Apprenticeship Site - Kingsborough Community College (KCC) Urban Farm

General Information

Name of apprenticeship site:

KCC Urban Farm

Location of apprenticeship site:

Kingsborough Community College (Manhattan Beach)

Name and title of supervisor:

Mara Gittleman

Supervisor Contact Info (Email and Phone):, 908-787-2711 

Number of Apprenticeship Positions available at your site:


Title of apprenticeship position(s):

Farm Coordinator Apprentice

Is your site accessible via NYC public transportation (i.e. train or bus)? If yes, please provide public transportation directions to your site. If no, what is the best way to reach your site? Please provide directions: 

B (express) or Q to Brighton Beach, B1 to Kingsborough Community College. Walk through campus to the water, make a left. Farm is on your left.

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

Farm School NYC is an exciting development in the quickly growing world of agriculture in NYC. The people who choose to participate in the program are going to be our next local food leaders, and we could really use someone like that on our farm. The goal is for the farm to be a resource for all on campus who want to learn from it, and someone trained by Farm School NYC will be well-equipped to help us get there.

Apprentice Work Schedule

Farm School NYC requires that the apprenticeship be a minimum of 140 hours.

# of Hours per week: 10-Apr 

# of Hours total (140 hours minimum): 140 

Does your apprenticeship have a specific start and end date? If yes, please provide the start and end dates: 


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

No; although it will be mostly weekdays.

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.)



Apprenticeship Description

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

Crop Production, Teaching, Community Food Arts, Outreach

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 be involved with general operations on the farm, working with our partner Project EATS. Depending on how the apprenticeship falls with the academic calendar, they will also be leading tours, doing outreach & recruitment, helping with events, and teaching some workshops, including cooking demos. We have also expanded the farm to include another small piece of land that will be used as a community garden of sorts - small plots for use by individual classes. The apprentice will be involved with this area as well, providing support to professors. 

What will the apprentice learn through this apprenticeship? 

The apprentice will get hands-on farming experience, a chance to teach workshops, and the opportunity to shape a new gardening space for KCC to use in the years to come. They will also learn the inside mechanisms of farming at CUNY and what it means for an urban community college to be doing urban agriculture.



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”?

Our farm is on the only public community college campus in Brooklyn. Over the course of one year, over 40,000 students pass through the school, speaking over 100 languages. There is also a high school on campus, and a beach that the local community can access. Even though this is just the first year of the farm, professors in several departments, including Sociology, English, Biology, and Culinary Arts have tailored their classes to be about food and agriculture. Our goal is to make sure all students know about the importance of good food and local agriculture, and have access to our farm (and it's produce) as a resource. The support from a multitude of departments will ensure that students with a variety of interests and backgrounds know the relevancy of food, and know that careers in local food, urban agriculture, and farming are viable options.

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

I will share my knowledge about the administrative duties of farming, the role of data collection, and working with people. The job of farming in a city at a public college can be difficult - for example we have to go through a purchase order process that can take months in order to buy a shovel - but working through these challenges is my forte.

What is exciting about your apprenticeship site?

Because there are so many students on campus, our farm gets a decent amount of traffic from students, staff, and faculty of all ages and backgrounds. We're also on the beach! We have a compost system in place, and lots of opportunity to build and design aspects of the farm as we grow. We're also relatively big for Brooklyn - we have 27 4'x40' raised beds and a hoop house.


Apprenticeships must include farming and/or gardening; they must engage the student in work with low-income populations; 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?    


Please explain:

The farm is at Brooklyn's one and only community college.

Does your site work with low-income communities? If yes, please explain the nature of your work with low-income communities:

Thousands of students from all five boroughs come through Kingsborough Community College for their education, and over 70% of students at KCC receive some type of financial aid to meet semester tuition of $1,825.

The apprentice will gain experience in the cultivation of (please list all that apply):


Vegetables, Herbs

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

Organic but not certified

Does your site employ any non-organic farming practices (i.e. pesticides, fertilizers)?



Apprentice Requirements

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

Creativity, flexibility, and a mind for problem-solving are all good qualities for working at the KCC Urban Farm. The apprentice should also be willing to do both the physical work of farming and the sometimes tedious work of administration. The apprentice should be able to come to the farm for some of the early morning harvests, and should have some experience with crop production. Mostly, the apprentice should be a warm and outgoing person who can help us bring more students on to the farm. Experience with organizing is a plus.

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

The apprentice needs to be a good people person, and needs to be able to communicate with and relate to the students on our campus, as well as faculty and staff. 

Which Farm School NYC courses are prerequisites for your apprenticeship? Please list all that apply: 

Food Justice , Propagation, Growing Soil, Crop Planning, Training of Trainers

Farm School NYC students will find out about apprenticeship opportunities on November 20, 2012. They will then be required to submit applications materials to their preferred sites. If a Farm School NYC student is interested in your apprenticeship, what type of application materials do you want from them?

Cover letter, Interview

Please explain: 

An email explaining why they are interested and what they have to offer to the farm is all I need. Interested students can shoot me an email at or The interview can be on the phone or over coffee.