Watch as Farmers Grow

Third Year Focus – Reflection after 2016 Season; Jacob Thies

March 23rd, 2017 | Posted by miker in Greenhouse

Jacob Thies – Third Year Focus and Reflection – 2016 Season at North Slope Farm

Year III — A Reflection 

There are so many words that come to mind when I think of North Slope Farm: stewardship, respect, growth, camaraderie, family, and home. North Slope was all that to me for two and a half years until I left in my third year to finish some schooling efforts and to eventually take a position working in Central Park, New York City.

Jacobs View

Currently, I am the 59th Street Pond Zone Gardener working for the Central Park Conservancy ( My section, the southeast corner of the park, is the entry point for millions of park patrons each year. My job description is vast and challenging and involves performing all the horticultural maintenance in the landscape including the lawns, annual, perennial and shrub beds surrounding this water body.

Much of what I’m able to get accomplished today at my current position is a credit to the time I spent at North Slope Farm’s Apprenticeship program. In hindsight, I owe a debt of gratitude to Mike and his willingness to share his knowledge, experiences, and training to create in me a foundational knowledge of both horticulture and mechanics. From the largest trees to the smallest noxious weeds (galinsoga everywhere!) to the largest pieces of equipment (landscaping mowers) to the smallest pieces of equipment (my trusty pruning shears), I confidently know I have the knowledge and skills to maintain this landscape and use these tools efficiently. I examine intently, make conscious choices with the future of the pond’s landscape in mind, and take time to properly sharpen my hori hori.

This is not the traditional season summary, and as my title suggests it is a reflection on the value of training and the respect an apprentice has for his trainer. I would not have been hired by the Central Park Conservancy if it hadn’t been for the opportunities given to me by North Slope Farm. As I sit and type, my gratitude for this farm, and the people that gravitate toward it, are at an all time high. To North Slope Farm, I thank you. To Mike, Colleen, Casey, Summer, Todd, Dan, Christine, Sam — thank you for constant encouragement and willingness to build a community so deeply rooted in all the things that are right in this world. I gratefully tip my chewed up ball cap to you all. 

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