Gardening Apprenticeship

The Mountain offers Garden Apprenticeships, also known as the Sustainable Agriculture and Experiential Education Apprenticeship Program, in conjunction with our Many Hands Peace Farm and in support of The Mountain’s overall commitment to conservation.

Submit an application for a Garden Apprenticeship

Learning Opportunities

This Sustainable Agriculture and Experiential Education Apprenticeship program initially began in 2014 and is designed to support the individual learner’s professional development through experiential education.  Apprentices are hired to live, learn, and work at The Mountain during each session. The 22 or 16 week sessions include educational off-site field trips to local farms, conferences, and workshops in Western North Carolina.  There is also a practical focus to grow organic produce for use in The Mountain kitchen.

Aside from acquiring farming skills, apprentices learn techniques in experiential education through facilitating educational workshops, volunteer work days, and team building activities.

Personal Projects

Apprentices select a personal project to complete during their apprenticeship. Examples of past projects include: mushroom log cultivation, blacksmithing hand tools, planning an edible food forest, researching and teaching about wild edibles, and building and planting a kitchen herb garden.

The apprenticeship program includes the completion of specific goals in the acquisition of practical skills related to the following topics:

Sustainable Agriculture

  • Composting and vermiculture
  • Greenhouse management
  • Crop management and crop succession
  • Soil science and bed preparation
  • Pest and disease management
  • Poultry management

 Farm to Table Program

  • Sowing and transplanting
  • Harvest and post-harvest care
  • Education and outreach
  • Garden-kitchen coordination

Leadership and Facilitation

  • Group processing
  • Facilitation of the low-course and initiatives
  • Facilitation of the high-ropes challenge course
  • Personal development – social media or group facilitation
  • Professional staff meeting engagement
  • Volunteer, youth, and adult group facilitation

Apprentice Supervision

  • Apprentices will be mentored by The Many Hands Peace Farm Manager

Apprenticeship Perks

  • Shared on-site housing
  • Meals in the Dining Hall 
  • $200 per month stipend
  • Membership in the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT)

Expectations of Apprentices

  • Work 40-50 hours per week, primarily in the garden.
  • Design and implement a personal project
  • Participate in staff meetings
  • Engage as a team member, supporting the learning and work of other apprentices, volunteers, and guests 

Submit an application for a Garden Apprenticeship

Additional information on apprenticeship session dates, application deadlines and other requirements for the program are on our application.