Apprenticeship Site - Smiling Hogshead Ranch


General Information

Name of apprenticeship site:

           Smiling Hoghead Ranch

Location of apprenticeship site:

46 Davis Court, Long Island City, Queens, NYC 

Name and title of supervisor:

Gil Lopez

Supervisor Contact Info (Email and Phone):

(Phone):(407) 432-8156 (Email):

Number of Apprenticeship Positions available at your site:


Title of apprenticeship position(s):

Urban Farm Production Trainee

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:  

7 train to Hunters Point or G train to Van Alst/21

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

To continue to grow our farms size and agricultural output while raising awareness of our project in the local community as well as the citywide and larger urban agriculture communities.

Apprentice Work Schedule

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

# of Hours per week: 4 - 6 

# of Hours total (140 hours minimum): 200

Does your apprenticeship have a specific start and end date? 

No. Seasonal March 2014 through August 2014 but could start earlier or go later

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


There will likely be a composting shift on a weekday afternoon once a month. 

There will also be biweekly, weekend workdays. These would be organized and prepared for during the week.

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, Advocacy, Enterprise, OtherL mycelium/mushroom and bioremediation of soils 

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 apprenticeship is meant for an advanced student who wants to specialize in a particular area of interest or get exposure to several topics in urban agriculture. These areas can include; bioremediation, local food advocacy, crop production, season extension, community composting, community organizing, permaculture, biodynamics, remineralization, education (school children, adults and marginalized populations), farm management and enterprise building, community partnerships, etc.

What will the apprentice learn through this apprenticeship? 

There are many routes to traverse and the lessons learned will depend on the path taken. We expect lessons in common for any apprentice will be community outreach/organizing, group instruction and teaching, crop production and composting.


Supervisor & Site Details

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

The supervisor (Gil Lopez) is a landscape architect, permaculture instructor and Eco-educator. He has many lessons ranging from site design to beneficial plant communities, ecological construction techniques and insights on starting and running large scale guerrilla garden. He also has experience in vegetated greenroofs, edible landscaping and worker cooperatives.

What is exciting about your apprenticeship site? 

We are a relatively young group, only starting to advertise our subversive existence in Spring of 2013. Our first apprentice will help solidify our place in the NYC urban ag. scene. We are interested in pushing the idea of urban ag. past fruits, veggies and community garden plots. We are farmer philosophers rooted in practical solutions to urban ills.

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


Please explain:  

Located two stops away from Grand Central on the 7 train, Smiling Hogshead Ranch is a guerrilla farm in the geographical heart of NYC (LIC, Queens). We partner with groups like TreesNY, Green Guerrillas, 596 Acres, NYC Permaculture group Green Phoenix, LaGuardia Community College, The Fortune Society and the Queens Library. Engaging the groups in the city that are relevant to us and the broader NYC.

Does your site work with low-income communities?


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

We have open volunteer days where anyone can participate for free.
We are also partnering with the Fortune Society to offer a green jobs training program to their clients, whom are formerly incarcerated individuals.

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

Vegetables, Fruit, Herbs, Mushrooms (This site is a farm.)

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

Organic but not certified, Biodynamic, Use IPM 

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


We responsibly employed the use of herbicides to eradicate some poison ivy that was a public liability on site. This was primarily done in 2012 on low wind days and applied directly to the plant needed (spot application) at the specified dilution rates. This is not a regular practice.


Apprentice Requirements

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

Strong Written communication skills
Interest in bioremediation and mycelium cultivation
Small farm structure construction experience.

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

Strong verbal communication skills
Ability to lead volunteers and teach basic garden lessons
Outreach for new volunteers and garden members
Event coordination for volunteer days.
Strong understanding of composting process

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

Food Justice, Training of Trainers, Botany, Growing Soil, Pest/Disease ID and Management, Season Extension, Preparing for Winter, Transformational Leadership

 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

We at Smiling Hogshead Ranch need an apprentice who knows the basics and is ready to dig in deeper. We want to know what you did professionally or academically prior to Farm School NYC. We also want to meet you and make sure you are a good for with our group and get a chance to talk about Smiling Hogshead Ranch, your goals and how they can compliment each other.
Because of the informal agreement we have with our property owner, we cannot guarantee this apprenticeship but we are working towards a garden license/land use agreement and are fairly confident this will pan out.