Compost and Farm Apprenticeship Program with Earth Matter
This training offers GreenThumb gardeners the opportunity to work with Earth Matter and learn hands-on practical skills to grow plants on a small scale urban farm, with a focus on composting. You will learn how to make “Gold Standard” compost in a variety of urban environment (e.g. community gardens, urban agriculture enterprises, multi-unit apartment buildings). You will be exposed to a variety of composting procedures, devices and systems with the goal of utilizing best practices for the improvement of soil and plant health.

Applications are open until February 9th at 11:59 pm! Space is limited. Finalists may be called for an interview with Earth Matter.
Applicants will be notified of their acceptance within two weeks of the deadline. As with other GreenThumb trainings, this training is free of charge.

Time Commitment and Dates: 10 weeks
March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 11, 18, 25 (with the exception of April 4th) from 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
May 2, 9 and 16 from 9 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Soil Start Farm, located on Governors Island.

This training is for GreenThumb farmers and gardeners (ages 18+) who are interested in growing their skills to the next level, acquiring green job skills, and spreading knowledge of composting best practices in New York City and beyond. This training is reserved for members of GreenThumb community gardens. We encourage gardeners to apply with another member from their garden.

The apprenticeship takes place on Saturdays. You must complete 80% of the time commitment to graduate and earn your certificate. With prior scheduling, up to 3 Saturdays can be substituted for Friday work days 8:30 -3 pm (instead of up to 3 Saturday apprenticeship days).
Soil Start Farm is located on Governors Island and is only accessible by ferry. It is a 20-minute walk from the ferry to the farm. Until the Governor's Island season opens in May, the ferry only runs from downtown Manhattan.
You should expect a 7:30 am start time for the first 7 weeks (March 7 - April 25). The start time for the remaining 3 weeks will be 9 am (May 2 - May 16). Missing the ferry weakens our program and the community that you are part of. If you miss 20% of the time and not able to schedule make up for your missed time by May 18th including being late, you may not be able to continue; may be asked to leave the program.

Earth Matter Mission Statement:
Earth Matter NY seeks to reduce the organic waste misdirected into the garbage stream by encouraging neighbor participation and leadership in composting. We see that there is one soil, one air, and one water, all commonly held and stewarded by one people, the nurturance of which is critical to a verdant world. Organic waste should not be part of modern landfills because the waste of any process is food for other processes.

Program Benefits:
Earth Matter/GreenThumb Compost Certificate (80 hours)
Gain farming, composting, public engagement, and green job skills
Create connections within the NYC urban agriculture, greening and composting community
Advance your knowledge about environmental issues and concerns
Educational opportunities to develop leadership skills in teaching a variety of farm and composting-related topics
Email address *
Name of your Community Garden *
This training is reserved for members of GreenThumb community gardens. If you are not a member of a garden, you can get involved with composting with Earth Matter at
Your answer
Name *
Your answer
Address (Street, City, State, Zip Code) *
Your answer
Phone number *
Your answer
Please let us know the dates and times that you know you will NOT be available for this apprenticeship (either coming late or not at all). *
We will be covering all these topics in varying degrees. Please select your top 5 topics.
This will help us craft the curriculum to meet the needs and priorities of the group.
Select your top 5
1. Making Compost
2. Crop production/harvest
3. Data tracking /experiments
4. Education/ workshops
5. Marketing crops/ products
6. Animal care and husbandry
7. Irrigation/season extension /carpentry
8. Making added value products
9. Infra structure communications – graphics
10. Social media/photos
11. Signmaking/artwork
12. Non-profit,grant writing
Tell us about yourself. Include any relevant experiences to this apprenticeship program (i.e. community gardener, NYC Compost Project Master Composter Course, technical and educational experience): *
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Why are you interested in an apprenticeship with Earth Matter? *
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What are the primary skills, knowledge or experience you would like to gain through this apprenticeship? *
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How will you apply these skills in your community garden and beyond? *
Your answer
What are the strengths that you will bring into this apprenticeship? (Examples: carpentry experience, great with children, experience with pets, great teacher, grew up on-farm, interest in cooking, nutrition, etc.) *
Your answer
What skills/areas do you need extra assistance with strengthening or would like us to know about you and impact on your performance/commitment to this program? (Examples: I have never composted before, fear of insects, no tool experience, etc.) *
Your answer
List any reasonable accommodations we need to make for physical or other conditions.
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Please share anything else you would like to share about yourself: *
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Where would you like to be in 1 yr.? 2 yrs.? 5 yrs.?
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What are your expectations from Earth Matter? *
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What is your ethnicity/cultural heritage? *
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What is your age? *
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What are your gender pronouns? *
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Let us know if you are applying WITH someone else from your GreenThumb garden. *
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A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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