Well, so far so good. A second post in one year!
February is always the most challenging month of the year. I know that probably sounds strange as there is very little actually happening on the farm in February but what is happening is a lot of waiting...
In February, we are teased with beautiful, sunny days that melt away the snow and make us feel like spring is just around the corner, only to be followed by a full winter snow storm the next day. February brings in all the seeds packets that have to wait patiently to be planted at the end of the month. February sees the end of much of the fresh greens we have for the winter in our greenhouse. February says, you can't do much right now but the onslaught of work is coming! February has one extra day this year.
Right now we are in the midst of finding an apprentice for our farm. This is our 4th year hosting an apprentice and it has been really interesting to see how much more popular this program is becoming. Our first year hosting happened by fluke. We had a friend refer student he had looking for an apprenticeship for her university degree to us. It worked out fantastically, she was a hard worker and keen learner and generally great character. The next year we decided to try it again and take on another apprentice. This time we signed up with SOIL
. Again, we found a fantastic apprentice who was a great worker, learner and character. This year we are look again to find a great match to be able to pass on the information we have learned over the last 6 years, to one or two folks who are interested in small scale, organic farming.
In our first year we had 4 applicants, three women and one man who was part of a couple. This year we have had over 15 applicants with almost an even balance between men and women. I am really excited about these "stats" because it indicates to me that young people are more fired up about food and the issues that surround our food systems today. To have so many people looking for an apprenticeship, for various reasons(to start their own farm, to be able to write about farming in their journalism career, to get away from the city, to know more about growing food), as someone who came into farming in order to make a change to our current food system, this is really exciting stuff!
Wishing the best of luck to all farmers(new, old or aspiring) this season!