Living Roots

3Sisters - Corn, Beans, Squash

Fruit Trees with Swales



Farm and Healing Arts Apprenticeship Program

4/26/17 - Open to taking short term apprentices for the next months. A spot for summer and a few for fall and winter, and one assistant farm manager spot starting summer session. New this season - monthly stipends ($100 - $200 per month) for those apprentices with experience. Please apply per the instructions below.

Leadership Opportunities - please see below

General Apprenticeship Information

The Ecovillage Farm is offering an apprenticeship program with four sessions from spring to winter, or an option to sign up for multiple sessions or the entire season (local live out apprenticeships we also have other options with more flexibility). Each session is centered around Organic Gardening and Farming, but also balanced with the Healing Arts. These include Mentoring, Massage, and Yoga, which are regular aspects of the program.

Come join our apprenticeship program that has been operating since 2006! Nearly 75 students have apprenticed with Michael during these years and have taken away many skills and have had many life changing experiences that have helped them live the life they want to live. We welcome you to join our team!

Winter Session: November 13th, 2016 - March 4th, 2017
Spring Session: March 5th, 2017 - May 27th, 2017
Summer Session: May 28th, 2017 - August 12th, 2017
Fall Session: August 13th, 2017 - November 11th, 2017
Winter Session: November 12th, 2017 - March 3rd, 2018


Although the Ecovillage has 4 seasonal sessions and the full season session, we sometimes accepts interns for shorter time periods and during the winter as well (we have greenhouses, animals, season extension, etc.). Please email if you would like to check on availability. However, this program is only for those committed to their education as a farmer/serious gardener - be it just for one session or the entire season.

Housing on the Farm is in an Off-the-Grid Cabin with other apprentices. There is also the option to camp at the EcoVillage. No pets allowed.

Apprentices are also given produce from the gardens and other bulk staples. The food supplied is predominately vegetarian; however, meat could be supplied from time to time from EcoVillage animals as its available.

All apprentices will receive a 'monetary congratulations gift' at the completion of their program (one session or more), unless you are holding a monthly stipend position.

We have 2 stipend leadership positions:

- two assistant farm managers - these positions will share signficant responsibility with the farm leader in operating the ecovillage permaculture farm. This includes annual and perennial fruits and vegetables and animals. Will work with farm leader to run the CSA, markets, supervising others, etc.
Those who have significant farm and/or leadership experience are encouraged to apply for the leadership positions. These positions are a great fit for someone will a year or two of significant experience but who aren't quite ready to start their own farm. Stipends will be between $200 - $700/month, depending on experience and specific roles assigned. For those that are a good fit, there are future options with the Ecovillage to start your own farm business (under the Ecovillage umbrella).

The farm leader, Michael Hicks, has been organic gardening and farming since 2002 and running the apprenticeship program since 2006. Our market farm produces just about any vegetable you can imagine for our community, 110 family CSA, Farmers Markets, local coops/natural foods stores, and restaurants. Main crops are garlic/onions, brassicas and hardy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, peppers,and beans. Other crops include: figs (in Hoophouse), hardy kiwis, melons, Jerusalem artichokes, eggplant, okra, other roots, etc.  We grow over 300 varieties of produce each year.  Also winter production in 3 hoop houses. And our EcoVillage now has chickens, pigs, and grass-fed cows which you will also get to work with.

The EcoVillage is within walking distance of Tucker Lake (Springs Valley State Recreation Area) and the Hoosier National Forest (lots of trails), and biking distance from Patoka Lake, French Lick, and Paoli.

The Program Includes

  • The Farm Process - Seed Starting, Season Extension, Soil Preparation, Planting, Tending, Harvesting, and Farmers Market Sales
  • Permaculture Gardening in our community gardens.
  • A form of Holistic Gardening - methods that are both environmentally and personally sustainable
  • Mentoring - to help each apprentice fully absorb what the program has to offer, which includes recognizing both our gifts and passions and also embracing the areas in which we can grow to become more balanced and whole - intended to help each apprentice find their personal power
  • Healing Arts - regular massage and yoga training to better balance the farming process - intended for beginners to both massage and yoga
  • Sustainable Living Skills - all apprentices learn how to make cheese, yogurt, and bread, as the apprentices take turn making these on a regular basis. Cooking and creativity in the kitchen is also a regular aspect of this program. There are many opportunities for growth in Sustainable Living, which depend on season and student interest. They include: off-the-grid living, using a solar oven, drying herbs and produce in a solar dehydrator, herbal medicine making, food preservation/fermentation (canning, freezing, kimchi, sauerkraut), beer/wine/mead making, building, small business skills, etc.
  • Overview: Interns will work full time with the market garden, community garden, and with the EcoVillage animals (currently grass-fed cows, heritage pigs, and chickens). Work will also include food processing and cooking. There will be weekly yoga class and massage training, which teaches the students to give a full body massage over one session. Depending on student interest, seasonality, and current demands of the growing season, time could also be spent with other healing arts (Thai massage, energy work), sustainable living skills, herbalism, or learning about how to run a small business. Students learn to cook and live off-the-grid. The total number of hours worked for the farm each week is from 38-43 (depending on season and current workflow).

