Are you an aspiring farmer looking for a food growing experience with chickens, vegetables, and honey bees? Peregrine Farm in Saskatchewan is offering an apprenticeship just for you!
(Jeff and his daughter, Ruby)
ABOUT PEREGRINE FARM
Peregrine Farm is located near Wishart, Saskatchewan within Treaty 4 Territory.
Jeff Kinash and his family farm a quarter section, which is managed for biodiversity of life and ecosystems. They cultivate a small portion of the land for market gardening, and manage the rest (pasture, sloughs, bush) using cattle as a tool for fertility. The poultry is rotated to develop healthy, fertile pasture, and for garden management. The increased presence of wildlife is his yardstick for success.
The farm is spread out between the tiny hamlet of Wishart and 160 acres 13kms west of town. The farm is off the grid, and is currently shut down during the winter months. Jeff lives in town with Tara, his wife, and his youngest daughter Ruby. The farm has been in Tara’s family since 1882, with Jeff managing it since 2000. Days on the farm consist of chores in the morning, then spending the rest of the day in the garden, with the bees, chickens, or cattle, working on projects, or fixing and maintaining things.
Peregrine farm currently raises 4000 chickens for meat, grows an acre market garden, tends 16 honey bee hives, manages a neighbors cattle in their pasture, and this year will be integrating a handful of pigs.
The greenhouse starts up in April in town, then once the chickens arrive and the seedlings are ready for planting, Jeff moves out to the farm, returning home almost daily to spend time with his family.
(Ruby mixing and milling chicken feed)
About the apprenticeship:
Apprentices would be expected to take part in everything that Jeff does, from maintaining the greenhouse, transplanting, weeding, and harvesting the garden, to the entire realm of maintaining poultry and honey bees. This includes daily rolling of grain, feeding, moving structures, and loading birds to go to the processor. Harvesting and extracting honey, electric fencing and rotating cattle is part of the program. Apprentices would also be expected to help with landscaping, building projects, to join Jeff at the farmers markets, and to work on their own at times.
The goal is for the apprentice to feel comfortable starting their own farm after a season on Peregrine Farm, or to potentially become a full time employee on this farm or other farms in the future. At times they may be asked to be up at 5am to let the birds out, to camp on the farm throughout the week, especially if they don’t have their own vehicle, and to be flexible with hours to get finished what is required.
*PEREGRINE FARM WILL POTENTIALLY TAKE 2 APPRENTICES (if they are able to share accommodations)
(Jeff’s daughters working in the greenhouse)
About the farm mentor
Jeff Kinash will be the main and primary mentor. He loves to teach, talk farming, and engage in important conversations around tackling global problems. He has been managing the farm since 2000, part time, while raising a family and working as a massage therapist. In 2018 he quit massaging fulltime and committed to farming full time. He has been farming since 1996, starting in BC full time, until moving to Saskatchewan in 2000, when it became more of a side venture while raising a family.
Jeff’s wife Tara, has her own custom sewing studio in town, and manages the house. He has 3 daughters, 2 of which are in University, and 1 in high school, living at home (and all of whom have helped on the farm).
Jeff believes farms should be managed to include wildlife and perennial landscapes, without chemical inputs, using livestock for fertility. This is a theme Jeff works with and will continue to promote and develop as a business.
(Jeff installing new poly on the greenhouse)
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 to identify the skills they want to develop through a learning plan with the host farm.
|ANNUAL GARDEN MANAGEMENT||greenhouse management / starting seeds|
|raising honey bees / tending an apiary||DIRECT MARKETING / farmers markets|
|brooding baby chicks||livestock as fertility in annual gardens|
|pastured poultry / chicken quotas||Growing garlic|
|rotational grazing with cattle||pastured pigs|
(Honey bees in their apiary)
Skill required of the apprentice
Responsible, eager to learn, keen to participate, and a sense of humor goes a long way. Not afraid to rough it, and to enjoy post-work campfire meals from time to time.
Someone who is genuinely looking to learn and take part wholeheartedly, for the sole reason of becoming a successful farmer of their own. Someone who will think about the challenges faced on the farm and take part in helping to solve them.
Please be prepared with basic farm clothing.
(pastured chickens in the sunset)
Housing, Stipend and Duration
A combination of a house in town, and a camper trailer on farm.
Apprentices have access to the amenities in the family home, which include laundry, wifi, and library. Both the house and trailer have modest kitchens. No vehicle is provided, but will assist in procuring supplies when needed.
The family tries to eat from the land as much as possible, and hence the greenhouse/garden is offered for vegetables. Protein, mostly chicken and eggs, is also offered for use. At least one meal a day is provided, usually two, unless our wholefood philosophy contradicts the apprentice’s diet requirements. Details will be discussed upon arrival. Above and beyond is up to the apprentice.
We are offering a stipend of $500/week, less room and board.
The apprenticeship will be 6 months long from April 15 to October 15.
One day off a week or more upon discussion with Jeff.
(Jeff’s daughter, Iso and Freya holding garlic from the harvest)
About the Community and Land
Wishart is a tiny hamlet of 50 people. Nothing goes on, it is very quiet. It is an anomaly for most people to be in such an environment, and they are almost always attracted to the quiet, the isolation, the ghost town-esque feeling of it all. This is what makes it so appealing. That, and it really is a beautiful little town. Many wwoofers from the farm’s past stayed 3 or 4 times longer (or more) then what they had planned on.
The farm is part pasture, part bush, on the edge of the Touchwood Hills. There are 40 acres of mature poplars to wander about that house a family of owls, a pair of orioles every spring, and numerous other prairie favourites. There is a large slough that the family paddles on sometimes when the wind is still and the sun is setting. The family focuses on creating their own entertainment, which often means cooking over the fire, having people over, wandering around, or going on day trips. The ‘yard site’ on the farm is very sheltered and cozy. There is a beautiful sandy beach at Fishing Lake, a forty five minute drive away, a few historic churches nearby, and various other features of interest to explore.
Peregrine Farm is host to the Honey, Garlic, Pie Festival, in Wishart, which took place late fall for four seasons. The food is amazing, the people are great and past performers include Fred Eaglesmith, the Dead South (twice), and the Bromantics. Some iteration would like to be resurrected this season, public health regulations allowing.
Monthly, weekly come August, trips into the cities of Saskatoon (2hr 20mins away) and/or Regina (2hrs) make for a welcomed break, and once the season starts to wind up, a canoe trip is our reward.
The closest town is Wynyard, which has all the needed amenities. There are also 4 First Nation Communities nearby; Daystar, Kawacatoose, Muskowekwan, and Gordons.
“I acknowledge that we are living on Treaty 4 land, and look forward to the day when colonialism is replaced by a holistic framework of governance. I believe my responsibility on the land is to learn, and offer myself to nurturing biodiversity, with respect to those who have come before, and those who will follow.”
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 colonization in mind, working towards 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.
(barefeet in the garden)
Deadline January 31st, 2021.
Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians Apprenticeships being offered in 2021 here.