For the right couple, this apprenticeship looks amazing.
Live in a yurt, help build and earthship, take care of animals, plant food forest, design and implement zone one gardens, and lots more. Plus, an incredible winter, with ski resort only 30 minutes away.
Year Long Apprenticeship / Caretakership
Higher Elevation Permaculture is a homestead / small scale diverse farm / education center in it's 2nd year of growth. This coming year will see the completion of our earthship style home, the designing and planting of our high tunnel, our first Permaculture Design Course hosted on property, and many more exciting projects happening on property. Gardens of life
UntitledPart of our design for this phase of the project is to incorporate a couple for a year-long, live on site apprenticeship / caretakership. We have specific criteria and skills that need to be met for this position. For the right people, this will be a great opportunity to gain experience in many areas of permaculture, including gardening, building, animals, alternative energy, landscaping, food production and preservation and much more. This area is also an amazing outdoor recreation utopia, so being in the mountains, hiking, biking, skiing, fishing is a big part of the experience as well. The ideal applicants would also love the winter environment, as our property is at 6,500 feet meaning that there is snow for about 5 months of this time (and Grande Targee ski resort just 30 minutes from our door)!
Who are the ideal applicants for these positions?
We are looking for a couple, who are in a stable and healthy relationship to commit for a year (and the possibility of staying on longer).
At least one of the couple must have already taken a Permaculture Design Course, and both have a deep interest in the gardening / farming / homesteading type activities. This year you will be wrapped up in it.
We are looking for a garden / food production manager, so one of the persons must have some experience growing food for production. (You won't have to achieve this on your own, but need to be able to manage the ongoing gardens independently at times.)
We are looking for people (or at least one of the couple) who like to build and take on projects of all sorts (independently or as a group project).P1050282
Self motivation and excitement to dig in deep to make the most out of the experience is essential to us. Your attitude and enthusiasm directly affect the work that you do as well as the well being of other people on site.
During the summer months there may be multiple other people living on site. You must be okay working and living in a community setting. You will have your own space to live in, but we would like you to take an active role as a member of the community on property when people are around.
A one year commitment starting in May 2015.
We would prefer people with open, honest communication that are open to giving and receiving constructive feedback.
You should love the great outdoors. We are located only 2 miles from the foothills of the Tetons with great trails, backpacking trips, wildlife and immense beauty. We encourage you to get out!
You should love the winter! We live in a winter sports mecca, with Grande Targee Resort only 30 minutes from our door and Jackson Hole Ski Resort only an tetons, C&Thour away. And there is tons of cross-country and back country skiing in our area as well. Beautiful new years day sunset. Happy new years to all.
If you are still excited about this opportunity, and feel you and your partner meet this criteria, please read further as I will give a more in-depth look at the coming year, including our expectations, and what you can expect to recieve!
What is included and expected in this opportunity?
What we are hoping to get out of your stay here is basically support on the land. We have so many things going on that sometimes it can seem a little crazy. We also have the perfect living space to offer so want to make the best use of it. Christian really values having like-minded people around, and thrives when he can collaborate on work and play. The garden consumes a lot of my time in the summer, especially when we are hosting courses and we are trying to provide as much of the food as possible from site. Having someone with experience, who can help the management of the gardens would be a huge help to me and open up more time for experimenting and growing more diversity!
My Sheep friends, Caleesi and Paddington.This is what we see as what would be expected and included:
A one year commitment, starting in May, 2015. This is important to us for a number of reasons, as you will see below.
An awesome 24 foot Yurt. Christian and I have been building our home for the past two summers! We are committed to moving in, regardless of the "finished" state, no later than July 15th. This opens up our yurt to you, which has been a beautiful home to us for 8 years. It is a 24' diameter yurt with running water, hot shower, electricity, washer and dryer, brand new wood stove, and most ameneties of a small house. This does mean, that the first two months of the time spent on property would be camping out. We have a pretty nice set up for that as well, with an outdoor kitchen, hang out space, outdoor hot shower, composting toilet, etc..IMG_20130919_190818
Home-grown food. You are responsible for your own food during your stay, but that being said, the gardens produce a lot of food and you are welcome to it. The chickens contribute their eggs, and the freezer is full on sausage and other great pork cuts. We are happy to contribute to you whatever we have from the land. Anything else will be on your own bill.
IMG_20130903_155049A full growing season in the gardens. We are looking for one of the two people to step up as the garden manager for the site. You will get to work through a full growing season, including planning, planting, harvesting, food preservation and putting gardens to sleep for winter. We have an extensive zone 1 garden around the yurt with mixed annuals and perennials in production, plus we just installed a 30 x 72 foot high tunnel for helping us extend the seasons. Our goals are to produce lots of food for the residents on the land, feed the Permaculture Design Course as much as possible, and grow produce for our mobile, organic pizza business that we run throughout the summer and fall. (Check it out: www.FiredEarthPizza.com) We are excited to experiment with winter growing in the high tunnel and earthship and see what edges we can push!
