Gardener/Farmer for Buddhist Center, Northern CA
Odiyan Retreat Center

Are you a gardener/farmer? Or do you want to be? Your chance to hone your skills!

Sonoma County, Northern California coast, 100 miles north of San Francisco


Gardener/Farmer for Buddhist Center, Northern CA

Odiyan Retreat Center
Odiyan Buddhist Retreat Center, California
No experience required

Maintain and develop 2 acres of mixed vegetable production  The goal is to sustainably provide all the vegetables for our community of 40 people throughout the year. 

About Odiyan Retreat Center: Founded in 1975 by Venerable Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, Odiyan is a Tibetan Buddhist center located on a 1000-acre spiritual and ecological preserve in rural Northern California. Perched on a ridge overlooking rolling hills and the Pacific Ocean, Odiyan is modeled after Tibet's first Buddhist center—a three-dimensional Mandala.

We are seeking a couple of strong, hardy people who want to throw themselves into making our gardens produce this year. You will work with one of our older residents who has been raising vegetables, healing plants and ornamentals for over 30 years. You will join a small team of current volunteers lead by a younger resident who has already 2 years under his belt working in our gardens. We grow all the major vegetables on rotation throughout the year and maintain a substantial winter garden. In addition, we grow many unusual foods, ornamental, pollinator, and medicinal annuals and perennials.  

Odiyan is a Tibetan Buddhist center where everyone is a volunteer working and living as service to the mission and vision of the center.  You will be stepping into a work situation with good infrastructure, including a large greenhouse and two large hoop houses, large sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, three good wells, a large compost operation, small mushroom production, excellent tools and a large commercial kitchen with extensive food preparation and preservation capacities. 

This is an opportunity to hone and develop your gardening skills while contributing to the welfare of an important spiritual center, among a group of people dedicating their lives to work for the benefit of all humanity.

You will also participate in landscaping, maintenance and cleaning, some work on our Sacred Art projects, and we will teach you vegetarian cooking!

Couples are welcome. We cannot accept children or pets.

Living and working at Odiyan includes: 

  • Free home-cooked vegetarian meals and beverages.
  • Free housing in a large room with balcony.
  • Free WI-FI and domestic phone calls.
  • A living allowance of $100 after the first month, $150 after 6 months.
  • Access to a healthy setting of nature, trails, swimming, wide-open spaces, sacred beauty, fresh air, clean water, and nutritious food.
  • Free Classes on Development of Mind & Spirit: Tibetan yoga, Skillful Means, Buddhist study and more.


  • Minimum age of 23 years old.
  • Minimum commitment of 6 months with a preference for those able to stay the whole season (9 months). 
  • Some background in vegetable gardening or a sincere interest.
  • Physical strength and stamina for the long hours of manual work needed for successful gardening and farming, 


You do not need to be Buddhist or have a religious affiliation to volunteer at Odiyan. An interest in Buddhism is a plus but not a requirement.

You do need to be eager for a wholesome lifestyle of self-sufficiency, meaningful work, inner development, and taking responsibility.

For those who find the Odiyan way of life a good match, long-term residency is a future option.


For a more 'inside' view of Odiyan see us on Facebook: OdiyanBuddhistRetreatCenter.

How to Apply

To get started, send your resume, a short statement about why this opportunity interests you and clear photo of yourself to We would be happy to send you more details about the garden positions and/or speak with you on the phone about living and working at Odiyan. Join us!

Contact Info