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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

Apprenticeship Program

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We are no longer accepting applications for our 2012 Apprenticeship program. If you are interested in the program, please consider joining us as a volunteer (much of what is taught to Apprentices can also be learned by an industrious volunteer). Also, if we find that we have a need for an additional Apprentice mid-season, we always “promote” one of our most active volunteers.
Our apprenticeship program is designed to give community members training and hands-on experience with several different aspects of urban food production.

Some people join the apprenticeship program in order to participate in a sustainable local food system and gain knowledge for their personal use. Others hope to start their own NSA (Neighborhood Supported Agriculture) programs. The Heirloom Gardens apprenticeship program includes training in the following areas:

  • Locating and contracting new garden spaces
  • Garden design and crop rotation planning
  • Garden creation
  • Volunteer training and supervision
  • Seed starting, repotting, and transplanting
  • Organic soil amendment methods
  • Harvesting
  • CSA distribution
  • Farmers’ Market setup and operation
  • Wintering over garden spaces
  • Low-infrastructure season-extension methods (new in 2012!)
  • Recipe writing and testing (new in 2012!)

Apprentices will be required to make the following time commitment:

  • February through April — 20 hours total
  • May through October — 20 hours per month

From late May to early October, Apprentices will need to commit to a regular schedule that includes a weekly harvesting session, plus a 3 hour weekend shift at least twice a month. Additional work hours will be scheduled as needed. Note: Apprentices will have a “bank” of 20 hours that they can utilize May-Oct in case of sickness, vacation, etc. For details on the scheduling requirements, please email

In addition to the time commitment, Apprentices should:

  • Feel comfortable supervising and directing others
  • Be well organized
  • Interact well with the public (i.e. customers)
  • Be able to comfortably lift 40 pounds
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Own a shovel, trowel, and bucket
  • Be ok with getting dirty!

Apprentices do not need to have special gardening knowledge or expertise.

In exchange for their work, Apprentices will receive a free vegetable share during the 20-week distribution season. At the conclusion of the season, interested Apprentices will receive all Heirloom Gardens applications and forms (including garden application, yard use contract, CSA member agreement, and volunteer release of liability) for their use in starting their own NSA program! Apprentices will also be able to attend Heirloom Gardens classes for free (on a space-available basis).

To apply for the 2012 program, or to ask questions, contact Sundari at

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