The Organic Apprentice

sowing the seeds of learning!


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Program: Barefoot Beach Walk

Program Title: Barefoot Beach Walk 

Details: Participants walk along the beach barefoot. They are encouraged to pay attention to the sensory qualities of their present experiences. This may include the sand underfoot, the temperature of the air or water, the breeze off the water, the smell of salt, the sound of gulls, and so on. Being barefoot alters the experience as suddenly participants must also pay attention to where their feet go (less so on sandier beaches though) as it is important to watch out for rocks, glass, or urchins. 

Benefits: Participants would likely appreciate the relaxing environment while walking alongside the water. There are the obvious physical benefits of walking outdoors (fitness, fresh air, sunshine) but social, cognitive, and spiritual benefits could also be a part of this program. Cognitively, nature contact improves mood, attention span, and reduces stress (to name a few). The beach setting might also provide an open setting that encourages social interactions between participants. Such types of benefits are more difficult to quantify. ‘Spiritual’ benefits may include a range of benefits from time to think, closeness to nature, calmness (akin to walking meditation), and help coping with life issues or transitions. 

Duration: The walk can vary from a half hour (which I’d recommend as a minimum) to a full, 3 to 4 hour, afternoon. In the latter case I’d also consider leading group discussions/talks and two or three other “micro-programs” to use the time productively. 


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Day 60: Time to Get Semi-Serious

So today is my 60th day at Bantry Bay Farm since arriving on May 1st! Today is a great day, the rain is holding off while I’ve spent the morning writing program ideas and laying about. Today also marks the approach of the second half of my apprenticeship. I feel that I should truly begin focusing on the Therapeutic Recreation aspects of farming. I have been writing down ideas for TR programs over the course of the past two months. Not to mention the buzz of new thoughts and cool ideas that stream into my head every now and again. Farming provides great inspiration for writing both creatively and seriously. 

So looking ahead to July and August you can expect:

  • More TR program ideas!
  • More TR-Farm crossover posts!
  • More photos!
  • More video posts!
  • More CSA days!

I’m really going to push my posting on the weekends and aim for an average of 3 during the course of the work week. 

On top of blogging, farming, and being a pretty cool cat I am also getting ready to start looking for a job upon my return to Montreal. I’m looking forward to seeing what these next two months bring. Undoubtedly they will continue to keep me busy on my adventures through organic agriculture!


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“Dixit” Disturbances

It’s incredible what you can learn about yourself through simple recreation sometimes. Last night six of us gathered around the kitchen table and played a couple of board games. With Sarah leaving today at some point and Chrissy arriving for the month there was much to celebrate! The two games we got to were Dixit and Apples to Apples.

Both games have a similar rules system where players interpret a word or image with their own word or image. I have played Apples to Apples before and find that the wordage and vocabulary makes for an abstract yet still rules-driven game. Dixit on the other hand seemed much more ambiguous in it’s rules and arbitrary in it’s rulings. 

I have nothing against creative or abstract games. However, Dixit did not sit well with me. I felt uneasy and uncomfortable with the game. I used the word “guarded” to describe the feeling at the time. I couldn’t understand what about this quirky board game was making me dislike it. Perhaps it is my history of Dungeon and Dragons playing as that game runs on a distinct rules system with objective methods for making decisions (rolling dice, skill modifiers, etc.). Rules systems with clearly defined parameters tend to make it easier for me to engage with the game. Dixit was just TOO open-ended for my liking. Call me a game purist but it lacked the comfort of a rigid set of rules by which to play and judge player progress.Image


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Distractions

I’ve found that time on the farm passes extremely quickly. The morning passes before you know it, pretty soon afterwards the afternoon finds a way to sneak past you. Of course some days feel a bit longer than others. However, overall I’ve found that with fewer distractions than in the city I can focus more on tasks while here at Bantry Bay Farm. Because of this focus I get into more of a state of flow. The problem arises when that focus is broken; sometimes by the weather, the view, or a simple curiosity. These interruptions are, thankfully, brief and do not seem to interfere with my ability to remain focused on task. However, occasionally other more formidable distractions arise that I have a harder time ignoring.

I thought I had successfully avoided any form of attachment or distraction before I left Montreal. But as it turns out sometimes distractions have a way of finding you.

One of the questions about farming that I hadn’t really ever considered asking anybody was “How do farmers meet people?” If you consider the lifestyle of a farmer they are left with little time to mingle. Yet, many farmers appear to live happy and successful family lives.

Let’s put aside hookers, craigslist, and beer goggles for a moment. The only way I can imagine anybody living a farm lifestyle meeting somebody special would be by pure, natural, unaltered coincidence (consider it “organic coincidence” if you will). Maybe this is enough for most people. I think that maybe organic coincidence is also the greatest way to meet people. It’s like the universe throwing you a candy bar and/or high-five and saying “Here you go, just because you rock dude.” It’s nice to feel as if the universe is on your side especially when what it offers is truly something special.

So as much as I have been distracted at times these past couple of weeks I can’t help but continue to enjoy my time at Bantry Bay Farm. The flowers are out, crops are thriving, the air is fresh, and life continues to be good!


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CSA week #3

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Another great CSA day! We began harvesting a bit before 7:00AM and were ready for the CSA before noon. The bags got packed around 3:00PM and pickups went smoothly from there. Bags were stuffed with beet greens (which have some sizeable beets on some of them), kohlrabi, red sail lettuce, Chinese cabbage, and broccoli! We also harvested a good handful of garlic scapes and about 8.5 pounds of baby zuchinni! 

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Can’t wait to do it all over again on Thursday!


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When Peggy Met George…

So this past week we received a new addition to the Bantry Bay occupancy. Nobody was more excited (I think) than the old horse George because the newcomer is a female horse (‘mare’) named Peggy!

Here they both are grazing in the back pasture of their enclosure:

<– Peggy & George –>

George is wearing a fly mask (I just finished ‘googling’ what it was and what it was for) because he’s been getting bitten around his eyes/nose lately by, ironically, horse flies. There has been a lot more noise than usual coming from the pasture which I presume is owing to the prescience of “another horse”. George and Peggy appear to get along rather well. When one moves into an area of the enclosure the other tends to follow. They won’t likely be seen wandering outside of the enclosed pastures as their caretaker, Julie, has repaired the fence and hooked up the electric fencing… which definitely works.

In any case, it’s nice to have another horse around the farm. I like to treat them as intelligent, observant, and highly intuitive creatures that add greatness to an already incredible farm atmosphere!


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Potluck Mission July 20 + The Trials & Exhilarations of Starting A Small Farm

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Young Agrarians

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Stoked for our first potluck in Mission, BC at Ferndale Farms! Thank you to Taylor McPherson for hosting on his farm and Alyssa Belter for lighting the Young Agrarians event fire in the area!!! This is an all ages event:)

Date has been changed to: Saturday, July 20, 2013
4pm Farm Tour
5pm Potluck

There will be a BBQ
BYODrinks
Bring something to grill
Bring something to share potluck styles
Bring tools to eat with

If you want to camp overnight please bring what you need to make it happen:)

Address: 34219 Laxton Avenue Mission BC

To join the event on Facebook click here.

Check out Taylor McPherson’s recent article below reprinted from Footprint Press

Photos by Taylor McPherson

Taylor McPherson article

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