Apprenticeship Site - Edenworks

 Name of apprenticeship site: 

Edenworks

Location of apprenticeship site: 

234 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Name and title of supervisor: 

Matt La Rose, Co-Founder and Head of Fabrication and Farming
matt@edenworks.org

Title of apprenticeship position: 

Farmer

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

We want to work with excited and curious people who love to learn, something that we expect from students motivated enough to join Farm School NYC. We also have a grand mission to provide NYC with healthy sustainable food, and believe that your program provides the guiding prerequisites to prepare an apprentice to work on our site.

APPRENTICE WORK SCHEDULE

# of Hours per week: 

At least 12 hours per week, may be broken up into 4 hour blocks, flexible around student's schedule

# of Hours total: 

Edenworks will make a significant investment of time educating and training the student about closed loop agriculture and aquaponics. During the first few weeks of the internship, the student will shadow and assist our expert aquaponics farmers, before coming more autonomous and taking on a larger role with farm management. Accordingly, a 6 month commitment at 12 hours per week is preferred.

Is there a specific term for the apprenticeship? 

No

Specific days and times of apprenticeship, if relevant: 

We aim to work Monday to Friday from 10am to 7pm and sometimes have events on Saturdays which the apprentice could choose to take part in or not.  Weekend hours are also possible. 

FINANCIAL DETAILS

Will you offer the apprentice payment or a stipend? 

No

If yes, please describe: 

 

APPRENTICESHIP DESCRIPTION

Categories that apply to this apprenticeship: 

Crop production, animal husbandry, teaching, advocacy, enterprise

Aquaponics: we teach all volunteers and apprentices about aquaponics and our innovative technology so that they hone the skill and confidence to work in our unique Farmlab. this will require some light reading in the beginning, like going through our website and looking our company deck, and we have a small library in the office with reference texts.

Data science: environmental (pH, CO2, nitrate, temperature, humidity, etc.), crop and plant health, and quality control data are collected via sensors, push to our webapp, and processed by machine learning algorithms, and farm control parameters are automatically adjusted to yield better product. The apprentice will be trained to use our data acquistion and analytics platform.

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. 

The apprentice will help with the day to day operations of the Farmlab. This includes monitoring the fish and produce, checking the sensors and webapp, documenting changes through text and photos, composting, and helping with harvesting fish and produce. We also provide tours and learning experiences for the community which the apprentice can help with if s/he would like. We will be building an apiary in March that the apprentice can help with if s/he chooses.

What will the apprentice learn through this apprenticeship? 

The apprentice will learn about aquaponics and closed loop design -- truly sustainable practices. Our current space, the Farmlab, will afford the apprentice opportunity to learn about farming through the lense of a scientist, collecting data and using it to improve our system using strictly organic, biodynamic, and ecologically-driven practices. The apprentice will also learn about building-integrated agriculture--using agriculture to reduce the energy, waste, and water footprints of the host building--optimal plant and fish nutrition and feeding, composting, community outreach, and social and environmental entrepreneurship. In terms of entrepreneurship, Edenworks is presently going through diligence to receive investor funding, constantly applying for grants, give tours to potential investors, and operate on a very lean budget. We also operate a workshop where we prototype and fabricate every element of the Edenworks proprietary system. The apprentice would learn carpentry, steel and aluminum fabrication, irrigation/plumbing, and automation/electronics. Wherever possible, we salvage, reuse, and repurpose materials.

Also important to note, the apprentice will learn how to work within a team of subject matter experts and will be expected to contribute ideas and provide feedback. We want you to dream, take the risk and tell everyone about your crazty idea, and work together to make it a reality.
 

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”? 

Edenworks is built on the foundation of providing local sustainable produce and protein in urban cities. We have a dedicated Head of Nutrition and Community who engages with our local community and creates educational opportunities to learn about nutition, healthy living, and local and sustainable food. We also work with Pathways to Graduation (District 79), providing workforce development training for eligible students.

What is exciting about your apprenticeship site? 

Everything. We are taking the most efficient aspects of nature and applying it to our agroecological system. We are constantly innovating, prototyping, and improving. We are addressing the issues that NYC has been grappling with for decades: food waste, delivery, poor flavor and nutrition profile, and providing sustainable protein. We are not just growing produce but also fish and other seafood, which provides a complete diet.

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

Understanding that this apprenticeship program is about learning and cultivating skills, we take the supervisory role very seriously. The apprentice will have one main supervisor (head of farming) but will interact with our CEO, CDO, CFOO, engineers, architect, designers, grant writer, Dietitian, and community manager, to be exposed to the full scope of Edenworks. the supervisor will educate about aquaponics in general and Edenworks unique innovations, sustianable building principles, data science, composting, beekeeping (if interested), intellectual property (IP), and prototyping.

On your farm, do you use sustainable growing practices (i.e. no or limited chemical pesticides or fertilizers)? 

 Organic but not certified, Biodynamic, Use IPM (integrated pest management), No-till farming

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

 This site is a farm, the site is a rooftop

Certified by: 

 

APPRENTICE REQUIREMENTS

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

Carpentry and fabrication skills, experience with aquaculture

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

Ability to identify produce ripeness, nutrient deficiency, disease, pests, and recommended integrated pest management techniques. Farm planning and composting. Also, proper hygiene, punctuality, and reliability.

Which of the following courses are necessary prerequisites for your apprenticeship? 

Botany, Carpentry, Propagation, Growing Soil, Irrigation, Pest/Disease ID and Management, Crop Planning

If a Farm School NYC student is interested in your apprenticeship, what information do you want from them and when? 

Cover letter, Resume, Interview, 2 hours to volunteer and check out the Farmlab

Please explain: 

We want to make sure this site is the right fit for the potential apprentice and for us. Although the interview will convey a bit about right fit, a few hours in our Farmlab will allow us and the potential apprentice to really see whether or not this is a good match.