Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Application Process

There is a four-part application process to become a Farm or Garden Apprentice at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

Applications are accepted year-round for the program, and the best time to apply is late summer/early fall for the following year’s farming and gardening season. Approved applicants will be required to schedule a two-week guest student stay, which includes interviews with work leaders and practice leaders, to determine suitability and acceptance to the apprenticeship program. Each year a group of Farm and Garden applicants arrives in late January for a two-week guest student stay. However, you may schedule your two-week guest student stay at another time during the season (subject to the availability of housing), prior to March of the farming and garden season for which you are applying. Farm and garden apprentices are selected and invited to join the program in early March.

Please read and be familiar with all of the information on this webpage (as well as all of the information on Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program page) before applying. You may contact the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship coordinator at farmapprentice@sfzc.org with any remaining questions specifically regarding the program or to discuss whether it may be the right fit for you.

Part 1.
Fill out the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Application [Word]/[PDF] and submit it to farmapprentice@sfzc.org.

We ask that you take time to think about your responses to our questions, and to provide sincere and candid answers that will enable us to understand why you are interested in the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program, what you hope to learn, and what you feel you can contribute.

Your application will be reviewed for suitability for the program, and someone will be in touch with you. If further information or clarification is needed, you may receive a phone call or email message. If your application is accepted, you will be invited to move on to the second phase (i.e., Part 2) of the application process.

If the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program does not seem like a good fit, we may ask if you would like to apply to one of our other apprenticeship programs. See Apprenticeship Programs for more information.

Part 2.
All applicants who are invited to continue the application process must complete a two-week Guest Student Stay. Every year we invite a group of applicants to arrive at the end of January for their guest student stay. In order to be introduced to the meditation and work schedules, and to community life at Green Gulch Farm, all applicants who are invited to continue the application process for the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program must complete a two-week guest student stay, preferably during one of the following two time periods:

September 17 – September 31, 2017 or
January 31 – February 13, 2018


Once you have been invited to schedule a guest student stay, you may contact the Guest Student Manager at ggfstudent@sfzc.org to make arrangements for your stay. The cost of the guest student stay is $25/day. Scholarships are not available for the guest student stay. Please see Guest Students (Full Schedule) for more information.

Part 3.
During the guest student stay, you will experience and become familiar with the daily schedule, different work crews, and community life at Green Gulch. There will be opportunities to speak with current and former apprentices and staff members, to have question-and-answer sessions with the farm and garden managers, and to be exposed to Buddhist teachings offered by our resident teachers. As an apprentice applicant, you will have the opportunity to meet individually with the Green Gulch Tanto (Head of Practice) and the Green Gulch Director near the end of your two-week guest student stay in order to reflect with them on your guest-student experience. You will also be interviewed by the farm and garden managers.

Part 4.
Upon completion of the guest student stay, Farm and Garden Apprenticeship applicants are asked to reflect on their time at Green Gulch and to email the farm and garden apprenticeship coordinator at farmapprentice@sfzc.org within ten days of their stay to let us know whether they still wish to be considered for the apprenticeship program.

For applicants who come as guest students in September, we ask that you get in touch with us by early February of the following year to confirm your continued interest.

We make an effort to let applicants know whether they have been accepted to the program as soon as possible, and no later than March 1.

> Back to Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program information >