Summer Apprentice Program

Summer Apprentice Program


The Summer Apprentice Program is a rare opportunity for West County youth to join a dynamic and positive group of their peers for a life changing summer of intensive urban agriculture training, community engagement, mind-opening field trips and paid summer employment.

During the course of this intensive 6-week program youth are placed on small crews at 4 of our community and school gardens where they learn to work together to grow fresh, healthy organic food for our community while developing meaningful skills.


By the end of the program youth Apprentices are able to:

  • Identify invasive, native and edible plants species
  • Weed effectively using new knowledge of plant life cycles
  • Sheet mulch using new knowledge of photosynthesis
  • Understand the water cycles and how watersheds affect urban communities
  • Use math and geometry to plan and build small scale carpentry projects
  • Transplant seedlings, sow seeds in beds, rows and trays
  • Create to scale site maps for garden projects
  • Install and plan simple drip irrigation systems
  • Use protocol to properly take soil samples
  • Collect seed for seed saving projects
  • Properly prune bushes, shrubs and trees
  • Use hand and some power tools safely
  • Learn to cook at least 3 basic garden fresh meals
  • Run a farmer’s market stand and learn about small business management
  • Lead door to door outreach campaigns
  • Coordinate volunteers to accomplish larger goals


Apprentices also gain knowledge!

Through awesome field trips, trainings and hands on learning activities apprentices learn key concepts in Ecology, Botany, Agriculture, Nutrition, Holistic Health, Social Justice and Community Development. By the end of the summer, after using or encountering these basic concepts in real situations they will be able to share their knowledge with their communities.

2017 Program Sites

  1. North Richmond Farm, 323 Brookside Dr Richmond, CA 94801
  2. Richmond High School Garden, 1250 23rd St, Richmond, CA 94804
  3. AdamsCrest Farm, 5000 Patterson Circle, Richmond, CA 94805
  4. Greenway Gardens in UNITY PARK, Ohio & Chanslor Ave Richmond, CA 94801
  5. Verde Elementary, 2000 Giaramita St, Richmond, CA 94801

The program serves youth 14-24 years old. We focus on giving priority to Richmond and San Pablo youth but have hosted youth from elsewhere in Contra Costa County and Alameda County in the past on a case by case basis. All participants must be able to participate in the FULL program, including the camping trip, field trips, and mandatory orientation and full day conflict resolution training.

Program days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:00am – 3:00pm including some weekends.

6 week Program includes:

  • Daily farm and garden hands on learning tasks
  • Weekly intensive day long trainings with guest instructors on various topics
  • Weekly cooking classes
  • 1-2 Field trips to local farms, gardens, watershed areas and farmer’s markets
  • 1 Emotional literacy & conflict resolution training
  • 1 Community volunteer project
  • 1 Community engagement project
  • 1 Site improvement project
  • 4 Day camping trip

Apprentices must be able to provide their own transportation to their project sites which are all in Richmond.

*They also must be safe to work at the project sites in Central Richmond, East Richmond Heights, South Richmond and North Richmond.

The Summer Apprentice Program is a PAID Apprenticeship. Learning is apart of the experience, and full participation in all activities is expected. The program includes approximately 100 hours of hands on learning and community service for which apprentices earn a $1000 stipend.

PLEASE NOTE: Apprentice stipends are based on the completion of 100% of program projects, tasks and learning exercises. If the program is only partially completed, the amount of stipend will be reduced based on the percentage completed.