Farm & Garden Apprenticeship Application Process

The application process is closed for the 2020 season.

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

Although 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 are required to schedule a two-week guest student stay, which includes interviews with work leaders and practice leaders, to determine suitability for the apprenticeship program. Each year a group of Farm and Garden Apprentice applicants arrives in late January for a two-week guest student stay. However, applicants may schedule the two-week guest student stay at another time (subject to the availability of housing), prior to March of the farming season for which they 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 web page (as well as all of the information on the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program page) before applying. Contact the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship coordinator at with any remaining questions regarding the program or to discuss whether it may be the right fit.

Part 1.

There are three applications: One on the page Guest Student Stays (review the program and access the application); the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Application [Word] / [PDF]; and the Basic Residential Practice Application [Word | PDF]. Fill out all three and submit them to Before completing and submitting the application, read the Green Gulch Residential Guidelines (Shingi). Please take time to think about the questions and provide sincere and candid answers.  Program directors take into account an applicant's reasons for applying, what they hope to learn, and what they feel they can contribute. 

Applications are reviewed for suitability for the program. If further information or clarification is needed, the program coordinator will reach out with a phone call or email message. Once the application is accepted, candidates will be notified and 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, the coordinator may suggest one of the other apprenticeship programs; see Apprenticeship Programs for more information.

Part 2.

All applicants who are invited to continue to Part 2 must complete a two-week Guest Student Stay in order to be introduced to the meditation and work schedules, and to community life at Green Gulch Farm. Although guest student stays can occur earlier, the preferred time period is:

January 30 – February 12, 2020

Candidates should contact the Guest Student Manager at to make arrangements for their 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 their stay, guest students experience and become familiar with the daily schedule, different work crews, and community life at Green Gulch. There are 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 resident teachers. Apprentice applicants have the opportunity to meet individually with the Green Gulch Tanto (Head of Practice) and the Green Gulch Director near the end of their two-week guest student stay in order to reflect together on their guest-student experience. Applicants will also be interviewed by the farm and garden managers.

Part 4.

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

Applicants who come as guest students earlier in the season should contact the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship coordinator at by early February of the following year to confirm their continued interest.

Green Gulch lets 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