Kelly Hardin

Interning at Ampersand was a holistic learning experience. Amanda and Andy taught concrete skills through work projects—natural building, gardening and land restoration work, for example—and workshops ranging from solar cooking to greywater systems to passive solar design…but learning went far beyond these experiences. Simply living off-grid with Ampersand’s systems for two months was an education in itself. It connected me to land in a way that I had never experienced before and caused me to reevaluate what I really need to be happy and healthy (which is much less than I originally thought). It taught me how to learn by doing or experimenting instead of simply relying on a textbook. Moreover, Amanda and Andy created a safe and rich space for us to explore our own interests in relation to what we learned at Ampersand. I left Ampersand empowered to actively pursue my own education through many different paths and angles—an incredible gift that I will carry for life.