SCLT Farm Apprenticeship Program

Host farms: City Farm, Foggy Notion Farm,  Pat’s Pastured, & Sidewalk Ends Farm

Apprentices will train full-time at one of four host farms: City Farm, Foggy Notion Farm, Pat’s Pastured, and Sidewalk Ends Farm. Hands- on learning of in-depth farm skills from their farm mentors is combined with farm tours, classes, and network- building meetings. Apprentices complete the program with not only technical skills, but also a broader understanding of farm conditions and connections to resources needed to begin a farming career.

Apprentices also participate in SCLT’s beginning farmer training program. Apprentices will develop an education plan with their host farms that includes attendance at three SCLT workshops (e.g. Advanced Marketing, Establishing your Farm, and livestock workshops) and participation in three farm tours through the Young Famer Night or NOFA/RI CRAFT Workshops. These tours provide a broader understanding of farming situations, not just the unique circumstances of their host farm. Finally, apprentices will make connections with important agencies and businesses that grow their network in the farming community, including USDA staff and extension specialists.

The on-farm program is 6 months long, from approximately April through September. (The specific schedule is set by the host farm.) Some of the required workshops will begin in March. Apprentices are provided a monthly stipend.

To apply: 

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with a final date of February 1. Selected applicants will be notified by mid- February. To apply, send the following materials to laura@southsideclt.org or mail to Laura Bozzi, Southside Community Land Trust, 109 Somerset St. Providence RI 02907.

  •      Your contact information (name, phone, email, mailing address)
  •      Identify the specific host farm to which you’re applying. (More detail on each host farm is listed below.)
  •      Provide answers to the following questions:
  1.     Why are you interested in working at your identified farm this season?
  2.     How does this apprenticeship fit into your personal & professional goals now and in the future?
  3.     What skills would you like to learn from this experience?
  4.     How would a past employer describe you?
  5.     How would a co-worker describe you?
  6.     What skills/experience do you bring to this position that you think would be beneficial?
  7.     Anything else you want to tell us?
  8.     Please include 3 work reference email address and phone number. (Please inform references we will be contacting them.)

Host Farms Application Details:

City FarmCity Farm is a ¾- acre urban farm in the heart of Providence’s Southside, and is part of the Southside Community Land Trust. This working model of sustainable, hyper-local urban agriculture demonstrates bio-intensive growing methods. A cross between a backyard market garden and small family farm, City Farm demonstrates through workshops, tours, field trips, classes and practice possible solutions to problems with the current challenges of food security and conventional agricultural.

Specific responsibilities include: Plant Sale preparation (including greenhouse work, transplanting, and working with volunteers); preparing the farm for the growing season; helping coordinate volunteers and others who work at the farm; supervising and guiding high school youth staff with farm work; plant care, harvesting, marketing and distribution through farmers markets and growers cooperative.

Qualifications: Hardworking, dependable, ability to multi-task and work independently with others, good people skills, good communication with a sense of humor, like dirt. Ability to lift 50lbs on regular basis.

Foggy Notion FarmAdam Graffunder, Jenna Yu and Nathaniel Wood are growing soil and food on historic farmland surrounded by the beautiful forests of Snake Den State Park in Johnston, RI without chemical inputs. We use innovative growing techniques learned by transforming vacant city lots into productive farms. We farm with small tools ranging from hand trowels and seeders up to a BCS two wheeled tractor for mowing and making beds. We grow a diverse array of vegetables, fruits and flowers for sales to a CSA, farmers markets and restaurants using organic practices. Most importantly, we try to make a minimal impact on our ecosystem and build our soil over time. See http://www.foggynotionfarm.org for more info.

Specific responsibilities include: Helping with preparing vegetable beds for sowing or transplanting, watering crops, seeding into seed flats and beds, transplanting plant starts, trellising crops, likely some construction, weeding, hoeing, plant care and maintenance, harvesting, washing and packaging produce, marketing and distribution of produce, helping coordinate volunteers and other temporary farm workers, other farm operations tasks as needed.

Qualifications: Reliable and punctual, the ideal applicant takes an active role in learning the operations of the business and about growing, processing and marketing vegetables. Ability to lift 50lbs on regular basis. Ability to cooperate as part of a crew or keep on task when on an individual task. Good communication skills; takes the initiative to ask questions when something is unclear, asks before altering an assigned task. Willingness to follow instructions.

