Apprenticeship Voices – Cate’s Reflection

Cate apprentice weaving a willow basket
Cate weaving her first 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.

What Cate gained from her apprenticeship

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 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.


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