Windward’s Whole System Fellowship

May Be What You Are Looking For!

The Windward Center, in partnership with the Whole Systems Foundation, is offering three fellowships for the 2019 year. Fellowships are a three month immersive experience in the Windward intentional community, combining fundamental theory with a unique hands-on approach to working with living systems.

Fellows will learn about ways to convert sunshine into food, shelter and energy within the context of a community culture that is dedicated to creating sustainability.

A key goal of the fellowship is to enable people to build an experiential understanding of the web of connections that form the foundation of sustainable living by experiencing it in daily practice. And in so doing, start the process of shifting from the artificial demands of the academic quarter to the natural rhythm of the seasons.

For three months, fellows will pursue a course of generalized studies focused on a whole systems approach to the creation of sustainable relationships between a group of people and the land they steward.

The Daily Practices of Sustainability

Each day fellows will be expected to dedicate approximately 8 hours to the program:

  • 3 hours constructing and maintaining sustainable systems such as annual and perennial gardens, greenhouses, aquaponics and small animal husbandry systems
  • 3 hours studying whole systems that convert waste into resources such as:
    • wood chips & chicken manure ➜ earthworms ➜ chicken feed ➜ eggs and chicken manure
    • dead-wood ➜ soil ➜ goat forage ➜ milk, meat, manure, leather
    • kitchen scraps ➜ black soldier fly larva ➜ fish food ➜ fish
    • manure ➜ soil ➜ grass ➜ rabbits ➜ meat and leather
  • 2 hours participating in community activities such cooking, morning exercise walk, organizational discussions, and group exercises that build communication skills
  • The remainder of the day will be personal time.

Through this daily immersion, fellows will learn at an experiential level where their food comes from, and experience the deep satisfaction that flows from that knowledge.

As an example of how fellows will arrive at a more inclusive understanding of whole food systems, in learning how to bake bread for lunch, they’ll start by grinding locally grown wheat to produce the flour.

In addition to daily work in community, fellows are encouraged to pick an area of concentration that furthers their particular learning goals. Areas of focus to explore include:

Ecological Food Systems

Permaculture Design
Dryland AgroEcology
Annual & Perennial Polycultures
Integrative Animal Husbandry
Preserving the Harvest
Forest Stewardship

Community Living

Representative Consensus
Community & Gift Economies
Conflict Resolution
Radical SelfResponsibility
Conscious & Sustainable Relationships

Appropriate Technology

Woody Biomass Gassification
Solar Cooking & Food Dehydration
Building an Axial-Flux Alternator
Auduino Micro Control Computers
Making Ramed Earth Bricks


Deepening Understanding of Whole Systems

Fellows will deepen their understanding of the crucial role that energy and water systems play in the creation of sustainable living, and how life as we all know it is not possible without those two resources.

Fellows will gain new communication skills as they experience the challenges that come with learning to live, laugh, work and learn all in the same place with the same people; to begin to appreciate that one can not build sustainable relationships on rented land in the company of strangers, that this is something one can only do in the company of friends.

Since this is an immersion experience designed to enable fellows to make a paradigm shift away from the consumer world towards becoming a contributing part of a self-reliant community, fellows will be asked to remain on site for the duration of the fellowship, excepting for family or health emergencies, or travels that are part of the fellowship experience.

Fellows will be expected to write bi-weekly articles detailing some aspect of what they’ve learned in the past two weeks. As a capstone, fellows will create an article, a video, a slideshow or powerpoint presentation, or artistic representation of some kind that will describe what they’ve learned during the fellowship.

Hit the Ground Running

There are many things to learn while here, and the best way we know how to make the best use of one’s time here is to do some homework and get up to speed on Windward before arriving so you can hit the ground running.

To help folks orient to life at Windward, and answer we’ve put together some writings on the website. These articles and essays represent a sneak peak into the life-style and experience of living at Windward, written by both long-term members and newly arrived participants.

  • Reading List – To help bridge the experience-gap between new folks, and Stewards who’ve been living the life for years, we’ve put together a relevant book list with insights and discussion points that we can weave into your time here. The above section of the website contains links to thought-provoking quotes and discussion about how the books are relevant to what we’re doing.
  • The Essays – Consolidated thinking related to living in sustainable community, the philosophical underpinning of what we do, how approach life in balance with nature, and what people can expect when entering into community.

    There are many topics to explore in the Essays including living in community, living with nature, and new participant experiences.

We encourage you to weave your thoughts, feelings and impressions of the things you’ve read into your email conversations with us!

How to Apply

Applications are a conversational process which typically happens over several weeks/months. Conversations may include multiple members of Windward depending on the particular interests of the applying Fellow.

Applications are accept on a rolling basis, and Fellows may begin almost anytime between March and September.

Since we are going to be sharing our life and working closely for an extended period of time, we want to get to know you!

To begin send us an email as Windward(at)gorge.net, and include “PING!” in the subject line. Below are some subjects to think about answering in your introductory email.

  • Where do you come from? both in general and specifically right now in life?
  • Where do you want to go? What kinds of life trajectories are you already on?
  • How does Windward fit into your big-picture plans?
  • What is your Experience living in community, in nature, and working with whole systems?
  • What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as it relates being a Windward Whole Systems Fellow?
  • What time-frame you are applying for? What months or season.

Before you arrive, we will also need you to read and sign Windward’s Information sheet and liability waiver..

You can download it from the link above, print it out (doublesided if you can), fill it out, sign it, and mail it to us at:

Windward Center
55 Windward lane
Wahkiacus, WA 98670

We look forward to hearing from you!