The Esalen Farm & Garden: Cultivating Soil, Plants and People

For over forty years, the Esalen Farm and Garden has provided a holistic model of local food security and sustainability, growing organic food that sustains, heals and educates the community of people who live at and visit Esalen every year. The Esalen Farm and Garden exists in a landscape of constant transition and transformation. Our program reflects the Institute as a whole: we wear our dogmas lightly, we go with the flow, we experiment, and we constantly evolve in our practice.

Land Stewardship

We cultivate four acres of marine terrace on land that is rough, dramatic, and majestic. Up to 8,000 years ago, the Esselen people inhabited and stewarded the land we now farm. It is our charge to ensure the health and vitality of this land for generations to come. In collaboration with the Esalen kitchen crew, we proudly compost nearly 500 pounds of food and green waste every day to build the fertility of our soil.


We embody the very spirit of farm to table by growing produce a mere 400 steps from where it is served daily.  With the benefit of a 365-day growing season we grow as much as we possibly can to provide healthy food for our kitchen. We specialize in salad greens, culinary & tea herbs, heirloom root crops and every variety of kale and lettuce we can find.


We offer many ways for people to engage with our Farm and Garden, from mindful harvest offered to Esalen guests, a day volunteer program, to a highly technical and comprehensive apprenticeship. Across the board, we aim to facilitate meaningful, relational experiences that connect people to the land, food, themselves, and each other. Find out how you can get involved here.

The centerpiece of our education program is the Farm & Garden Apprenticeship Program. Within a regimen of comprehensive farm-based education, we strive to nourish deep growth and transformation for our apprentices. Beyond supporting the next generation of young farmers, we want this growth to empower people to embody our work in any and all ways for the betterment of themselves, our human family and world.

Relational Agriculture

One of the fundamentals of the agricultural practice at Esalen is the way in which we incorporate the lineage of human relational and individual process work that has been core to the Esalen Institute since its formation. Through daily meditation and group check-ins, as well as our weekly group process with a Gestalt facilitator, we build relationship with this earth, each other and ourselves. Read more about our vision for a new Relational Agriculture here.

Farm & Garden Crew Gathering for Morning Check-In


We offer a rich and varied integral learning environment devoted to cultivating deep change in self and society.


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