For those who, in addition to wanting to learn herbal medicine, also want to immerse themselves in a full-time off-grid DIY way of life and to learn and practice the skills of this way of life (food & herb gardening, light carpentry & construction, stockpiling firewood, composting, house & land maintenance, etc.), we have spaces for three apprentices to live and work at the Terra Sylva field campus, where Dave and Janet live. This is a remote location, 40 minutes from the main school. Apprentices will pay a reduced tuition of $1200 and commit to working 15 hours per week of school.

Work will consist of manual labor, including gardening and projects on the land, as well as apothecary work. The land is steep and the houses are off the grid, rustic, without indoor plumbing. Apprentices will work together, attend school together, and share a kitchen, so living well with others is a must. Apprentices must buy their own groceries.

Each apprentice will have their own dwelling to live in. Some of these are enclosed houses, and some have only roof and floor with unfinished walls. They are all unfinished in one way or another. It can be cold sometimes in April and October, and we get a lot of rain. You will be more exposed to the elements than you’re probably accustomed to.

The field campus is remote and not on the way to anywhere. It is past the end of a dead-end road, and the drive is followed by a ⅓ mile hike uphill to the property unless vehicles have 4WD. Travel time to Asheville is one hour by car. Having a car is not required, but it will be necessary for at least two of the three apprentices to have working vehicles. Cell phone reception is marginal at best (non-existent for many), and otherwise there is no internet on the property.

An apprentice should have no problem living far from the comforts and stimulations of civilization for the six months of the program. We choose apprentices based on a number of factors including commitment to herbalism, skills and experience relevant to living and working on the land, financial need, and how well we expect the group of residents (including ourselves) to complement each other and form a cohesive group.

This apprenticeship might be for you if:

  •        You find nature engaging and absorbing.
  •        You long to spend time living simply, off the grid.
  •        You long to live in closer daily connection with nature.
  •        You already garden and/or have worked on a farm.
  •        You are interested in learning/practicing what it takes to inhabit a DIY land project.
  •        You are easygoing and get along with most people.

This apprenticeship might not be for you if:

  •        You have problems tolerating late-summer mildew or the presence of mice.
  •        You experience “fear of missing out” on socializing and/or events in town.
  •        You are uncomfortable outside of your subcultural bubble.
  •        You are quick to judge others negatively.
  •        Your main motivation for apprenticing is to reduce the cost of herb school.

Those applying to be apprentices must fill out an extended application, and we may ask for references in addition to the normal interview. The absolute deadline for apprenticeship applications is September 1st. We expect the apprenticeship selection process to be highly competitive, and it is possible that all the apprentices will be chosen well before that date.

If you are interested in applying for the apprenticeship, please fill out the form below. This is the only application you are required to fill out in order to apply for both the school and the apprenticeship.