At Whole Circle Farm, we believe that organic agriculture is much more than avoiding herbicides and pesticides.
We believe that sustainable agriculture incorporates the health of all things: the soil, the natural ecosystem, the farmers, the community, and individual people. With a wholistic and biodynamic approach, we consider what is best for the entire web of life and farm.
We believe that it is important to put a fair price on our sustenance to enable sound farming practices and ensure social and environmental justice. We must treat the land with care if we wish to live well in return.
The success of our farm is in what we produce. Along with the organic grain, honey, pastured meat and free-range eggs we sell, our vegetables are of the highest quality. We harvest all our vegetables when they are fully ripe, ensuring taste and nutrition is at its peak, often the same day as the pick up – talk about fresh! We purchase organic seeds from reputable, conscientious seed companies, selecting over 100 different types including rare and heirloom varieties.
Providing wholesome food for our community is the reason we farm.
Size of farm: We are a 200-acre mixed farm which includes a market garden, 35 acres of field crops, 50 acres of bush, and 100 acres of hay. Along with our vegetable garden, we raise beef and dairy cattle, chickens, pigs and sell through a farm store, 100-member CSA, and the Georgetown Farmers Market.
Skills that can be learned: See Whole Circle Farm's skills checklists.
Apprenticeship details: All apprentices get extensive hands-on experience in all aspects of running a market garden from greenhouse management and field preparation to harvesting, processing, marketing and delivering. Apprentices also get the opportunity to acquire basic livestock care skills. The livestock introduces apprentices to all aspects of raising livestock using organic and biodynamic practices. This includes chores (caring for chickens, pigs and cows), milking cows, rotational grazing, making feed and hay, growing field crops, operating and maintaining equipment and making compost. Apprentices also learn about biodynamic farming, food preservation, and storing root vegetables over winter.
We work as natural light permits, however, at its peak the work schedule is Monday 1pm-6pm, Tuesday through Friday, 6am – 6pm (with breaks for breakfast and lunch) and Saturdays from 6am until noon. All interns also take part in a rotating chore schedule, with responsibilities usually one weekend out of three. The internship begins March 1st (however, two interns will start April 1st and May 1st) and concludes December 1st. A stipend of $200/mo is provided, as well as housing, food, shared access to the farm vehicle, and a completion bonus of a winter share and a share of the revenue (percentage determined by the experience being brought to the farm by the intern).
All interns may take part in the CRAFT program, which offers visits to a wide variety of organic and biodynamic farms in Southwestern Ontario for in-depth tours. At these visits, interns from all participating farms will gather and have a chance to be introduced to different techniques from market gardeners, CSA growers, dairy farmers, and orchardists. There is also a wide array of relevant resources in the immediate area including an agricultural university (the University of Guelph), as well as many working farms.
To apply for an internship, please download the application on Whole Circle Farm's website.
Mentor Farmers: Johann and Maggie Kleinsasser
Address: 8786 Wellington 50, RR#3, Acton, Ontario L7J 2L9
Phone: (519) 856-1384 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org