Hot, sweaty, tired and happy. This is what it takes to grow food on a small scale, using organic methods. When my wife and I wanted to learn how to farm back in the 90’s, we searched for the best farms growing the highest quality food around. We worked for experienced farmers to learn directly from them. We felt so passionate about learning these new skills that we felt like we could keep doing apprenticeships forever. After three years we had gained such a solid foundation in agriculture that we were ready to create our farm and Radical Roots sprouted. Now almost 20 years later we have had 30 different apprentices over the last 10 years and many have gone on to create successful farms and school gardens of their own.
The beauty of the apprenticeship is the transformative nature of starting with young people with little or no experience and immersing them in all aspects of growing organic vegetables and ending up with budding new farmers. In the Lost Art of Being an Apprentice, Aaron McHugh argues that you must, “start with a willingness and humility to become the Apprentice. Then open your eyes and watch the Craftsman appear.” The beauty of this transformation is deeper because it helps to shift people from the culture of consumers to becoming a producer.
The Radical Roots Farm Apprenticeship is an exchange of time and learning between experienced and new farmers. Apprentices’ learn the art and
craft of organic farming through hard work in the fields, observation of successful farm ecosystems and participating in a mentoring relationship with experienced farmers. This immersion into all aspects of organic vegetable production gives new farmers valuable skills and experience to begin their career in organic agriculture. Whether they start their own farm or go on to work in public gardens, landscaping, school gardens or farm to table restaurants, apprentices gain a firm foundation and confidence to succeed.
We select candidates who are seriously considering organic farming or gardening as a career. A positive attitude and communication skills are essential. Must be able to work as an integral part of a team, as well as take on responsibility and work independently. The work we do involves a lot of hand labor. Our time will be spent with the work of sowing seeds, potting up young plants, setting out transplants, mulching, weeding, watering and harvesting. We work hard 40-60 hours over five and a half days week. Attainable benchmarks will require effort and sweat. A positive attitude, a willingness to work hard and a passion to learn are the most important skills.
More information and an application can be found here!