Geoff Lawton, above the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm
Some of you may have noticed I’ve been a little intermittant in my (visible) work for you all of late…. I thought I’d better let you know I’m still alive and well, and that the reason for my tardiness in posting is due to travelling. I’m now, as the photo above indicates, at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm, working on an update to last year’s Zaytuna Farm Video Tour. (On that note, if you have particular aspects of the farm that you’d like to see, do let me know via comments below, and, if at all possible, I’ll try to work those aspects in — but be quick, as I won’t be here long!)
‘The Hex’ (hexagon straw bale classroom)
This also happens to be the last week of yet another internship. I’m impressed with the great group of young and not-quite-so-young people we have here — coming from all over the world, but sharing a common vision for the kind of world we’d like to help develop, and who are keen to gain the practical skills towards that end. This time around, we have eleven interns, coming from the USA, Canada, the UK, Mexico, Turkey, and, of course, Australia.
We’re now in the last few days of the internship, and the interns are beavering away on their respective projects. I particularly enjoy seeing that on the PRI internship, students not only develop skills in base permaculture concepts like composting, nursery work, animal husbandry, etc., but if they wish they can also do so in a broad range of skills, including such things as building, welding, and so on. This farm really is a place where positive creativity is only limited by the imagination, and the imagination gets a lot of stimulation here! The tools, resources, inspiration, fellowship and mentoring are all here to be utilised to personal advantage.
As often happens, three or four of the current interns are planning to stay on after the internship, in the capacity of volunteer apprentices — allowing them an inexpensive option to continue developing their knowledge and skills base under expert mentorship. People who have done this in the past have often ended up being recommended for consultancies and interesting project work worldwide. It’s all part of our dream of reinventing the current economy, and giving the term ‘green jobs’ a whole new meaning.
I don’t know anyone, anywhere who runs a permaculture internship at this scale. Getting it started and established has been quite a work, with not a few teething problems along the way, but the dogged determination of Geoff and Nadia and the rest of the PRI team, and the help of many others along the way, has brought us this far — where interns are not only smiling, but often looking to stay on after the close of the program.
It’s our hope that other institutions can find a way to emulate this model, as too few young people today would otherwise have the opportunity to regain the skills and knowledge that our society has so rashly undervalued and discarded. ‘The Great Reskilling’ needs to commence!
As it happens, there are still a couple of places left available for the internship that starts in a little under 4 weeks from now — on April 22, 2013. A requirement for PRI internships is that you have already taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course somewhere in the world. We run a PDC just prior to each of our internships throughout the year, so if you want to get on the next internship, and you haven’t already taken a PDC, you’ll want to jump on the one that starts on April 8, 2013.
For other dates, please see our course listing section for a full schedule of courses and internships.
Interns may come and go, but chefs Ish and Tony are thankfully still here,
churning out meal after tasty meal (I must take a few recipes away with me…)
Geoff blatantly ignores the "Food forest in progress, please use other track" sign.
We work in the hope that this sign will become more commonplace worldwide….