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Little Rock Urban Farming

Little Rock, Arkansas
MESA Notes – Public
Website :
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
[email protected]

About the Placement:

Detailed Placement Description

The Apprenticeship is a hands-on experience focusing on practical training in organic gardening and small-scale farming. The intention of the Apprenticeship is to provide students with a mastery of the basic techniques and methods required to manage organic gardens and small-scale farms. The daily activities of gardening and farming, planning, production, care, and marketing form the basis for this learning.

Apprentices work alongside the founder and director of Little Rock Urban Farming, Chris Hiryak as well as other apprentices and interns in the greenhouses and gardens. Apprentices are exposed to the different aspects of growing plants organically. The apprentices selected to participate in the program each year are interested in practical training that will prepare them to teach others and/or to run their own operations.

Apprentices have gone on to apply the training they have received at LRUF in developing their own commercial farms, market gardens, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects, starting inner-city community gardens, working as environmental educators, participating in international rural development projects, managing organic landscaping businesses, and pursuing degrees in agricultural studies.

The goal of the Apprenticeship is to increase the number and diversity of individuals who have a command of the fundamental skills and concepts associated with organic horticulture and agriculture, such that they will be prepared to actively participate in commercial or social service projects that aim to improve human health and environmental quality through organic practices.

Stewards who accept an invitation to work with Little Rock Urban Farming will receive free housing including utilities, food, health care, training in urban organic production and marketing of vegetables and flowers and a $100 monthly stipend.

Primary Production :

Vegetables, Flowers

About the Internship

Training Hours:

40-50 hours per week

Training Expectations :

The Apprenticeship is full-time commitment (40-50 hours per week) and runs continuously from mid-February to mid-November. Most program activities take place Monday-Friday, but apprentices need to be available for occasional weekend greenhouse and watering duties (on a rotational basis).

This is a full-time program involving strenuous physical work six days a week. The program’s work schedule is generally from 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM on weekdays and 5:30 AM – 1:00 PM on Saturdays. The schedule is adjusted in the early spring and fall according to daylight and temperatures. Apprentices are expected to participate fully in the program by being available for those hours every day.

Because of the long hours spent working and studying, apprentices are strongly discouraged from holding part-time jobs or enrolling in school part time. Apprentices will get the maximum out of this experience by coming prepared – financially, physically, and emotionally.

On-Site Training, Steward’s primary activities :

Examples of daily activities include bed preparation, transplanting, seed sowing, watering, weeding, thinning, composting, harvesting, produce handling, storage, and marketing. Rotational positions of responsibility, such as cooking, cleaning, greenhouse managing, watering, and market coordinating tend to require different and/or longer hours.

Climate and Location Description

Little Rock Urban Farming is located in the heart of our capital city of Little Rock, Arkansas, just across the street from a wonderful neighborhood library, Fletcher Library. There is a small green space next door that is great for resting, reading, yoga or meditation. There is easy access to public transportation. The Bus Stop is within 50 meters of the front door of the house. Many amenities are within walking or biking distance. The weather is unpredictable with climate change but we generally have cool weather from December-March with warmer days in April. May can be quite warm and by June it is not uncommon to have highs in the 90s. That being said we have had mild summers the last two years. Fall here is spectacular. October-November is one of the nicest times to be outside in our part of the world.

Compensation :

$100 per month, Comfortable housing in a nice home adjacent to the farm. The home is located across the street from Fletcher Library. Within walking/biking distance of city parks, restaurants, cafes, shopping and entertainment., Free, daily food

Accommodations and amenities provided :

The accommodations are comfortable in a home next to the farm. It is a shared living space. There is one bathroom, a kitchen, living room, three bedrooms and a laundry room. The home can comfortably house up to three (3) stewards. All utilities are included. (water, electric and gas). Free WIFI is available at Fletcher Library across the street during their hours of operation. Each room is furnished with a bed, dresser, small bedside table and a lamp. Each room has a closet. We have a regular required cleaning schedule to maintain a clean healthy living environment for all of our stewards. Stewards are not allowed to host parties or gatherings without host approval. We encourage stewards to develop friendships and network in the community, but do not allow steward to have significant others stay over night at the accommodations provided. The housing is for rest, relaxing and cooking communal meals together. It is important for stewards to respect each others space and keep a positive attitude when compromising or negotiating the details of living together. Smoking is not permitted inside. No pets or animals are allowed inside the house.

Preferred start date :

Mar-Apr 1

Preferred length of internship :

9 months