The Good Cheer Food Bank is the oldest non-profit on Whidbey Island, serving over 800 families a month. The apprentice will not only learn how to manage the sizeable weekly work parties and service-learning groups at The Good Cheer Garden, they will be heavily involved in farming at The Big ACRE, and will be responsible for managing The Bayview Garden, an 1/8th acre growing space. The apprentice will learn techniques for growing many thousands of pounds of produce on relatively small parcels of land (all together a little more than 1.5 acres), all of which will go to the portions of our population who usually do not have the choice of eating local and organically grown food: the young and the poor. The Garden Manager is Camille Green.
Our growing spaces are:
- The Good Cheer Garden is a .4 acre garden that was installed in 2008. It is a busy and very public garden that hosts many service-learning groups, and serves as a demonstration garden as well as a vegetable production space.
- The Bayview Garden is located next door to Good Cheer, and was started years ago as a school garden for the alternative school. The school has since moved campuses, and now the apprentice at Good Cheer manages the Bayview Garden. The garden itself is about an 1/8 of an acre, and includes vegetable beds, perennial herbs, raspberries and three fruit trees.
- The Big ACRE (Abundant Community Resources for Everyone) is a new farm that is directly adjacent to The Bayview Garden, and broke ground in January of 2016. The farm focuses on producing more storage and staple crops for the food bank and the school district cafeterias. The farm is predominately row crops, but also has three hoop houses, and a 15 fruit tree orchard.
Two apprentices are selected for the Good Cheer Food Bank. They will learn how to grow food in the Pacific Northwest while also learning the basics of managing a small-scale farm, and coordinating a volunteer driven demonstration garden. They will also gain experience in basic carpentry and use of power tools, and simple machinery like a weed-whacker, walk-behind mower, a small tractor, as well as experience in blogging, outreach, and event and volunteer coordination
To learn more check out the following websites: