Are you an aspiring farmer looking for an adventure in mixed farming and direct marketing? The Homestead is looking for farm apprentices starting this spring to join their team.
About the Farm
The Homestead is a certified organic farm situated between the arable prairie of the Peace Country and a wilderness that extends all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It was started by Lisa and Donovan Kitt, two young farmers passionate about growing nourishing food. They have grown their subsistence farm into a medium-sized established operation that specializes in producing and direct marketing eggs, vegetables, micro-greens, pork, bison, beef, and chickens.
Lisa and Donovan work closely with Donovan’s father, Jerry, and apprentices will have the opportunity to collaborate on projects with the whole Kitt family. Donovan and Lisa work six days a week and attend farmers markets on Friday evenings and Saturdays. The farm is working towards becoming Certified Regenerative and will be
one of the first farms in Canada to achieve this certification. As you will quickly find out, there are no shortage of experiences to be had on The Homestead and apprentices will be immersed in day to day life of starting, maintaining, and growing a regenerative mixed farm.
About the Apprenticeship
Apprentices will work alongside Donovan and Lisa and acquire skills in many aspects of running a diverse and certified organic farming enterprise, including market gardening, raising pigs, raising cattle, raising chicken, raising bison, egg production, haying, marketing, problem solving, and farm maintenance.
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.
About the Farm Mentors:
The main mentors are Lisa and Donovan Kitt, their sons Murray (4) and Everett (2), Donovan’s father Jerry, and a revolving contingent of WWOOFers (short and/or long term volunteers participating in World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Lisa is a market gardening extraordinaire, soil fertility expert, and cattle whisperer. Donovan works off farm and tackles farm resiliency, marketing, and keeping everything running. Jerry manages a pasture-based hog operation as well as a bison herd. Murray has an endless supply of questions and Everett loves going on quad rides. WWOOFers travel from all reaches of the world to experience life on The Homestead.
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 PASTURED PIGS||market gardening|
|LIVESTOCK HEALTH||DIRECT MARKETING|
|HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT||SOIL FERTILITY|
|POULTRY HUSBANDRY||ORGANIC FARMING PRINCIPLES|
|ROTATIONAL Grazing||poultry processing|
|EGG PRODUCTION||SOIl FERTILITY / nutrient management|
|FARMERS MARKET SALES||FINANCIAL PLANNING|
Skills Required of the Apprentice
Apprentices working at the Homestead must have a desire to learn, a positive attitude, and an established vision for regenerative agriculture.
Housing, Stipend and Duration
A trailer is available for long term apprentices and holiday trailers for short-term apprentices. The trailer has wifi, a kitchen, and laundry facilities. A monthly stipend is provided, and ideally the apprenticeship will be 8-10 months in duration. Lunch and dinner are shared and we work Monday to Saturday.
About the Community
The Homestead is located near Goodfare, a vibrant and close-knit community where potlucks, impromptu visitors, and house concerts are common. Farming is a challenge to do independently and supportive community is essential for success. The farmers of The Homestead can provide examples of how to cultivate and maintain a vibrant community.
The area is abundant in wildlife and there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The closest town is Beaverlodge, which is a half hour drive from the farm and has most services. Grande Prairie is the nearest city and is a one hour drive from The Homestead.
Deadline to apply: 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.