EcoStation:NY's Bushwick Campus Farm & Greenhouse; Grove Street Farm
Location of apprenticeship site:
Bushwick Campus Farm: 400 Irving Ave
Grove Street Farm: Grove St @ Myrtle Ave
Both sites are in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Name of organization or business, if different from site name:
Name and title of supervisor:
Sean-Michael Fleming, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Supervisor Contact Info (Email and Phone):
Mobile (347) 933-4523
Number of Apprenticeship Positions available at your site:
Title of apprenticeship position(s):
Urban Farming and Food Justice Apprentice(s)
Youth & Community Engagement Apprentice
Have you had a Farm School apprentice in the past?
Name(s) of previous apprentice(s):
Monique Hartl, Barry Rothstein, Ana Moran, D Rooney, Sari Gonzales, Elizabeth Guzman, Ai Hirashiki
Is your site accessible via NYC public transportation (i.e. train or bus)? If yes, please provide public transportation directions to your site. If no, what is the best way to reach your site? Please provide directions:
Take the L or M Train to Wyckoff/Myrtle Ave. Walk down Palmetto St (next to KFC) to Irving Avenue; turn left. Bushwick Campus will be 2 blocks ahead on the right.
Enter the school through the main entrance at 400 Irving. Stop at security, tell them you are going to the farm. Show ID, sign in, get a pass, and go through scanning.
Then, take the hallway to the left of the security station. Turn right and follow the wall on your left: at the end of the corridor it will turn left, leading you to the doors that lead out to the farm. (There will be an EcoStation bulletin board to your right)
Apprentice Work Schedule
Farm School NYC requires that the apprenticeship be a minimum of 140 hours.
Number of Hours per week: 8-35 hrs/wk
Number of Hours total (140 hours minimum): 140 or above.
Does your apprenticeship have a specific start and end date? If yes, please provide the start and end dates:
No specific start date (now!) - season ends mid-November.
Does your apprenticeship have a work schedule with specific days and times?
A schedule will be worked out with each apprentice, however some current programs (as of Spring 2016) are:
- Bushwick School for Social Justice’s Farm Club (Tuesdays, 2:00pm - 4:00pm)
- Farming Fridays with Academy for Environmental Leadershi
- Food Justice Team (student-led after-school group)
In summer we will have:
- Bushwick Farmers’ Market at Maria Hernandez Park (9:00am - 4:00pm)
- Saturday morning harvests (7:00am - 9:00am) for market
- Make the Road NY - summer workshop series with Youth Power Project
- SYEP Summer Youth Employment Program
Does your apprenticeship have a work schedule that is flexible and/or you are willing to wait and create a schedule that works for the apprentice? (A set schedule must be agreed upon in writing prior to the start of the apprenticeship.)
Will you offer the apprentice payment or a stipend? If yes, please describe:
This is a volunteer position, however we always share the produce we grow with those that help grow it! Also, when paid opportunities or group tours come up, our apprentices are paid for their time.
Please list all of the following categories that apply to this apprenticeship:
Crop Production, Teaching, Advocacy, Enterprise, Community Food Arts
Janeé: I did not have access to the full list for this answer
Please describe the apprenticeship responsibilities and tasks. Please specify if the apprentice will have a specific project or whether they will be involved with general operations.:
1. Urban Farming and Food Justice Apprentice. Work alongside the Farm Manager to oversee and support the school classes, after-school clubs, and summer workers at Bushwick Campus Farm. This includes but is not limited to: food production and harvesting (for our markets and restaurant customers), youth empowerment activities, farmers’ market , composting, carpentry, greenhouse maintenance, community outreach. This apprenticeship is education-focused, though it is quite diverse on activities.
2. Youth & Community Engagement Apprentice - This is the ideal position for someone who wants to go into education and youth work specifically. Bilingual (ENG/ESP) strongly preferred. Experience teaching or working within the NYC school system and/or high schools preferred but not required. This person will focus on working with the 4 - 6 classes from the four resident schools of Bushwick Campus: meeting with teachers to schedule visits, coordinating school visits, in addition to hands-on farm work (there will be many shared duties).