Pat’s Pastured: 100+ acres of pasture and woodlots spread over a several pieces of land in Rhode Island. All land is managed in an intensive rotational management system with multiple species of livestock. The main farm is located in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. All meat and eggs are sold through farmers markets (6 Summer, 4 Winter in 2015), Meat/Poultry CSA, restaurant sales, buying clubs and on-farm sales. The farm also operates a food truck and cart that delivers farm-to-table food at farmers’ markets and special events.  The farm raises: Pasture-raised pigs, Pastured Free-range broilers, Pasture-raised turkeys, Grass-fed beef steers, Free-range laying hens, Free-Range laying ducks, Livestock Guardian Dogs. All poultry are processed on-farm in a RI Health Department mobile processing unit. To learn more about Pat’s Pastured, visit www.patspastured.com or Facebook. For farm- specific questions, contact Pat’s Pastured via email at patspasturedjobs@gmail.com

Specific responsibilities include:  Daily watering & feeding and pasture rotation of broiler chickens, laying hens, ducks, turkeys, pigs and cattle; Management of chick brooder; Equipment maintenance; Product delivery; Poultry slaughter & processing; Assist with sales of products; Assisting with products processing, packaging & inventory; Building fence; General carpentry and construction

Qualifications: Enjoys working with animals; Willingness to work long hours in all weather conditions; Willingness to learn Valid drivers license; Ability to follow directions; Able to work independently or in a group; Ability to lift 50lbs on regular basis required; Good communication skills; Punctual and reliable    

Sidewalk Ends FarmSidewalk Ends Farm started on a formerly-vacant lot in Providence, RI and has expanded to an additional two acres in Seekonk, MA. It is run by three women— we are going into our seventh season growing chemical-free vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers, and we also raise some chickens and pigs for meat. Our focus is on soil health and fertility, and we follow no-till growing practices, which means we do most of the farm work by hand. We sell our vegetables at two farmer’s markets, through a 50-person farm share program, and to restaurants around Providence through a cooperative of five small farms called the Little City Growers Coop. It is important to us to provide affordable produce, so our farm shares are on a sliding scale, and we offer work share opportunities for people who would rather trade labor for vegetables. In August, we run a small farming camp for teen girls. It is a priority of our to be resources for anyone who is interested in growing food, and we take any opportunities we can to be educators. We believe that the same principles of care that lead to healthy soil and good crops can be applied to building a more just society, and we are committed to our communities— we are organizers of the Young Farmer Network and the Justice in Agriculture working group, and we work to make our farm a site of radical world-building. In addition to being farmers, we are artists and activists, and we are eager to share the beauty and challenges of farm work with a new apprentice this season. You can read more about us and our farm at SidewalkEndsFarm.com.

Specific responsibilities include: A full-time apprentice at our farm will be immersed in all the activities of the operation: preparing beds for crops using hand tools, planting, seeding, mulching, weeding, fertilizing crops with our homemade liquid fertilizers, and building compost. Once harvest season began, the apprentice will harvest crops for our various marketing outlets, process them, and participate in the customer service side of the business through the farmers’ markets and farm share pickups. Depending on the animals we raise this season, our apprentice will help keep them fed and watered, and will participate in chicken slaughters. An ideal apprentice is also excited to be an educator: we will share the responsibility of directing volunteers and work shares when they come to the farm, and the apprentice will help run our Girls Farm Camp in August. If the apprentice is interested in building innovative farm infrastructure, there are always countless such tasks that we are happy to include in a work day. While record-keeping and crop planning will not be a responsibility of our apprentice, we are happy to offer training in those dimensions of running a farm business, if there is interest. The best thing about farming is how various the work is; if our apprentice is excited to propose independent on-farm projects, we are happy to facilitate that too.

Requirements: An apprentice at Sidewalk Ends Farm must be comfortable with dogs; our dog Mabel is the fourth part of our three-woman team. You must be able to lift 50 lbs, and be willing to work in all weather conditions. You must be able to transport yourself to our main farm location at 130 Jacob St. in Seekonk, MA. (It is about a 15 minute drive from Providence or a relatively pleasant 50 minute bike ride. There is also a bus that goes to the Massachusetts border and from there it is only a 10 minute bike ride or 30 minute walk.) Most importantly, our apprentice should be open-minded and open-hearted; we are women who like to work hard and take care of one another. Our apprentice should be able to work collaboratively, and feel comfortable when given independent work. Especially at the peak of the season, a positive attitude is important.

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