Sapo Bravo Organics in Lytton, BC is seeking an apprentice for the 2019 season!
About Sapo Bravo Organics
This 5 acre certified organic farm is off-grid, on the side of a mountain, 12 miles down a dirt logging road from the town of Lytton, BC. Half of the farm is orchard, producing cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, apples and pears. The other half is ground crops, all heat lovers. Tomatoes, eggplants, hot peppers, heirloom melons, winter and summer squash, celeriac, basil, onions, cardoon, fennel, radicchio and a field of flowers. Very minimal machinery is used – only a small tractor for tilling the fields, building beds and flipping compost. All weeding, harvesting and sorting is done by hand. I sell to Vancouver restaurants and at Trout Lake market once a week from July to October.
My farm is certified organic and I work hard to give back to the land as much as the land gives to us. Pests are observed and removed before damage is done (by hand), regular natural fertilizers are administered and cover crops are planted annually and more if beds are fallow throughout the season. Our water comes from a gravity fed line 2km up the mountain behind the farm, which brings with it challenges in the form of silt build-up in irrigation lines, but an endless supply which I nevertheless conserve as much as possible. I love to work early in the morning and really try to let the plants, earth and weather dictate the jobs for every day, making for a constantly changing work landscape. It is important for me to do regular walks through the farm on my own and with interns to observe and learn and form lists of upcoming duties.
I am looking for people who are hard workers and enjoy solitude and peace. As the farm is a 45 minute drive away from the nearest town, it is important that apprentices do not require town access on a regular basis, but are happy spending their free time in nature. I love working with a team and discussing what we are doing or our views on life and need kind, compassionate, real people to work with. I do not require an apprentice with previous farm experience, only the willingness to adhere to the schedule, show up and work until the job is done. I value apprentices who ask questions, learning what they feel is important for them to achieve their goals.
Apprentices will be expected to:
- care for seedlings in the greenhouse
- form beds
- set up irrigation
- plant seedlings
- build tomato trellises
- prune and tie tomatoes as they grow
- flush irrigation systems
- move irrigation in the orchards
- look after laying hens
- prune fruit trees
- pick fruit (tall ladders are used so no fear of heights is preferred)
- pick, sort and pack all produce
- weed whack/mow orchards
- come with me to deliver/sell to Vancouver occasionally
- trouble-shoot irrigation issues (including hiking the water line)
- and of course WEED!
Duration: The start date for apprenticeship is April 1 and will end around October 15th.
Hours: 48 hours per week – that’s 6, 8 hour work days, with Sunday being a day of rest with minimal chores (chickens and irrigation).
Stipend: A monthly stipend of $800 is paid at the end of each month.
Room & Board
All apprentices will have their own living quarters, either in a cabin or a trailer. I will provide all food staples (flour, oil, spices, eggs from the chickens, pasta, rice, dry legumes, coffee, tea) and all food grown on the farm is available for consumption. I do not supply meat or dairy. I will make lunch for the group 2 days a week (always vegetarian, sometimes vegan) and all other meals are to be prepared independently, though I love to organize communal potluck dinners. I expect apprentices to keep their living quarters clean-ish throughout the season and return it to it’s original state when they finish their contract. I have a propane heated shower in my house and their is a solar shower available as well as a large communal pond to dunk in. There is a generator-run washing machine for laundry and wi-fi is accessible around the main farm house.
Instruction & Education
I will almost always work with apprentices as I like working as a team and believe that it is important for me to be around when questions arise. At the beginning of a new task, I will take time to explain what and why and expect questions for clarification be asked at any time. I will share videos, books, articles and other news on a fairly regular basis, but will not conduct classes of any kind. Working in the field is the best class I know! I also have an extensive library at the farm that apprentices can access. My land partner also has an organic farm and there will be opportunity for apprentices to work with them when more hands are needed so they can be exposed to another working farm. I am also fully willing to share all “the books” with apprentices so they can understand the financial reality of farming.
As mentioned, I have an extensive book library on subjects ranging from seed saving to orchard care, off-grid living to raising livestock that apprentices have free access to. My neighbours have been farming for over 20 years and are happy to share information about whatever they know.
Please send resume and cover letter to Ashala at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a list of questions that I will email applicants once they email me.
Learn More About Sapo Bravo Organics
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