SACKVILLE, N.B. – The ground may still be covered in snow but gardeners and farmers are looking to their seed catalogues and dreaming of spring. This is also the time that young and aspiring growers plan the next step of their farm dream, and for many that begins with accessing the necessary training and education through on-farm experience and mentorship.
The Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) has developed the Grow A Farmer Apprenticeship Program to draw on the expertise of long-established Maritime organic farmers in providing a new and multi-faceted learning opportunity for those keen to farm. Guided by a dynamic curriculum and supported with learning tools and free resources, participants commit to either a full or summer-season apprenticeship, to lay the foundation for their future careers in organic agriculture.
“As the demand for locally-grown, organic food continues to grow, there is a pressing need for strong, knowledgeable, and experienced young farmers, ready and willing to take on new businesses and markets,” states Lucia Stephen, program coordinator for the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN). “The development of Grow A Farmer is addressing this concern by serving as a catalyst for the success and sustainability for our future food producers."
ACORN’s Grow A Farmer Apprenticeship Program promotes organic farming as a “viable and empowering form of livelihood,” matching apprentices with farm hosts to create meaningful and tailored “farm school” experiences. The program is currently accepting applications, and has recently extended the deadline for full-season applications to Mar. 28 at 5 p.m.
“The more people we allow to apply, the greater the chances of creating the perfect match with our farmer educators,” says Stephen.
Applicants have the opportunity to learn from any of ten diverse host farms with expertise in both small and large-scale organic vegetable, field crop, and herb operations, as well as direct market sales, including community-supported agriculture (CSA), and commercial organic seed production. Applicants also benefit from regular workshops, farm-tours and free access to major training and networking events.
For full details, visitwww.growafarmer.ca/apprenticeship/ and apply before Mar. 28 at 5 p.m.
Since 2000, ACORN has been the key organization for information on organic agriculture, eating organics, and connecting all the parts together in order to advance the local organic sector in Atlantic Canada.
For inquiries, contact: Lucia Stephen, program coordinator, at 506-536-2867, 1-888-322-2676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.