about the farm

Q & A 

Q.  Do you have a pre-trip planning list?  

A.  We will send you a packing list before you come.

Q.  How do I get there?

A.  You will make your flight arrangement to the Missoula Montana airport.  We will pick you up from the airport and take care of your transportation during your entire stay.  

Q.  Who is your typical student?

A.  College age 18-25 and eager to learn.  We limit class size to 6 students per session.  

Q.  What is included in the price of the program?

A.  Room and board, ground transportation, materials for projects including leather and fabrics, 8" chef's knife for the culinary school, and all excursion costs.  

Q.  Are there additional costs?

A.  You will be responsible for airfare to get here, all your own gear, camping gear (summer and fall for the excursions to Glacier National Park), seasonally appropriate clothes, pocket knife, and any personal expenses.  

Q.  Are you a non-profit?  Where does my tuition go?

A.  No, we are not a non-profit.  Your tuition goes to supplies for your program, room and board, paying the teachers, transportation and excursions.  

​Q.  Will my insurance needs be covered by my program fees? 

A.  You will need to carry your own health insurance.  We are 40 miles from a hospital (Missoula) should you need medical attention.  

Q.  Do you have any financial aid or scholarships?

A.  Yes.  We offer 2 needs-based scholarships a year, $1500 each. You qualify by writing a 1500 word essay on why you need the scholarship and why you are passionate about learning the skills our gap program offers.  

Q.  Does your gap year program offer college credit or federal financial aid?

A.  No, not at this time.

Q.  Are there policies regarding alcohol consumption?

A.  We do not allow alcohol on the premises for recreational use.  Some recipes we make do call for alcohol, which we will use sparingly.  This is a learning center, not a party center. 

Q.  What are your policies regarding student conduct?

A.  We have zero tolerence for bullying, unwanted sexual agression, lewd behavior, drunkenness, drug abuse, and violence.  These behaviors will terminate the offenders session and the offender will be required to leave

Q.  Will there be a curfew?  

A.  10pm lights out. 

Q.  What will my living situation be like?

A.  You will either be in a tipi or in a bunk room.  Tipi's sleep 2 and the bunk room sleeps 4.  We do not have co-ed living quarters. 

Q.  I am on prescription medications.  What is the best way to handle them while in your program?

A.  Let us know what we can do to facilitate your medical requirements.  We are near Missoula so refills are not a problem.  

Q.  How do I communicate back home?

A.  We have a landline phone for student use.  There is no cell phone coverage at Sanctuary Farm, and very limited internet.  When out on excursions, cell phone use is allowed.  ​We also encourage a handwritten letter home at least once a week.  

Q.  How much freedom will I have to determine how my time is spent?

​A.  Monday - Friday is scheduled fairly heavily, but within that time you will have opportunities to explore your creativity.  Saturdays are excursion day and Sunday is a day to relax, sleep in, read books, or catch up on your projects.  




Liz Manthei Deen received her Associates of Culinary Arts in 2005 from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Atlanta Georgia.  Liz owned and operated Peppercorns Catering, LLC, in Augusta Georgia from 2006 - 2014, specializing in corporate catering, managing up to 20 locations a day along with a staff of 50 people.  Liz has taken many classes in nutrition and in primitive cooking.  Her passion is to teach people to cook healthy food for themselves and their families.  Before Liz became a chef, she went to clothing design school, and then drapery school, owning and operating Liz’s Fabrications, a sewing business, for 10 years in Augusta Georgia.  Liz has also taken many classes at Tom Brown Jr's Tracker School in New Jersey and California.  Liz and her husband Matt and son Alexander moved to Western Montana in 2016, and are focused on sustainable living and farming.  Matt and Liz grow organic grass fed chickens (and eggs), ducks, organic gardens and raspberries, organic beef and have an organic brown swiss milk cow, Snowflake.  

staff bios

You’re in Luck: We’re Small


We limit class size to 6 students per session, so you are guaranteed lots of one-on-one time with the teachers.  We want to make sure you get every opportunity to learn as much as you want to when you are here and to be as creative as you want to be.  With smaller class sizes, the sky is the limit for creativity.  

Skills and lessons from the ancient ones that create self confidence and inspiration



Matt Deen received his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Ecology from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington in 1996.  An active member of the Scouting movement (Boy Scouts of America) since 1980, Matt lives by the Scout oath and law, exemplifying the ideals of servant leadership.  A rendevouz, buckskinning enthusiast for nearly 30 years, Matt enjoys living and teaching the primitive arts of recreating and understanding the old ways of living (both Native and non-native).  He is a skilled buckskin and beadwork artist, focusing on the Plains style, in particular Lakota motifs.  A longtime student of Lakota Holy Man Dan Yellowhawk, Dan entrusted his lessons to Matt to continue to teach and share with those seeking to find their life purpose.  

Set in a wooded mountain valley in Western Montana bordered by the Lolo National Forest, Sanctuary Farm is a working farm with designated space for orchard, one-acre organic garden, milk cow, a Great Pyrennes dog, Cleo, and various livestock.  A year-round creek runs through the property, and wildlife abounds.


As part of your experience here you will get to live in a tipi, plant and harvest your own organic food (seasonal), spend time with the livestock, make soap, learn how to cook, learn leathercraft, make beautiful clothes, a dreamcatcher, and many other items using many types of artistic materials, all in the peace and beauty of life in the mountains of Western Montana.