Randalls Island Urban Farm

Randall's Island Urban Farm

Location of apprenticeship site:  Randall’s Island Park
Name of organization or business, if different from site name: Randall’s Island Park Alliance

Name and title of supervisor: Nick Storrs
Supervisor Contact Info: phone: 917-848-4413 email: nick.storrs@randallsisland.org
Number of Apprenticeship Positions available at your site: 2
Title of apprenticeship position(s): Urban Farmer / Educator Apprentice

Have you had a Farm School NYC apprentice in the past?   No

Is your site accessible via NYC public transportation (i.e. train or bus)?  If yes, please provide public transportation directions to your site:

  • 4/5/6 Train to 125th Street. Transfer to the M35 bus and get off at the Ward’s Meadow Loop stop

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

  • Urban Agriculture is experiencing a unique time of growth right now as people are recognizing a need to better understand and form connections with their food. What we need right now is knowledge, eager, and curious people to develop and manage new sites and continue the traditions of growing food in the city. Farm School does a great job of providing a wide base of knowledge from which to work from, and graduates that are uniquely connected to urban ag community in the city so they will be more likely to make a strong impact.

Apprentice Work Schedule

Hours per week:    Hours can vary
Hours total (140 hours minimum):    140 hours

Is there a specific term for the apprenticeship?        
Start date:  
March 12th          
End date:  
Depends on the scheduling, which is flexible

Does your apprenticeship have a work schedule with specific days and times? 

  • No

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.) 

  • Yes

Financial Details

Will you offer the apprentice payment or a stipend?

  • We are not able to offer a stipend at this time.

Apprenticeship Description

Please select all of the following categories that apply to this apprenticeship:

  • Crop Production
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Teaching

What will the apprentice learn through this apprenticeship?

  • We will be applying growing and cultivation skills, with a focus on maintaining soil health in a raised bed environment. There will inevitably be a good deal of construction projects from irrigation design and repair to to carpentry on our outdoor kitchen and teaching spaces. Students will also be involved in our education programming. The programming will focus on elementary and middle school children but will include all ages including adult programming.

Supervisor & Site Details

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

  • I grew up on a farm in New Hampshire, and worked on small market farms (~9 acres) in Vermont before moving to NYC about 10 yrs ago. I have been managing the RI Urban Farm for the past 6 years and grow over 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables.

What is exciting about your apprenticeship site?     

  • We get to form a pretty unique connection with the community around us. Being able to offer free educational programming to school and community groups in the area ha allowed to ask a lot of questions of the people who live near us, and help them find some of the answers they are looking for around their food. Because our true product is that educational program we get to grow and experiment with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as growing techniques to try to find what works best for us in NYC. To that end, we have a series of rice paddies, myoga, many different type of stone fruit and brambles, as well as a wide variety of medicinal herbs and chickens. What an eclectic mix!!

Apprenticeships must include farming and/or gardening, and they must be based in or connected to New York City in some way.
Is the work of your site rooted in or connected to New York City?  

  • Yes, we provide a free educational experience to schools in NYC  with priority going to our local community of the South Bronx and East Harlem.

Does your site work with low-income communities?

  • Yes     

The apprentice will gain experience in the cultivation of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Herbs
  • Livestock

For farms or farm projects, please answer the following questions:

If your site is a farm, garden, or other crop propagation site, please answer.
Certified by:       

  • Organic but not certified
  • Use IPM (Integrated Pest Management)

Apprentice Requirements

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

  • I would like to see someone who has a basic understanding of growing systems and has had experience working with or teaching young children.

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

  • Someone who is willing to openly engage with young students regularly while encouraging them to explore the different foods in the farm.

Would you like any Farm School courses to be prerequisites for your apprenticeship? Please check all that apply:

  • None are specifically required

If a Farm School NYC student is interested in your apprenticeship, what type of application materials do you want from them? The student application period will run from October 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017. All materials will be due to you no later than January 15, 2018.

  •  Cover letter, Resume, and Interview      

Please explain:   

  •  I would like to have an interview by phone