Institute for Regenerative Agriculture

Grow Food and Find Your Center

Learn Farming in a Monastic Experience

Institute for Regenerative Agriculture

The Institute for Regenerative Agriculture is an Affiliate Program at Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery, 45 miles north of Charleston, SC. It is a rare opportunity to live for 10 months on a working farm at the monastery. It offers committed men and women 18 years old and over, of any or no faith tradition to contribute to the sustainable earth movement and develop an alterative to industrial farming. They will experience how small farms can once again become integral to the local communities they serve. Interns will learn how to grow vegetables from seed and learn the business of selling their produce. The Institute will be comprehensive in scope in order to create a more vibrant accessible local food system and to value the connection between good fresh food and health. They will gain intensive hands-on gardening skills as well as classes on the science behind what makes things grow, current trends and farming procedures. The Institute is an integral part of the Abbey’s mushroom farming.

The second aspect of The Institute for Regenerative Agriculture will be forming an intentional community with monks who have been following a monastic way of life with an almost thousand-year history. Besides experiencing how monastic practices can deepen one’s connection with the land, interns will work side by side with monks who are known to be “Lovers of the Place” helping them return to their own agrarian roots. They will be able to take delight in what they have helped grow through a Farmers Market at the Abbey.

Institute for Regenerative Agriculture

They will be expected to join the monks for a morning and evening prayer service, midday prayer and share a common meal. Participating in the silence and solitude the monastery offers and having a monk mentor promises other growth opportunities for those “seeking their center.” Interns may discover how this monastic way of life may well speak to the spiritual hungers of people today by participating in these ancient rhythms of prayer and work. Through exposure to a life of prayer attuned to the world of creation and an intensive relationship with the community – gardening and farming can lead to a profound opportunity for spiritual and personal transformation in addition to becoming a sustainable farmer.

Institute for Regenerative Agriculture

Courses from Clemson University

Soils, Cover Crops and Fertility
Insects and Disease
IPM and Vegetables
Private Pesticide License
Seed Management and Soil Prep
New Growers Toolbox
Diversified Farm Tour
Produce Safety Rule; Post Harvest handling; Crop Planning and Rotation
Business Classes

August - June

The Institute for Regenerative Agriculture occurs each year from the middle of August to the middle of June. It is managed by Jimmy Livingston, our mushroom farm manager and his wife, Johanna with technical support provided by Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension Service.

Email us at for further information and to receive an application form.



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