Queens Botanical Garden Farm

Queens Botanical Garden Farm

Location of apprenticeship site: 43-50 Main St. Flushing, NY

Name of organization or business, if different from site name: Queens Botanical Garden

Name and title of supervisor: Vanessa Ventola

Supervisor Contact Information: 718-886-3800 ext. 260 (Vanessa); vventola@queensbotanical.org

Number of Apprenticeship Positions available at your site: 4

Title of apprenticeship position(s): QBG Farm & Compost Internship

Have you had a Farm School NYC Apprentice in the past? Yes

Name of previous apprentice(s): Lee Gerardi

Is your site accessible via NYC public transportation (i.e. train or bus)? Yes

If yes, please provide public transportation directions to your site:

  • BY BUS Take Q44SBS or Q20A/B from the Bronx or Jamaica, or in Flushing.
  • BY TRAIN Take the no. 7 subway or Long Island Rail Road (Port Washington line) to Main Street/Flushing. Then, take the Q44SBS or Q20A/B bus, or walk eight blocks south to QBG along Main Street.

Why do you want to work with a Farm School NYC apprentice?

Farm School students have a long standing reputation of being diligent, hard working, free thinkers. They have proven to be great additions to our team and we always look forward to working along side them. In addition, having both course work and previous field time gives everyone the advantage of similar skill sets from the get go.

If your site is not selected by a Farm School NYC student, would you like to make your apprenticeship available to the public? Yes

Apprentice Work Schedule

Number of Hours per week: 12

Number of Hours total (140 hours minimum): 321

Does your apprenticeship have a specific start and end date? Yes, May-October

Does your apprenticeship have a work schedule with specific days and times? Yes, Mondays and Thursdays 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Does your apprenticeship have a work schedule that is flexible / are you willing to wait and create a schedule that works for the apprentice?: Yes

Financial Details

Will you offer the apprentice payment or a stipend? No

Apprenticeship Description

This internship includes:

  • Crop Production
  • Compost Management 

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.

Interns will support NYC Compost Project staff in running and maintaining one acre of intensively planted, mixed vegetable, fruit, and flower production and educational areas. Interns will also help support on-site composting operations; including processing organics collected at food scrap drop-offs. We are looking for dedicated, hard-working individuals with a keen interest in urban farming and composting.

What will the apprentice learn through this apprenticeship?

  • Gain skills in urban farming through planting, tending and harvesting crops
  • Learn about maintaining healthy soils by using compost, cover crops, and mulch.
  • Gain proficiency in composting by assisting staff in processing food waste collected at public food scrap drop-off sites into compost, and assist with management of onsite compost piles
  • Cultivate an in-depth awareness about food scrap recycling and waste reduction in NYC

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”?

The main goal of the internship is to link together the whole food cycle. The compost we create, on site, from food scraps goes back on the fields instead of synthetic fertilizers. One of our main goals is to foster healthy environments, not only for New York residents visiting our site, but for all organisms that help work to produce healthy food and beautify our city. The food that we grow goes directly back to our community. When available, our dedicated volunteers and interns take home a share of produce. Food also goes to QBG programming and emergency food relief programs in our neighborhood.

What experience and knowledge will you (the Supervisor) share with the apprentice?

Our collective team has years of experience and formal training growing food crops and creating healthy, aerobic compost. We live and love our work! Working with us gives students the opportunity for experiential learning and getting to ask specific questions along the way. We also strive to continue supporting interns after their time with us is up.

What is exciting about your apprenticeship site?

We are a relatively large garden where you will learn about growing row crops in a production style setting. By working with us through the whole season interns are exposed all parts of farming. This includes (but is not limited to!) bed shaping, seeding, transplanting in spring. Harvesting and irrigating in summer. Then sowing cover crops and clean up in fall. Our composting system is closely managed with best practices to ensure we foster the creation of healthy, aerobic compost. This makes us a unique site that is geared towards to two forms of output, produce and compost.

Please describe how the work of your site is rooted in or connected to New York City:

Flushing is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world and we are located in the middle of it. Our visitors, volunteers, and other participants come from all walks of life and we meet in the garden to experience gardening and learning together. We are dedicated to donating produce to this community as well as engaging them in ways to limit their food waste and contributing to a more healthy city.

Does your site work with low-income populations? No

If no, please explain why your site doesn't work with low-income populations and describe the populations and communities that you do work with: 

While we do not specifically target low income populations, QBG supports and engages with all communities.

The apprentice will gain experience in the cultivation of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Herbs
  • Compost

If your site is a farm, garden, or other crop propagation site, please list all that apply: 

Organic but not certified

Does your site employ any non-organic farming practices (i.e. pesticides, fertilizers)? No

Apprentice Requirements

What qualifications, skills, and experience do you WANT in your Farm School NYC student?

  • Self-motivated, excellent communicator, with the ability to work alone as well as with others
  • Commitment to being present and punctual on work days
  • Willingness to work outdoors in all weather; able to lift up to 40 pounds
  • Ability to perform diverse, sometimes repetitive, tasks that can be physically demanding

What qualifications, skills, and experience do you REQUIRE in your Farm School NYC student?

  • Self-motivated, excellent communicator, with the ability to work alone as well as with others
  • Commitment to being present and punctual on work days
  • Willingness to work outdoors in all weather; able to lift up to 40 pounds
  • Ability to perform diverse, sometimes repetitive, tasks that can be physically demanding

Which FS NYC courses are necessary prerequisites for your apprenticeship? 

Growing Soil

If a Farm School NYC student is interested in your apprenticeship, what type of application materials do you want from them? 

Resume; Google form that, when posted, can be found here: https://queensbotanical.org/employment/

Please explain:

The QBG Farm & Compost Internship google form application can be accessed through this link starting in late December: https://queensbotanical.org/employment/. If you are interested in inquiring before this date please contact Vanessa Ventola at vventola@queensbotanical.org