradise in September 2010 and began selling at the Charlottetown Farmer's Market in February 2011. We grow over 40 different vegetables (including some unusual items like oyster mushrooms and ginger!), with a focus on unique, high quality, heirloom varieties. We extend our season with cold-hardy greens grown in our unheated greenhouses and we process much of our harvest by fermenting, which allows us to go to market all year. We sell to a few restaurants on the Island, but market the majority of our produce direct to customers at the Farmer's Market and a small CSA (30-40 members) We enjoy getting to know our customers and educating them about the different vegetables and having them come out to the farm to pick up their veggies right where they are grown, allowing for a deeper a
 ppreciation of and connection to the land where their food is grown.

Amy has been farming for over 10 years now (she has been growing food pretty much her whole life though), the first three years she spent apprenticing on different farms in Western Massachusetts, from small market gardens to a large CSA; and two years managing a 1 acre organic garden at a meditation retreat centre in Quebec. Verena has always loved nature and began gardening with Amy in Quebec where they worked together for 2 years. We are constantly working on improving our systems and are becoming more efficient farmers, while maintaining human scale production and providing much attention and care to the soil and its inhabitants.

We manage our farm according to the recommendations of Rudolph Steiner, the Austrian philosopher and originator of Biodynamic Agriculture. We are also Certified Organic with Ecocert, and became certified in 2012 (2011 was our 'pre-certification' year). We avoid using any pesticides, fungicides or herbicides on our farm, in favour of creating a healthy, balanced farm-organism full of biodiversity To expand our inventory and extend the harvest, we also do much fermenting (including kombucha), dehydrating and preserving throughout the season.

We have been taking on two apprentices per season (May through October) since 2012 and are looking to do the same this year. In addition to the apprentices we are in the process of hiring a graduate of the Heat Beet apprenticeship program to allow for more processing and to stay on top of the business side of the farm.

In exchange for their hard work in all aspects of the farm – including seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvest, post-harvest, marketing, crop planning, etc. -- for 5 days/week (some Saturdays at market), we will offer apprentices all the knowledge we have acquired in applied situations. There is also a curriculum binder and an extensive library of books on all aspects of organic farming (from soil to business and everything in between). There is also a lovely 2-bedroom apartment available for the apprentices to share. It is attached to our home, but nice & private. There is also a small stipend offered, as well as all the fruit/veggies you can eat/ferment/freeze/dehydrate during the season. We encourage apprentices to use their own ingenuity and drive to grow/make a product to sell at the market for extra money (past apprentices have made flower bouquets, kale chips and kombucha).

The ideal candidates are seriously considering a farming career, have had some experience growing things, are enthusiastic, healthy, dependable and honest. One of the most important points for us is that the apprentice is aware of the commitment they are making to spend a full growing season (beginning of May to end of October) on the farm.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, please respond to this posting and we will see how we can grow together. Please email: 
info at heartbeetorganics.ca


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Posting ID: 33682

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