"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. 

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, Lloyd Nelson

Address: 6107 Highway 133, Carbondale, CO 81623

Phone: (970) 963-6107     Email: brook@sustainablesettings.org (link sends e-mail)

Website: sustainablesettings.org (link is external)