Allyships (formerly known as Urban Farming Internships) are a great opportunity to deepen your knowledge of food justice, to build your gardening skills, and to provide much needed support to City Slicker Farms' mission of increasing food self-sufficiency in West Oakland. All allyships are unpaid. When we are accepting applications for internships we will post the applications here. We will also post information about allyships in our e-newsletter, which you can sign up for on our homepage. If you are interested in our allyship program, please read FAQs below.
Frequently Asked Questions about Being an Ally with City Slicker Farms
How is being an ally different from volunteering?
Allies make a commitment to a regular weekly schedule with City Slicker Farms for a period of 3 to 4 months. This allows for a deeper learning experience and some additional training opportunities. If you can't commit to a regular schedule throughout an allyship, drop in volunteering may be a better option for you.
What kinds of activites do allies participate in?
Allies have opportunities to participate in our Community Market Farms, Backyard Gardening Program, and in our office. Activites can include a wide range of gardening tasks including prepping and planting beds, transplanting seedlings, building and maintaining compost piles, watering, weeding, pest management, mulching, chicken care, harvesting and more. Backyard Garden Program allies help build garden boxes, provide administrative support for the program, and attend and assist at garden builds. Allies can also help with administrative tasks and fundraising projects, develop and distribute outreach materials, and help plan and attend events. We do our best to match applicants' interests and goals with our organization's needs.
If I become an ally, how many hours a week can I participate and what will my be schedule be like?
We ask that allies commit to a minimum of 8 hours per week, although some allies volunteer for as many as 30 hours per week. Some people participate one 8 hour day and some people participate several days a week for shorter chunks of time. If you apply and are invited in for an interview we will discuss scheduling possibilities with you in detail at that time.
Do I need gardening experience to be an ally?
No. We select allies with all levels of farming and gardening experience, including people who have no experience at all. For some ally positions we may prioritize people who do have some prior gardening experience, but we always have space available for dedicated people who are entirely new to farming.
Can I get school credit for my allyship?
In most cases, we can work with you to help you receive school credit. There is a space for you to describe any school requirements in the application. If you have questions regarding your school or program and compatibility with an allyship, please contact us.
Do I have to be a college student to apply for an allyship?
Nope. People of many ages, coming from a variety of life experiences have allied with City Slicker Farms.
What kind of training do allies receive?
On our farms, allies are generally "trained as they go." Our staff models and explains our processes and practices that we use, as our allies work alongside them and learn. We always encourage our allies to ask questions and to let us know if there are particular activities they want to be involved with or learn more about. We have also partnered with People's Grocery to offer our allies a day long anti-oppression training to explore issues of privilege and power as they relate to social justice work and food justice work in particular, and to ground the allyship in principals of solidarity. We also offer an opportunity for all of our allies to meet with our Executive Director to learn more about the history and mission of City Slicker Farms and to ask questions about the organization.
How many allies do you take on at one time?
We usually take on about 10 allies per season.