SISTERS OF ST. MARTHA INITIATE A GARDEN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
Bethany, Antigonish, Nova Scotia is the scene on a new initiative for the Sisters of St. Martha. They have entered into partnership with Jen and David Greenberg, well established organic gardeners in the Valley, to begin an apprenticeship program in gardening. The focus is vegetable production that is economically viable and environmentally friendly. The Greenbergs are the program managers and mentors. The Sisters of St. Martha are providing the land (one acre) and the support structures for season extension growing. They will also underwrite the educational costs of the program.
Present day needs and past history come together in this new initiative. An area of concern that has been growing for the Sisters of St. Martha, particularly Sr. Florence Kennedy and Sr. Donna Brady, who initiated the program is the issue of world hunger and the need for local food security. They tied this together with Bethany ' s history of operating a successful farm that also helped to initiate and welcome Dutch farmers to our area. All that has gone before is evolving into tDavid Greenberg Tillinghe Bethany Garden Apprenticeship Program.
David Greenberg has noted that a major barrier today for young people trying to get established in agriculture is finding a system of production that makes enough sense for the beginning farmer to confidently invest the necessary time and money to get started. The purpose of this initiative is to provide the setting that brings together professional skills and the needed equipment to allow an individual to learn all aspects of small scale, economically viable gardening.
The Sisters are excited with this new project as it addresses their commitment to youth, their stance of empowering and developing people, and it is one that encourages their land to reach its potential. They see it as investing their resources in a project that is promoting a vital career choice for future generations, encouraging a counter-cultural stance and way of life. The project is built on values of collaboration, service, justice and stewardship and the Sisters feel blessed to have highly qualified people sharing their values and willing to invest their time and expertise in this project
Educational opportunities will be available to the public each step of the way as the land is prepared and the infrastructure set up. When this is in place one person will enter the apprenticeship program and be guided through one year of production. For further information you are invited to contact Jen and David Greenberg at