Earth Matter’s compost apprentices have a cohesiveness that evolves based on the dynamics of the group. Who they are sculpts the two day a week (140 hours in four months) regimen. Our work with the current “fall harvest” cyclers has been a joyful journey.
Clay, Andrea, Darym and Angela are A +++++ in their (A) ptitude, (A) ttitude, (A) ttendance (A)cceptance that we are all searching for (A) nswers as we seek knowledge about compost and how to best serve Mother Earth.
Aptitude – – Clay; hailing from the editorial field, Andrea; dancer and dance company manager, Darym; a micro biologist, Angela; prize winning NYC Dept. of Education teacher, event organizer and cruise ship singer. They bring a melting pot of viewpoints and interests. Their grasp of the materials we present is extraordinary, as are their questions. Attitude –Arriving curious, attentive, positive, and ready to jump into the midst of the microbial world, and whatever work needs doing, they are hugely supportive of each other, and our organization. Attendance- All come from a hardy stock – putting their “all” in on many a Governors Island frigid, windy and/or wet day. Acceptance – Many questions arise in the evolving field of composting to which we, as instructors, do not know all the answers. We seek answers through making compost, reading, researching, and consultation with others. We offer our experiences, materials and guidance. Curriculum is arranged by topics – back yard devices, mid-sized compost “batches”, data collection, experiments with compost application, composting with animals, construction, educational techniques, etc. Our goal for apprentices is that they will gain better understanding, or, Answers on these topics, share what they learn, and have some of their answers lead them to their/our next questions.
What will this apprenticeship prepare them for? If we had a crystal cocoon to read the future for our fab four, we would predict that Clay, with his magnetic personality, big picture mind, and physical fortitude, will share his compost knowledge with his Nashville, Tennessee community. Andrea, astute “info grasper,” will be managing, perhaps spearheading, some renewable resource initiative, perhaps right here in NYC!. Darym, with his scientific background, interest in sharing information, and cheerful demeanor, will work towards furthering sustainability with a worldwide reach. Angela, who prioritizes social and emotional well-being, may link her experience to healthy food practices, foreshadowed by her enthusiasm for the cold weather harvest. She is bound to connect dots between composting and the locavore movement.
We feel privileged to have this time with our harvest cycle apprentices.They will graduate this month, but we know it will not be the end of our relationship. That said, our “season prep” spring apprenticeship will begin in March, incorporating garden readiness and Center prep for the GI 2014 season. Our summer time cycle prominently features learning by instruction, as apprentices engage with visiting groups and the general public.
To learn more about Earth Matter’s spring prep and summertime apprenticeship cycles, and our application process, please email