Apprentices

Proposed entry procedure: Applying for an apprenticeship at the Eco-Village is a two step process.View looking southwest

First there is a two-question pre-application. From those applications we will choose folks to answer a few more questions, get references, do a phone or Zoom interview and a have site visit, if feasible.

If we accept your application as an apprentice candidate, we will welcome you to join us on the farm.

You can join us as a volunteer and come to work as your schedule allows (providing your own shelter if you plan on staying overnight) or you can join us as a prospective apprentice/Collective member.

If you're interested in the apprenticeship, then after a successful 60-day trial, you will become a Level 1 Apprentice and a voting member of the Village Collective until the end of the growing season (October 31). You will sign the Village Collective Mutual Contract which defines how the collective is managed. Immediately, you will have a voice in how the Mutual Contract is worded and interpreted as well as in all the affairs of the Collective and the life of the Village; all of which is a serious obligation and an important responsibility. In addition, in Washington, a Workers' Collective that is not incorporated is viewed legally as a partnership and there is personal liability exposure in unincorporated partnerships under Washington law. Every partner is liable for the damages assessed against any other partner. Trust, discretion and loyalty to the other members of the Collective are essential. A Workers' Collective is a DIY approach to self-reliance and cooperation.

The Village Collective is the community on the farm and members of the Collective make up its decision-making body. When the Land Trust is formally established, the Village Collective will be independent from the Land Trust and two members of the Collective will be chosen by the Collective and appointed to the Land Trust Board of Trustees. The Village Collective members would own the assets of the Collective and Residents would own their dwellings and improvements.

Level 1 Apprentice

Level 1 Apprentices become active members and owners of the Village Collective for the duration of their term-- the end of the current growing season. The Village Collective may renew your Level 1 apprenticeship at any time for a term that would end on the last day of the next growing season.

A Level 1 apprentice is expected to contribute labor to benefit the Village Collective and/or the Farm Collective for at least 20 hours per week, for the duration of their apprenticeship with the understanding that there will be times when more hours will be required and that 10- to 12-hour days will be required from time to time. A Level 1 apprentice is expected to do at least two hours of study each week following a self-determined course of study, the fruits of which are regularly shared with the collective.

A Level 1 apprentice can commute to the farm or reside on the land. A resident apprentice is expected to independently provide for their household's sleeping quarters (if none are available on the land) and domestic needs such as food (beyond what the Collective Farm and personal gardens can provide), warmth, electricity and waste handling.

Level 2 Apprentice

A Level 1 apprentice who has participated at least seven months may apply to the Village Collective for a Level 2 apprenticeship which includes the potential for long-term membership and residency. A Level 2 apprentice is expected to contribute at least 20 hours per week for five years, with reasonable time off, with the understanding that there will be times when more hours will be required and that 10- to 12-hour days will be required from time to time.

A Level 2 apprentice must reside on the land. A resident apprentice is expected to independently provide for their household's sleeping quarters (if none are available on the land) and domestic needs such as food (beyond what the Collective provides), warmth, electricity and waste handling.

Resident Steward

At the conclusion of a five-year Level 2 apprenticeship, the apprentice could be eligible to request permanent residency—a 99-year non-transferrable lease issued by the Land Trust (once the land trust is fully established). A Resident Steward is a member of the Village Collective and is expected to contribute at least 20 hours of labor per week, with reasonable time off, until age 65, with the understanding that there will be times when more hours will be required and that 10- to 12-hour days will be required from time to time. A Resident Steward resides on the land year-round. A Resident Steward is expected to independently provide for their household's sleeping quarters and domestic needs such as food (beyond what the Collective provides), warmth, electricity and waste handling.

Apprentices and Resident Stewards all receive an equal pay rate in the form of weekly "Patronage Refunds" and a food share. The farm enterprise operates on a "cash basis," meaning that gross receipts are made up of the cash that the collective actually receives and do not include any accounts receivable (money owed but not yet paid). Of the gross receipts, 30% accrues to the Collective Asset Account from which funds would be used to pay for farm-related tools, equipment, supplies, repairs, infrastructure, utilities, land costs, etc. Funds from the Collective Account can, from time to time, be dispersed to Collective Members as dividends under certain conditions. The remaining 70% of gross revenues are then divided among current and former Collective Members proportional to their individual contributions to the total number of hours worked (the Whole) carried over year to year. Using this model, workers begin to build limited equity in the farm enterprise which they retain even in the event they leave the Collective.

The Collective reserves the ability to expel any Collective Member (Apprentice or Resident Steward) utilizing a "Consensus Minus One" exit procedure. The member whose membership is in question is not afforded the authority to block the decision on their membership status for the duration of the exit procedure. Everyone else in the Collective would have to agree to end the membership for that to become effective. Irreconcilable disputes are settled by the Permaculture Conservation Trust's Board of Trustees.