Tuesday, January 8, 2013



Position: Grow A Farmer Apprenticeships http://growafarmer.ca/apprenticeship/ 
Type: apprenticeships; most offer room & board and/or stipend; tuition fee 
Organization: Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network http://acornorganic.org 
Locations: Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) 
-- applications from across Canada are welcome 

ACORN – the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network – has now officially launched their first organic farmer training program and is now accepting applications for the 2013 season – and we encourage you to apply now! 

The Grow A Farmer Apprenticeship and Mentorship Program (see http://www.growafarmer.ca) has been developed among a dynamic network of ACORN staff, Maritime organic farmers, government advisors, and resource specialists to create an exciting new initiative that will offer comprehensive education and training for those keen to participate in the future generation of organic agriculture. 

This program is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada – offering formal, curriculum-guided, farm-based apprenticeship experiences for beginners seeking to cultivate their skills and knowledge in organic farming practices. There are 11 farms participating in this program, all ranging widely in style and scale of production, so whether you're interested in organic greenhouse production, livestock, bee-keeping or seed-saving (and more!), there is something for everyone, plus several on-going opportunities to gather and visit other farms and apprentices to unite and strengthen this growing community as a whole. All applications are now online at http://www.growafarmer.ca . 

Please note that we encourage people to apply NOW as we begin to pair all apprentices with their host-farms. The deadline to apply for the apprenticeship program is March 1st, 2013. 

For farmers that are just beginning, or are underway in the early years of their first farming operations, the Grow A Farmer Mentorship Program will pair new farmers with experienced 'Farmer-Mentors' in their region to offer more targeted and individualized guidance in their farming development through regular communications, visits and support. There is no deadline for Mentorship applications though again, applying now is very much encouraged as these partnerships are limited! 

*Please note that the Mentorship program is different than ACORN's Grow A Farmer Apprenticeship Program, as the participating 'Mentees' are expected to have more advanced level of agricultural training and would not participate daily on the Mentor's Farm, unless some occasional work would be proven beneficial for the Mentee's skill development. 

Please share this information among your networks, social media, e-news, and more! Please also link the new website, www.growafarmer.ca, as a key resource-base for those seeking information about comprehensive training in organic agriculture. This website also features our 'Beginner Farmer Blog;' Newsroom; Resource listings and more. 

For all inquiries, please contact Lucia Stephen, Program Coordinator, at 

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Position: Atlantic Canada Regional Program Coordinator 
Organization: USC CANADA in collaboration with ACORN http://www.usc-canada.org 
Location: Sackville, New Brunswick 


Following a pilot year of consultation and program development, USC Canada is launching a 4-year national seed security program. The goal: to increase the conservation and spread of ecologically grown, biodiverse, regionally adapted, Canadian seed. 

The program intends to build regional leadership and national collaboration to achieve its goal. Seeds of Diversity Canada is the main national partner. USC Canada and regional partners are now hiring 5 Program Coordinators to help deliver this ambitious initiative. 


The Atlantic Canada Program Coordinator will be hired by USC Canada, in close collaboration with the Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network (ACORN). Since 2000, ACORN has been the key organization for information on organic agriculture, eating organics, and connecting all the parts together in Atlantic Canada. From seed to farmer to consumer, ACORN works to bring the whole picture together--making food choices healthier and more environmentally responsible. 

Part of a pan-Canadian program team overseen by the Program Director of The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, the Coordinator will work from the ACORN office in Sackville, NB and have the mandate to coordinate the rollout of the program throughout Atlantic Canada. Specific responsibilities include: 

• Oversee regional activities, ensuring they are both locally relevant and contribute to the development and implementation of a cohesive national seed security effort; 
• Outreach to and on-going liaison work with regional advisors; 
• Organization of seed-related training events; 
• Support for producers in submitting grant and/or loan requests to The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security; 
• Liaison with participatory research initiatives related to breeding and seed production; 
• Development of other programs to forward the goals of the project, in particular increasing access by producers to a wide variety of seeds that adapt well to their region and production conditions. 

Partnership Development: 
• Engage and collaborate with agriculture, food and seed-related civil society organizations, research institutions and relevant corporate actors to ensure cohesion in a regional approach to seed security; 
• Provide information and support to regional seed networks; 
• Help develop a long-term strategy for regional seed work; 
• Fundraise to support regional seed work. 

• Receive and respond to inquiries from farmers, gardeners, researchers, industry partners and community members about program activities; 
• Provide information on regional activities to be included in the program website; 
• Communicate with regional media outlets to raise awareness about the program and its activities; 
• Stay abreast of relevant seed- and food-related developments in the region and nationally. 

Support for ACORN 
• Participate in the daily life and structure of ACORN to help integrate seed as an organizational priority; 
• Participate in and assist with events, activities, workshops, etc. 

Finance and Administration: 
• Develop and administer the regional program budget; 
• Manage contractual arrangements with local assistants and partner organizations; 
• Prepare quarterly financial and activity reports; 
• Participate in regular program team meetings by phone, and two in-person program team meetings per year. 

