Foraging and Resilient Gardening Apprenticeship

April – June 2018

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Do you love plants? Our spring Gardening Apprenticeship is focused on growing, caring for, harvesting and utilizing a plethora of wild and cultivated plants. You will go into depth with garden planning, soil science, seed starting, companion planting, crop rotation, harvesting techniques, and more.  Springtime apprentices will gain a solid foundation in annual vegetable gardening, edible landscaping,  and perennial plant care as well as wild plant identification, foraging, and herbal medicinal and edible uses.

Our Gardening Apprenticeship is way more than just a Gardening Course - it's an Herbal Apprenticeship and a Wildcrafting Apprenticeship, too.

Apprentices processing medicinal plant

Spring Gardening & Wild Foraging Apprenticeship:

The Wild Abundance gardens boast many edible perennials, tree crops and medicinal herbs. We will also go past the bounds of the cultivated land, studying applied botany and ecology and learning about the bounty of wild edibles and medicinals in the rich forests of Appalachia. Aside from immersing ourselves in the vegetal world, this program will dabble in building, primitive skills and permaculture.

Learn to gather food and medicine in stellar Foraging Classes

Students will make baskets out of poplar bark, learn to tan hides, make fire with friction, and build simple structures

Perhaps of equal importance are skills that we teach for community living and resilience, which help students be more effective and happy throughout their lives. The spring program ends with the Firefly Gathering, the largest Earthskills Gathering in North America, with more than 300 classes to choose from.

Last whittling of spoon

Because of the small group nature of the program, the apprenticeship is equipped to teach gardening for beginners as well as advanced techniques.

Tattooed woman washing hands

Cost and Outline of the Spring Apprenticeship

We ask for a financial contribution of $3,000 for this program.      

Our apprenticeship programs are on-site residential immersions (we are open to commuting participants if they have special situations) at Wild Abundance, located near Asheville, NC.  The apprenticeship program is our humble attempt to welcome a small group to our land every year to venture into the relational process that involves living on the land, building community, renewing culture, developing Earthskills, mentoring and personal growth!  Through this immersion, we share the depth and creativity of how we live and the richness of the real life challenges, opportunities and abundance that make up our family, community, home and lives.

What to Expect in this Gardening Apprenticeship:

Sample Spring Schedule for a Non-Class Week

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
9:30am-1pm Free Time Free Time Free Time Seed Starting in Wild Abundance Garden Making Bark Baskets Foraging and Ecology Hike Naturalist Notebook
2:30pm-6pm Free Time Free Time Apprentice Garden Time Fruit Tree Pruning Fermentation & Mead Making Medicine Making Apprentice Garden Time

 

Sample Spring Schedule for a Class Week

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
9:30am-1pm Wild Foods  & Medicine Backpacking Adventure Free Time Free Time Garden Day

& Deep Ecology Exercise  

Free Time Wild Foods & Medicine Backpacking Adventure Wild Foods & Medicine Backpacking Adventure
2:30pm-6pm Wild Foods & Medicine Backpacking Adventure Free Time Apprentice Garden Time Garden Day Free Time Wild Foods & Medicine Backpacking Adventure Wild Foods & Medicine Backpacking Adventure

More in-depth information about our apprenticeships can be found on our Wild Abundance Permaculture Apprenticeships page.

Near Asheville, NC and the Blue Ridge Mountains

The area surrounding Wild Abundance is breathtaking!  We live in a country neighborhood of amazing and like-minded folks, 5 minutes from a decent swimming hole, 10 minutes from the Pisgah National Forest, 20 minutes from some of the most biodiverse forests in the temperate world, and 20 minutes from Asheville, a decent-sized town which one past apprentice deemed “the hippie hotspot of the East Coast.”

As well as participating in regular apprenticeship days, Spring Gardening Apprentices will have the opportunity to participate in the following classes and programs:

Please note, the Fall Apprenticeship will not duplicate the content of the Spring Gardening Apprenticeship. The classes will be different and the activities will change with the seasons. We try really hard to keep the content fresh and unique throughout the entire year as we flow with the seasonal nature of living with the land.

Please note that the Spring Apprenticeship will not duplicate the content of the Fall Apprenticeship. The classes will be different and the activities will change with the seasons. We try really hard to keep the content fresh and unique throughout the entire year as we flow with the seasonal nature of living with the land.

Apprentice harvesting chard

Application Process

The first step is to fill out the appropriate application form and to pay your application fee and deposit. We need to receive both an application form and a deposit in order to move forward. After we receive these items, we will contact you within 2 weeks and set up a phone interview during which any additional questions can be answered. After that, if practical geographically, we will schedule a working interview and make a decision soon thereafter.  If a working interview isn’t geographically feasible, we will make a decision soon after the phone interview. Click here to complete an application form.

Application Fee and Deposit 

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We ask for a $50 application fee for the apprenticeship, along with a $250 deposit (a total of $300 when applying), without which we will not consider your application. The application fee covers our administrative costs and the time it takes to process your application and is not refundable. The deposit goes toward your total financial contribution if you are accepted, and can only be refunded if we do not accept you into the program. Upon acceptance into the program, we ask for the first $1,000 of your contribution within two weeks. Your total financial contribution may be paid in installments but must be paid in full by one month before the apprenticeship starts.

The first two weeks of the apprenticeship will serve as a trial period. This is a chance for us to make sure that the apprenticeship is a good fit for you and for us. After the two-week trial period, we will have a meeting and if the apprenticeship is not working for either party, we will discuss issues and try to work through them, or make a clean break. Your deposit may be returned at this point.

Please fill out an application and pay your deposit as soon as possible if you are interested.  The application deadline is February 15th, but students who apply earlier may be given preference for this competitive program.

If you have any questions, please email WildAbundanceNC@gmail.com

More in-depth information about our apprenticeships can be found on our Wild Abundance Permaculture Apprenticeships page.

Please also check out our Fall Natural Building Apprenticeship as well as the Spring-Summer-Fall Combination Apprenticeship, which will equip you with the skills you need to Live off the Land.