Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York

Feeding our community since 1999

Stanfordville, NY​​

Meet apprentices from current and past seasons! 

2013 Apprentices

2015 Apprentices

Rose Karabush
    Apprentice 2013 Season ​

Rose arrived at Sisters Hill from Montreal, where she spent four years studying anthropology and marveling at the incredible range of human possibilities. During her time in the Great White North, she worked with on-campus food system projects, grew balcony gardens, and ran off to woods or farms whenever possible. She has roamed far from her Chicago roots: traipsing the wilds of Chilean Patagonia, leading mule trains through the Rocky Mountains, and getting very lost somewhere in Beijing's warehouse district. Thanks to an epiphany--and the embarrassing number of YouTube permaculture documentaries that triggered it--Rose has finally landed in full-time farming, and couldn't be happier about it. Rose looks forward to her first season growing amazing vegetables, to learning with and from Dave and her fellow apprentices, and to participating in the wonderful community here at Sisters Hill Farm!

Dave,


As a previous Sisters Hill Farm apprentice, I am currently managing Serenbe Farms near Atlanta, GA.  I started at Sisters Hill right after I graduated from college and spent some of the spring, the summer, and a good portion of the fall learning the ways of the farm.  Having worked on a farm before, I understood the hard labor to come forth, but also had a passion for learning how to make things more efficient and how to better treat the land that I would farm.  I came to Sisters Hill with high hopes of learning all I could about farming.  Not knowing what exactly was in store, I was very optimistic upon arrival.  The farm there was beautiful and extremely neat.

At once, I felt welcomed into the community and began full time work.  Of course, I got what I expected in terms of hard work, but gained a much more extensive knowledge of farm systems and how to properly start and run a successful CSA than I had ever expected from one season.  Sisters Hill Farmis a wonderful model of a small area that is managed properly to provide tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables a year to grateful recipients.  After my first year there, Dave had taught me most farm operations, including farm planning, tractor work, and maintaining the health of the land.  I decided to return for a second year to solidify my previous training.  This time I was in charge of harvests and planning the CSA shares.  The combination of managerial responsibilities, soaking up more knowledge from Dave, reading, and studying definitely boosted my abilities to effectively manage a farm.  Thanks to this apprenticeship, I am now successfully running a small CSA farm.  

Sisters Hill Farm is different than many farms I've worked on or have visited around the country.  Dave has set up so many systems that make things much easier than anticipated and he teaches you lots of effective "shortcuts" that make things simpler and take care of the land.  In addition to the learning experience, the surrounding area is great, the people there are genuine, and the natural beauty is plentiful. 


Paige Witherington
Apprentice ’04-05, now Head Farmer, Serenbe Farms
www.serenbefarms.com

Dev Gingrich
    Assistant Farm Manager 2016 Season 

After an exciting season of learning and growing at Sisters Hill, Dev is excited to be back again this year! Having spent the winter working on crop planning, grafting tomatoes, and baking bread, Dev is eager to get back outside! Dev first fell in love with farming while WWOOFing in the Adirondack Mountains. After a summer spent singing, sweating, and eating too many strawberries in the fields, she went back to finish her degree at Binghamton University in Environmental Studies. Upon graduating she returned to the Adirondacks to further pursue her love of farming as the Harvest Manager at Juniper Hill Farm. With plans to establish her own organic vegetable farm, she hopes to spend this season building on her past experiences by learning to grow tasty vegetables, nurture healthy soils, manage a thriving business, and cook up new recipes to share with others! 

Audrey Berman 
    Assistant Farm Manager 2014 Season ​

Audrey is thrilled to be back at Sisters Hill Farm for another season (with some added responsibility to boot)! After a quiet and reflective winter on the farm working on the crop plan, sign painting, planning her own farm future and ice skating on Upton Lake, she's eager to get back into the life of the growing season and see the soil, infrastructure and systems with a discerning and slightly more seasoned eye. As a first generation Russian-American, Audrey has been enamored with good food and eating since she was taught to finish everything on her plate. After graduating from the Architecture School at the Cooper Union in NYC, she spent a few life-altering months WWOOFing on farms in Italy and New York State where her love of farming officially began. Before moving to the farm, she worked for a year in Brooklyn developing human powered machines for urban agriculture, in addition to building a small community garden on a patch of concrete. Audrey has worked with Greenhorns as a beginning farmer advocate and is a proponent of eating locally and sustainably grown food, putting her money where her mouth is and cooking nutritious meals every chance she gets. Currently she is partnering with the National Young Farmers Coalition to organize events in the Hudson Valley and is embarking on a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness for local farms. The goal is to create a regional identity and provide basic information about sustainable agriculture to embolden folks to access and understand the necessity of supporting their local food system.