Animals. We have a small herd of sheep that we rotationally graze throughout the summer, and who will be lambing in March. We have egg-laying chickens and raise pigs in the summer for meat. The care for the animals as well as the slaughter and butching of the pigs are all activities you will be encouraged to help out with.Love our happy animals
Building projects. We will be continuing to build and work on our earthship this next summer. There will be lots of finish work to do, including using clay plasters. In addition to the finish work we will also be adding the sun room and the sauna on to the south side of the house. We may or may not take on the construction of a sunny john humanure toilet structure, using earthen building techniques and inevitably there are other building projects that pop up (animal shelters, fencing, etc).
IMG_20130706_173419Food forest and windbreak planting. We currently have over 400 trees and shrubs in our nursery that are really wanted to be put in the ground. We'll try to tackle this with you in the spring, planting up two different areas of wind breaks, privacy barriers and food forest plantings.
Zone 1 garden design and creation. We are super excited to be wrapping up the construction zone feel around the earthship and creating it into a beautiful, functional and productive zone 1. We are really starting from scratch here and will have lots of opportunity to put into practice the concepts from Christopher Alexanders A Pattern Language, as well as build on-contour terraced garden beds, curving paths and planning an incredible mix of perennials and annuals. Not sure if it will get planted this year, but even if we just prep it for the following year, it will be an IMG_20130706_174127incredible process.
Helping with the Permaculture Design Course in August. We will be hosting our first PDC course on the land, and there is a lot of work that goes into making it the best experience it can be for the participants. Along with 3-4 other summer apprentices, we will ask that you lead some of the hands on time and prepare the lunch and dinners for the course. And if you would like some teaching experience we can talk about the possibility of teaching a few of the lessons. When these responsibilities are taken care of, you are welcome to sit in on classes, and take part in the course to any degree you like. During this time, projects on the land will slow down a bit as all of our energy will be going towards hosting and teaching.
Caretaking when we are away. One of the challenges of having a diverse and alive permaculture project is that it can be challenging to get away. We would like the opportunity to travel next winter and to know that we have responsible people here to help take care of the animals and the land. Christian teaches Permaculture abroad most winters and I hope to join him this coming winter. We'll make a schedule so that you can get away too, and when we are all P1040015around we'll share the responsibilities.
Lots of other experiences that come along with homesteading. Collecting firewood for the winter, (you can either buy it or we can all go out to the woods and get standing dead wood and buck it up for firewood). Preservation of food, from canning our excess bounty to drying, freezing and even salting and curing some of the meat (we have two prosciutto's hanging right now!) Making fruit wine! And lots more.P1040007
You will experience the rush of summer, the intense energy of the area, the wildflowers, the mountains, the buzz, and then the settling and hibernating into winter when the wood stove needs to be fed, and snow blankets the trees. All seasons here are amazing, intense, and can offer something beautiful for all of us.
What's not included?
Your travel. You are responsible for getting yourself to and from Higher Elevation, as well as for your local transport needs. It is fairly important to have a vehicle of your own on site. (If you don't have a vehicle we would be open to working out a rental / cost share on one of our vehicles.)
Your food. Like we said above, when the gardens are kicking and the chickens are laying, you can help yourself to our home grown stuff, but in general, you are responsible for your own shopping needs.
Utilities. $40-$50 per month, plus internet if you want it.
Your Ski Passes! – But we can let you in on some secrets to getting a great deal!
Who are we?
Taiga Marthens (that's me) and Christian Shearer are what I like to think of a young (mid 30's), enthusiastic, and fun loving. We love getting out in the woods, we love growing our gardens, raising our animals, and we really love contributing to the movement for change on this planet. Christian is a great teacher and permaculturalist. He has been teaching and practicing permaculture for about 10 years now, starting with his founding of the Panya Project in Northern Thailand. He and I got married about two years ago and I already had this piece of land in a the region that I grew up (Montana, Wyoming, eastern Idaho). So we created a permaculture design to try to meet our holistic goals, which really revolve around being deeply happy, having meaningful work, and contributing to the movement for positive change on this planet. And so Higher Elevation was born out of that.
I also run Fired Earth Pizza, which serves organic, locally sourced ingredients on really tasty pizza at the farmers market and at private events. I also do some landscaping work in the Jackson area throughout the summer, but have been scaling back on that due to lack of time!
Christian works professionally as a permaculture teacher and consultant, working for Terra Genesis International. He has recently been traveling to Barbados, Ecuador and Thailand for his work. That's pretty cool, and next year I want to travel with him a bit.