We welcome you to join us in sharing the abundance of this land!

Please download the application (please make sure to download pdf application to your comuputer, fill out, then save) and email completed application, along with a current photo of yourself, to the Farm Leader, Michael Hicks, at michael (at) A student may apply for one or multiple sessions. Those who are applying for one of the leadership positions, please also fill out this same application. Contact us if there are any questions.

Application deadlines:

All Sessions (Spring to Winter) - February 15th
Spring Session - February 15th
Summer Session - May 15th
Fall Session - May 31st

Winter Session - August 30th

The program does not cost for the apprentices; however, the most qualified will be chosen for the positions. All apprentices will receive a certificate upon completion of this farming program.

What Past Apprentices Have to Say About Our Program

An original song and video written by Virginia B., a former EcoVillage farm and healing arts experience: 'O Southern Indiana'

"My experience at the Living Roots Eco-village was enlightening in ways I did not expect.    The holistic program put me in touch with my roots through daily farm work, healing practices and pure, healthy foods.  Even my dreams vividly expressed the transformative lifestyle that I was leading!  All in all, it helped me to rediscover my own path and move down it with newfound confidence."  Rachel M.

"One of my favorite aspects of the apprenticeship was learning body kinesthetics and massage. Michael is an excellent massage instructor, and I feel as though my training was better than what you'd receive in massage school. It really takes your farming experience to the next level!:" Jen H.

"Mother Teresa once said, "There is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and working with people who can make a difference. They get the benefit of your participation and you gain a direct understanding of the real problems and potential solutions." After my summer as an apprentice with Living Roots, I know this to be true. I have never walked away from any other experience with the same sense of having both given and received so much (both physically and mentally), which I attribute both to the inclusivity of the community at Living Roots, and also the wide spectrum of topics that the program covers. I entered the program hoping to gain a better understanding of how small, organic farming could be successfully carried out, and I without a doubt did - but I also took so much more from it." Hannah L.

"I interned at the center for community empowerment from March-September 2011.  I had come originally for only 10 weeks but after learning quite a bit about starting plants, massage, and energy in general in the first 2 weeks I had decided it was best to stay and nearly a whole season.  I wanted to know if those little tiny plants we had transplanted into such a big, stormy world would really grow large and produce food.  Sure enough even the scrawniest 2 inch tomatoes grew taller than me by July!  Micheal let me take on quite a bit of responsibility training new interns as they came, caring for the sales at the Jasper farmers' market, even getting the chance to manage that market, and be a part of the decision-making of daily farm tasks.  By the end of the 6 months I felt ready to start my own small farm.  I also enjoyed the weekly massage sessions as they were both greatly needed considering the consistent physical labor on a farm and also Michael teaches the techniques thoroughly and with care.  Finally, the Jasper community as whole I found very welcoming, interesting, and enjoyed a number of new, interesting friendships in my time there." Mackenzie S.

"Being an apprentice, taught me to be more connected to the Earth, the body of community, and ultimately back to myself.  In order to successfully apprentice, I feel that one needs to fully embrace the idea of service to others. The apprenticeship program provides the opportunity to do this; not simply on an intellectual level, rather as a full embodiment of love for this planet.  This program offers maximum benefit by integrating the healing arts with organic farming.  I am now equipped with whole new skillsets, perspectives, and a phenomenal sense of wellness and community." Shristi T.

"I really enjoyed my 3 weeks in this farm...fresh, organic and healthy food from the garden, yoga class and massage a such good combination with the hard working...Amanda, Michael and the little Leo are a lovely family, Jasper is a really nice town to live and if you want to learn a lot about permaculture this is the right place: Michael is always enthusiastic to teach you everything! and what satisfaction to prepare and go to the farm market!" Iris G.,

"What I like most about the program is the  introduction to the idea of personal health with farming. People growing the plants must be healthy to create healthy yields on the farm. By teaching massage techniques and encouraging yoga and spiritual growth through the apprenticeship program, Living Roots does a great job at providing a unique and educational experience for those interested in farming, permaculture, spiritual growth, and community." Trevor R.

"Living Roots provided me with the opportunity to grow as a person, while never losing its focus as an organic farm operation. I met many awesome people, many of which I would consider great friends now, and was amazed by how welcoming everyone in the community was. Of course, there are boundaries, but when followed and respected, Living Roots can provide you with such a rich experience, socially, economically, and even spiritually. My favorite aspect was the ability to personally interact with the food we were growing, from soil to the plate at such an intricate level. Nothing went to waste, and the sustainable principles I've learned are something that will never leave my mind. " Rob P.



Community News & Announcements
3rd Sunday of the Month at 6pm
Potluck Dinner
Living Roots Ecovillage
5907 W. County Road 375 South
French Lick, IN

Fall Farm Team 2014

AcroYoga Workshop

Weekly Massage Training

Wood cookstove in Apprentice Cabin

Living Roots Inc., 5907 W. County Road 375 South, French Lick, IN 47432

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