Orchard Learning Residency

Located in the rural community of Kootenay Bay, this seasonal program offers participants an opportunity to practice selfless service and gain professional skills and experience for their future. The program is based on experiential and self-led learning within a guided mentorship.

This is a unique opportunity to deepen your skill set as you offer service and expand your own self-understanding. Learning Residents participate in Karma Yoga five days a week and receive the support of an Ashram liaison person, in addition to your area mentor. Weekly workshops, daily reflection, morning yoga classes, and evening satsangs enrich this program.

You will spend 75% of your time in our Orchard where you will gain knowledge and experience of small-scale organic agriculture. Under the leadership of the Orchard Manager you will learn the basics of how to feed, prune, graft and maintain the trees using organic methods. You will learn how to harvest this season’s fruit and how to encourage a healthy crop for seasons to come.

You will also learn about how to best support soil fertility practicing foliar feeding, companion planting, composting and green manures.
In addition to learning to grow food, Learning Residents also practice management skills that include record keeping, leadership, marketing produce, time management, communication and planning.



These are not paid staff positions, they are spiritual and career/life development opportunities. Learning Residents receive complimentary meals and accommodation for the length of their stay, valued at $1400 per month.
Seasonal and primarily locally sourced meals are provided, with our kitchen able to cater to numerous dietary requirements.



This is a three to eight month seasonal position, with the opportunity to extend. See Pathways to Living and Serving in the Ashram Community for more information. We are happy to discuss possibilities with you.


Skills and Abilities

Some gardening or orchard experience and familiarity with organic production methods is preferred but not essential.

  • Knowledge to support overall fertility and tree management (e.g. thinning, amendment and foliar spray application, pest management, companion planting)
  • Comfort working at height on ladders
  • Ability to lift heavy loads, up to 50lbs

Important qualities are an open mind, a positive disposition and interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.

  • Ability to work with a team to prioritize and oversee daily, weekly and seasonal activities (weeding, thinning, harvesting, record keeping)
  • Ability to work hard physically outdoors in all seasons (heat, sun, rain, cold)
  • 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, kitchen, garden) during a busy season
  • Ability to maintain on-going open communication with Orchard Manager
  • An attitude of service, a positive disposition and an interest in living and learning within a spiritual community.
  • An extra day off each month (after the first two months are completed)
  • A weekend course is offered after three months


March to October

How To Apply

To apply, please fill out and submit the application form. Please email if you have any questions. Applications are accepted any time.

Download Learning Residency Application


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