YA APPRENTICESHIP 2022: REGINA, SK – FENEK FARMS

Posted by Sara Yagelniski on November 30, 2021

ABOUT FENEK FARMS

Fenek Farms is located near Regina, Saskatchewan – Treaty 4 Territory

The farm was started in 2017. Initially, Josef wanted a hobby to get away from the office, and now it is much more than that!  Fenek Farms is  a mixed farm operation integrating both animal usage and soil health in a sustainable manner. This include cohabitation of animals, free range and rotational grazing, no till agriculture and no use of artificial chemicals or pesticides. While the farm is not certified organic, their farming practices follow the same policy guidelines.

www.fenekfarms.ca

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About the apprenticeship:

Some chores and tasks would include moving of animals, fencing, treatment of animals, assisting with birthing, shearing, egg collection/washing, rearing of chicks, etc.

Gardening would  include planting, seeding, irrigation maintenance, weeding, fencing, harvesting.

There is the opportunity to also learn about beekeeping. This would involve hive maintenance, honey harvest, season maintenance of hives, hive splitting.

Josef would also teach the skills of animal and plant harvest, the whole butchering process.

In addition to the farm care, Fenek farms also hosts lots of farm tours, if the apprentice is interesting in helping with the coordination and facilitation of people on the farm, that would be lovely.

Brief time line of farm activities:
Feb/March – calving and lambing season starts and chicks will start to hatch.
Late March – seedlings are started for the gardens.
April – the bee hives get dewinterized.
May – seeding oats and hay fields and sheep are sheared.
Early June –  transplanting and seeding in the gardens.
Late June – hay harvest starts.
July –  honey harvest starts and farm tours pick up significantly.
August – haying, garden maintenance and harvest.
September – garden and field harvest.
October – animals are sorted for breeding.

As part of the apprenticeship, you will meet with other apprentices across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta who are part of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship program. Field days, learning opportunities and potlucks will be planned with the Manitoba group at each hosts farm.  You will also be invited to attend a regenerative or organic food conference during or following the apprenticeship.

About the farm mentors:

Josef Buttigieg will be the main mentor, he is neurophysiologist at the University of Regina and teaches a variety of courses. He is originally from Malta, small tiny country and tries to implement many of the farming techniques from back home.

He has a high work drive and high expectations of what is needed to be done and how it is to be done. For example, if it is +30C outside and the hay needs to be harvested, it will be harvested. Joe is found along side his employees in the tough conditions, and will be by the apprentices side too. Days usually start early and end late. That being said, they are pretty fun!

Josef is passionate about growing/raising a lot of food in a small area, he loves nature, and he loves to share the experience with others. It will be a full and fun journey at Fenek Farms for the growing season of 2022.

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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.  

raising rabbits GARDENING
FEncing & rotational grazing brooding and raising chickens
raising sheep & lambing raising poulrty
Raising cattle & Calving livestock nutrition
multi-species grazing livestock watering systems

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Skill required of the apprentice:

A strong work ethic. It would be also good if they are an outgoing individual; The farm hosts tours and events and it would be great to have a sociable apprentice on the property.

Housing, Stipend and Duration:
*Josef is happy to share meals with the apprentice (details to be discussed during the interview process).

*Apprentice will be responsible for finding their own housing in Regina (Josef has access to city housing and can help with this search if needed).

*Onsite vehicle use, internet, wifi etc…

*Wage to be discussed at interview, around $16/hr. For strenuous days, there is a bonus paid. For those with significant experience they will pay $23 an hr.

*May to October.

*The whole farm is a no smoking zone. There is a risk of fire if the ground is very dry. This can be very expensive and dangerous.

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About the Community and Land:

Located just 10 min north of Regina, SK. Far enough from the city to have a country life and not so far from the city that you will miss all the city life has to offer.

Fenek Farms is located on Treaty 4 lands. These are the territories of the Nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation. Today, these lands continue to be the shared Territory of many diverse peoples from near and far. The nêhiyawak originally referred to Regina as oskana kā-asastēki which literally means “The place where bones are piled up.” This is why Regina’s nickname is “Pile O’Bones” and this is the origin of the name of the current location in Wascana Park.

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 

Deadline to apply > January 31, 2022

Contact Sara (program coordinator) for questions: manitoba@youngagrarians.org

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