Garden Learning Residency

The Yasodhara Ashram Garden Learning Residency is intended for individuals who want to broaden and deepen their understanding of organic sustainable agriculture and the practice of Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the practice of selfless service, and is an essential part of life at Yasodhara Ashram.

Located in the rural community of Kootenay Bay, this full-time, three month Learning Residency provides hands-on experience from field to table. Emphasis is placed on organic full cycle food production, from soil amendment and bed preparation to crop rotation, succession and companion planting. We also practice composting, seed saving, beekeeping, and more. There may be opportunities to work with garden design and construction should seasonal projects call for these skills. The Ashram also employs the use of a 1,000 square foot mobile hoop house to support a three to four season growing period.

Some gardening experience and familiarity with organic production methods is preferred but not essential. Important qualities are an open mind, a positive disposition and interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.

Students in education, agriculture, environmental sciences, and related fields are encouraged to apply

  • A willingness to learn
  • A curiosity and openness to explore living in a spiritual community
  • A desire to bring care into all actions
  • Ability to oversee both big picture and day to day tasks
  • Communication skills for reporting and instruction
  • Ability to prioritize and adjust plans easily
  • Organizational skills (records, tools, people, supplies)
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work in a changing environment
  • Keen observation
GARDEN Specific Skills & Abilities

Some of these can be acquired through the program, however previous experience is an asset:


  • Knowledge of plants, soil, compost and pest management
  • Interest and knowledge about food and sustainability
  • Knowledge and proficiency to support overall fertility and plant management (e.g. crop rotation, amendment application, companion planting)
  • Knowledge and proficiency in greenhouse management (seeding, planting and transplanting)
  • Ability to work with a team to prioritize and oversee daily, weekly and seasonal activities (weeding, planting, harvesting, record keeping)

Physical requirements

  • Ability to work hard physically outdoors in all seasons (heat, sun, rain, cold)
  • Experience with tools and machinery can be helpful

Interpersonal Leadership and Communication

  • Ability to make work meaningful by encouraging an atmosphere for reflection and spiritual practice, embodying the spirit of Karma Yoga
  • High level of personal motivation and self-management
  • Ability to lead karma yogis with daily projects or tasks (planning, preparing, overseeing, checking in and follow through until completion)
  • Ability to effectively communicate and coordinate with Food Flow areas (preserving kitchen, orchard, kitchen) during a busy season
  • Ability to maintain on-going open communication with Garden Manager
  • An attitude of service, a positive disposition and an interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.
Intake Dates and Application Process

Applications are considered when received, please send as early as possible.

This is a three month position. Work may move between areas of Food Flow (Preserving Kitchen, Orchard, Kitchen) depending on needs of the season.

The 2019 season is divided into three residency periods:

  • Apr 2 – Jun 24 – initiation – seeding, transplanting, preparing beds, harvesting spring crops
  • May 28 – Aug 19 – maintenance – harvesting, weeding, redefining edges, seeding fall crops
  • Jul 23 – Oct 14 – fruition – harvesting long season crops and orchard fruit, amending soil, repairing structures, preparing the garden for winter

To apply, please fill out and submit the application form:

Download Learning Residency Application

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