Are you an aspiring farmer looking for hands-on farming experience on an ecological farm? Are you interested in organic farming, homesteading practices, food education, and collaborative approaches to farming? Good Note Community Farm is looking for a self-starter 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 are moving toward non-profit status. They care for dairy cows and dairy goats as well as 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 planning, incorporating new plans, and maintaining what is working. Skill building workshops and farm camps are ongoing and can be seen at goodnote.ca and on social media.
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 retired Chemical Engineer. 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. “It’s 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.
About the Apprenticeship
Maryann and Kevin are looking for a motivated person interested in running their own farming enterprise at Good Note Community Farm. Maryann will help support an apprentice ready to take the leap toward self-employment on the farm, which can include (but is certainly not limited to) leading farm camps, workshops, and classes geared toward reconnecting people to their food. These could include anything to do with growing, raising, harvesting, cooking, fermenting, or preserving food! The apprentice would be in charge of marketing, pricing, and workshop facilitation and hosting.
On the farm-skill-building side, apprentices will help raise two dairy cows, their calves and 8 dairy goats and their kids. 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.
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|
|Dairy animal management||Cheesemaking|
|GRAZING||Candle & Soap making|
|GREEN HOUSE MANAGEMENT||Composting|
|Food preservation||Sourdough bread|
Requirements of the Apprentice
The intent of this apprenticeship is to not only provide the skills necessary for the apprentice to continue on to become a giver/maker of food, but also to give wings to an entrepreneurial farmer who needs some land to make their enterprise ideas come to life. 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, though bedding must be brought along. Pending the approval of a wage subsidy grant, a wage will be provided for a short duration, but this opportunity is geared more towards an entrepreneurial apprentice who wants to make their own income from farm enterprises they bring to life. The apprentice will have a private bedroom with shared bathroom access nearby. Food and cooking duties will 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. It is a musical farm filled with Earth-loving people who revere good food.
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS – deadline is January 31, 2023
Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians Prairie Apprenticeships being offered in 2023 here.