Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sailing on the Apprenticeship

Hallowe'en was magical and glorious. I borrowed a costume at the last minute and went as a barbarian, which was pretty convincing. I kept looking around at all my friends together in the midst of a totally crazy party and realising just how lucky I am. I felt like Hallowe'en chose me.

Now we are on Vancouver Island visiting my family and checking out farms to work on next season. I will be so great to be close to my family next summer and share the bounty that we will grow.

Last year we really just jumped headfirst into our apprenticeship. We didn't have a good idea about what we wanted to learn or what was out there. Looking back over the season, I have no regrets. We learned so much, so fast and our experience at Sapo Bravo has put us in a great position to expand our skills and specialize further. Now we are an asset to whomever hires us because we need less training and have our own know-how to bring to the table.

If you are considering doing an organic farming apprenticeship I highly recommend going through Soil Apprenticeships. They are incredibly helpful and well informed about most of the farms in the program. Ask questions! Lots! Never assume anything. It's hard to explain to someone just how hard operating a farm can be and just how much and how hard you have to work.

Oftentimes you will be living closely with the farm family and it really helps to go visit a farm well beforehand to get a feel for how they operate and interact. Every farm is so different and there are dozens of ways to accomplish the same goals.

I'm really looking forward to learning about animals and bees this coming season and putting our knowledge of different ground crops to the test. We haven't confirmed our placement yet but we just visited these two amazing places: ALM Farm and Tugwell Creek Honey Farm in Sooke on Vancouver Island. Beautiful farms and people to be sure!

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