Organic Farming Apprenticeship
ALM has had a formal apprenticeship program for over 15 years. We usually take on 3 full time apprentices each year from late February or early March through to the end of October. We are accepting applications now for the 2012 season. Get our application by clicking on the following View Our Farming bibliography (Acrobat Format) |
Get Acrobat Reader
You can download a bibliography of books on organic farming which we recommend by clicking on the following
View Our Farming bibliography (Acrobat Format)
Get Acrobat Reader
What you will get from an apprenticeship at our farm?
Apprentices learn how to grow, harvest, market and preserve vegetables, herbs, flowers and seeds. There are also a number of other tasks that we work on such as raising chickens for eggs and pigs for meat; natural building, baking bread, making beer, and preserving our fruit, herbs and vegetables.
Everybody goes on a walkabout each week to review all the work on the farm and then plan out our individual tasks for the week. Much of our work is done in groups of two or more. The farm gets many visitors for you to interact with.
Each month you will have three different opportunities to learn about organic farming at other farms:
- apprentice enrichment days - Once a month apprentices receive instruction in a major farming topic such as composting, record keeping, marketing, propagation, or seed saving, at one of the established farmers in our area. It is a chance for you to meet other aprpentices and farmers and see how other farms operate.
- Canadian Organic Growers - Vancouver Island Chapter meetings. These take place on the 3rd Thursday of the month at different farms. The meetings include a farm tour, discussion of a topic by the host farmer, and discussion of farm issues and event.
- Visiting days - Once a month we try to visit a farm, garden, or natural building project in the area that is of particular interest to individual apprentices on our farm.
Other formal training: Funds and time are set aside for you to attend workshops or conferences of your choice during the season. The farm has an excellent library and subscribes to various farming journals. You will be encouraged to write articles for local and national organic farming journals.
What will be expected of you?
- Apprentices are expected to work long hours - as many as 12 hours a day sometimes- five days a week as well as going to market on Saturday. The work is varied and can be stressful because there is always more work to do than time to do it, particularly in the spring during planting season. You will be expected to work until the work is done on harvest days, sometimes in the rain and cold. You will be expected to becoming more and more efficient and responsible for various aspects of the farm.
- Each apprentices takes on a particular crop as a focus. You will be expected to learn that crops thoroughly. You will also be in charge of one or two greenhouses.
- As well, you are asked to manage one one of our three main markets - either the box program, the farmers’ markets, or the restaurant trade.
- You will have daily chores caring for farm animals and seedlings.
- If there are building projects on the farm, you will take part.
What will you receive in return?
- In addition to learning a great deal, you will be treated with respect, housed well and fed extremely well.
- Housing and food - We have a cob house, a trailer, and rooms in the farm house for each of the apprentices. We each take turn cooking lunch but have breakfast and dinner on our own. The farm purchases such items as oil, flours, rice, beans, raisins, etc. in bulk; we always have some fresh vegetables and fresh eggs available.
- Stipend - apprentices receive a stipend depending on their experience.
What will you experience here?
An Apprentice's expression of her experience with ALM Farm.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Marika is managing the pigs while they try their hardest to manage her.
ATTRA Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships
Farmers meeting learning about using pigs to clear fields
Andromeda's carrot trial
Renae milking Jane's goats. Jane, 100 years old this year, is a good neighbour still living on her own farm alone.
Tracy siphoning blackberry nettle beer made in the late summer.
Dave in the woods.
Fong and Moss on the Tiny house porch.
Kim with her ariane peppers.