New York State: Stone Barns Center seeks Herb and Flower Terrace Apprentice

1 Mar
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is a non-profit farm and education center located just 25 miles north of Manhattan in Pocantico Hills, New York.  Stone Barns operates an 80-acre four-season farm and is working on broader initiatives to create a healthy and sustainable food system.  Through our Growing Farmers Initiative, children’s education programs, and diverse public awareness programs, we aim to improve the way America eats and farms.

The Apprenticeship Program at Stone Barns is a focal point of our mission and is a unique educational experience.

Herb and Flower Terrace Apprentice

The Herb and Flower Terraces at Stone Barns are intensive diverse systems, producing a broad variety of culinary and tea herbs, small fruit, edible and cut flowers, as well as rotations of seasonally appropriate vegetable crops in moveable greenhouses.   The ½ acre growing area, as well as additional flower/herb terraces in the vegetable field, provides a wide assortment of horticultural disciplines.  The Herb and Flower Terrace Apprentice will learn how to manage this diverse space throughout the season and practice the appropriate skills necessary for a successful operation of this nature.

The Herb and Flower Terrace Apprentice participates with a team that includes the Four Season Farm staff, interns, campers and volunteers.  In addition to being exposed to the day-to-day operations of the terrace production, all Stone Barns apprentices are introduced to a holistic agricultural curriculum that includes weekly readings, classes and participation in the Hudson Valley Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) program.

A typical week includes a combination 35 hours of independent field-based work and hands-on instruction plus five hours of classroom time.

What You Will Learn

The hands-on experiences for the Herb and Flower Terrace Apprentice include but are not limited to the following:

  • Managing the soil health of the system
  • Learning methods and practices to suit the restrictions of hillside farming
  • Preparing and maintaining plantings and irrigation
  • Seasonal crop planning and rotation
  • Small greenhouse management
  • Harvesting and processing of fresh vegetables, fresh culinary herbs, dry herbs for tea blends and cut flowers for bouquets with the help of potential volunteers and interns.

All Farm Apprentices also participate extensively in Stone Barns Center’s educational outreach with school groups, Farm Camp and the general public.  Apprentices take part in public tours, occasional farm markets (on and off site), and Center-wide activities such as Harvest Fest, Sheep Shearing Day, and the 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.  Basic farming experience is required; applicants who have some background in 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 generally presented from Monday through Friday for a period of 6 months and includes 35 hours per week of hands-on experience in the Terrace and 5 hours per week of classroom time and assigned readings and farm field trips to other farms in our region (May-October).  A monthly stipend of $1,250.00 will be provided.  No housing is provided for this apprenticeship opportunity.
To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter explaining why you want to participate in this program and what you hope to learn from it.  Please 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
There are two course opportunities offered for this Apprenticeship Program.  The early season course runs from April through September.  The application deadline for the early course is March 4, 2011.   The late season course runs from June through November with overlap in the summer season.  The application deadline for the late course is May 2, 2011.  Please specify which course you prefer in your application.

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