Alison Smith
    Apprentice 2014 Season ​

Alison grew up in a small, western New York town and arrived at Sisters Hill Farm by way of a winding path.  Since graduating college she has accumulated an eclectic work history spanning from waiting tables at an island resort in the Florida Keys to teaching English on the northwest coast of Spain.  Her rambling spirit has also driven her to hike a piece of the Camino de Santiago and to pedal her bicycle from Buffalo to Key West.   She stumbled onto her love of farming while volunteering on a small-scale sustainable farm in her hometown.  While she was there, she also worked helping low-income members of her community obtain supplemental nutrition assistance through local food pantries and the community soup kitchen.  These experiences made Alison realize how valuable it is to give everyone access to honest, healthy food.  She sees that we are a nation that is perplexingly overfed and undernourished and looks forward to being part of an incredible farm that breaks down the barriers preventing people from accessing nutritious (& delicious!) food.  

D. Rooney
    Apprentice 2015 Season​

Before arriving at Sisters Hill Farm, D. has enjoyed a variety of interests inspired by food, fun and physical activity. D. has worked in restaurants, the music industry and in carpentry. Wanting to take her understanding of food to a deeper level, D. immersed herself in the urban agriculture and social justice community in NYC. She worked with Brooklyn nonprofit, EcoStation:NY, focusing on their Bushwick Campus Farm and their rooftop farm project, Farm in the Sky. During that time, D. obtained a certificate in Social Justice and Urban Agriculture from Farm School NYC. In 2014, D. worked with Farming Concrete and Design Trust for Public Space, assisting urban food growers with recording data about the important work that they do. D. is so excited to be working this season at Sisters Hill with Dave and the other apprentices. She hopes to take all of the awesome knowledge she learns this year to her farm in Chester, NY, Rise & Root Farm.

Katherine Chiu 

    Apprentice 2015 Season​

When Katherine was a kid, her family would harvest from their small patch of garlic chives every summer to make dumplings and stir-fries and share giant beefsteak tomatoes with the neighbors. This is still at heart her motivation for farming today: to grow healthy comfort food with and for her community. She grew up in Ohio but realized her love for agriculture in New York City, where she worked in nonprofit marketing and communications for several years before the lure of public green spaces led her into helping to develop urban farms and community gardens with the New YOrk Botanical Garden's Bronx Green-Up, managing educational apiaries across the city with NYC Beekeeping, and studying at Farm School NYC, where she is currently completing a certificate in urban agriculture and food justice. She also loves to cook, and through the experience of organizing bilingual community meals in Brooklyn in partnership with a CSA farm, Katherine saw how diverse communities can be brought together by sharing cultural traditions in the kitchen and at the dinner table. She is incredibly honored to be part of the Sisters Hill team this season and excited to learn with Dave, the other apprentices and our CSA members about farming sustainably for the land and for ourselves. 

2016 Apprentices

2018_Apprentice_Brochure.pdfapprenticeships at sisters hill farm


We consider it a vital part of our mission to be training the next generation of farmers.  Sustainable farming as we practice it is a very rewarding and challenging career path.  There is so much to teach and a great deal to learn.   If you are considering a career as a CSA farmer and would like to do it in a way that is life enhancing and spectacularly productive, then this is the place for you.  

Who Are We Looking For?
These days we are looking for applicants who know they want to farm as a career.  We're passionate about our role as a mentor to the next generation of successful farmers!  A wealth of farm experience is not a necessity, however a love of physical labor is essential, as is a love of being out of doors in all kinds of weather. You should be the type of person who is always looking for a better way to get a job done. You must be kind, respectful, and empathetic of others. You must have a “beginner’s mind,” in other words you should be open to learning no matter how much you think you know about a subject. Finally, you should love to laugh and have fun!

How Do I Apply?
We have 2 open positions for the 2018 season. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible! If you apply soon you may be able to visit before this season comes to a close!  Read the Apprentice Brochure below to learn more about our program and see if it's the right fit for you!


