This program is a unique opportunity for someone to have access to land, resources, and experienced mentors as they start small-scale gardening.
The Sisters of Saint Martha are the land owners and program sponsors for the Bethany Garden Apprenticeship Program. The purpose of the program is to provide the opportunity for an Apprentice Gardener to learn about small-scale gardening and the best practices for sustainable food production in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner.
In the summer of 2014, two apprentices were selected for Bethany Garden. Sean (full time) and Michael (part time) helped develop the garden infrastructure and grew enough produce to sell significant amounts of product for the Antigonish Farmers’ Market, Chester Farmers’ Market, as well as several restaurants.
In 2015, Michael returned once again in a part-time role joined by Collen as the full time grower. The garden was beautiful and very productive. They were able to double the income from the previous year. Almost all of this was sold within Antigonish.
For 2016, we are looking for (a) highly motivated, capable person (people) who
- has some experience with small scale gardening;
- has a clear sense of what they want to accomplish and learn;
- has some business experience;
- has good work ethic;
- is committed to ecological methods of growing food;
- is financially able to sustain themselves; and
- is able to work independently but knows when to get help
The Bethany Garden Apprenticeship Program will provide basic garden infrastructure, such as a Hoop House (17 x 100 feet) and a small seedling greenhouse; a wash station; tool storage area; potable water for irrigation and washing; a BCS walking tractor; some hand tools; and compost. Mentorship support will be provided by phone and text; a monthly visit; and through other phone and email communication as needed. The apprentice will be responsible for seed, concentrated fertilizer, row cover, and other consumables such as fuel.
This position is not paid, however the apprentices sell the produce they grow and keep the income except for a percentage that covers their tuition.
If you are interested in applying to be the Bethany Garden apprentice(s) in 2016, please submit a letter of intent, a résumé, and three references to Jen Greenberg at the address below before February 12 2016. Selection of an apprentice will take place in February so the apprentice can get started early in the spring of 2016.
To follow the progress of Bethany Garden, please see www.bethanygarden.wordpress.com.