APPRENTICESHIP: FLATBUSH, AB – Chickadee Farm

Posted by Michalina Hunter on April 20, 2021

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Chickadee Farm in Flatbush, Alberta, is seeking a farm apprentice for the 2021 season!

About Chickadee Farm

Chickadee Farm is a second-generation family farm located near the community of Flatbush, Alberta, on the banks of the Pembina River. We grow herbal teas and culinary herbs and raise sheep and chickens (for home consumption). We have been certified organic since 2003. We also wildcraft medicinal teas in the forests around our farm and community.

This is a unique apprenticeship opportunity to work on a herbal tea farm. You will be able to learn about all the steps in producing dried herbal products from seeding and transplanting to garden tending and harvesting as well as processing and packaging for final sale. We gather leaves, flowers, roots and bark depending on the herb. We grow or wildcraft 50 different species of herb plants as well as having a large kitchen garden that produces food for the family all season long. The combination of the commercial garden and the farm animals will provide a fully rounded small farm experience including animal care, hay making, fencing and farm maintenance.

chickadee herb farm apprenticeship alberta

2021 at Chickadee Farm will be a special season because we are continuing the process of building regenerative farming principles into our operation. This includes making compost, no-dig garden beds, minimal disturbance perennial beds and working with cover crops. Time permitting, we are also hoping to start permaculture-style projects like building a water dam for irrigation, putting up windbreaks and planting fruiting shrubs. We are inspired by Richard Perkins’ ideas for “Making Small Farms Work” and his example at Ridgedale Permaculture.

About the farmers

Eckehart has been farming all his life and helped his parents homestead the farm. His mom, Monica, has a deep knowledge of animal husbandry, gardening and living sustainably and shares her wisdom readily. Eckehart’s wife, Elizabeth, rounds out the team, bringing her skills in bookkeeping, social media, HR, home making and keeping up to three active children.

chickadee herb farm apprenticeship alberta

Skills that will be shared with apprentices

  • Sowing, transplanting, and propagation in greenhouses
  • Planting, weeding and maintaining a commercial-scale market garden with a variety of tools ranging from hand tools to small tractors
  • Harvesting or wildcrafting and drying a large variety of herbal plants
  • Processing, packaging and shipping
  • Animal husbandry (sheep and chickens)
  • General farming including fencing, haying and maintenance
  • Regenerative farming practices including no-dig garden, compost making, and cover crops

Desired Qualities

We are looking for people with a keen interest in small-scale farming whether you would like to start your own farm or homestead or would like to gain hands-on experience on a working small farm. The ability to live in a remote rural setting with limited ‘connectivity’ is also a big asset, as well as to be able to work positively with a variety of people including the multi-generational farm family, WWOOFERs and local volunteers, youth and farm labourers.

chickadee herb farm apprenticeship alberta

Apprenticeship Details

Term: May to October

Hours per week: 40-50hr week; Sunday off; room and board provided.

Stipend: $1800/month

Travel: A Class 5 driver’s license and vehicle are not required, however, the farm is located two hours drive from the nearest city (Edmonton) with very limited public transit options. Pick up from Edmonton is available.

Accommodations and meals

Housing is provided at the farm in single and multi-person RV trailer units. Wi-Fi available. Breakfast is prepared individually (farm-fresh eggs available). Lunch and supper are usually communal.

chickadee herb farm apprenticeship alberta

To Apply

To apply please email eckehart@chickadeefarmherbs.ca with a letter describing relevant experience and why you would like to join us for an apprenticeship this season.

Applications taken until May 15th 2021, or until position is filled

When applying, please mention you saw this posting at youngagrarians.org

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