2018 Apprentice Brochure

2014 Apprentices

Breezy Mehringer

   Apprentice 2016 Season​
Growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey, Breezy had never really considered farming as a life path. It was only after traveling across the world and back that she finally found her place in her home soil. After graduating with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, she spent a year in Bangladesh with an International Non-Governmental Organization, working with a project that provides alternative employment for women. Upon returning to the States, she felt a strong desire to spend her days outside, sink her hands in the dirt, fill her lungs with fresh air and her belly with fresh food. She WWOOFed on several farms, and eventually landed on a biodynamic farm in the Hudson Valley. What began with a simple desire to spend time in nature soon developed into one of the most exciting journeys of her life. Breezy is particularly interested in food justice, and how small farms can provide unique spaces for connecting with this incredible earth, fostering community, encouraging creativity, and promoting peace and justice. She is very happy to be joining the Sisters Hill Farm crew this season!

Dave,
I’ve learned so much from you—you are truly a mentor in the highest sense of the word. Thanks for everything—for trusting me with equipment, giving me responsibility, working along side me digging potatoes, challenging my creative problem solving skills, understanding when I goof, saying “thank you” everyday, greeting us with smiles every morning, showing us how things really work, taking time to explain, and being a superb farmer all around. I will take these lessons with me into my new farm career and continue learning and continue sharing with others.  Sisters Hill is a special place.  I feel blessed to have been a part of it. Thank you for a great season!


Erin Bullock, Apprentice ’08, started own farm, Mud Creek Farm, Rochester, NY www.mudcreekfarm.com


Dear Dave,
The past week at the farm in PA was amazing.  Things are really starting to come together.  It is all very exciting and I just wanted to thank you for your part in helping make my aspirations come true.  I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I am confident the knowledge and encouragement you have given me will serve me well.  I look forward to returning north and visiting you and your family in your amazing new home, but I am sure I will be in touch with a question or two before then.  I wish you all the best and thank you again for being a great boss, teacher, and friend.

Best regards, Andrew Buckwalter 

Apprentice ’07 now running Buckhill Farm, Lititz, PA 
www.buckhillfarm.net

Hannah Blackmer 
    Apprentice 2014 Season ​

As a child growing up in rural Vermont, Hannah learned early on the importance of wholesome food and respect for the environment. This respect blossomed into a passion for sustainable food and communities, which she studied at Mount Holyoke College. During her time as a MoHo she rowed on the Connecticut River and jammed with the M&Cs a cappella group, interned with the Northeast Organic Farming Association and spent a summer as a farm apprentice in Williamstown, MA. After graduating Hannah co-developed the Search For Convenient Resilience, an adventure around the country documenting small-scale sustainable living: from up-cycling to urban permaculture, the search looked to uncover human positivity in the face of environmental emergencies. Post-travels she worked to assist Massachusetts businesses with waste diversion and energy efficiency, but it wasn’t long before she decided to give up her desk for a field of sustainably grown vegetables. Hannah is beyond excited to join the mission and community of Sisters Hill Farm for the 2014 season!

Apprentice Thank You's
Below are a couple of thank you notes from former apprentices (used with permission) and a short description an apprentice wrote about her time here. You might find them informative......

Julia Holup
    Apprentice 2013 Season ​

Julia grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania and has always felt the pull of the outdoors -- through time spent on the Schuylkill River as a collegiate rower at the University of Pennsylvania, and more recently as an avid trail runner and marathoner. Her interest in small-scale organic farming took root in college, and blossomed through volunteer efforts at urban gardens in Washington, D.C., where she lived and worked for three years after college as a junior analyst at a strategic polling firm.  Time spent working with low-income residents in Washington convinced Julia of the importance of shortening the link between farmer and consumer: the belief that when we eat well, we thrive, and when we understand how our food is grown, we more deeply appreciate our environment and its sustainability. Julia is thrilled to be part of Sisters Hill Farm, to learn the craft of small-scale farming, and to share our bounty with our community.

Sam Allison

   Apprentice 2016 Season 

Sam first discovered farming at Juniper Hill Farm in Wadhams, NY and fell in love with the fulfillment of seeing the literal fruits of labor. At the end of the season, he decided to make it his life’s goal to own and operate his own organic farm. To avoid winter in the Adirondacks, he travelled south to work on Walker Farms in Sylvania, GA for three months. In his second season at Juniper Hill, Sam worked as a Field Manager and started to pursue other education in sustainable agriculture to bolster his experiences in the field. Last year, he worked at Riverbank Farm in Roxbury, CT where he was able to diversify his farming experience by spending a season on a smaller, family-oriented farm similar to one he dreams of starting in the future. Sam 
is very excited to join the Sisters Hill team this year. Under Dave’s tutelage, he will see the challenges and blessings of operating a successful CSA farm and get one step closer to having the experience and knowledge required to start his own.

Sisters Hill Farm