Volunteer & Apprentice with URBAVORE

"My experience at Urbavore was not only one of the hardest physical trials of my life, but also my single greatest learning experience compacted into a single growing season. The skills and knowledge I gained at Urbavore will stick with me for the rest of my life."

- Joey Kaskowitz, Full-time Apprentice, 2015

"Volunteering at Urbavore was fantastic. To use a food analogy (and because they grow badass onions), Dan and Brooke "peeled backed the onion" on organic farming and each onion layer was eye-opening."

- Justin Dorsey, Casual Volunteer, 2015


Get to Work!

Each growing season URBAVORE accepts hard-working volunteers & apprentices to grow the good food movement one beet at a time. Our convenient urban locale is attractive to city-dwellers wanting to connect with the earth and see how food is grown. We have several work options, from casual volunteering to intense apprenticeships with on-farm housing. For all the dirty details, see below.


Casual Volunteer

We accept volunteers for three hour shifts Monday thru Friday on a consistent weekly schedule. Volunteers must be physically energetic, have a positive attitude, and be ready to take-on any arduous task (like hoeing, weeding, mulching, etc.). This is a great opportunity for those looking to get a bit of exercise & fresh air while supporting a good cause. Turn off your cell phone, embrace the dirt, and make a difference in your community. The work is physically demanding and sometimes very tedious, but it is highly rewarding at the same time. Be ready to sweat and endure varied weather conditions (and love every minute of it!). We only accept reliable, consistent individuals who roll with the punches. If interested, please email brooke@urbavorefarm.com with a brief intro and weekly availability.


Volunteer Apprentice

Volunteer apprentices will dedicate 10 to 15 hours a week of hard work & enthusiasm in exchange for in-field training & a weekly share of the harvest. Apprentices will gain exposure to holistic vegetable & fruit production, pastured poultry, pastured pigs, and urban sustainability. The volunteer style apprenticeship is designed to give urban locals a “taste” of organic farming without the full-on commitment. This position is perfect for those with other jobs and hobbies who have enough flexibility in their schedule to make farming a part of their weekly activities. To apply, e-mail brooke@urbavorefarm.com with a resume & cover letter. The season runs mid March through November. We accept applicants anytime, but prefer to hire prior to spring planting.


Full-Time Apprentice

For the 2020 season, URBAVORE is seeking a full-season commitment from two awesome individuals looking to gain valuable knowledge in animal-powered vegetable & fruit production on a biologically diverse urban farm. This is a full-time position consisting of 45 hours per week in exchange for education, a weekly share of produce, and a monthly stipend of $700 to $1000. On-farm housing is available for ONE apprentice. Higher stipends are given to non live-ins to reflect housing costs. This intense, hands-on apprenticeship is ideal for highly motivated, hard-working individuals who hope to manage their own commercial farm one day. The day to day labor exposes the apprentices to the nitty gritty reality of ethical food production. Apprentices will work both independently and alongside the farmers to reap the earth's bounty and ride the many challenges along the way. Details below.


Full-Time Apprentice (continued)

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Educational Opportunities:
Farm Apprentices will receive experience and education in organic market gardening, "low-till" vegetable production, holistic orchard maintenance, berry production, integrated livestock management, rotational grazing, and direct marketing via farmers market. In addition to working the crop fields, the apprentices will be exposed to the daily chores pertaining to pastured poultry and a rotating herd of 20 heritage hogs. Our farm puts a particular emphasis on soil building & the development of sustainable ecosystems. The apprentices will experience the layering of cover crops, animals, and organic matter to produce ideal conditions for crop production. Food preservation & homesteading skills are accessible to those who have interest.

Skills Desired:
Farm skills and building skills are desired, but not required. What we do require is an unrelenting work ethic and a sense of humor! We are only interested in applicants who are passionate, physically energetic, reliable, and continually fascinated by each element that composes our farm's thriving ecosystem. This internship is best suited for individuals who aspire to farm commercially using aspects of our unique regenerative system.

