YA APPRENTICESHIP 2022: WINNIPEG, MB – SLOW RIVER GARDEN

Posted by Sara Yagelniski on November 24, 2021

Close to the heart of music in Manitoba, close to the hustle and bustle and city culture, there lives a small veggie farm that is warm and full of love. Garden, learn, and get paid at Slow River Gardens in 2022 and get the best of both worlds, farming and growing food in the country and the sweet gems of city life.

ABOUT SLOW RIVER GARDENS

Slow River Gardens is located near Winnipeg, Manitoba – Treaty 1 Territory
The crew at Slow River grow vegetables and flowers for sale at market from May until October. Greenhouse work begins in early March with field planting beginning in May. The gardens grow on approximately 1 acre of land along the Red River in Treaty 1 Territory. The soil is heavy clay and as such they practice low-no till methods to both reduce soil compaction and soil erosion, both of which can occur through the changing seasons.

The main goal of Slow River Gardens is to provide a stimulating and economically viable workplace for Chad and any and all staff. The secondary goals which are inevitably connected to the main goal are to provide fresh, flavourful vegetables to their customers that feel proud to have grown and sold.

In addition, numerous other goals are to foster a stronger connection and interest amongst consumers about where the food they eat comes from as well as to work towards making the food they produce more accessible to people who face economic or social barriers.

https://www.slowrivergardens.com/home

About the apprenticeship:
Apprentices would engage in all on farm activities and some other ‘organizational’ activities. Such activities ( all under guidance) include:
-finalizing seed order
-assessing the years crop plan
-reading and evaluating soil tests
-greenhouse work ( seeding, watering, potting up)
-making weekly field work plans/ Schedules
-planting/ seeding in field
-learning about and implementing irrigation practices
-assessing and creating weekly harvest plans
-washing/ packaging vegetables post harvest.

Ideally, Chad would like to show an apprentice the entirety of the operation to give them a better understanding of all of the moving parts that are required to run a small scale Market garden. He can also foresee giving specific training when it comes to crop planning, fertility/ weed management and harvest.

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 mentor:
Chad Wiens has 7 years experience growing with many different people. He loves working with veggies, people, and growing food for the community. Chad is passionate about growing food and is an easy person to be around. His thoughtful nature, attention, and care give him great qualities to mentor others. He has experience both managing and co-managing a team, and hiring employees on the farm. There are always opportunities for fun and learning at Slow River Gardens.

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.  

crop-plan & seed orders no-till garden prep
greenhouse soil fertility & care
seeding harvest, washing, and storage
transplanting direct marketing
weeding garden mapping

Skill required of the apprentice
A stated intention and desire to learn. The apprentice will need to bring outdoor work ware for all weather.

Housing, Stipend and Duration
*With the close proximity to Winnipeg, the apprentice will have to find their own housing off farm.

*Internet connection is available on farm (to be discussed).

*Extra produce left from markets is made first available to staff/ apprentice before being donated elsewhere. Weekly one can expect to receive bags of salad greens, bundles of carrots and beets and many bunches of herbs.

*Staff and apprentices receive 25% discount on any purchased farm produce.

*Wage is $15/ hour.

*Duration of the apprenticeship is April-October

*35-40 hours of work per week. Schedule fluctuates as seasons change. No work on Sundays.


About the Community and Land

The farm is located 12 km south of Wpg. Approximately a 35 minute car drive from downtown Winnipeg. Within a 20 Km radius are many other small farms- several vegetable operations, as well as a small goat/ soap farm. Tours and visits to these farms can be arranged if the apprentice is interested in learning more.

“The farm is located in Treaty 1. River lot 218. The land we grow on has a long history to it, currently I rent a section of the land which is owned by my parents who purchased it from my grandparents in the 1980’s. It was my grandfather who bought the land in the 1960’s off of another European settler who had farmed it since the early 1900’s. Prior to this the land had belonged to another European settler who had been given it after the signing of the Stone Fort Treaty in 1871 before this it is clear through knowing the history and from the stone tools we have found in the field that indigenous people live on this land for centuries. It is with this keen awareness and humility that I now work this land.”
-Chad Wiens

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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