Hello New Westminster! My name is Alexander Stark, you may not know me, but you will have likely seen me roaming around the Royal City Farmers’ Markets as a shopper, volunteer, and occasionally as a vendor. I have left my most resent position as a volunteer and moved 340 km to Cawston (in BC’s interior) to become a farmer. Well not exactly, really I am an apprentice, and today was my first official day at the farm, Klippers Organics.
Over the course of eight months I will be revealing what I experience and learn during my stay at the farm. I Hope that by the end of my apprenticeship, you will have a greater sense of the process, work, and skill of the almighty farmer. For now I will only give you the context that brought me here.
I am currently 18 and a recent graduate of New Westminster Secondary School. After grad, I had chosen the path of employment rather then post-secondary. In the future I plan to attend the Natural Gourmet School for Health and Culinary Arts’ chef’s training program, however I am not yet in the right position, financially, to enroll there. Immediately after school, I found part-time employment, but still had a lot of time on my hands. While shopping one day at the market, I was easily persuaded to become a volunteer. By volunteering I was able to help bring fresh produce and other local goods to New Westminster. As an added bonus, I was actively engaged with the vendors themselves. Not that you could not do the same thing as a shopper, but it certainly helped me. Anyways, it was a natural fit! I must admit though while I found much fulfillment as a volunteer, I did have an ulterior motive: I had a budding interest in learning cultivation, not just preparation, of food. In my time at the market, I specifically asked around for jobs on farms. Mary Forstbauer of Forstbauer farms had told me about her daughter Annamarie, who farmed organically in the interior and took on apprentices. Well now ladies and gentlemen here I am, green as can be and ready to dig my hands in the soil.
Please stay tuned, my next post well provide more information about the farm itself and enlightenment as to how one becomes an apprentice.