Summer Learning Opportunities

Summer Opportunities to Work and Learn about Organic Farming or Gardening

In summer 2014, there are several ways to participate and focus your learning experience at the Student Farm. The Market Garden will offer apprenticeships, internships, and volunteer positions in organic farming. The Ecological Garden will offer internships and volunteer positions in gardening practices.

The Market Garden is a 7-acre, certified organic vegetable farm that sells produce year-round to a 72 member CSA , the campus Dining Services, and the student-run Coffee House. Apprentices, interns, and volunteers will learn and participate in sowing, transplanting, field preparation, irrigation, fertilization, pest and weed control, and other horticultural practices associated with growing organic vegetable crops in California. Interested apprentices will be trained to operate tractors and commonly used implements. Interns and volunteers can also apply for tractor training.

The Ecological Garden is managed using the practices and scale appropriate for home, community, or school landscapes. The space includes vegetables and flowers, diverse fruiting trees and vines, medicinal and culinary herbs, native habitat plants, as well as composting systems and a small flock of chickens. Interns and volunteers will advance their skills and confidence by working with farm employees to garden the area using organic methods. This year the team will be maintaining okra and pepper seed saving plantings and participating in leading occasional tours and activities for summer groups and visitors.

Options for participation

In the Market Garden

1. Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships are the most intensive way of participating in the Market Garden in the summer. Apprentices work about 20 hours/week, for approximately 10 weeks, beginning June 23 and usually ending on September 1 or later. These apprenticeships are open to both UC Davis students and the general public. Housing is not provided, but is readily available nearby on campus or in Davis.

2. Less intensive options: Individuals can also participate for fewer weeks and/or fewer hours per week. These include participating during one of both of the 6-week UC Davis Summer Sessions (June 23 – August 1 and/or August 4 – September 12) or other periods that can be arranged in coordination with Market Garden staff.

Both apprentices and those participating less intensively can do so as volunteers (no academic credit) or as interns (for academic credit). In addition to completing field work, interns complete written work (and pay fees) to complete internship requirements. See below for more information about internships and academic credit.

In the Ecological Garden

Participants in the Ecological Garden can work as interns or volunteers.

1. Interns: Complete required field hours and written work towards internship credit between June 23 and August 15. See more below about earning academic credit for internships.

2. Volunteers: Commit to a schedule of 3-12 hours/week and a minimum of 20 total hours between June 7th and September 30.

Weekly Schedule of Activities for Summer 2014

The majority of participants’ time is spent doing field activities. All participants are also invited and encouraged to participate in the weekly lecture/discussion and weekly All-Farm potlucks.

Field work hours Market Garden ---

  • M, W, Th, and F 8 – 12, Tu 8 – 10:45
  •  Ecological Garden ---Tu 7-10:45, W and F 8-12



  •  Tuesdays 11 – 12. In addition to field-based instruction, Student Farm staff will lead weekly lecture/discussion sessions on topics related to organic farming, sustainable agriculture and their underlying principles. 


All-Farm Potlucks:

  •  Wednesdays 12 – 1. All Student Farm participants are invited to our weekly pot-lucks. Each week 4 – 5 Student Farmers volunteer to prepare food for the whole community to share

Internships and Academic Credit

Participants may earn academic internship credit for their participation in Student Farm activities. To receive internship credit, a participant must complete the required number of hours of field work (30 hours of work for each unit of credit), complete written work designed to enhance the intern’s learning (specifics determined in consultation with Student Farm staff and faculty) and pay University of California fees. Fees are based upon the number of units (credits) received and the fee structure for summer session courses. In most years the fee structure is announced around the end of January. You can monitor the Office of Summer Sessions web site for up-to-date information on fees. Enrollment in Summer Sessions is not limited to UC Davis students.

Applying to Participate


To apply for a summer internship or volunteer position: Go to the Student Farm Intern and Volunteer Interest Form and fill out the survey. If you have questions, contact Erica Van Steenis at ejvansteenis [at] ucdavis [dot] edu.

To apply for an apprenticeship in the Market Garden, fill out the Application: Student Farm Summer Apprentice Program and submit as follows:

via e-mail: Raoul Adamchak rwadamchak [at] ucdavis [dot] edu

via postal mail:
Raoul Adamchak
Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis
Robbins 143
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

via fax: (530) 754-7885 (also please call (530) 304-1898 or e-mail to above e-mail address to inform us that you have sent a fax)

We prefer to receive your application before March 1. Early applications will be given priority over those received later. If you have any questions, please contact Raoul Adamchak via the phone number or email address listed above.