EDUCATION: Shelter Farm Small Scale Farming Institute

Posted by Azja Jones Martin on October 23, 2018

ABOUT SHELTER FARM: Shelter Farm’s mission is to showcase the capacity of small-scale agriculture, while training youth in the use of small scale farming tools and equipment, business management and marketing strategies.

The farm is located just outside Port Alberni on 140 acres of land and will host incubator plots on site providing young farm interns the opportunity to establish their farm business under the supervision of experienced farmers. Our farm interns will have the benefit of utilizing our tools, irrigation equipment and wash stations. Our goal is to attract young farmers throughout Canada and the world to the Alberni Valley to start up their own farms.


ABOUT THE PROGRAM: The new Shelter Farm Training Institute will provide formal Market Gardening training to all farm interns. This training will be delivered through a combination of in-class learning at North Island College and hands on experiential training at the Shelter Farm utilizing the latest production methods and tools available to Market Gardeners.

 Students will start off in the classroom learning plant and soil biology applying agroecological farming practices. They will then be engaged in learning greenhouse management methods at the college and the farm, involving greenhouse plant propagation and how to prepare seedlings for planting in the Market Garden. As the season progresses most of their training will be held at the farm direct seeding crops and transplanting seedlings in the market garden. They will also learn intensive greenhouse production methods of growing crops such as tomatoes and peppers. Participants will learn about crop management developing skills in irrigation, weeding, Integrated Pest Management and disease control. Participants will also develop business management skills in crop planning, budgeting, marketing and developing a formal business plan for their farm business. They will apply these business skills by preparing crops for sale at local farmers markets and engaging with customers.


LEARN MORE: The tentative start date for the Market Gardener training program is February 2019. Please contact us if you’re interested in the training and we will put you on our interest list.

For more information please call the Farm Manager, Guy Langlois at (250) 720-5177, or email

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