Ecology Action's 8-Month Internship 2020:
8 months to certification

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Ecology Action offers 8-month internship programs where qualified participants who want to be key GROW BIOINTENSIVE resources for their region can get involved in hands-on demonstration, teaching and research in sustainable agriculture and closed-system food production at one of our teaching sites.

Through these programs, participants learn to use the unique, closed-loop, soil-building, resource-conserving, sustainble organic approach to food production developed by Ecology Action and master farmer John Jeavons over almost 50 years of research and applied farming. In addition, they learn about positive social solutions and practical skills to address food security issues. The internship focuses exclusively on the GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming technique and the low-technology lifestyle appropriate to development work, and results in certification as a GROW BIOINTENSIVE teacher. The 8-month programs begin in April and run through December of each year.

These internships are intended for people who already have an established understanding of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE (GB) method and want to take their skills to the next level. Specifically, we have developed these internships for people who:

  • Have already taken a workshop or other course in the GB method, or are involved in established projects and programs that use the GB method already;

  • Are interested in an in-depth understanding and experience of why GROW BIOINTENSIVE works and how to modify it for other climates, soils and cultures; and

  • Expect to be actively involved in public service in this kind of work (with selective preference given to those who have a strong interest in applied sustainable farming and/or demonstrate a significant ability to use the skills they gain through an internship to benefit their communities and the planet).

Our internship programs are an opportunity for you to assist Ecology Action in its mission to teach people to grow food and increase soil fertility while conserving resources, with both direct and indirect learning occurring in the process. During the internship, emphasis is placed on the ability of participants to learn to farm and develop GROW BIOINTENSIVE diet and sustainability designs and approaches, in the belief that the most creativity and strength come from people joining forces and working as a team after they have fully developed strength and independence. We have found that skill levels can be dramatically upgraded with this type of training.

Programs Available:

8-Month Onsite Internship:
Victory Gardens for Peace Mini Farm, Mendocino, CA and The Jeavons Center Mini-Farm in Willits, CA

This on-site internship is open to US and International applicants who meet the prerequisites listed above, and requires that participants live full-time at the program site in Mendocino, CA for the duration of the program April-November of 2020. The program includes a combination activities: lecture and demonstrations, study, field work, teaching, and "living the method". This combination is designed is so that participants learn Ecology Action's processes both theoretically and practically, and can understand the processes that are involved in starting this type of work (GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming, low-tech living, teaching the method to others) as well as performing these activities over the long-term.

Applications for this internship are now being accepted.

Cost: $8,570 (US residents)- US$20,670-$22,670 (international participants)

Program Location: Ecology Action's Victory Gardens for Peace Mini Farm, Mendocino CA.
Program Duration:
Mar 21 - Nov 21, 2020

Application Deadline
September 15, 2019.(Earlier applications preferred)
Participant Notification by October 15, 2019

Applicants should note that this is an unpaid, fee-based internship program. Program interns will be placed at the Victory Gardens for Peace Mini-Farm in Mendocino, California or The Jeavons Center Mini-Farm in Wilits, CA. Internship fees are non-refundable. A $2,250 deposit is due within one week of acceptance. Partial Scholarships available to those who qualify.

Click here to see a full course description, including schedule, curriculum, reading list, a breakdown of program expenses, and an application link.

NOT OFFERED IN 2020 - Possibly in 2021

8-Month Online (Web-based) Internship: International Applicants Only,

Ecology Action currently offers an 8-month online program to highly qualified individuals from outside the US. We are not currently offering the online program to applicants from the US, but hope to expand the program to include US participants in 2020.

Formerly, all interns spent 8 months onsite at Ecology Action, returning to their homes after completing the program. For international interns, the cost of travel and the long absence from home presented an obstacle for many participants, and was not an efficient use of time. To correct this issue, the online program for international interns spans 8 months and covers the same content as the onsite internship (see above), but is structured to provide web-based participants with an optimal learning experience, while causing as little disruption to their normal schedule as possible. The structure of the program is as follows:

  • Months 1-2 of the program are spent in your home location performing assigned reading and viewing webinars, ensuring that your skill level and knowledge of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method are at the correct levels.

  • Months 3-6 of the program are spent in your home location, working online with one or more of Ecology Action's Farmer Trainers via Skype and email. Activities include web-based classwork and learning hands-on techniques to practice in the field at your home site.

  • Months 7-8 of the program are spent in your home location, establishing your new project, and finishing any final requisites to complete your GROW BIOINTENSIVE Teacher Certification.

Cost: Ecology Action provides this program free of tuition and administrative costs to highly qualified internation applicants. Applicants should note that this is an unpaid, online internship program. Not included: any and all other costs associated with the time and activities performed in association with the program. For example, any costs related to housing, food, books, supplies, utilities, internet, living expenses, medical insurance or expenses, travel, incidental costs, etc., are entirely the responsiblity of the participants.

If you are interested in this program and require assistance with the costs described above, it may be beneficial to seek sponsorship from an organization within your country that helps with rural, agricultural or community development.

Program Location: Your home
Application Deadline:
Participant Notification
Program Begins: TBA (estimated 2021)

Click here to download a sample curriculum/syllabus for the online 8-Month Internship. Please remember that this is a sample and the actual curriculum, while it will cover these topics, may vary, depending on the instructor. You may also find it useful to look at the onsite 8-Month Internship description as a reference point.

This program is in development. Application link coming soon!

Also offered:
Two 9-Saturdays Course Series
2-Month Onsite Summer Internship
4-Month Onsite Internship
6-Month Onsite Internship
3-Year Apprenticeship