Kootenays: Hoe Down Apprenticeship!

Posted by Laura Hannant on January 12, 2015

Hoe Down CSA at Tulaberry Farm is a small organic vegetable operation within a larger family farm in the Slocan Valley. We grow a wide variety of vegetables and herbs and market them through a CSA program and farmer’s market in Nelson. We are looking for an apprentice for the 2015 season!


I’m Kate Rustmeyer – Hoe Down farmer. I have a background in liberal arts and community healthcare, but my real passion is growing and sharing food.  I got my start in the agricultural world through a CRAFT internship in Ontario, where I fell in love with farm life. I came back to BC to live and work at OUR EcoVillage, a permaculture demonstration site and community on Vancouver Island. For two years, I was  part of a small team that managed the vegetable gardens, perennial food forests, and livestock as well as coordinating the  educational programming for the site, including hosting a full time internship.


This will be my second season at Tulaberry, where I have a cooperative land-use agreement to utilize the existing gardens and pasture space. With help and advice from Tulaberry farmers, Alex and Judi, I grow the vegetables to supply the farm family through the year, and also run a small business for myself.  Tulaberry is a busy, social, and hardworking place. We all cooperate to maintain this large and bountiful property.  I get great satisfaction from working and living on the farm, growing my own food and sharing it with my community, but also feel that it is important to create significant personal time to explore other interests and engage in the local community.


As an apprentice, you will mostly be working with me in the vegetable garden and greenhouse, planting, weeding, harvesting and washing vegetables, etc., but you will also help with various other aspects of the farm.  Some of the other ventures on Tulaberry Farm that you will have an opportunity to learn about include a pastured chicken business, poultry abattoir, laying hens, beef and pork production, a large raspberry patch, and other perennial fruits and berries.

I am looking for someone with a serious and genuine interest in farming/homesteading and the local organic food movement. You must be physically fit and able to work outdoors in all weather. Previous experience in vegetable growing is not a requirement, but some experience in physical labour would be very helpful. You must be able to follow directions and ask questions as needed, to work cooperatively with others on the farm and also be comfortable with often working independently.


Accommodation will be in a loft in a small cabin shared with me and another roommate. Food will be provided and meals and cooking will mostly be shared. Our diet is omnivorous, organic, and mostly farm based. In the late summer and fall we will spend a lot of time preserving the harvest by canning, fermenting, drying, and freezing –  an enthusiasm for learning these skills and working in the kitchen would be much appreciated! On the farm there is also another household with 4 adults and 2 kids, and we all work together on many aspects of the farm.  Good communication skills and a willingness to participate in all aspects of farm life are essential.

The position is from mid-April thru October. The workday will fluctuate and we will usually work 5 days per week (with some flexibility). A small stipend is provided, but this should be understood as a work/trade arrangement, in which you gain experience in small scale organic agriculture and the lifestyle that entails through the process of hands-on labour and immersion in farm life.

Visit https://hoedowncsa.wordpress.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hoe-Down-CSA-at-Tulaberry-Farm to learn more.

To apply please send an email to hoedowncsa@gmail.com telling me about yourself, your experience and interest in farming, and attach a resume.