2023 Herb Farmer Apprenticeship

Are you interested in an exciting opportunity for a hands on learning experience? Mayernik Kitchen, led by Matt, is offering this unique opportunity to a small group of 14 individuals. The apprenticeship will cover a full year, from seed to harvest. The seed to harvest program will provide hands on experience of growing over 40 different medicinal plants. Starting in Late Winter with planning and seed starting to harvesting and seed saving in the Fall.

What is an Herb Farmer Apprenticeship?

Mayernik Kitchen Herb Farmer Apprenticeship is a 10-month intensive apprenticeship.  The program consists of one full Saturday per month, February thru November. 

There are two groups for this apprenticeship, one on the 1st Saturday of each month and one on the 3rd Saturday of each month. 

Each full day takes place between either North Haledon, NJ (Late Winter/Early Spring) and Wantage, NJ (Spring, Summer & Fall).  Each day will span from 9:30 am to 3:30 p.m. (times may vary slightly due to weather and time of year)

The program is hands on that will include planning, seed starting, planting, soil management, medicinal plant education, harvesting and seed saving.

In the early months we will be indoors planning and getting ready for the season to begin, with plant education as well as planning out growing principals.

As the season begins, (May - November) we will be outside working on the farm, planting, building soil, harvesting and so much more.

Planning

  • Learning how medicinal herbs can be grown successfully in growing zone 6b
  • Learning the difference between annual and perennials and growing cycles
  • Developing a schedule of when to start seeds indoors

 

Seed Growing

  • How to successfully grow seedlings indoors, from racks to heat sources to growing trays
  • Proper soil usage for different seeds and plants
  • Sourcing seeds and seed preparation: stratification, scarification & direct sowing
  • Proper watering techniques and tricks

Hardening / Planting

  • Moving plants from indoors to outdoors and proper hardening techniques
  • Preparing the soil beds and clearing new growing areas
  • Following weather patterns and cycles

Compost management

  • Composting basics - learning about your greens and browns
  • How to build a successful compost
  • Using the compost for soil amendments

Weed management

  • Learning about invasive weeds vs beneficial weeds
  • Learn how to successfully use landscape fabric for weed prevention
  • Weed identification and their medicinal uses

Harvesting

  • Learning plant cycles and when to successfully harvest
  • Learning the difference between over harvesting and proper harvesting
  • Learning how to process plants and properly store for the Winter months

Seed Saving

  • Learning the basics of seed savings
  • Proper storage technique for seeds
  • Determining germination rate for saved seeds

Herbal Preparations

During the colder months we will learning about the different herbal preparations as well sampling.  While on the farm, we will be spending part of the days learning how to make and going through the process together focusing on:

Tinctures, Salve, Tea, Hydrosol, Smoke as well as others.

Who is this apprenticeSHIP for?

  • Individuals that are looking to have a better understanding of medicinal herb cultivation
  • Individuals that are interested in growing their knowledge of how to grow, what to grow and how to use medicinal plants
  • Individuals that are looking for a holistic approach to planning, seeding, growing and harvesting
  • Individuals who want to learn about medicinal plants and cultivation
  • Individuals that want to be in nature and work a farm

Please note: not all days are easy! Some days we will be working hands in the dirt, knees in the mud, planting, pulling, harvesting, weeding, building composts and growing a great appreciation for what it takes to run a successful herb farm. Apprentices must be able to withstand chilly weather as well as the hot sun. 

Where Is the apprenticeship Located?

The apprenticeship will take place each month at one of two locations: North Haledon or Wantage, New Jersey.

North Haledon

The first 3 months of the apprenticeship will take place in North Haledon NJ, located in Passaic county, minutes away from William Paterson University.  With temperatures in the cold to frigid range the first few months, the initial time will provide learning about the medicinal plants, growing and usage and well as seed starting. 

 

Wantage

MK North, is located in picturesque Sussex county on the border of High Point State Park. We will be working on the land from April through November (weather permitting). You will experience the change in season along with the plants and learn how to run a herb farm.

What is the apprenticeship schedule?

There are two groups available, each group is schedule for a different Saturday of each month. Times for all scheduled classes are set at 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Motherwort Group

First Saturday of each month (unless otherwise noted)

Date  
Sat Feb 04, 2023
Sat Mar 04, 2023
Sat Apr 01, 2023
Sat May 06, 2023
Sat Jun 03, 2023
Sat Jul 08, 2023 (2nd Saturday)
Sat Aug 05, 2023
Sat Sep 09, 2023 (2nd Saturday)
Sat Oct 07, 2023
Sat Nov 04, 2023 (Group Class)

Thyme Group

Third Saturday of each month (unless otherwise noted)

Date  
Sat Feb 18, 2023
Sat Mar 18, 2023
Sat Apr 15, 2023
Sat May 20, 2023
Sat Jun 17, 2023
Sat Jul 15, 2023
Sat Aug 19, 2023
Sat Sep 16, 2023
Sat Oct 21, 2023
Sat Nov 04, 2023 (Group Class)

Rain dates 

In the event of a rain date, the class will be held the following Saturday unless otherwise noted on the schedule above. 

Difference between Groups

The only difference between the two groups are the dates in which you will attend.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need for this year long program?

  • For the first few months in North Haledon the recommended items are: water bottle, lunch and notebook
  • For the remaining days on the Farm, in addition to the above, we recommend: boots or good sneakers, garden gloves, garden shears, garden shovel. Additionally items like sunscreen, bug spray are good ideas.

What type of clothing is recommended for the Farm?

Temperatures vary on the farm, from the 70's in May to the 90's in July, then back to the 50's in November.   We always recommend long pants as well as a hat.

Do I need to bring lunch?

Yes, you are responsible to bring a lunch to each class.  When in North Haledon we have access to a refrigerator.  While on the farm, we recommend a small cooler.

Is there bathroom access?

  • North Haledon - you will have access to a bathroom.
  • On the Farm - you will have access to a privacy tent and camping toilet.  Toilet paper and hand sanitizer will be provided.

What if I need to switch dates?

  • The first 3 classes are in North Haledon, we have limited space available.  It is highly recommended you sign up for the group that meets your schedule. 
  • Once we are on the Farm, more space allows us to be more flexible.
  • We do our best to accommodate everyone with open communication.

How much does it cost?

The 10-session apprenticeship total cost is $1149. Just 6 easy installments of $191.50 each. 

Pay in FULL today, and save $50 = $1099. 

 

Register Today

About the Instructor Matt

Matt, is the youngest of 3 brothers, and at age 7, he helped start the families first vegetable garden. By 12-years-old, he was in charge of the garden, especially weed removal and harvesting.  By 14, Matt was able to start seeding indoors in winter with the use of grow lights.  At age 16, The Herb Book by John Lust helped Matt incorporate herbs into their small backyard garden. This is where Matt's love of herbs blossomed. 

Over the next 25 years, Matt educated himself on growing vegetables and medicinal herbs. Today, Matt’s garden in Northern New Jersey grows over 100 different species of vegetables, herbs and fruit annually. 

How to Register

Motherwort Group

Thyme Group

Refunds

The Mayernik Kitchen Farm Apprenticeship is a highly demanded program with very limited availability. Only 14 individuals will be able to register for the year long program.  By registering for the Mayernik Kitchen Farm Apprenticeship you are agreeing to meet all your financial responsibility. In addition, you agree that no refunds will be provided after January 31st, 2023.