Hey! I'm a current (and returning) skill builder at the Bullock's Permaculture Homestead on Orcas Island, WA and we're looking for people to join us next year! The homestead is the most beautiful land I've ever had the pleasure to meet; it straddles a rocky, south-facing hillside and an abundant, lush marsh, which together provide a mosaic of microclimates and soil types supporting mixed annual gardens and orchards across much of the 24-acre site, drought-tolerant perennial plant systems, and much more! It's hard to describe the magic that inhabits the land, but whenever I take a break from what I'm doing, I am in awe of the richness of life this place supports. The birdsong is enchanting. The Bullock family (there are three of them on the land), with generations of skill builders, have collected functional and beautiful plants from around the world and woven them into a rich tapestry of tasty fruits, useful herbs, and exotic curiousities. Having lived there a season, there is still so much more to learn about the specific plants and the systems they form, and always room for modifications and improvements. Furthermore, we run a nursery, which provides the opportunity to learn a great deal about plant propagation, an invaluable skill for any budding permaculturist! Also there is so much fruit and it is so delicious. (20+ plum varieties, 20+ apple varieties, 15+ pears, plus berries, quince, figs(!!!), mulberries (!), and more.)
The homestead is the kind of place designed for the enthusiastic, energetic, self-starting human to experiment and develop a diverse set of skills for living regeneratively on the land. The skill building community usually numbers twelve, and working collaboratively and learning with each other are both very important parts of the program. Every skill builder receives a collection of annual garden beds for which they are responsible, in addition to a section of the land planted in perennial systems. We also have rotating monthly specialities (e.g. Chickens, Trucks, Compost, Sprays...) designed to give skill builders a chance to dive more deeply into one of the systems that makes the homestead run.We also host visitors most weekends from March through October - it's a major component of living at the homestead. There are also three permaculture courses offered during the year - an into course, a two-week PDC, and a weeklong Advanced PDC. Skill Builders get to take either the PDC or APDC free of charge, which is a fantastic opportunity, especially given the depth of knowledge of the instructors.
You can read more about the program on our website, and I've attached the detailed program description to this post so you can get a better idea of the kind of people we're looking for and what to expect from the program. You could ask me questions here, or email email@example.com if you have any questions about applying. The application is open and we accept folks on a rolling basis, so get your application in soon!