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Victory Gardens for Peace Internships 2021
by Matt Drewno, VGFP Mini-Farm Manager

Growing is what Victory Gardns is all about!

Having participated in several different agricultural programs, internships, courses, and jobs over the years, I can confidently say that EA internships are powerful. They provide a unique opportunity to experience GROW BIOINTENSIVE (GB) in action, supported by a diverse and engaging classroom experience, combining practical hands-on activities with the theory and science underpinning the method. Although COVID-19 has limited our ability to host on-site internships this year, we are strengthening our programs and look forward to continuing these important internships in the future.

When I first came to Ecology Action in 2010, I was fortunate to join the 6-month internship program and met my first group of interns as a fellow student. Two years ago, I met up with a graduate of that program in Peru and toured his amazing mini-farm tucked in the Andes Mountains, where he works with a small team to help campesinos use Biointensive. Since that first experience in 2010, I have developed programs, taught, and learned with several teams of Biointensive leaders. I feel privileged to work with the amazing people I have gotten to know at Ecology Action over the years. Some of the friendships we have forged have become the basis for a mutual support network of communication, project development, and celebration of hard work and dedication that we all share as we work towards a better future.

My experiences and friendships with these students inspired the development of EA's Victory Gardens for Peace Initiative. The VGFP Initiative is comprised of a series of community-based programs including a seed bank, educational materials, courses, community networks and projects. There are bits and pieces of GB projects from Peru, Oaxaca, Xochitla, New Zealand, Kenya, Malawi, Chile, Costa Rica, Russia, Nepal and other countries in our efforts. Communicating with past interns provides inspiration which keeps our combined efforts growing. The models we are developing in our community are integrated into our internship program, providing real-world examples for inspiration and engagement.

VGFP internships offer the opportunity for a wide variety of students to learn together, adding another dimension of interaction. When hosting onsite programs, we often have US college students on Victory Gardens for Peace 2021 Internships By Matt Drewno, VGFP Director summer break working and learning alongside community leaders from Kenya and Mexico. We invite locals to participate, encouraging further connection and inspiration. Our approach is to increase the Biointensive movement by building relationships and sharing methods across groups.

VGFP internships start in April and run through December. Our interns experience the growing year and live onsite, working daily with the rhythms of our soils and climate. It’s a cooperative effort of working together while also working on the self and on personal learning goals. Sometimes we drive each other crazy and sometimes we share ecstatic laughter around a bonfire. It is a family we create, and a microcosm of the world we cannot separate from. When challenges arise, I like to remind everyone: if we can’t work here together what hope do we have in the future? These moments are ripe for tremendous growth and makes even the difficult times worth it.

Our 8-month curriculum is split into four 2-month stages. Our 2-month internships comprise the first part of our 8-month course and focus on a basic introduction to GB. Our 4-month interns extend their learning to include complete and sustainable diet design and garden planning. Our 6-month interns receive 2 additional months of project development and garden management training. Our 8-month teacher certification program is for students seeking to become GB teachers and community leaders. A major benefit of this arrangement is that introductory students are driven to greater understanding by learning and engaging with more advanced interns, and 8-month interns get to share their experience and practice teaching at an introductory level, creating a higher-quality learning experience for all.

We invite you to read more about these important programs—including our new online (Zoom-based) internships at We also have 3-Saturdays Zoom workshops (online at which are a great way to explore world of possibility that opens up as you work with biointensive soil, food and seed production. And don't foget our onsite 9-Saturdays Course Series Part I and II (still scheduled for this summer Part 1: Jun 5 - Jul 31, 2021 and Part 2: Aug 21-Oct 16, 2021 , providing COVID restrictions allow onsite programs) and our full-day tour, scheduled for May 2. See our full schedule of events and other resources at our new website,

Most interns I have worked with, especially international interns, rely on our scholarship program to achieve their learning goals. If you would like to donate to Ecology Action’s scholarship fund, please contact us and let us know you want to support these programs. And keep an eye out for future newsletters to learn more about the exciting and inspiring accomplishments our students go into the world and achieve. Thank you, and keep growing!

Growing beds at Victory Gardens for Peace

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