Living in the GardenBookmark This
Dragon's Eye Learning Center
DescriptionLiving in the Garden is a practical, hands-on experience in
• all that it takes to run a small, diverse sustainable organic farm, including growing, processing, and marketing plant and animal foods.
• sustainable living systems such as composting toilet, solar power, well/gravity feed water, Korean Natural Farming, aquaponics, permaculture
• the skills required to live closely with others in intentional community, including honest/direct communication, food preparation, and personal growth work
The internship includes regular meeting and regular study/discussion groups, as well as exposure to and participation in all aspects of farm operations. The second half of the internships offers the opportunity to specialize in one or more chosen aspect of the farm. Bi-weekly field trips to other innovative sustainable agriculture sites and recreational activities (beach, lava viewing, live music) are also included.
Our basic internship is 3-4 months long and costs $600/month, payable in advance. This fee covers instruction, materials, lodging, all-organic meals, and field trips.
DELC is prepared to work closely with university and college departments in order to meet reporting and evaluation requirements. If you think that your school might be interested in sending a cohort, please speak with your advisor and have that person make contact.
Lodging is rustic, but comfortable, with futon or mattress beds, mosquito screening, desk and closet, in single-sex duplexes or single rooms. Outdoor solar hot water showers and bathtub, functional communal kitchen, nearby federally-approved composting toilet, wood-floor recreation space, internet hotspot, and bicycles are also included amenities.
Dragon’s Eye Farm is the 37 acre tropical lowland site of Dragon’s Eye Learning Center, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization providing educational experiences of cooperative and sustainable agricultural and economic systems.
The family-run farm consists of mature tropical orchards, pastures & livestock, soil and aquaponic gardens, a naturally-farmed chicken egg operation, and various community and private structures. The farm is being developed using principles from permaculture, Korean natural farming, and the ecological agriculture movement. Nearly all of the farm inhabitants’ food is produced on site, such as tropical fruits and roots, perennial greens, garden vegetables, eggs, fish, dairy, and meat. The remote location has required establishment of alternative living systems such as rain/well water catchment, photovoltaic power, electric vehicles and composting toilets.
Adult workshops organized during the 2010-11 cycle have included bio-grub cultivation, Egoscue method of health through motion, natural farming with Master Cho, and fermentation with Sandor Katz. Periodic natural farming and aquaponics workshops are complemented by monthly free tours.
ResponsibilitiesInternship is 40 hrs. a week, which includes 30 hrs. of hands-on Living in the Garden work, including but not limited to seed/seedling planting, shoveling, raking, weeding, harvesting vegetables/fruit, harvesting animal feeds, mixing animal feeds, operating powered farm machinery, operating machete, driving golf cart, feeding animals, collecting eggs, milking cows, animal health procedures, light carpentry, carrying heavy objects, packing farm products, killing/butchering animals, culturing dairy, fermenting vegetables, cooking/cleaning, assisting 4-H Club projects, taking aquaponics chemistry readings, preparing natural farming inputs, coppicing nitrogen fixing trees, hunting wild pig.
Five hours a week are spent in community service, which involves rotating schedule on group food preparation/cleaning. Five hours a week are spent in study/discussion group. Weekly required reading in the fields of sustainable agriculture, sociology, childhood development, and other topics.
RequirementsThis internship is open to anyone who is genuinely interested in the program, given these caveats:
• no smoking
• no pets
• no drug addictions
• remote location makes it tough for health conditions needing regular medical care
• comfortable with rustic, farm-based conditions (getting dirty, composting toilet, outdoor shower, some mosquitos, nudity lifestyle)
• comfortable being around and acting as a responsible role model for children
• if you come with children, special arrangements including higher price need to be arranged