July 14, 2018
Learning outside of the classroom.
I believe much of the most profound learning that I have experienced has been by interacting with other people and directly with Planet Earth.
Salt Spring Village Views
Friday, May 7, 2004
Back to the Land Learning
by Tanya Lester
Farm # 18
This 10-acre farm on Salt Spring has a 7-acre vineyard, an orchard and a small wooded area. They operate a u-brew/u-vin from the farm and plan to become a licensed winery in 2006. The apprentice could be involved in all the activities at the farm from pruning, weeding, setting up irrigation, trellising, planting the vineyard to the beer-and wine-making as well as assisting customers. The apprentice could also be involved with completing the winery building. They would like an apprentice for 2-3 days/week for most part of the year, accommodations to be negotiated elsewhere.
The above is an invitation to an experience difficult to get in school.
According to Erin Harper, who coordinates the SOIL Apprentice Program on Salt Spring, this is because few universities include sustainable farming techniques in their agricultural programs.
So, it is back to the land for anyone 18 years or older who wants to learn how to organically farm from the experts: the farmers who are doing now. Tapping into “the knowledge in the heads and hearts of the farmers,” said Harper, is “good for the environment, good for health and good for the community.”
Harper explained hooking up with a farm in the SOIL (Stewards of Irreplaceable Land) Apprentice Program can be compared to making a match with the help of an online dating service. You go to the website, click on to a Canadian region where you would like to work as an apprentice and read the descriptions of farms in the area.
Similar to WWOOF (Willing Working on Organic Farms), SOIL is more geared towards assisting those who want to make a career of organic farming.
Farms accepted into the program need not be certified but should “emphasis organic techniques with little or no dependence on pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.” They provide accommodation and meals for the apprentice. A financial stipend of $50 a week is also encouraged. In exchange, the farmer can be provided with the “support to successfully run their organic community. The farmers and farm community can also benefit greatly from the influx of new ideas, energy and enthusiasm of apprentices.”
Harper knows the program can work very well in helping to launch an apprentice into the farming business. Her apprenticeship on Duck Creek Farm led to her position as a crop share farmer on the property.
Of course, you might want to venture out onto another island to apprentice:
Farm # 6
Here is a chance to learn livestock skills on Prince Edward Island including growing all the feed for beef cattle, hogs and poultry on this 50-acre farm. Also learn the magic of compost tea. Located four miles from Cavendish beach, there is no end to the recreation available in the summer. Stay in a separate bunkhouse and eat with the family of four. They produce and sell clean food directly to the consumer and are practising Christians.
To read more posts in this blog of eclectic writings in many different genres, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com
Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes. The first two titles are available from the author and amazon.ca The third title is in the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All these titles are in some public library systems.
Tanya is a long time psychic who specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, mediumship and gypsy cards. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. To read more about her unusual career, go to her web: teareading.wordpress.com and/or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align. To book a reading with her or to arrange a housesit, text/call 250-538-0086 or email: email@example.com