YA Apprenticeship 2022: Edmonton, AB – Good Note Community Farm

Posted by Kolby Peterson on December 31, 2019

Are you an aspiring farmer looking for hands-on farming experience on an ecological farm? Are you interested in organic farming and homesteading practices? Good Note Community Farm is looking for a farm apprentice starting this spring to join their team.

About the Farm

Good Note Community Farm is a diversified Community Farm, sharing food producing knowledge with families and individuals from nearby cities and acreages.  They care for two dairy cows and their young, as well as 8 dairy goats and their young. They have a flock of 100 chickens and 10 Muscovy ducks. In all cases they steward these animals with as much care and attention to their needs and that of their environment as possible. Permaculture techniques are practiced and Good Note is wanting to expand those in terms of perennial fruit and nut harvests in the years to come. The Community Gardens provide 25 families so far with practical skills and a place for family bonding. Winter is relaxed after growing, preparing and storing the summer and fall bounty. Spring is a busy time for planing and incorporating new plans and maintaining the plans that are working. Skill building workshops are ongoing and can be seen at goodnote.ca

About the Mentors

Having this land prompted Maryann and Kevin to use it ethically and the privilege of living there makes them desire to share that with others. The doors are always open, the fridge is usually overflowing; Maryann doesn’t know how to cook for fewer than 10 people it seems. Kevin is a Chemical Engineer and works from home. Maryann stewards the mayhem that they call farming; a true generalist, but with a zoology background to draw from when the ferments are looking weird or the goats’ labour is too long. “Its all about the food” is a constant mantra around Good Note. It’s their recreation, sustenance, exercise, medicine, contribution to society and the health of the shared planet.

YA Apprentices on a farm tour at Good Note Community Farm

About the Apprenticeship

Apprentices will help raise two dairy cows, their calves and 8 dairy goats and their kids each summer. There will be daily milking of these animals as well as milk handling afterwards. Cheese is made almost daily. Fencing, shelter repair and upkeep, and butchering chickens and ducks will be happening through the season. Extensive home and community gardens are planted and maintained each summer. Produce resulting from them and the greenhouse will be eaten daily as well as stored for winter months as it ripens. Winter heat is supplemented with wood, so collection is another task shared.

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 2023 Organic Alberta Conference.

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 with the host to identify the skills they want to develop as part of a learning plan.

LIVESTOCK HUSBANDRY Simple butchering
Spinning Vegetable Gardening
Dairy animal management Cheesemaking
POULTRY HUSBANDRY Basketry
GRAZING Candle & Soap making
GREEN HOUSE MANAGEMENT Composting
Food preservation Sourdough bread
Maryann’s homemade cheese in homemade baskets

Requirements of the Apprentice

The intent of this apprenticeship is to provide the skills necessary for the apprentice to continue on to become a giver/maker of food. This farm is a hive of activity, with lots of events, workshops, and community engagement; it might help to have extroverted tendencies! Apprentices should bring their own computer if they want regular and uninterrupted computer access, as well as their own bedding.

Housing, Stipend and Duration

Room and board will be provided. Pending the approval of a wage subsidy grant, a stipend will be provided. The apprentice will have a private bedroom with shared bathroom access nearby. Food and cooking duties can be shared. Laundry, internet and a library full of reference books and how to’s are shared use. Car pooling is easy to negotiate as there are folks who frequently come to the farm from the city or surrounding communities. This apprenticeship will last from April – October.

About the Community 

Good Note is located approximately 20 minutes southeast of Edmonton, which has every service imaginable. The community involved in workshops and events at Good Note is vibrant and rich, and they have a heckofalotta fun. 

The farm is on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional and ancestral lands of Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, and Inuit Peoples. These communities have a deep relationship with this land based on, among other things, a spiritual connection and subsistence extending back thousands of years.

Young Agrarians recognizes the unresolved Indigenous land title and rights in the diverse territories in what is today called Canada. As we live and work in the context of and in response to a colonial system of laws and policies, it is important to acknowledge the historical and ongoing impact of agriculture and land enclosure on Indigenous lands and food systems. In this context, we acknowledge our collective responsibility to position Indigenous Peoples and their experiences with coloniality, in a narrative of reconciliation that places ecology, land stewardship, and Indigenous land title and rights at the forefront – if we are to sustain the Earth’s ecosystems in today’s rapidly changing climate.

Our deepest hope is that the future of our food systems is diverse, interconnected, and resilient, embraces people of all walks of life and sustains the water, plants, and creatures in ways that benefit and work alongside Indigenous Peoples and narratives and ways of knowing and caring for the land.

This farm, like many others, is surrounded by agricultural cultivated land, uncultivated land, Indigenous people and voices from non-settler walks of life. We encourage everyone to build relationship with the land and community that surrounds the place where you will be learning.

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Homestead education program at Good Note Community Farm

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS – deadline is January 31, 2022.

Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians Prairie Apprenticeships being offered in 2022 here. 

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