Apprenticeships: Goodfare, AB – The Homestead

Posted by Kolby Peterson on March 30, 2020

Are you an aspiring farmer looking for an adventure in mixed farming? The Homestead is looking for a farm apprentice starting this spring to join their team.

About the Farm 

The Homestead is a certified organic farm situated between the arable prairie of the Peace Country and a wilderness that extends all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It was started by Lisa and Donovan Kitt, two young farmers passionate about growing their own food. 2019 was a transformative year for The Homestead. They ‘levelled-up’ and sold their small-scale, off-grid farm to move to Jerry Kitt’s (Donovan’s father’s) farm – a medium-sized established operation that specializes in pastured pork, bison, beef, chickens, and turkeys. In the upcoming growing season their main focus will be developing and integrating systems of multi-species grazing, cropping, market gardening, egg production, and soil fertility management.

Lisa and Donovan work closely with Jerry and apprentices will likely collaborate on projects with the whole Kitt family. Donovan and Lisa work six days a week and attend farmers markets on Friday evenings and Saturdays. There are no shortage of experiences to be had and they don’t necessarily follow a predictable schedule.

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About the Apprenticeship

Apprentices will work alongside Donovan and Lisa and acquire skills in many aspects of running a diverse and certified organic farming enterprise, including cropping, market gardening, raising pigs, raising cattle, beekeeping, egg production, building, marketing, and farm maintenance.

As part of the apprenticeship, you will meet with other apprentices across Alberta who are part of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship program. Field days, learning opportunities and potlucks will be planned with this group at each host’s farm. You will also be invited to attend the 2021 Organic Alberta Conference.

About the Farm Mentors:

The main mentors are Lisa and Donovan Kitt, their infant son Murray, Donovan’s father Jerry, and a revolving contingent of WWOOFers (short and/or long term volunteers participating in World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Lisa is a market gardening extraordinaire, soil fertility expert, and cattle whisperer. Donovan works off farm and looks after the cropping, developing farm resiliency, and marketing. Jerry manages a pasture-based hog operation as well as cattle, bison, and pastured poultry. Murray likes to smile, clap his hands, and watch the pigs. The WWOOFers travel from all reaches of the world to experience life on an organic farm.

Skills this farm has to teach:

The following skills are being offered by this farm. While you’ll get exposure to many of these areas, it is likely that not all will be covered. Apprentices will work to identify the skills they want to develop through a learning plan with the host farm.

RAISING PASTURED PIGS MARKET GARDENING
LIVESTOCK HEALTH DIRECT MARKETING
HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT SOIL FERTILITY
POULTRY HUSBANDRY ORGANIC FARMING PRINCIPLES
ROTATIONAL GRAZING ORGANIC BEEKEEPING
EGG PRODUCTION SOIL FERTILITY / NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT
FARMERS MARKET SALES FINANCIAL PLANNING

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Skills Required of the Apprentice

Apprentices working at the Homestead must have a desire to learn, a valid drivers licence and own means of transportation, and an established vision for regenerative agriculture.

Housing, Stipend and Duration

Apprentices have the option of shared or separate accommodations. A monthly stipend is provided. The apprenticeship will run from May until October.

About the Community

The Homestead is located near Goodfare, which is a vibrant and close-knit community. Potlucks, impromptu visitors, and house concerts are common. Farming is more than a profession and is a challenge to do independently. A supportive community is essential for success and the farmers of the Homestead can provide examples of how to cultivate and maintain a vibrant community. 

The area is abundant in wildlife and there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
The closest town is Beaverlodge, which is 40 km from farm and has most services. Grande Prairie is the nearest city and is 80 km east of The Homestead.

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More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

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