Apprenticeship Site - NYBG Ruth Rea Family Garden and Edible Academy


General Information

Name of apprenticeship site:

           Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden & Edible Academy

Location of apprenticeship site:

New York Botanical Garden: 2900 Southern Blvd. Bronx, NY

Name and title of supervisor:

Toby Adams, Director, Edible Academy

Supervisor Contact Info (Email and Phone):

email:; phone:

Number of Apprenticeship Positions available at your site:


Title of apprenticeship position(s):

Family Garden - Garden Based Education Intern

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:  

METRO NORTH: The NYBG is a 20-minute ride from Grand Central on the Metro North. Take the Harlem Local line to the Botanical Garden station. It is a 20-minute ride from Grand Central Station. Walk across Southern Boulevard to the NYBG Moshulu Gate entrance. For train schedules, visit the MTA website.

SUBWAY: Take the B, D or 4 train to Bedford Park Blvd station. From the station exit you can take the Bx26 bus to the NYBG Moshulu Gate entrance. Alternatively, you can walk eight blocks downhill on Bedford Park Blvd. It's about a 15-20 minutw walk. Turn left onto Southern Blvd and walk one block to the Moshulu Gate entrance. 

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

Farm School NYC’s mission to provide professional training to promote food justice and agriculture-based education fits well with the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden’ hands-on garden-based education goals.  For over fifty years, the New York Botanical Garden’s Children’s Gardening Program has offered garden-based education for children and adults.  The two acre Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden site, composed of organic vegetables, a meadow, an aquatic feature, and historic Native American garden, is home to a dedicated staff of experienced gardeners and garden-based educators.  A free entrance site within garden grounds, the Howell Family Garden offers a full spectrum of seasonally appropriate garden-based programming for children and families.  This combination will provide a Farm School NYC apprentice with a comprehensive learning experience throughout the growing season.

Apprentice Work Schedule

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

# of Hours per week: 5 - 20  

# of Hours total (140 hours minimum): 150 or more

Does your apprenticeship have a specific start and end date? 


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

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8am -5pm

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.) 



Financial Details

Will you offer the apprentice payment or a stipend? If yes, please describe:



Apprenticeship Description

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

Crop Production,  Teaching

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.:

  • T-F from 10am-noon, working alongside Family Garden staff during school visit workshops.
  • T-Sunday from noon-close (5.30pm), working alongside Family Garden staff during afternoon public programming.
  • 8am-noon and additional afternoon hours as desired: working alongside Family Garden staff strictly in horticulture, maintaining vegetable garden, pond feature, display gardens, ornamental garden elements.
  • Hours as desired: Working alongside Family Garden staff with culinary workshops offered during afternoon hours, 1:30-5pm

  What will the apprentice learn through this apprenticeship? 

Staff and volunteers at the New York Botanical Garden will offer mentorship in:

Appropriate horticulture for vegetables, herbs and fruits on the two acre Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden site

Appropriate horticulture for ornamentals and native plants on the two acre Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden site

Best practices for organization of volunteers and staff for garden-based education programming

Composting, both bin-system and vermicomposting

Vegetable harvest techniques

How to conduct a cooking demonstration using garden-fresh produce



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”?

For over fifty years in the heart of the Bronx, the Children’s Garden Program has offered low-cost programming for children in cooking, gardening and sustainability.  The only free children’s education site on New York Botanical Garden grounds, the Family Garden staff opens the garden gates every afternoon to teach those same lessons to the general public.

The volunteers and staff at the Family Garden is a community of people committed to the positive space the garden creates.  Many of the volunteers are longtime Bronx residents a generation removed from countries all over the world.  It is a truly intergenerational site, with grandchildren helping their grandparents in the Global Gardens plots, and toddlers and parents learning together in the Garden Spouts of the Children’s Gardening Program.

 At the core of the Family Garden is the dedication of its staff and visitors to the powerful impact gardening has on the way people live well, act positively towards each another, and grow.  The Family Garden staff strives to empower visitors with the connection, respect, and stewardship for the garden and larger world around it.

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

We will share teaching methods to engage all audiences and learning styles, methods and strategies for engaging and managing groups of children in garden setting, design considerations for children’s garden(ing)settings, horticulture knowledge and experience, and basic carpentry skills as it relates raised bed construction, exhibit design.

What is exciting about your apprenticeship site? 

The Family Garden is a busy two acre site with programming six days a week facilitated by two dozen staff and nearly 100 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.  The Garden is dynamic, with engaging programming overlayered with a steady flow of garden workshops, visitors, and new projects. It is physically beautiful, well-organized and easily engaged by children and adults alike.  The opportunity to work within the context of the 250 acres of the New York Botanical Garden is a non-soon-forgotten experience, where three hundred year old trees grow in the heart of the Bronx. 

Is the work of your site rooted in or connected to New York City? 


Does your site work with low-income communities?


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


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

Organic but not certified. We use no chemical pesticides. We plant only organic and untreated seeds and amend only with organic fertilizers.

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? 

enthusiasm, willingness to learn, children’s education background a plus

basic knowledege of organic farming/gardening and training of trainers

self-motivated and commitment to working with the communities we serve

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

same as above

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

 Training of Trainers, Food Justice, Botany, Propagation, Growing Soil

 If a Farm School NYC student is interested in your apprenticeship, what type of application materials do you want from them? 

 Cover letter, Resume, Interview