For 2013, the Lost Valley team is focusing a notch less on courses and workshops and a notch more on getting permaculture systems active on site, furthering our transition from the conventional infrastructure (and culture) that we inherited from the previous owners in 1989 to more independent and ecological ways. The Internship Program is a perfect blend of hands-on work, living in community at our ecovillage, and meaningful classroom-based learning. Interns will contribute to Lost Valley’s progression and be rewarded with education through action in a communal setting.
Our internship program, which starts May 1, is designed to provide a lived experience for those interested in cultivating skills for sustainable living. Interns will be welcomed as members of our intentional community and will help us in our process of continually finding ways to create more harmony in how we interact with the natural environment, other individuals, and ourselves.
The internship program has two main components:
*Living in community
Lost Valley is an intentional community of over 50 folks ranging from newborns to elders. Most of our residents are in their 20s and 30s, and we are excited to welcome individuals of all ages. Many community members come together to cook and eat meals, participate in work parties, host and attend festivities, co-teach one another, hang out in the meadow or eco-resource lounge, make art, play games, etc. We also have weekly gatherings that support our healthy functioning as a community: on alternate weeks we host Well-Beings and Community Petal meetings. Well-Beings are a chance for us to come together and connect, process, share, and deepen our relationships. Themes and activities are decided by community members and change each week. Community Petal meetings are where residents voice their opinions and make decisions about things that affect the community. At Lost Valley, we have our own sociocratically-inspired governance system and encourage interns to learn about it and become participating members.
*Experiential education in permaculture implementation
Interns will spend 20 hours per week working on sustainability-related projects around the campus, ranging from organic gardening and food preservation to natural building and the construction of composting toilets and greywater systems. This work is almost entirely outdoors, and focused on “doing,” rather than “talking about” – interns will get their hands dirty in various ways. There is flexibility from day to day depending on what activity an intern wants to do – one day might be transplanting and companion planting in the garden and the next natural plaster and finishing. In short, interns get to spend most of their time doing the cool, sexy stuff of permaculture.
- The Learning Series — Once per week, interns will receive a special class focused on various sustainable living skills. Topics might include: mushroom inoculation, food fermentation, canning and dehydrating, woodcarving, sociocracy 101, non-violent communication, intro to permaculture principles and applications, composting, etc. This amounts to six hours per month.
- With their work, interns also earn time in other courses or workshops Lost Valley offers. The more hours an intern contributes, the more free participation they get in offerings like the LV portion of the Permaculture Passport Program. (Note that many events like Fungi workshops are outside events and so not eligible for this discount.) This varies depending on offerings, but can be up to six hours per month.
- Each intern will co-prepare one meal per week and is expected to spend two hours per week helping out with the “cleansing and creation” of our community. These are both optional programs, with each person on site choosing to either participate (with approval) or pay for site use and maintenance.
- In their free time, interns are able to choose their own adventure. With over 80 acres, there are numerous trails to hike, a water hole to swim in, a huge meadow to play or lounge in, a hot tub and sauna to relax in, and various community spaces to hang out in with other residents.
- Many evenings have scheduled or impromptu events such as skill-sharing, community bonding activities, yoga, game nights, movies, or dancing.
- As part of the community, interns and all others must agree to the Community Living Agreements, which are rules we have set for ourselves as a community, to help us live together in a consonant way. They are linked here.
Cost: While there is no fee for the internship program, interns cover the cost of their food and lodging. Participating in the full meal plan gets one prepared meals for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday (more if there are events running) and access to our stocked pantry at all other times. This costs $300/mo, but is discounted $100/mo for contributing one cook and clean shift per week, coming out to $200/mo (a half meal plan is available, too). Lodging costs $200/mo for a single room in our dormitory, or $150/mo for camping around our beautiful oak savannah meadow. Summer lodging is camping only, as the dorm is used for other groups. All people staying at Lost Valley are required to have a security deposit on file; for interns this is $150. If there are no damages or fees upon departure, this is returned in full.
Hours per week: Selecting the full meal plan and participation in the Community Cooking program and Cleansing and Creation program, time totals come to 20 hours per week working on the cool permaculture stuff offered on site, 5 hours per week in the kitchen, and 2 hours per week cleaning and beautifying the facilities, for a total of 27. The cost for this full involvement is $350/mo if camping (any time of year) and $400/mo if staying in the dorm (before June or after August).
Minimum stay: While interns are encouraged to stay at least 3 months, and may stay longer, we ask that they stay for at least one month.
Start date: The program begins May 1. Aligning your time here with calendar months (Ex. starting June 1, finishing Aug. 30) is preferred, but not mandatory. Admission is rolling, so apply now, let us know when you are interested in coming, and we will let you know if we have space for those dates. Contact Simon the Intern Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Intern Program’ included in the subject and an explanation of your motivation, interests and activities, and timetable, and we’ll talk about the fit. After approval, you can then register below. Please do not register/pay before contacting us.
We’re looking forward to your excitement and involvement!