Yes, that’s right: this year we will be looking to have 2 apprentices join us for the growing season. This is not something I’ve done before, but I am really looking forward to it. I unfortunately never got the chance myself to be an apprentice, having discovered my desire to farm after having acquired all those things in life that tie you down (wife, kids, house, you know…) but I think it will be an excellent experience for aspiring farmers. One of the things I think we can offer apprentices is a look at what it’s like to start out as new farmers, which if they intend to do themselves in the future should be invaluable.
One of the things I’ve been struggling with a lot this fall is where and how to house them. Basically the idea is that you have someone live with you for the growing season and help out but in exchange you put them up somewhere on the farm and pay them a stipend. Our house isn’t huge though and ideally I would like for them to have their own bathroom / kitchen space. My first idea was a larger park-model trailer, parked near our forest. Something like this:
While I think the larger trailer would work out ok, it doesn’t totally feel right. If I spend money on a used trailer and the effort to get it all hooked up to hydro and water, I would still have something that felt temporary and short-term. While this might still be the way we go, that idea is on hold for now. Right now I’m working on this:
We have been saving up for some time to finally build the garage that was supposed to be part of our house addition 3 years ago. As with all things custom addition we are seeing “feature creep”. Now the garage plan is calling for a full-sized loft above it. While this will add significantly to the cost it seems like a better long term addition to the farm than buying a somewhat temporary used trailer. So, for now – that’s the plan (but plans can change as you know).
And so, this week it hit me that I have the time and I really should get working on this. I got the plans finalized Monday and as of Thursday I should have the first floor framing done. I really hope I can keep going at this pace!