YA Apprenticeship 2022: Crooked Creek, AB – Harmonys Way Family Farm

Posted by Kolby Peterson on November 16, 2021 2 Comments

Are you an aspiring farmer looking to gain experience on a mixed farm in northern Alberta? Are you wanting to learn about tending mixed livestock, growing and preserving food, and eating seasonally from the land? If this sounds like your cup of kombucha, then Harmonys Way Family Farm might be for you!

About the Farm

Harmonys Way Family Farm is a multi-generational family farm located in the pristine Peace River region of northern Alberta, Canada. It has been in operation since 1985, and holistic management and permaculture techniques guide practices on the farm. The King family is moving toward the farm being the sole occupation for all people involved. They raise and produce all-natural grass-fed beef and lamb, pasture/forest raised pork, free-range eggs, raw sauerkrauts, kombucha and handcrafted milk and soaps for direct-to-consumer sales.

They process all their meat on-farm in a provincially inspected processing facility. They are also developing an agri-tourism enterprise of giving horse-drawn wagon ride tours of the farm.

Farm website: https://harmonyswayfamilyfarm.com/

About the Apprenticeship

The apprentice will be a part of the seasonal fluctuations on the farm. Spring brings lambing, calving, and farrowing. Plus, baby chicks arrive on the farm. Moving animals from their winter areas out to pasture starts the beginning of May. June through November, cattle are moved regularly on pasture. Depending on the length of the apprenticeship, the apprentice may be on the farm for weaning and preg-testing in November. Depending on weather and snow conditions, feeding hay could start anywhere between November to the new year, continuing until April or May. Spring, summer and autumn are very busy times with winter tending to slow down.

Some of the activities the apprentice will engage in include raising pullets for the egg laying operation, tending the laying flock, raising meat chickens, calving (cows), lambing (sheep), and farrowing (pigs), branding, rotational grazing planning, implementation and observing, farm mechanics, and homestead gardening.

There is an opportunity for the apprentice to develop a farm enterprise, with guidance from the Kings. A couple options for this enterprise include: expanding the laying flock and/or meat bird operation, expanding the garden for vegetable sales.

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 2022 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 to identify the skills they want to develop to a learning plan with the host farm.

homestead GARDENINGmeat bird production
calving/farrowing/lambingfarm mechanics
rotational grazingholistic management
on-farm meat processingpermaculture principles/techniques
egg productiondirect marketing

About the Mentors

Larry and Sue King and their son Logan are the mentors of Harmonys Way Family Farm. Larry is the manager of the cattle, Logan tends the sheep, and Sue is in charge of the pigs, chickens, ducks and on-farm butcher shop. The Kings are a Christian family that take their faith very seriously. They work six days a week and take Sunday as the Sabbath day.

Housing, Stipend, and Duration

The apprentice will have a private bedroom in the family home with shared bathroom facilities. There are three adults that share the family home. 

Meals are mostly simple farm-raised food, and meat is eaten at just about every meal. A few of the family members have food sensitivities so they are accustomed to preparing meals using alternative ingredients. They try to eat mostly foods that have been raised on the farm that are either in-season or preserved.  Fresh produce is eaten from the garden, rarely purchased, and in the winter micro greens are grown for the table.  Most meals are eaten together as a family, and everybody takes turns preparing meals and cleaning up afterwards. If the apprentice is so inclined, they are welcome to share some of their traditional foods with the family.

Laundry facilities are available as well as access to the internet. The Kings have a farm library that the apprentice can access. If a driver’s abstract is completed, and with permission and refilling the tank, the apprentice may use a farm vehicle. 

A farm wage will be supplied – between $15-$20 per hour. Room and board will be deducted from wages.

This apprenticeship will be 6-12 months long.

About the Community

The farm is located approximately 40 minutes away from Grande Prairie – a city of 80,000.  There are numerous provincial parks in the area and opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Peace Region is quite spread out, but there are many young farmers within a couple hours who love getting together for potlucks and farm events. 

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.

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS. Apply by February 15th, 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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