What will the apprentice learn through this apprenticeship?
Apprentices, depending on their chosen area of focus, will gain working knowledge of how to run a small farm or farmers’ market, and gain experience working with youth (teens). Apprentices will also learn about community engagement while helping maintain and grow EcoStation’s network.
Supervisor & Site Details
How does your farm/project reflect the following Farm School NYC vision: “Farm School NYC aims to increase the self-reliance of communities and inspire positive local action around issues of food access and social, economic and racial justice”?
We teach youth and adults the skills they need to grow food, and about what “real” food is. This is vitally important in our community, which has soaring rates of preventable, diet-related illness. We also teach youth about leadership, how to run farmers markets, and prepare the food they help grow. Our goal is to inspire students and community members to become active participants and leaders in the food justice movement.
What experience and knowledge will you (the Supervisor) share with the apprentice?
Sean-Michael Fleming is an EcoStation co-founder and its first executive director. In the company’s eight years, he has helped launch two urban farms, two rooftop farming projects, and five farmers markets. He originally hails from a creative arts background, he has made extensive use of his graphic design, writing, and design skills, designing EcoStation’s website and myriad market and event flyers. He has served as director of Woodbine Street Garden for the past ten years, and also served on New York City Community Garden Coalition’s board of directors. He has a broad knowledge of urban gardening and farming, the food justice and environmental movements, and extensive contacts throughout the greening community that he loves to share.
We are proud to say our apprentices report that EcoStation’s inclusion on their job résumés has had a favorable impression on many interviewers.
Note: EcoStation has plans to hire a farmer/educator for Bushwick Campus Farm in the near future; this person would also be overseeing and working with apprentices.
What is exciting about your apprenticeship site?
EcoStation has many exciting projects going on at Bushwick Campus and in the neighborhood: work with youth, community events, composting, farmers markets...
This is an opportunity to be a key member of a small but dedicated organization working on the front lines of the food justice movement in a neighborhood in need of change.
Is the work of your site rooted in or connected to New York City?
We work in Bushwick, Brooklyn primarily, but we teach other youth and adults from all over NYC through field trips, conferences, and consulting.
Does your site work with low-income communities?
Yes: 28% of Bushwick residents live below the federal poverty line.
If yes, please explain the nature of your work with low-income communities:
Bushwick is a low-income, at-risk community facing serious issues: high rates of poverty, unemployment, high school drop-out, and preventable, diet related illness. The founders of EcoStation were local residents who decided to bring real food to the neighborhood through farmers markets and sustainable urban farming, intent on improving the health of the environment and their neighbors, and inviting community participation every step of the way.
Will the apprentice's responsibilities include food cultivation?
Please list all that apply:
This site is a farm, This site is a garden, This site is a farmers market
Again, here I did not have access to the full list… I added markets
The apprentice will gain experience in the cultivation of (please list all that apply):
Vegetables, Herbs, many
If your site is a farm, garden, or other crop propagation site, please list all that apply:
Organic but not certified, Use IPM (Integrated Pest Management), no-till farming as well as tillage, permaculture practices, soil fertility prioritization
Does your site employ any non-organic farming practices (i.e. pesticides, fertilizers)?
What qualifications, skills and experience do you WANT in your apprentice?
Spanish speaking +++
Desire/willingness to work with high school-age youth
Good project management skills
Ability to work independently as well as work collaboratively
Social media skills
What qualifications, skills and experience do you REQUIRE in your apprentice?
Be sensitive to the needs of youth, especially recent immigrants
Be good listeners and team players
Have a sense of humor!
Which Farm School NYC courses are prerequisites for your apprenticeship?
Food Justice, Propagation, Growing Soil
Is this still the same? Not sure what the options are/were
If a Farm School NYC student is interested in your apprenticeship, what type of application materials do you want from them?
Brief cover letter (via email), résumé.
An on-site interview is best to determine if we are a good match!