St Martha’s New Grower Program…

… is seeking applicants for the 2018 season!

img_2848The St Martha’s New Grower Program is seeking applicants who want to pursue gardening as a career.  The garden is set up with raised beds, irrigation, deer fence, and greenhouses.  It is mostly managed with plastic tarps and landscape fabric on raised beds for weed control. Beginning this year, we plan to have an additional acre in mechanically cultivated row crops.  Total area in production is two acres.   

A unique aspect of this program is it is mostly self-driven, with mentorship support.

A barn near the garden houses many tools, including a BCS walking tractor and implements.  There is also a walk in cooler and a vegetable processing area.  High quality compost, cover crop seed, electricity and water are included. Mentorship from two experienced market gardeners is a key component of this educational program.

Each participant pays a fee of $4,000 or 50% of gross sales, whichever is less.  Participants also purchase seeds, fuel and other consumables.  In 2017 two people working full time had total gross sales of $40,000 on one acre.  Knowledge, hard work and weather in the growing season are factors that determine what income can be made. Applicants should be able to support themselves financially until harvests from the garden exceed startup expenses.  It is also helpful to have access to a vehicle for transporting produce to market.

If you are in transition between apprenticing on farms and starting your own market garden, or if you have some experience growing vegetables and need to learn all aspects of market gardening this is a perfect learning opportunity for you.  If you are from out of the area, we will do our best to help you find a place to live nearby.  The Bethany Garden is located right in the dynamic town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, home of St Francis Xavier University.  

Please apply ASAP! This position will be open until filled.

To apply, send a cover letter, and resumé to Jen Greenberg (


The purpose of this initiative is to provide the setting that brings together professional skills and the needed equipment to allow an individual to learn all aspects of small scale, ecological and economically viable gardening.

The Martha’s New Growers program was born out of the Sisters of St. Martha’s commitment to youth, empowering and developing people, and living in right relationship with the land. The hope is that the program offers support for a vital career choice for future generations, encouraging a counter-cultural stance and way of life. The project is built on values of collaboration, service, justice and stewardship. The Sisters feel blessed to have highly qualified people sharing their values and willing to invest their time and expertise in this project.


Martha’s Garden from Peter Murphy on Vimeo.



Canada Day, 2017


Putting the Garden to Bed workshop, 2016



Sr Florence, David, and Sr Donna in the new section before it was plowed, 2017


David and Gyungbo, 2017



David checking out new section after the soil was worked, 2017


Garden, first year

Colleen and Michael, July 14, 2015 (1)

Colleen and Michael, 2nd year garden


Jean-Martin Fortier visits the garden, 2015, along with Bonnie Quinn and Will Murphy

Colleen and Sam

Colleen, Sam, and little salad mix


Michael, David, and Sean in first year garden


Learning how to use the ‘Jamaica Hoop’ to save time when lacing up the hoop house.


Gyungbo and Mac setting up another hoop house, 2017


Wyanne and Rita at market, 2016


Fall crops after being irrigated. Where are the weeds??


Gyungbo and Kendra at Antigonish Market, 2017

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