Farm Apprentice – 10 Acres Farm (transitional organic) – North Saanich, Vancouver Island

Overview: 10 Acres farm is seeking a highly motivated, positive, hardy apprentice to help our farm team with all aspects of field-to-table food raising on this unique restaurant-owned, transitional organic farm.

The Farm: 10 Acres Farm is (surprise!) a 10 acre mixed veggie-fruit-livestock farm located on the Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island, BC. The small orchard includes plums, cherries, quinces, figs, persimmons, lemons, limes, apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, and apricots. There are also table grapes, black currants, blueberries, marionberries, loganberries, kiwis, strawberries, and raspberries. The 2016 livestock plan includes 3 honey bee hives, a flock of 100 laying hens, 40 pastured turkeys, 20 pastured pigs, and 100+ rabbits. The mixed field crops are grown on 1.5 acres and include mixed veggies, herbs, 3 hoophouses, 700 asparagus crowns, and cut flowers. All food raised goes directly to the restaurant and we process all restaurant food waste on farm for compost.

The Neighbourhood: We’re on a gentle, sheltered north-facing slope, surrounded by trees and other small acreages with an ever-changing view of Mt. Tuam on Saltspring Island. Within walking distance (less than 2km) are many kilometres of hiking trails through John Dean Provincial Park, ocean (Coles Bay), Panorama Rec centre, The Roost bakery, and public transit stops to Victoria. Within easy cycling distance (less than 6km) are Sidney and Saanichton, two little towns that provide most daily amenities (groceries, post office, coffee shops, drug stores, hardware, public library, doctors etc.). We’re 22Km from Victoria and between here and there are many small bays, beaches, and inlets, a vibrant sustainable farm community, an extensive network of rural bike lanes, music events, and lots of natural beauty to explore.

The Job Description:

Apprentices will work and learn alongside a farm family with 6 years of organic farming experience and a farm worker team of 3. You’ll participate in most aspects of food raising on the farm including:

Field prep, amendment application, seeding, transplanting, irrigation installation and management, weed/pest/disease/soil fertility management, low-tunnel setup, mulching, cover cropping, harvest, post-harvest processing
Orchard pruning and trellising
Livestock breeding and care (feeding, watering, managing herd/flock health, egg collection and washing, other daily tasks)
Rotational pasture and perimeter fence setup, maintenance, and repair
Compost turning and spreading
Small and large machinery and tool operation
Infrastructure and tool maintenance, repair and improvements
Maintaining a clean and aesthetically pleasing farm appearance,
Field and sales record keeping and data entry,
Supply runs, and other farm tasks as needed

Preferred Qualifications:

Some prior farm-related work experience
Must be physically fit and capable of hard physical work outdoors in all weather (frost, rain, wind, heat) for long hours
Excellent oral communication skills and conflict resolution skills
Ability to balance efficiency and thoroughness in all tasks
Attention to detail, cleanliness, and good aesthetic sense
Highly self-motivated, positive attitude, adaptable, organized
Ability to work calmly, prioritize tasks, and complete them under tight deadlines
Ability to work well alone and in a team
Ability to troubleshoot problems with sometimes limited supervision
Basic familiarity with Microsoft Excel
Willingness to bring livestock animals to slaughter
Basic experience with mechanics, carpentry, plumbing, and/or electrical work an asset
Family-friendly: respectful neighbours, comfortable with young children and dogs present on site
Respectful roommate: can peacefully co-exist in shared living space with other workers
Can be present on site 1 of every 4 weekends for rotating livestock chores
Valid Drivers’ licence

Additional Details:

Accommodation: semi-separate housing with wifi (no phone land line), full kitchen (sink, stove, oven, fridge, basic utensils etc.), bed, bath, and sitting room provided in converted barn/house. Bathroom and laundry are located in adjoining farm manager family house, separated from main living space by a door. Clothes washer/dryer, bathroom (shower/sink/toilet) shared amongst farm workers and apprentices.

Food: In season farm veggies and eggs provided. Basic staples and meal preparation are apprentices’ responsibility. In the past we have shared communal lunches cooked on a rotating basis.

Hours: Roughly 8 hours/day, 5 days/week (more in summer, less in off-season), with some off-hours work required for rotating animal care duties 1 of every 4 weeks. Some early mornings required.

Term: 5 or 12 months. The 5 month term would be from May through September and the 12 month from February 2015-February 2016.

Stipend: $1500/month

Who can apply:

We are a family-friendly, queer-friendly farm. Everyone is welcome to apply, including couples, same-sex partners, friend pairs, and parents (single or pair) with children.

No smokers, no pets.

Pending funding approval, funder stipulations may require that preference be given to candidates who meet the following eligibility criteria:
– Under 30 years of age
– Canadian Citizen
– Graduated within last 3 years from a degree program in or related to agriculture, plant biology etc.

How to Apply:

Applications are welcomed until Friday, January 1, 2016. Successful candidates will be notified by January 15, 2016. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted and invited to tour the farm. Please send a resume and cover letter with your contact information included and indication of whether you meet the 3 funding eligibility criteria listed above to Adam Bongarzone:

OR by mail: 1402 McTavish Rd., North Saanich, BC, V8L 5T3.

Bistro: 611 Courtney Street | Victoria, BC
Farm: 1402 McTavish Road | North Saanich, BC | V8L 5T3

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