It’s a big leap to become a permaculture apprentice. Unlike taking a class, becoming an apprentice means a whole life commitment for a period of time. It often means moving, and usually means living in rustic conditions. It means working hard and meeting your edges. It’s an opportunity to persevere past those edges toward empowerment, skill-building, and confidence.
If you are passionate about sustainable living and you thrive in a hands-on learning environment, you’re probably intrigued with the idea of becoming a permaculture apprentice. At the same time, you might be scared. You might wonder if you’ll just do a bunch of grunt work, or if you’ll really get a chance to learn. Will you get along with your teachers and fellow apprentices? Will you come out of the apprenticeship equipped to make your dream land-project a reality?
The answers to those questions can only be found through personal experience; but hearing about the lives of people who have already been there can help make your decision more clear. In this series, we have compiled interviews, stories and reflections from several past Wild Abundance permaculture apprentices. We hope they inform your choices as you move forward with your learning journey.
The Wild Abundance Apprenticeship Program
At Wild Abundance, outside Asheville, NC, we believe in the age-old apprenticeship model. It is the best way to learn land-based, human-scale skills needed for sustainable living and resiliency. Passing this knowledge from teacher to student, through living and working together, is how the wisdom has survived over the centuries.
Learning from books, websites and shorter classes is great, and we encourage everyone to do as much of that as they can. Our permaculture apprenticeship is something different though. This learning model offers one-on-one guidance and daily, real-life engagement that helps to bridge theory and practice. The apprenticeship is able instill a deeper understanding of both the skills and mind-set that make permaculture successful.
We have been sharing our lives with apprentices for nine years. Each person has brought his or her unique background and personality to the experience. We have learned as much from them as they have from us, albeit different kinds of things. We’re excited to share some of their voices here in the Apprenticeship Voices Series. Click below to hear from different permaculture apprentices who have made Wild Abundance their home.