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 email@example.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!
Turtle Creek Gardens is nestled in the Turtle Creek Watershed, just north of Delavan, in southeastern Wisconsin. We are proud to grow high quality, nutritionally dense, seasonal vegetables using sustainable farming practices that care for the soil, groundwater, and adjacent natural areas. We use no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides on our farm.
We strive for crop diversity, habitat for beneficial insects and to create a beautiful landscape while incorporating perennial crops such as fruit trees, berries, asparagus, herbs, and hedgerows. The neighbors raise cattle and lease land from TCG and winter their animals here so we use the cattle manure for use on the vegetables. There are also bee hives on the property and this year we plan on having pigs to help compost the winter manure pack to incorporate more animals into the system and improve the quality of the manure. We also plan on creating value-added products into our marketing strategy this year.
Turtle Creek Gardens is owned and operated by Janet Gamble, who has over 30 years' experience growing produce and educating others in organic and sustainable vegetable production.
Size of farm: 13 acres
Diversity of produce and livestock: Variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits to support a 150 member CSA and direct markets to restaurants and grocery store. A sample calender of the crops grown can be found here.
Skills that can be learned: See Turtle Creek Gardens' Skills Checklists (PDF)
Apprenticeship details: 2014 will be the first year Turtle Creek Gardens will have apprentices. They will be encouraged to participate in our regional CRAFT offerings, work on individual projects such as working with the bee keeper or possibly other producers in the area depending on the interest of the apprentice. Apprentices will also be able to participate in a workshop while they are here. Otherwise, it will be on the job training with wide exposure to many aspects of farm responsibilities such as harvest, post harvest and handling, greenhouse work, pruning, biodynamic spray applications, and more. Mentor Farmer Janet Gamble will also work with apprentices on learning goals they have and will provide round table discussions with the Turtle Creek Gardens team.
Compensation is minimum wage for 30-40 hours per week or comparable stipend. Housing is available if needed and compensation will be negotiated upon the housing needs of apprentices. Note: all positions are now filled for the 2014 season.
Mentor farmer: Janet Gamble
Address: N5105 Pinnow Rd Delavan, WI 53115
Phone: 262-441-0520 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org