Farming apprentice program run by SOIL

Stewards Of Irreplaceable Land helps connect farmers with apprentice farmers

There has been thought and skill invested by anyone running an organic farm, knowledge that didn’t come either easily or cheap.

For that reason, it can be intimidating for a young person wanting to start their own organic operation. However, there is help at hand, if you are willing to spend a little time and pay attention.

That help comes in the form of a farm apprenticeship program, run by the group, Stewards Of Irreplaceable Land (SOIL).

Sooke resident Jordan Field was one of those apprentices and he was at the Seedy Saturday event in Qualicum Beach to not only sell the seeds from  the ALM Organic Farm, but also to promote the program.

“There are farms all over Vancouver Island that take part, probably 15 to 20 farms on Vancouver Island alone, with probably double that in the rest of B.C. It’s a Canada-wide program, but it’s mostly in British Columbia.”

The apprenticeship, he said, involves working, learning and living on a participating farm for one growing season, although this can stretch longer or shorter, depending on the circumstances.

“You learn all aspects of whatever they are doing on that farm,” he said. “It can be anything, really, depending on the farm, from vegetables to cattle. They try to focus on farms with sustainable practices though.”

To learn more about this program, visit www.soilapprenticeships.org.