North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program > Participating Mentor Farms

Our Farmer Training Programs Are Evolving!

Since 2009, over 100 aspiring biodynamic farmers have participated in our North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP), learning side-by-side with exemplary biodynamic mentor farmers across the continent. We have celebrated the graduation of 37 new biodynamic farmers, and 12 more are on track to graduate this year. Just as each farm individuality needs to grow and evolve over time, so does our work to train the next generation of farmers.

Building on the strengths and accomplishments of NABDAP, we are delighted to introduce two new intensive one-year programs that will provide more flexibility, as well as a solid and broad foundation in all of the essentials of biodynamic farming for everyone who participates. Individuals will have the option to participate in just the first year, or both.

For both programs, we are inviting established farmers interested in learning more about biodynamics to participate as well continuing to offer apprenticeship opportunities on exemplary mentor farms.

The Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year offers aspiring biodynamic farmers the opportunity to build a solid foundation in the principles and practices of biodynamic agriculture. Individual support from an experienced mentor farmer and a cohesive, integrated, and interactive learning curriculum bring biodynamics to life.

The Biodynamic Farmer Development Year, which will begin in 2019, will develop and deepen the skills needed for biodynamic farm management for those who graduate from the foundation year. This program will allow for more scope and specialization in specific farm management and production areas.

Applications for the Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year will open at the end of November. Contact Anthony at (link sends e-mail) or by phone at 262.649.9212 x14 with any questions or to be notified when applications open.

The NABDAP pages will remain in place for those interested in seeing the strong foundations we are building our new programs on. The graduate profiles are especially inspiring!  You can find all the details on our new Farmer Training programs at our new Biodynamic Farmer Training page.

These are Mentor Farms from NABDAP, which is retired. We will have mentor farm pages up for our Biodynamic Farmer Foundation Year very soon!

"What has been most exciting for me at Sustainable Settings is the integration of different elements, and the combination of ideas and tangible production in terms of food, energy, shelter, and education. Being here has given me an opportunity to be a part of the struggles and successes of an organization grappling daily with some extremely difficult environmental questions. Without all the answers, and without denying the realities of growing planetary destabilization, I’m thankful that here we find a way to laugh as we work on solutions."

Sustainable Settings was formed in order to create a shared vision of a sustainable and desirable society, one that can provide permanent prosperity within the biophysical constraints of the real world, in a way that is equitable to all of humanity, other species, and future generations. Sustainable Settings brings together many disciplines to create a whole systems approach and setting conducive to:

  • Intelligently designing, building and operating sustainable development
  • Experimenting with long-term solutions for food, herb and fiber production
  • Anchoring our experiential teaching and learning in the surrounding ecosystem
  • Investigating how we can incorporate art and aesthetics into our daily lives, and
  • Building a more cooperative and just society

Sustainable Settings practices sustainable agriculture geared toward our high altitude, semi-arid climate. Our practices and techniques form an agricultural system that draws from a broad range of methodologies, including agro-ecology, biodynamics, biomimicry, indigenous techniques, permaculture, and holistic management. The integration of these methodologies creates a robust organic food, herb and fiber production that is closely interwoven with the wild ecosystem in which it is embedded.

Size of farm: 244 acres 

Diversity of produce and livestock: Raw dairy, vegetables, herbs, flowers, grass-fed meats and no-soy eggs. 

Skills that can be learned: See Sustainable Settings skills checklist.

Apprenticeship details: Sustainable Settings’ internship is a subsidized learning situation. Subsidized in the sense that at this point we do not charge tuition. Interns are temporary staffers who come to Sustainable Settings after completing advanced study (ordinarily they hold a bachelors or graduate level degree, or have equivalent experience in their area of emphasis) and now wish to apply and expand their knowledge and skills. Interns have exceptional reading and writing skills, a strong interest in sustainability and culture issues, a high degree of self-motivation, and a desire to apply themselves to practical problems.

The intern’s responsibilities include project-specific hands-on research and demonstration in sustainable agriculture, on-site green building, report writing, general office work, leading site tours, educational offerings and assisting in the development and upkeep of Sustainable Settings’ facilities and grounds. Daily tasks can include such activities as reading, writing, talking to others in related fields of expertise, designing, building, gardening, animal husbandry, working on value-added products, marketing, Web site development, helping with programming and fundraising, mentoring students from area schools, and occasionally helping/volunteering in the greater Roaring Fork Valley community. i.e. making costumes and sets for a local elementary school’s spring musical, volunteering for Carbondale’s Potato Days, and/or designing, building.

It is taken for granted that interns are extraordinarily able. Much of getting along in the world goes beyond this. Hard work is not enough. Personal qualities such as initiative, empathy, adaptability, flexibility, and persuasiveness are also necessary.

Housing: While this is not a paid position, all interns are provided with full room and board. 

Mentor Farmers: Brook LeVan, Rose LeVan, and Zopher Sabo. 

Address: 6107 Highway 133, Carbondale, CO 81623

Phone: (970) 963-6107     Email: