Part Time Apprenticeship Enrollment is now Open
What is a part-time apprenticeship?
The part-time apprenticeship is designed to give a powerful educational experience to those with limited hours to dedicate to their passions. If you are someone who already has a full time job or takes care of the family but wants to engage in homesteading or small scale farming, this program was designed with you in mind. The goal of the part-time apprenticeship is to equip participants with the necessary foundation to grow food for themselves, their family and for profit.
The type of farming practiced at Tollgate focuses on making the most of small spaces and is perfect for urban, suburban and small rural settings. We grow more than 40 vegetables as well as herbs, ornamental pumpkins and flowers. The focus is on growing food sustainably, in a way that minimizes synthetic inputs and large overhead costs. The concepts and techniques that are used were designed to make farming accessible.
This program will meet every other week on Saturday, from 9am-1pm over the course of 25 weeks, for a total of 13 meetings. The first meeting will be April 22 and the last October 7th. By meeting every other week over the course of the season, participants will obtain a more complete understanding of the seasonal aspects of farming and food production. Participants will be able to volunteer on the farm if they wish to hone their skills and the instructor may occasionally stay after class to discuss topics further. There is also the potential for events after class, such as potlucks.
Soil health and science
Farm tool use and maintenance
Planting, harvesting and processing
Botany and horticulture
Pest and disease control
Business Management and Finance
What does a typical day look like?
The first thirty minutes to an hour will be spent in a classroom setting, reviewing key concepts relevant to that day’s demonstrations. The remaining time will be split between a number of hands on demonstrations that walk the apprentices through a process as they do it themselves. The demonstrations will focus on a wide range of essential farm tasks such as how to operate a walk behind tractor and implements, the proper way to disinfect a wash-pack, executing field work in a way that respects the body or how to conduct and read a soil test. The topics will be seasonally appropriate and are intended to give participants a distilled experience of working on a farm.