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Natura Institute of Ecology and Medicine’s Tending Residency
Would you like to live close to nature, learn about the healing found in this connection, and about tending land in a nature-attuned way? Are you interested in healing, resilience, and living in an ecologically? Our Tending Residency may be for you! This residence program is an opportunity to live in this healing Garden, learn about and experiencing the medicine cultivated here, while growing food and tending land in a sustainable, ecological way.
Natura is located in the beautiful Commonweal Garden in Bolinas, California. The programs here explore the healing that comes from being in relationship with nature, and with each other. The garden is located on 17 acres in the Point Reyes National Seashore, on unceded Coast Miwok land. It has been lovingly tended by many over the years, and is now a nature-placed healing and retreat center, with permacultural elements such as a medicinal food forests, orchards, and herbal medicine garden. The land is a supportive environment for healing, learning, and personal growth, with opportunities to tend soil, plants, and animals (currently chickens), and self. The surrounding wild land is accessible via trails to inspiring vistas, secluded sit spots, and wild beaches.
Landmates: There are between seven of us living here in the Garden, including children. We celebrate the presence of children and value intergenerational interactions. We enjoy potluck dinners, opportunity for meaningful conversations, playing music, and having fun. While we enjoy each other’s company, we also have busy lives that take us out of the garden regularly.
Room & Buildings: The 10x10 room we have for rent is located in a beautiful, natural cob building. It is a duplex- you would be sharing with building with another person, with the rooms separated by a wall. There is a beautiful porch overlooking the garden, from which you can see and hear the ocean. It’s important to note there is no wifi in the buildings. Residents share a kitchen and living room in "the bunkhouse" (where wifi is available). There are 3 others that share this space, providing opportunity to engage in communal living and agreements. On rare occasion, groups that rent the garden will use this kitchen to cook for their program attendees. Please note that all residents of the garden currently use port-o-potties in lieu of toilets, and accommodations are rustic and close to nature. We hope to have composting toilets in the near future. You will have access to a beautiful greenhouse bath & shower that is shared between 6 people. There are laundry machines in the bathhouse as well.
Garden: We are here in service of being in a tending relationship with this land, and all that demands of us. We honor each other and the land by leaning into the tending and the joy that is found in it. We each tend the land ten hours a week. We love being able to eat right out of the garden, and share the surplus with local food pantries.
Educational experience: This is a hands-on learning opportunity. Our Garden Manager, Jacob, is skilled in teaching permaculture and farm/garden elements while tending alongside resident. We strongly encourage residents to participate in the core healing program, Art of Vitality, to ground the experience in healing. Further possibilities to learn about integrative medicine, use of food and plants as medicine, and community medicine are possible with optional attendance of monthly Community Medicine Circles, as well as in ad hoc conversations with director and integrative physician Anna O’Malley.
Rental agreement: We hold the opportunity to live, learn and tend here as a privilege and a precious opportunity to learn much about ourselves, about community resilience, and how to be a force for good at this planetary moment. We do ask people pay rent of $500/month, and commit to a minimum of 10 hours a week of tending, working closely with Garden Manager. A deposit of $500 upon move in is required, and rent is due on the first of each month.
Please note that for the work-trade agreement a certain amount of sitting, standing, carrying, and kneeling is required. Also note that the trails to our buildings are dirt/wood-chipped paths. We currently do not have a port-o-potty that is wheelchair accessible.
Fill out our application form here.
Email a single PDF document including:
1) Your resume
2) Contact info for 3 references
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply.
Email us at:
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