The Esalen Farm and Garden (http://www.esalen.org/place/garden.html) department offers three yearly apprenticeship sessions in our 30-year old biointensive organic farm and garden. In 2011, the following positions are available: four 6-month positions from April 10th to October 23rd; and two 3-month positions from October 23rd to January 15th, 2012.
The deadline for application to the April 10th apprenticeship is February 16, 2011.
The Esalen Farm and Garden department is looking for people who want to
experience working in a thriving sustainable agriculture and non-profit
organization while living in community at the Esalen Institute. Our crew
works hard to provide a large share of the Institute¹s produce for 200-300
guests a day. Applicants for the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship are to be
open, flexible, energetic, hard-working, comfortable in groups of people,
and able to manage a broad diversity of challenges at once. A good sense of
humor, positive and enthusiastic attitude, and passion for voracious
learning on the ground are essential attributes of prospective apprentices.
Prior gardening experience is desirable, but not necessary. However, a
strong drive to learn and a keen interest in hands-on gardening are
essential. Farm and Garden apprentices will achieve competency in all
aspects of farming and gardening, including propagation and greenhouse work,
watering, bed preparation, composting, transplanting, sowing, weeding,
harvesting, seed saving and processing, and occasional preparation for
events and market sales.
An anticipated use or application for your apprenticeship experience is a
big plus‹we want to grow farmers and gardeners with a passion for taking
their skills and knowledge back out into the world away from Esalen.
Therefore we expect our apprentices to regard the apprenticeship program as
the core of their experience at Esalen and interact with the Farm and Garden
in a proactive, self-starting way. We also expect apprentices to read
farming and gardening literature (provided by the Farm and Garden) and
perform occasional extracurricular projects and assignments to round out the
mostly in-the-field learning. We desire apprentices who can be comfortable
and capable while working alone, but are interested in group work and
process as well. Physical stamina is a must. We work outside rain, fog or
Terms of the Apprenticeship
In exchange for 38 hours of work per week, and 2 hours of formal educational
time led by Farm & Garden staff, Esalen provides shared and private
accommodations for all apprentice positions. Use of the baths‹including
showers and hot springs as well as the rest of the site‹is included. No pets
are permitted. Three-month apprentices are responsible for paying $1,350 for
their apprenticeship, which can be paid in lump sum or in monthly payments
of $450. Six-month apprentices are responsible for paying $2,700 for their
apprenticeship, which can also be paid in lump sum or in monthly payments of
$450. These costs are required to cover educational aspects of this dynamic
and unique opportunity. We pay for all utilities and your food costs. The
entire community and those attending workshops share all meals in our main
lodge, which serves healthy and, when possible, local and organic, meals
three times a day.
In your free time, you can take advantage of the facilities and
opportunities that exist at Esalen in our residential educational program
and workshops that don¹t conflict with the apprenticeship schedule and as
space permits. Apprentices are also eligible for scholarships, discounts and
specific privileges that exist for this type of residency at Esalen.
Visiting the Esalen Farm and Garden
To be considered for the apprenticeship program, you are strongly encouraged
to attend at least one garden volunteer day at Esalen to introduce yourself
and get a feel for a typical day within the department. To be a garden
volunteer you need to schedule this in advance using the contact information
below. A volunteer day can be scheduled Monday thru Friday from 7 am to 1
pm, with exceptions made for particular circumstances. You need not stay all
day, but are encouraged to use the time to get to know the Farm and Garden
staff and familiarize yourself with the rhythm of the land.
After submitting your application, you may be asked to come for a working
interview as part of our selections process. Such arrangements are at the
discretion of the Farm and Garden staff and will not be extended to all of
those who apply. Phone interviews will be requested for individuals unable
to attend a working on-site interview due to access or geographic distance.
These interviews will take place roughly six weeks before the start date,
since we aim to make our final decision approximately one month in advance
of the start date.
Please send a cover letter and resume to the Farm and Garden in easily
accessible digital attachments (.doc or PDF). Please clearly state which
apprentice session you are applying for in both your cover letter and
resume. Also in the cover letter, tell us about yourself, your interests and
experience, and what you hope to get out of your time at Esalen that is
specific to the Farm and Garden department. If you have been here before,
tell us about your experience. Please include at least two work references
and one personal reference with day and evening phone numbers. The
apprenticeships are open until filled. If you would like more general
information about Esalen before submitting an application, feel free to call
our main office and they will be happy to answer any questions. Please
contact the farm and garden department for questions that are specific to
Please indicate clearly which position(s) you are applying for in the
subject line of your correspondence. All applications must be received no
later than two months prior to the start date of the desired apprenticeship.
Deadlines for Applications:
* 2011 Session Two (April 10th – October 23rd, 2011): February 16, 2011
* 2011 Session Three (October 23rd, 2010 – January 15th, 2012): August
* 2012 Session One (January 15, 2012 mid-April, exact date TBD)
UPDATE‹the deadline for the 6-month (April 10-October 23) apprenticeship was
listed incorrectly as March 10, 2011. The correct application deadline is
February 16, 2011. Because of this change, please inform us if this presents
a problem for you.
Applications, resumes and cover letters must be submitted to:
The Esalen Farm & Garden Program
Phone: (831) 667-3078