The greenhouse operation at Stone Barns Center is a unique, innovative and diverse growing environment. This 1/2 acre ecologically managed, soil-based system has been producing superior quality vegetables year-round since spring 2004. The intensively managed system challenges its growers to develop their skills and efficiencies and to understand the greenhouse potential as it relates to the whole farm.
Through organized and methodical practice, the Summer Greenhouse Apprentices will gain the skills necessary to advance as greenhouse growers. As the apprentices proceed through the 6-month course, they will accumulate responsibilities in order to understand the greater intricacies of labor, economics and maintenance of the structure.
In addition to being exposed to the day-to-day operations of the greenhouse, all apprentices are introduced to a holistic agricultural curriculum that includes weekly readings, classes and discussions, and field trips to area farms – including participation in the Hudson Valley Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT).
A typical week includes a combination of 35 hours of independent field-based work and hands-on instruction plus five hours of classroom and study time.
What You Will Learn
The hands-on experiences for the Summer Greenhouse Apprentices include but are not limited to the following:
- Weekly soil preparation
- Seeding and transplanting
- Harvesting and other horticultural activities
- Learning to work with tools and systems to support healthy and long-term resilience in the greenhouse
- Tracking greenhouse production
- Monitoring the system’s efficiency and quality
- Understanding the greater intricacies of labor, economics and maintenance of the structure
All Stone Barns Center apprentices also participate extensively in the Center’s educational outreach with school groups, Farm Camp and the general public. Apprentices take part in public tours, farm markets (on and off site), and Center-wide activities such as Harvest Fest, Sheep Shearing Day, and the National Young Farmers Conference, as well as other special weekend events on the farm.
Requirements for Admission
A commitment to learning about healthy and sustainable food systems and passion for developing as a farmer and an educator are prerequisites. No prior farming experience is required; however, applicants who have some background in farming, food systems, or experiential education are preferred. Additional prerequisites include a positive attitude, a desire to learn to function as a member of a team and the ability to be outside in adverse weather conditions.
The Program is presented five days per week for a period of 6 months and includes 35 hours per week of hands-on experience in the greenhouse and 5 hours per week of classroom time, assigned readings and farm field trips. A monthly stipend of $1,250 will be provided. Housing is available for $250 per month, on a limited basis.
Please submit a cover letter explaining why you want to participate in this program and what you hope to learn from it. Also include a summary of the experiences you have had that you think are relevant to your participation in the Program. Your application package should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The early course for this apprenticeship begins May 5, 2013 and ends November 1, 2013. The application deadline for this course is March 15, 2013.
The late course for this apprenticeship begins June 2, 2013 and ends December 6, 2013. The application deadline for the late course is April 12, 2013.