Our Farmer Training Programs Are Evolving!

Since 2009, over 100 aspiring biodynamic farmers have participated in our North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP), learning side-by-side with exemplary biodynamic mentor farmers across the continent. We have celebrated the graduation of 37 new biodynamic farmers, and 12 more are on track to graduate this year. Just as each farm individuality needs to grow and evolve over time, so does our work to train the next generation of farmers.

Building on the strengths and accomplishments of NABDAP, we are delighted to introduce two new intensive one-year programs that will provide more flexibility, as well as a solid and broad foundation in all of the essentials of biodynamic farming for everyone who participates. Individuals will have the option to participate in just the first year, or both.

For both programs, we are inviting established farmers interested in learning more about biodynamics to participate as well continuing to offer apprenticeship opportunities on exemplary mentor farms.

The Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year offers aspiring biodynamic farmers the opportunity to build a solid foundation in the principles and practices of biodynamic agriculture. Individual support from an experienced mentor farmer and a cohesive, integrated, and interactive learning curriculum bring biodynamics to life.

The Biodynamic Farmer Development Year, which will begin in 2019, will develop and deepen the skills needed for biodynamic farm management for those who graduate from the foundation year. This program will allow for more scope and specialization in specific farm management and production areas.

Applications for the Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year will open at the end of November. Contact Anthony at anthony@biodynamics.com (link sends e-mail) or by phone at 262.649.9212 x14 with any questions or to be notified when applications open.

The NABDAP pages will remain in place for those interested in seeing the strong foundations we are building our new programs on. The graduate profiles are especially inspiring!  You can find all the details on our new Farmer Training programs at our new Biodynamic Farmer Training page.

These are Mentor Farms from NABDAP, which is retired. We will have mentor farm pages up for our Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year very soon!

North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program > Participating Mentor Farms

Saugeen River CSA is a small enough farm that apprentices get to experience a wide range of farming activities, and we are always trying new things. The focus is raising plants for the CSA and market, but the animals play an integral role in the life of the farm. We are in the process of converting the farm into as much draft horse power as possible. We are also part of a local vegetable seed growers network “Seeds of Transition.”

Our farm has always had a balance of production farming and education. Our educational efforts have ranged from hosting and teaching apprentices each season, to providing workshops for the general public, conducting entire courses in biodynamic farming and gardening, hosting school groups and farm tours.

Size of farm: 80 acres

Diversity of produce and livestock: 5 acre CSA market garden for 70 families summer and 35 winter, with vegetables, herbs, flowers and soft fruit. Small grain and dry beans. Hay and pasture. Scottish Highland cattle, small flock of laying chickens, and four draft horses.

Skills that can be learned: See Saugeen River CSA's skills checklist.

Apprenticeship Details:  Currently there are two apprentice positions at the farm. The first is what I have called a “Mentored Management” position. This is for someone who perhaps has been through a couple years of apprenticing and is wanting to take on a bit more responsibility, but is not ready to take on a farm of their own yet. The idea is that I would share my experience in managing a farm and coach someone in the art of prioritizing. This position runs from at least the beginning of March, to the end of November, but may be for a full year depending on the circumstances.

The other apprentice position is for anyone excited to learn about biodynamic farming and may or may not have any previous experience.

Mentor Farmer: Cory Eichman

Address: 314399 Hwy 6 RR 1 Durham, Ontario N0G 1R0 Canada

Phone: (519) 369-3567

Email: saugeenrivercsa@gmail.com

Website: www.saugeenrivercsa.com