Apprentices serve a vital function on small farms in our area. In addition to their hard work on the farmlands, they learn invaluable, real-world lessons about the “art” of farming. Hopefully, their experiences here will lay a foundation for becoming full-fledged farmers one day.
At the Suyematsu-Bentryn Farms in the Day Road Farm District, there are usually 4 apprentices working with 2 farmers. They arrive in April, stay til October and come from many parts of the United States.
These apprentices work with Betsey Wittick and Brian McWhorter, helping with many aspects of the farms, including planting, weeding, harvesting vegetables caring for animals, grapevine pruning in the vineyard, and running the booths at Farmers Market.
They live and work on the farm for about six months. That way, they get to experience a full growing season. Their role is to provide needed help for the farmers in exchange for learning from their experience.
Note from Apprentice Becky: “I am 27 years old. I moved to Seattle from Michigan in 2005 to work in the software industry. Over the past few years I have been getting less and less satisfaction from my office job, while getting more and more interested in growing my own food. I decided to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to devote some time to finding out what is really involved in sustainable organic farming in order to see if I can make my passion my career and grow food for a living. I am grateful to the farmers here on Bainbridge for providing this learning opportunity!”