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Gardening & Self Reliance Internship Offered: Spring/Summer 2019 in Humboldt County, CA

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An adventure of a lifetime awaits!  Join us on an established permaculture homestead along the Van Duzen River near Bridgeville on Highway 36. We are now accepting a seasonal internship as well as short term helper or guest visits. There are three internships available this season with focus mainly on:
  • Self reliance
  • Gardening
  • Building
  • Food preservation
  • Animal care
  • Land stewardship

  • This is a great opportunity to experience off-grid living, immersed in nature, while gaining practical skills for those who wish to transition into rural or community farm life. Please note that our focus is on abundant home scale production, not on large scale commercial market gardening.  

    These internships will offer practical, hands on education; while there is a well stocked and current library there is typically very little classroom learning.

    Our focus is on self sufficiency through as many forms as possible with minimal reliance on local market; we often have some surplus of garlic, eggs & fruit. During food preservation season, a good collection of jams, relishes, pickles, chutney, fruit sauces and dried fruit are stored. Our vision is to preserve the small scale and relatively stress free lifestyle while also allowing growing into the potential of the property and community.

    The longer term vision includes more focus on inner growth with the land serving as a digital-detox retreat in a forest meditation cabin available to weekly guests.

    Plan to spend 20 hours per week helping out.  We will work each day, Monday through Friday from 9am until noon, then break for a healthy meal.  We will do an additional hour of activity Monday through Thursday after the temperature cools down based on which need is most pressing. By getting out each day right at 9am and giving a good effort until noon, the farm is able to stay well tended throughout the season. There will be some overlap on shared projects but generally the tasks are divided. The weekday afternoons and evenings as well as weekends are your free time to play music, explore the camp, go to the river, hike through the woods or reflect in solitary time.  This opportunity will provide a realistic perspective on what it takes to be as self-reliant as possible while providing a peaceful setting for enjoying nature.

    General Gardening Internship
    Example tasks include learning how to plant/transplant, bed-prep, watering, weeding & mulching in the garden. We will also learn about soil and how to compost.  In the orchard learning to watering, pruning & harvesting from fruit trees and berry bushes. For food preservation we will both dry and can. You will learn how the seasons determine much of our activity and learn the routines needed to live off-grid. Animal care chores include letting out and putting in the chickens and ducks, feeding/watering them and collecting their eggs.  Moving and watering a few sheep. The role will also occasionally help with cooking.

    Land Maintenance Internship
    We are also looking for someone to help with the harder work, they may work fewer hours of more manual labor. This candidate should be strong, capable with tools and willing to do what is needed including building, fencing, digging, mixing cement, moving firewood, tougher weeding including poison oak and other similar tasks.

    The property features a mature orchard yielding fruits and nuts, a garden with vegetables, herbs and a diverse assortment of berries. The forest provides mushrooms, firewood and lumber, which is milled on site. The property is watered by an abundant spring. The property also has river access to an exceptional swiminghole with a sandy beach on the river for sunbathing.

    There are three dwellings available for use by guests or interns. The airstream and lower cabin are small but warm with wood heat. The lean-to by the outdoor kitchen is available for seasonal use mid-April through October.

    The internship provides housing, heat (firewood/propane), use of bathhouse/shower, sauna, library as well as most food provided.  Growing herbs for personal use is fine too. Traditionally there has been paid work at farms nearby in the fall and recently in the summer as well.

    I am passionate about permaculture and self reliance.  Most of my knowledge comes from practical experience.  I was profoundly influenced by Brock Dolman and the community at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center where I got a PDC Spring 2015 and their intentional communities course.  The following year an additional PDC with topical focus also in 2016 near Vang Vieng, Laos.  I have taken short courses in tiny home design and alternatives to conventional septic systems at Yestermorrow Design Building School in Waitsfield Vermont.  This year I participated in the community organizer training and recently completed the master food preserver course here in Humboldt.  Mostly I am a permaculture generalist with over 25 years of experience living off-grid.  I am always learning myself and currently exploring doing more with mushrooms, honey bees and sheep.  

    Please call/text 802.922.3969.
    Thank you, Monro Brook
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