Something new is happening, a new vision, a new energy, a new sacred story is coming into being in the transition from one era to another.
— Thomas Berry

Are you feeling disconnected from your spirit, from the spirit of community, and from the spirit of Earth?

Do you find yourself dreaming of the possibilities of a new world?

Are you ready to step into your fullest expression and play your role in the
co-creation of that world?


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The heart of our culture is longing to restore balance…

The Odyssey Fellowship Program is a 10-week residential immersion for people in their odyssey years of life, or the wandering time between adolescence and adulthood, that offers foundational permaculture understandings, skills, and inner development- cultivating one’s unique gifts and passions to be offered towards the healing of our world.  Fellows are often college students talking a gap year and we have successfully worked with colleges to have students' time here count towards college credits.

The goal of this program is to cultivate an authentic, dedicated, growing community of young adult leaders who hold a vision of a future that is ecologically resilient, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling for all beings.

. . . 

Due to overwhelming interest, we have lifted the age limit. This is in the theme of reaching across all lines that divide. Our programs are becoming increasingly intergenerational, international, and in all ways deeply unifying. This is what our world is calling for more now than ever.  If the program calls to you, we welcome you to reach out.
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These young adults arrive with deep concerns about the limits and unintended consequences of our current industrial-growth society and eager to explore new forms of living that honor nature’s wise design. Together, we are committed to honoring the sacred interconnectedness of life through relationships with land, ourselves and all beings.

Uncover and nurture your unique seeds in a fertile environment that allows for the flowering of your unique gifts.


We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2017.  We welcome you to apply before the corresponding deadline.




Sept 5 - Nov 14
Deadline to Apply: July 31st, 2017


We strive to bring all participants the following experiences with seasonal additions and exceptions.

Orientation to the Eco-Institute at pickards mountain

Farm & Facilities
Origin & Purpose
Rights & Responsibilities
Hopes & Fears

Permaculture Education

Soil Health
Holistic Pest & Disease Management
Crop Rotation Planning
Animal Husbandry

Study Groups

Spiritual Ecology & The Work that Reconnects (Joanna Macy)
Understanding a New Cosmology (Thomas Berry)
Compassionate Communication


Earthen Building
Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium
Divine Feminine Wisdom
Farm to Table Culinary Arts
Ecology Walks
Wild Mushroom Walks
Herbal Medicine
Rites of Passage


Weekly farm lunch
Elders Circle
Spring & Autumn Equinox Celebration
Host community events

Field trips to local organizations

Piedmont Biofuels
Piedmont Biofarm
Abundance NC
Timberlake Earth Sanctuary
Mud Dauber School of Natural Building

Personal Growth

Reflective writing opportunities
INploration with Simon Spire
Life Purpose Visioning
Sunday Morning Yoga
Gene Keys

That is what school is supposed to be like.
— Patrick Cox



A unique blend of classes will be experienced throughout the 10 weeks. The intention of the schedule is to ensure a balanced life infused with opportunities to create, play and rest. Fellows spend their days working and learning important practical life skills in regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, and ecological sustainability. Space is given for freely created discussion groups that will clarify the vision of what’s possible for the future of humanity. Fellows are encouraged and empowered to step into their roles as leaders of this shared vision. Growth and Leadership Opportunities allow Fellowship Students to bring the learning community their unique gifts. Students are encouraged to develop a morning spiritual practice unique to each individual which may include meditation, exercise, yoga, reading or writing. Morning farm chores operate on a rotating schedule as we share the responsibilities of caring for the other living beings. Students enjoy meals together and ensure a tidy space before the day’s learning begins. During many afternoons and evenings, a variety of workshops are offered based on the interests of the group and learning objectives of the program. 

Check out a Sample Week Schedule in the life of a fellowship student from last session.

Truly beautiful.
And what is amazing is these young people will come away deeply connected from within and with a greater fabric of community with other young people who truly wish to connect. So many great things can come from a model like this. We applaud you!
— Sustainable Human


Fellows live in shared yomes (hybrid yurt & dome) for the duration of their stay.

They offer very simple living experiences without plumbing or electricity, which allow fellows to come to know the land more intimately. 


Community meals are cooperatively prepared with consciously grown ingredients, including our chicken and duck eggs, vegetables, and mushrooms grown on the farm. In sharing our resources and responsibilities, we recognize our interrelationship to Earth and to each other as we nourish our bodies, minds and spirits.

tuition & Scholarships

The Odyssey Fellowship program is valued at $6,000.  This includes room and board, all meals and all workshops.  The Eco-Institute is now offering scholarship opportunities to assist promising young adults in the tuition costs of the Odyssey Fellowship Program. Thank you to our donors and supporters, including the Kalliopeia Foundation, who are committed to making this program accessible for young adult changemakers.

The Eco-Institute recognizes Solidarity and Allyship work as a critically important part of healing our human-earth relationship. A variety of scholarships is just one of the ways we continue to open space for all walks of life. We encourage young adults to apply who bring diverse perspectives, a passion for environmental justice, a love of the Earth, and who inspire action through creative expression.

We offer scholarships that range between $3,000-$5,000. Upon acceptance, participants will be required to send in a $500 non-refundable deposit. Payment plans are available.

The aim of our scholarship program is to build bridges between future leaders of diverse cultures and identities, to experience the powerful connections between personal and planetary health, and to heal the aspects that divide us so that we may unify. 

Scholarship opportunities include:
Environmental Educator or Activist, Young Adult Person of Color, Artist in Residence, Genderfluid Young Adult, First Nations/Indigenous Young Adult, Social Justice, Spiritual Activist, Human Rights Activist, Culinary Expertise, Primitive Skills, Conflict Resolution and Young Farmer

APPLY to the odyssey fellowship

Applications are accepted at any time.  Now accepting applicants of all ages!  Due to overwhelming interest, and in the important theme of reaching across all lines that divide, this is a multigenerational program.  To do the work this world is calling for, all of us must come together.  All are welcome.

Send your Application, in PDF format, to Brenna at

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We still have little understanding of the spiritual dimension within the natural world, or how our individual soul relates to the larger dimension of the world soul (what the ancients called the anima mundi). . . Instead we are caught within a contemporary consciousness that focuses on the individual self, no longer even aware of our deep bond to the sacred within creation.
— Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Check out this video by former fellow, River Bourne:

This is the school I’ve been looking for my entire life.
— Taz Ashara

This is the revolution I have been placed on this earth at this time to be a part of. I can feel it.
— Matt Perez

What's next?

Graduates of the Odyssey Fellowship Program are invited to apply for the 10-week Odyssey Leadership Program.   Each OLP student focuses on an area of interest and proposes a project to the team, engaging the Eco-Institute and themselves with the greater community while applying what they've learned.  Our programming, logistics, and fresh ideas are lead to a large degree by earlier grads who where once OLPs and joined us as employees as the next step on their individual journeys.

Want to Know More?
Reach out!
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