Minimum 5 years experience in project coordination; education and/or equivalent experience in a field related to seed and food production systems; background in organic agriculture or agronomy; strong networking, coordination and organizational skills; a track record of strategic and creative thinking; strong oral and written communication skills in English. Event organization, training experience and bilingualism are assets. The chosen candidate will be expected to travel within the region on a regular basis. 

This is a one-year position with a possibility of extension up to four years. 

Start date: February 1, 2013. 

All coordinators will be expected to attend a multiple day orientation session in Ottawa on February 5-8, 2013. 

Submit your application to ACORN in confidence by December 3, 2012, attention Theresa Richards. 

Please include detailed curriculum vitae with recent references as well as a succinct (one-page max) account of your views on the opportunities and challenges of building seed security in Canada. 

By email: admin@acornorganic.org 
By mail: P.O. Box 6343, Sackville, NB E4L 1G6 

Only those applicants short-listed for an interview will be contacted. 
Your understanding is greatly appreciated. 

For more information on the partners: 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Position: Farm Manager or Couple Wanted
Organization: Watershed Farm http://www.watershedfarm.org
Location: near Bridgewater, South Shore of Nova Scotia

Watershed Farm has been a mixed vegetable and herb farm for over 12 years and is located 13 km. from Bridgewater on the beautiful South Shore of Nova Scotia. This past year we have run a 62 member summer vegetable and flower CSA with a social justice mandate (subsidized shares, work shares and weekly food donations) and an educational component (we regularly host school field trips and workshops). Our plan is to increase our membership for this upcoming 2013 season and offer a longer CSA share that would include storage crops and possibly chicken and lamb. In addition to the CSA, we sell at local farmer's markets and have a few regular restaurant clients.

The successful applicant will assume all farming responsibilities for this upcoming growing season including managing the CSA and the sales at farmer's markets and restaurants. The position would begin in February 2012 with seed ordering and garden planning. While we would see the first year as a discrete contract, ideally we are looking for a candidate who is open to establishing a long-term relationship with Watershed Farm and Pollination Project. The position is ideal for a couple keen on farming together and could possibly accommodate a family.

The structure of the relationship and the salary, to be determined in part by the experience of the applicant, could include a mechanism for a sweat-equity participation in a portion of the property and a long-term lease for the use of the arable land. A written agreement will be entered into. 

Applicants should already have solid hands-on experience in organic farming, managing a CSA and be able to work with and instruct WWOOFers and/or apprentices. Interest and experience in Biodynamic and Permaculture methods would be a welcome addition. Practical knowledge of the use of farm tools including hand tools, rear tine tillers, irrigation systems, tractors and mowers would be required. As well, applicants will have a willingness to work with and appreciate the benefits of the educational aspects of Pollination Project.

Pollination Project, a social enterprise, has just completed its fourth season presenting workshops, seminars and events in Arts, Ecology, Health and Society.http://www.pollinationproject.org

The farm includes 250 acres of woods (Forest Stewardship Council certified) as well as a river and lake. Of the eighteen cleared acres on the hilltop, approximately 2 acres have been cultivated for market gardening. There is a chicken house, two large root cellars and two large greenhouses as well as two small movable greenhouses. There is a small flock of mixed breed sheep, Indian Runner ducks and a laying flock of approximately 30 hens and some heritage breed turkeys. There are over fifteen acres in pasture, with two irrigation ponds and a lower meadow. Accommodation is available in a modest wooden cabin and a complete kitchen, dining room and bathroom are available in the strawbale cabin that is shared with apprentices and WWOOFers when they are present.

For more information: Camelia Frieberg (902) 685-3901 or info@watershedfarm.org

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Organic food and farming in the U.S. and Canada is under immediate threat from GM alfalfa

Please check out this important information post on CBAN and take action!

Summary: Alfalfa growers do not need or want GM alfalfa and have been trying to stop it for at least five years. Organic food and farming in the U.S. and Canada is under immediate threat from GM alfalfa. Conventional farmers will also lose their markets. The introduction of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa would have serious negative impacts on many different types of farmers and farming systems, both conventional and organic. Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GM contamination is inevitable. GM alfalfa was actually approved in Canada in 2005 but still needs to go through one more step before it can be legally sold as seed in Canada.
leafcutter bee on alfalfa flowers
Why is Alfalfa Important? Alfalfa (harvested as hay) is used as high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, poultry and pigs and is also used to build up nutrients in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming. If introduced, GM alfalfa would ruin export markets for alfalfa products and threaten the future organic food and farming in the North America.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Notice of Job Posting for Provincial Participatory Food Costing Coordinator

Mount Saint Vincent University
requires a

Provincial Participatory Food Costing Coordinator
Participatory Action Research and Training Centre on Food Security

