EcoVillage Farm Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture:
Small organic and sustainable farming, community and school based gardening…

This apprenticeship program will provide participants with practical “minds and hands on” training in: small scale organic and sustainable farming, urban youth and community engagement, farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA), beekeeping and small farm animal husbandry.

Apprentices, while working with experienced farm staff, will learn about the “ecological interconnectivity” between plants, soil, climate, people and other animals and insects.

The Farm and Programs:
EcoVillage Farm Learning Center is located on 5.6 acres of land located in Richmond, California. (Visit website,, for more description)
EcoVillage Farm was founded in 2001 for the purpose of providing a “place” where urban residents (youth, young adults and all others) would have readily accessible, available for learning about: urban agriculture, environmental education and protection, permaculture, food security, and community empowerment.
Since its inception, EcoVillage Farm has engaged in a wide range of programs, some of which include:

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  • Farm Fresh Produce Market Stands.
  • Health Neighborhood Corner Store conversion
  • Cooking Classes (youth and adult)
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Summer Youth Employment
  • Service Learning for High School
  • School-based Gardening
  • Violence Prevention
  • Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL)
  • Small Farm Animal Husbandry
  • Delta Watershed Protection and Fish Advisory
  • Beekeeping education
  • Solar Installation
  • Greenhouse management

The apprenticeship program of instructions will consist of: participatory and some theoretical learning, which will provide participants with a mastery of basic organic and sustainable farming practical skills and concepts needed to operate a small urban farm and/or community and school based garden(s ).
Some of the specific components will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Growing Methods:
    Drip irrigation, greenhouse management, bed design and preparation, seed saving.
  • Soil building and care:
    Composting, cover cropping, lessons from Dr. George Washington Carver.
  • Integrate Pest Management
  • Marketing, and value added:
    CSA, Farmers Markets
  • Economic and Social justice issues in agriculture and food movement
  • Why are there so few African American and other people of color involved?
  • What is the Farm Bill really all about? Who benefits…?
  • How can we create a just and sustainable food system and movement
  • Field trip to other local farms
  • Guest Presenters:
    EcoVillage Farm will invite various guest speakers who are knowledgeable about relevant subject areas as means of helping to enrich the apprenticeship experience.

The weekly Schedule:

The EcoVillage Farm Apprenticeship program is based on 40 hours per week (Monday through Friday) or an alternate five days per week schedule during the three moth apprenticeship period.

This is a full-time program, which will include lots of out of doors, physical work in various weather conditions.
Although each day will be different some of the “typical activities” may include (depending on the season):

  • Soil building
  • Composting
  • Planting
  • Weeding
  • Watering
  • Greenhouse (transplanting, seeding)
  • Harvesting
  • Marketing – CSA, Farmers Marketing
  • Cleaning
  • Equipment care
  • Animal care
  • Group presentation
  • Community engagement


Living Accommodations:

A limited amount of space may be available to accommodate some apprentice(s) on a “first come first serve” basis; however, due to various organizational and limited space constrains, EcoVillage Farm will not be able to accommodate pets, spouses, partners and/or significant others.

Fees and Payments for 2013:

Tuition for any three month apprenticeship in 2013 is: $ 1,000.00 dollars. A limited amount of scholarship support maybe available on a first come first serve and demonstrated need basis.
Please complete and submit the apprenticeship application and scholarship application together.
EcoVillage Farm Learning Center is a project of Earth Island Institute, which is a California based, 501 (c) (3), non-for-profit organization. Your tuition maybe tax deductible, check with your accountant.

How to apply:
Contact Shyaam M. Shabaka, EcoVillage Farm Executive Director and Founder at:
Telephone: (510)  223-1693

EcoVillage Farm Learning Center is a project of Earth Island Institute