2020 QBG Farm and Compost Internship, NYC Compost Project

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Start Date: May-October  Compensation: $100 weekly stipend

Queens Botanical Garden (QBG) is seeking seasonal interns for the QBG Farm & Compost site, a program of the NYC Compost Project Hosted by QBG. The NYC Compost Project (NYCCP), created by the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) in 1993, works to reduce waste in NYC and rebuild NYC’s soil by providing New Yorkers with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to produce and use compost locally. NYC Compost Project programs are funded by DSNY.

QBG Farm & Compost site is a place where New Yorkers can participate in and learn about composting and urban farming through tours, workshops, internships, and volunteer opportunities. We process over 300,000 pounds of food scraps and other organic material annually. The finished compost product is used across the Garden and the Farm as well as distributed to the community. On our farm, fruit and vegetables are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and compost is applied to promote soil and plant health. Crops harvested are shared with seasonal interns and volunteers and donated to emergency food relief programs.

Interns will support NYC Compost Project staff in running and maintaining one acre of intensively planted, mixed vegetable, fruit, and flower production and educational areas. Interns will also help support on-site composting operations. One morning every week, interns will work alongside staff to assist in leading volunteer mornings. We are looking for dedicated, hard-working individuals with a keen interest in composting and urban farming.


Interns must be able to work Mondays and Wednesday for a three- to six-month period of time between May and October.

Interns will receive a weekly stipend of $100 and a share of vegetables as available. Qualifying applicants are encouraged to earn school or program credit for their work with us and to research funding opportunities through their learning institutions.


Learning Objectives:

  • Learn fundamentals of sustainable agriculture including crop choice, rotational growing, drip irrigation, and pest/disease management.
  • Acquire hands-on skills in urban farming through planting, tending and harvesting crops
  • Understand and maintain healthy soils, learn to use compost, cover crops, and mulch
  • Cultivate an in-depth awareness about food scrap recycling and waste reduction in NYC
  • Gain proficiency in composting by processing food waste and helping to manage onsite compost piles


  • Excellent communication skills; comfortable leading groups
  • Commitment to being present and punctual on workdays
  • Willingness to work outdoors in all weather; able to lift up to 40 pounds
  • Interest in food waste reduction and urban agriculture
  • Ability to perform diverse, sometimes repetitive, tasks that can be physically demanding

Additional Information

To apply, qualified candidates should send a resume and cover letter to compost@queensbotanical.org. Your cover letter should include any previous experience (not required) with agriculture or compost, your motivation for completing the internship, your availability, and how you heard about the internship. Please put “Farm and Compost Internship 2020” in the subject line of the email. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 27, 2020. Queens Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer.

Learn more at nyc.gov/compostproject and queensbotanical.org/farmandcompost/

Contact Information

Queens Botanical Garden
Email: compost@queensbotanical.org