Blog post written by Manni Sengar
Tsawwassen Farm School Graduate 2019
This is my first ever blog about me and my experience at the farm school. I’m a little unsure of how to write but here goes! Let me just give you some background… I am from India and have studied Agriculture and worked for a seed company in India for nearly two years before I immigrated to Canada in year 2012 to be with the love of my life, my husband. Life was pretty good and I had seen all successes with my career at an early age before, but the real life struggle began when nobody recognized my overseas credentials or work experience. I soon realized that I had to first look for a livelihood to support my family and worked different jobs at different places before I got my permanent residency status in Canada. We ( myself and husband), after a long wait, were blessed with a baby boy in year 2017. He was a blessing to us and our life changed immensely after having him. My husband’s business grew at an exponential rate while we took care of our son. Soon I didn’t had to think about bread and butter and also realized that I could no longer just sit at home & can now live my dream again of being able to work in Agriculture related fields. I never thought to become a farmer but I really wanted to work in the Agri-sector only as this was the thing I wanted to do that will make me happy and satisfied. I made a plan to grow some veggies at my friend’s backyard to try my skills in farming and my friend was really helpful at all times. I started looking into getting some Canadian education in Agriculture and learned about the Farm school through my Internet search. Watching the brief video about the farm school made me want to explore more about it and after meeting Mike ( Farm Manager at TFS) & Caroline (Course Advisor), I was pretty sure that this is what I am looking for. I was not sure if I can commit to be a student while being a mom of a 1 year old, but I had lots of family support from my husband, brother and others. The farm school instructors were also so accommodating that I was able to juggle between my family, my veggie garden and the farm school.
My experience with the farm school was a very rewarding experience. I made good friends who lent their ears when I needed someone to listen to me and not judge. The instructors Sarah, Mike and Daniel always boosted my morale and brought the confidence in me about my farming skills. They are the best instructors and people willing to share every piece of knowledge they have. I should say that farming is a hard working experience, but with all good people around YOU, you enjoy it more than being tired. The great things I have learned were operating a tractor, the logistics of selling at a farmers market (I didn’t know anything about it), CSA boxes, business planning and all the hard work that goes in farming makes you appreciate the food that you eat. Learning to grow flowers and the business opportunities that they bring changed my business plan.
We had so many opportunities to learn about various types of farm operations during our farm visits. The farming community is very supportive and fun to meet and learn from. The course is very well planned and balanced. You get to study in class, grow things in farm, harvest them, sell in market, learn about profits and get to compare it with different farms around.
I loved the farm school and will surely miss it. I was fortunate enough to get a great job opportunity in an organic greenhouse even before the completion of farm school, but still I will be coming back next year to learn more by doing incubator plot in 2020. Oh how can I forget Kent’s words “Once a farm school student, always a farm school student”. 😊
Farm school experience is the best farming experience that one can have and I wish anyone looking for more knowledge to take this course as an opportunity to learn more about farming and themselves.