Start Your Journey to Self-Sufficiency and Off-Grid Living

Apply to live at a small residential farm and off-grid community to experience all aspects of homesteading skills over the course of four high desert seasons in the White Mountains of Arizona. Launching March 2020. For other important details and the application link, read on!

Applications Due: March 1, 2021
Program Interview dates: March 10-15, 2021
Orientation: March 20-21, 2021
First week of class: March 22, 2021

*Applicants must be 18 years or older at the time of enrollment*
Inquire how we can help you for financial assistance through GoFund Me
2021 graduates may apply for mentorship positions for the following year 

More About the Homesteading Apprenticeship Program

  • Experience hands-on field work and classroom learning from certified local instructors
  • Live in a community and learn from experts on the key topics of homesteading (Food, Water, Energy, Shelter, Resource Management)
  • Build life-long friendships and sustainable lifestyle choices

As this is our first year, we will be welcoming a few number of candidates. First year students will be pioneers of the curriculum and the Homesteading Apprenticeship Program experience! *Please note that our program is distinct from with organizations such as Jobcorp, WWOOF, ACE, and Workaway.

The Road to Self-Sufficiency

Homesteading is most commonly perceived as building a home and growing your own food. At Lodestar, the definition of homesteading consists of 8 components: Creating a sustainable lifestyle through responsible food and energy production, conserving water, efficient shelter construction, diligent animal husbandry, a commitment to recycling waste, a philosophy of respectful land stewardship and community networking.

Food Lodestar Gardens

Who Should Apply for HAP?

  • Applicants for the HAP program must be 18 years of age or older
  • Enjoys solitude as much as teamwork
  • Enjoys a variety of activities as much as rigid routine
  • Physically fit
  • Delights in innovation, problem solving and building community
  • Has a passion to expand consciousness (mind-spirit-body) and learn from others and Nature
  • Will respect that Lodestar Gardens is a FREE ZONE: smoke-free, cannabis-free, drug-free, hate-free

Lodestar's Facilities

At Lodestar’s HAP school we offer a wide range of courses and an all inclusive experience to get you started. Tuition includes:

  • Daily Classes
  • Living and working in a community
  • Self sufficient accommodations
  • Three meals per day (As much as possible, we eat what we grow and cook healthy recipes according to participants’ diets)
  • Wi-Fi Access


We agree that our individual contributions to society are enhanced through the experience of collaboration in hands-on, student-centered, project-based learning. Together we explore high-desert agricultural practices, application of permaculture principles, alternative energy production, and the inspirational power of this place in the White Mountains region of the Southwest. In order to deepen our appreciation of place, we travel frequently to interesting sites, attend workshops and local community events such as farmers markets and art exhibits.

  • Classroom Curriculum
  • Local Farm Visits
  • Hands-On Application of Curriculum @ Lodestar Gardens
  • Field Trips (local historical and geographical sites)

Click here to view the week in a life schedule of a HAP Student and a list of required reading.

Soil (composting, testing, chemical-free amendments)
Seed – Soil – Water – Sun relationship
Recycling & Repurposing
Food Forests
Extending the Season Method
High desert & low desert gardening
Permaculture Principles in action

Irrigation systems (Drip, Overhead, Pond, Tanks, Pumps & Gravity Feed)
Water harvesting
Arizona water regulations

Organic sources – Biofuel, Manure, Methane
Future Sources – Advances in Technology

Steel Containers
Straw bale
Hands-On alternative building

Drying / Canning / Curing
Cold Storage
Root Cellaring


Food co-ops
Equipment collaboration
Share cropping
Work parties
Establishing local markets

Astrophotography / Photography
Tai Chi / Yoga / Meditation
Self-Reliant Health
Writing circles
Discussion circles
Literature circles: Oral Reading Circles, Book Talks

Alumni Benefits

  • Earn a Homesteaders Apprenticeship Certificate from Lodestar Gardens, LLC
  • Have the opportunity to network with a community of food producers
  • Build connection with mentors, advisors and fellow students
  • Experience a like minded community and learn from certified expert instructors
HAP graduates will be provided with 3 options to continue their relationship with Lodestar Gardens, LLC
1) The Lodestar Homesteading Certificate 2021-2022
2) Homesteading Mentor

3) Lodestar Share-Cropper opportunity. 

Click here to read more about the 3 tiers.


Our Students Say it Best

"I can't express the value of the lessons I have learned here... Thank you for giving me a picture of what sustainable off-grid life is like."
Handwritten Note from Anthony
Lodestar WWOOFer from 2020
"...I have come to know myself even better. You both focus on what is truly important. Your energy and spirit is contagious."
Handwritten Note from Alexis Arnold
Lodestar Student from May- June 2020

Meet our Instructors

Learn from our experienced guest speakers and lecturers. Our curriculum is taught by credentialed and experienced instructors, as well as a host of guest speakers, artists, and local food producers.

HAP Primary Instructors

Additional guest speakers and lecturers to be announced*


Barbara Hockabout 

Barbara holds a BA from University of California, Berkeley, as well as a California Secondary Teacher Credential from that same institution. She holds an MA from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. In May 2010, Barbara retired from 33-year public teaching career during which she worked with junior high to college students teaching literature, history and humanities. Barbara obtained her Masters Degree in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University in May 2012. She is a permaculture designer, Master Gardener of Coconino County, one of the first recipients of the Arizona Association of Environmental Education (AAEE) certificate, and holds current Arizona and Washington State secondary education and community college teaching certificates. Barbara comes from a family of teachers and intends to practice the art of teaching and writing for the rest of her life as they feed her soul most.

Clark Hockabout 

Clark is a practitioner of ceramic arts and the researcher, engineer, and mechanic of the team who makes the Lodestar clockworks move forward through projects–wind generation, alternative building design, irrigation/fertigation, aquaculture, rain water catchment, small-scale ethanol production, experiments in soil building, developing feed crops, ancient grains, and sprouting operations. He is also lead small animal caretaker for the Lodestar family of goats, chickens, and ducks. Clark’s lifetime interest in alternative medicine also motivates his interest in medicinal native plants.



Ra is a ceramics instructor at Northland Pioneer College and at the Lodestar Gardens Learning Center for students of any entry skill level. While he attended a cultural anthropology program, Ra apprenticed under master potter, Gurujan Singh in Laguna Beach, California. During that time, he instructed ceramics for the experimental college at the University of California at Irvine. Ra has traveled to Central America and studied Mayan art and culture. A professional studio potter for over twenty years, some of Ra’s other interests are yoga and folk music. He believes that various art forms inform and inspire each other, so he encourages students to bring their instruments when they come to the area. Ra designed and constructed the Lodestar Gardens Ceramic Studio and offers classes year round.

See the 2021 School Calendar

Click the image to visit the Lodestar HAP School Calendar

Begin your journey to independence this year.

HAP enrollment is limited, save your spot and send in your application by March 1st, 2021! 
For additional information about HAP visit