Apprenticeship Voices – Cate’s Reflection

This is a reflection from Cate, a permaculture apprentice with Wild Abundance in 2017.  It is  a part of our Apprenticeship Voices series

permaculture apprentice making a willow basket


Deciding to become an apprentice at Wild Abundance was the best thing that I have ever done for myself. Natalie has been an incredible mentor, guide and friend; she has an immense wealth of knowledge and skills and an eagerness to share them with others that can be so hard to find. But then, that seems to be a theme at the school: Frank, Barron, Laura, and all of the other teachers from whom I was so blessed to learn from during my time there, contribute to a tremendously rich fountain of knowledge and compassion that almost requires witnessing to truly comprehend. Mine was an experience of “Wild Abundance,” indeed.


In my time living and apprenticing there, I learned what feels like countless skills that have given me a deeper sense of self, purpose and sufficiency. I found profoundly greater skill and confidence in carpentry; I became familiar with the natural world around me and what an incredible bounty it bears; I learned what a truly great and abundant garden is, and how to care for it; I learned how to make preserves; I tanned deer hides; I made fire with friction; I made my own bow; I visited neighboring farms and discussed different practices in sustainability; I was welcomed into an intentional and conscious community that, before, I could only have hoped really existed; I built deep and lasting friendships; I carved, whittled, chopped, sawed, built, wove, harvested, explored, learned, laughed, lived, thrived… I could go on and on.

permaculture site and garden at Wild Abundance


Wild Abundance is a place that holds something that I had been looking for for my entire life. Without a doubt, my apprenticeship completely changed my life for the better, and for that, I am forever grateful.