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Internship & Apprenticeship Details

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ALM Farm and Full Circle Seeds
PO Box 807
3680 Otter POint Road
sooke, BC v9z 1h8

Contact: mary alice Johnson, Jordan Field

Phone: 250-642-3671

Email: mary@almfarms.org, info@fullcircleseeds.com

Website: http://www.almfarms.org, http://www.fullcircleseeds.com

Last Updated: 10-23-2015

General Description: ALM farm is located in Otter Point a rural forestry district, 7km west of the small town of Sooke and 50 min from Victoria, on Vancouver Island. The 15 acre farm has several different fields and micro-climates and is edged in forest. First homesteaded in 1910, it has a lovely old farmhouse, barn and other outbuildings. Kemp Lake (a good swimming hole) is about a 25 min walk away, and about the same to the ocean.

We grow a variety of vegetables, fruit, herbs and have a seed company selling seeds we have been growing out for over 20 years. We raise chickens for eggs.

Internship Starts: early February
Internship Ends: autumn, ideally Oct. 31
Number of Interns: 3
App Deadline: FEBRUARY 1, 2016
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months, prefer you stay the whole season

Meals: We have lunch together during the week using excellent organic produce from the farm and other neighbouring farms and staples provided by the farm. Apprentices are given $100 per month to supplement these supplies. Apprentices prepare their own breakfast, dinner, and weekend meals but often eat together. The owner lives 4 km from the farm. Our food is excellent

Skills Desired: Farming, carpentry, mechanical skills always welcome.

Educational Opportunities: Teaching is strongly hand-on, structured around building your knowledge base and confidence as you undertake an area seeing it through seeding to harvest. As the season progresses you will be given more and more responsibility and further develop skills and training from everyone on the farm crew.

At the beginning of the apprenticeship we primarily work together as there is a lot of training necessary to incorporating you into existing farm systems helping you plan and plant out your fields. Eventually you take the lead in that process and are continually provided with one-on-one to provide support in making decisions and prioritizing tasks.

Farm walkabouts occur as a group monthly (as time allows) to look at crops, talk about plans, make harvest lists, etc. On a daily basis our group lunch is a very important time for the team to communicate. We have regular, general farm discussions as well as occasional bigger discussions on topics such as crop rotation; certification and both farm expenses and income.

Print and online resources are available to supplement field training and occasional visits to other farms provide meaningful exchanges and experiences. We have a very strong cooperative community of farmers with whom we visit and connect with often. Our community has many artists and craftspeople that know and visit our farm. Jordan has lots of knowledge about local fishing and wild mushrooms.

Stipend: We offer a small graduated stipend to apprentices who are committed to the farm based on the amount of experience they have and how much time they spend on the farm. Apprentices start at $200 per month and each month receive $50 more up to $600 per month with a $600 bonus if they stay the full season. We also provide $100/month for apprentices to buy personal food items that the farm doesn't provide.

Are all your crops organically grown?

Housing: Housing for apprentices and staff is in the farmhouse. There is also a cob house on the property (home for one apprentice/staff who sleeps in the loft and shares the farmhouse bathroom). Mary Alice lives 4 km away towards Sooke, is at the farm weekdays, and is part of the Saturday market rotation.

Preferred method Of Contact: EMAIL OR PHONE

Internship Details: The apprenticeship program is a symbiotic relationship between the apprentice and the farm; with full immersion in a season of farming and the integration of a key part of our team and farm system. Apprentices will have hands-on opportunities to learn all aspects of how to grow a large variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers and seeds including • Responsibility for overseeing a crop from seeding to harvest • Managing a major field (with various crops), a greenhouse, at least one seed crop and one of our three markets • Crop rotation • Compost building • Irrigation methods • Calendaring • Winter gardening • Marketing to CSA, restaurants, farmers markets (managing one of those markets) • Collaborative teamwork • Harvest methods and systems • Record keeping • Seed saving and processing.

Apprentices receive lots of support learning how to manage these tasks and be involved with much of the overall planning of the farm as well as the nuts and bolts of certification, accounting, etc. The time is organized by weekly walkabouts, daily, weekly and monthly task lists, and work on both an individual and collaborative level as well as monthly apprentice enrichment days at neighbouring farms.


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