Simple on-farm housing in a 16 foot camper trailer is available to ONE apprentice. Higher stipends are given to the apprentice living off-farm to reflect their living costs. The camper trailer is small & basic (ideal for someone who yearns to "unplug" and live more sustainably). The set-up includes a composting toilet, hot water shower, kitchen, heat, AC, and basic internet. Surrounding area can be "created" to the individual's wildest desires with fire pits, gardens, hang-out & picnic areas, etc. We like creativity and encourage your personal touch!

Live-in Apprentice receives a stipend of $700 to $800 per month (depending on experience) plus education and a weekly share of veggies/eggs. The apprentice living off-farm receives a higher stipend, between $900 & $1000 per month to reflect their living costs, plus education, and a weekly share of veggies/eggs.

Meals are not provided. Interns prepare their own meals. Interns receive a weekly share of the farm's bounty and have endless access to "seconds" produce during the high season.

Internship Starts: Mid March 2020
Internship Ends: Mid November 2020
App Deadline: Open until filled
Minimum Length of Stay: Full season commitment

Please send a resume and cover letter to brooke@urbavorefarm.com. Please be personable in your cover letter and tell me WHY you want to bust your butt at URBAVORE!

Apprentice Testimonials

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I worked part-time in 2012 - URBAVORE's second year of production. Brooke and Dan conveyed their needs for operating the farm clearly, and demonstrated how to do everything asked of their workers. They are truly walking the walk. The most unusual thing about their operation is that it so clearly reveals Mother Nature's ability to regenerate and heal after neglect, if we choose to work with her. They have chosen to take the long view. The multiple years of continuous efforts of soil revival are paying off. Their knowledge in 2012 was substantial, and today, it is broader and deeper still. If my life would allow for it, I'd be a volunteer apprentice again at Urbavore in this perennial phase: partly to learn farming, partly for first-rate exercise and fresh air, partly to assist with the land stewardship being accomplished, and additionally for the tactile and spiritual connection to community and creation that it all affords.

- Jackie Palmer, Volunteer Apprentice, 2012

I could go on forever about my experience working at Urbavore and what all it meant to me. In the end, it was an experience that I’ll take with me to the grave. Brooke and Dan work themselves to the bone - their soil health and, thereby, crops show it. Much like the intensity of the four seasons here in the Midwest, you get that same intensity at Urbavore - from the land, from Brooke and Dan, from their farming techniques, from their steadfast dedication to soil and crop health.

Some days felt like a storm ripped through me, leaving me flooded, lifeless and that I couldn’t do anything right. Other days felt like the warmth and hope of Spring, as we all worked together moving across the land, tending to what they’ve painstakingly created. Brooke and Dan can work circles around anyone, even as they juggle children, apprentices, volunteers and the endless task list; it’s crazy. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked, in some of the toughest conditions, but the feeling of accomplishment after each weeded bed, each newly mulched plot, each perennial planting (those asparagus trenches!), and every harvest made it all worth it. I cannot overstate how hard the work can be, nor how much I learned from the experience.

- Sarah Dehart, Part-time Apprentice, 2013

During my experience at Urbavore, the combination of science, ingenuity, understanding nature's natural rhythms, and good old fashioned hard work, that Dan and Brooke used everyday, was amazing to see and be a part of. The work is not easy. It is labor intensive and sometimes the weather does not cooperate. However, the anticipation of walking over the hill to see the spinach leaves getting bigger, the beets sticking out of the ground a little farther, and the purple asparagus getting a little taller, never got old. I recommend the experience to anyone wanting to become an organic farmer or just learn about organic farming.

- Justin Dorsey, Casual Volunteer, 2015

I enjoyed my time on the farm immensely. Brooke and Dan are a wealth of knowledge and their openness to talk about their struggles, successes, goals and journey is a breath of fresh air. If you decide to apprentice with farmers Brooke and Dan remember that this is their livelihood and your actions and work directly effect them, so take pride in your work and how you can leave your mark on the farm.

- Joey Kaskowitz, Full-time Apprentice, 2015