Supported by funds secured from the Nova Scotia Department of Health Promotion and Protection, Food Costing will be conducted as recommended in the report Working Together for Ongoing Food Costing & Policy Solutions to Build Food Security: A Proposed Model of Ongoing Food Costing in Nova Scotia and subsequent updates.
This is a grant-paid, contract 0.6 FTE position reporting to the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project, under the guidance of the Food Costing Working Group of Nova Scotia Food Security Network Coordinating Committee, and the Nova Scotia Department of Health Promotion and Protection. The position is located at the Participatory Action Research & Training Centre on Food Security, Mount Saint Vincent University.
Duties:  The successful candidate will be proficient at efficiently managing a number of priorities simultaneously, will be comfortable performing both administrative and coordination tasks, and will enjoy exercising initiative and taking ownership of tasks.  Responsibilities will include coordinating and managing provincial food costing research, according to the participatory model developed by the project partners including completion of a full report detailing project findings.  The responsibilities of the Coordinator include a mix of project management, administrative and research related tasks.
Qualifications: The ideal candidate will possess, or be pursuing, a Masters degree in a Health, Education or Social Science related discipline, have solid research experience and skills ideally with a focus on participatory, community-based research. The coordinator must possess a well-balanced combination of management, project coordination, partnership building, and facilitation skills, as well as a commitment to using participatory approaches when working with all project stakeholders.
The ability to plan, multi-task, problem solve, work to deadlines, and work with multiple teams and partners is required. Knowledge of nutrition, food security issues, population health, quantitative data analysis, community capacity building and community development is required.  Other requirements include:  proven record of effective written and oral communication in a complex partnership; an ability to train and mentor students; a demonstrated ability to prepare presentations and reports; demonstrated competence with software packages such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and SPSS; a willingness to travel within Nova Scotia and possibly elsewhere; experience working or volunteering with community groups or NGOs;  knowledge of quantitative and participatory research methodologies; a commitment to collaborative teamwork; and a valid Driver's license and access to a reliable vehicle.
Classification:  Part-time, contract position, 42 hours bi-weekly
Salary:             $23 - $28/hr, depending on qualifications & experience
Start date:      This contract runs from January 2010 to November 2010 (with possibility of an extension).
To apply for this position please use the following link: http://www.careerbeacon.com/search/en/-1/-1/14/-1/0/0/0/0/0/0/3/MB0912228906.  This competition closes at 4:30pm on December 30th, 2009.
Mount Saint Vincent University is committed to the principles of employment equity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates including women, aboriginal persons, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, priority will be given to Canadians and permanent residents.  We thank you for your interest in employment at the Mount and advise that only those candidates invited to an interview will be contacted.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Passing of Jeremy Frith

It is with deep sadness that we post this notice of the passing of Jeremy Frith of St. Ann's Bay, Nova Scotia

Jeremy died Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009, unexpectedly, at home. Born June 3, 1945, in Bermuda, Jeremy lived around the world before settling to create his dream, Mountain Meadow Farm in North River, St. Ann's Bay. He was a visionary and a maverick in all aspects of life with a remarkable sense of humour. Jeremy was a fixer and a thinker, a dreamer and a doer, a poet, musician and storyteller. He was a passionate farmer and a steward of the land since the age of two. Jeremy was a very generous community man, an elder at the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and a man who felt strongly
about the co-operative movement. He was a loving and supportive husband and father.

He is survived by his wife, Sue; his two sons, Josiah and Alec; a stepdaughter, Laura Russell; and siblings, John, Michael and Wendy and their families. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the forestry program of the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.

A service will be held at the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church at North River, St. Ann's Bay, Saturday, Dec. 12 at 11 a.m.

Monday, December 7, 2009

News: Canadian Regulations for Organic Logo-Products certified before June 30, 2009

We just received this information and we’re passing it on…
A message from the COO - Un message du BBC

From: Stephane O'Neil
Program Officer, Canada Organic Office, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Agent de programme, Bureau Bio-Canada, Agence canadienne d'inspection des aliments
1400 Merivale  | 1400, rue Merivale Ottawa ON K1A 0Y9
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

The information below is from the CFIA regarding regulations that
come into force on the use of the Organic logo on products certified before the Organic Products Regulations, 2009 .

Question:  Can an organic product, with an organic content of 95% or greater, certified by an accredited CB to a standard other than the Canadian Organic Standards (including standards of a foreign country or the Quebec organic standard) bear the logo after June 30, 2009?


Before answering, please note that one of the principles behind implementing the Canada Organic Regime is to incorporate existing organic structures, where possible, under identified criteria. This was done to establish a smooth transition from a voluntary organic certification system to an organic regulatory regime.

With that in mind, the answer is yes. 

Agricultural products certified:

  • as organic by a Certification Body whose accreditation is recognized under the regulations (i.e., recommended by a designated conformity verification body or a by a competent authority with whom the Government of Canada has an agreement with); and
  • before the Organic Products Regulations come into force on June 30, 2009

will meet the requirements of the regulations and may bear the logo after the regulations come into force on June 30, 2009.

This is based on the principle that the product may already comply with the requirements of the Canadian Organic Standards, or that if they don’t, the operator is working with their Certification Body to comply with the standards for the next certification. It should be noted, so that their products may continue to the bear the logo, the operator should be working with their certification body to comply with the Canadian Organic Standards. The Canada Organic Regime’s Stream of Commerce and Enforcement Policy will be revised to reflect this.