Camp Joy Gardens

Contact information
Farm Address:

Boulder Creek , California , 19460

Primary Contact: Jim Nelson
Primary Phone:

    Number: 831-338-3651



Internship information
General Farm Description: Camp Joy Gardens is a small, organic family farm that is run as an educational non-profit organization. Since 1971 we have been teaching ourselves and others how to live more sustainable lives through gardening, animal husbandry, food preservation, and other skills of simple living. We offer eight month garden apprenticeships as well as shorter classes on a variety of topics, for children and adults. The fruits of our labor are sold to people in the Santa Cruz Mountains through various ways. Our spring plant sales and our annual fall open house event bookend the season and help dictate the focus of what we grow and share with our community.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: April 1st
Internship Ends: November 30th
Number of Internship Available: 2
Application Deadline: February 15th
Minimum Length of Stay: April till Nov, first two weeks are trial period for both parties

Internship Details:

Apprenticeship positions enable individuals to live and work on a diverse, manually cultivated organic farm. The work includes: farm maintenance, goat husbandry, harvesting of vegetables, fruits and flowers, processing and preserving the harvest, assisting with kids' tours and adult workshops, beekeeping, produce and flower marketing, co-responsibility for a section of the garden (digging and preparing beds, planting, watering, weeding, building compost piles, etc.). Apprentices can participate in many, if not all, of these activities.

The apprenticeship is an informal, hands-on learning experience. Apprentices learn by working alongside more experienced gardeners and then by taking responsibility in particular areas on their own.

Camp Joy functions as a family farm; each apprentice is a vital part of the working operation of the farm and home. In order for the season to flow well, we prefer that apprentices reside here from April through November. Shorter stays are possible. The first two weeks are a trial period for both parties. The season commitment is to work 4 days/week, including garden meetings, and rotating weekend responsibilities. Two one-week vacations can be arranged at appropriate times.
Everyone shares the household tasks of cooking and housekeeping. In addition, each apprentice is responsible for the upkeep of her/his residence, interior and exterior.

Persons interested in applying for an apprenticeship at Camp Joy Garden should write us a letter including a description of yourself and any prior experience you have had in gardening and/or shared living. We encourage interested applicants to visit Camp Joy if possible. If you have questions or wish to arrange a visit please contact us.

Educational Opportunities:

Skills Desired: Previous gardening experience is not a pre-requisite; the motivation to observe, work and make inquiries is. We are especially interested in working with people who have a goal of pursuing productive farming/gardening, homesteading or teaching.

Meals: Food is provided, meals are shared.


Housing: Simple accommodations and healthy food are provided for the duration of the apprenticeship.

Preferred method of Contact: Email or phone