Eastern Shore Food Lab

Permaculture Internship

The Permaculture Internship focuses on the hands-on development of ecological design skills involved in regenerative food production systems. 

Permaculture Interns are the field agents and food producers of the Eastern Shore Food Lab. Interns learn a life-enriching design philosophy and practice an ecologically mindful way of being. 

Course Overview

Under the guidance of Shane Brill, the Permaculture Intern explores permaculture methods ranging from apiary management to wildcrafting. Film viewings and readings will supplement weekly seminar meetings. Research and design will lead to real-world project implementation.

Topics Covered

Aquaculture, edible landscaping, ethnobotany, food security, medicinal herbs, natural building, and resiliency skills; energy conservation technologies; land restoration techniques; food forests, plant guilds, and gardens for self-sufficiency; patterns in nature and culture; principles of natural systems; social justice and community activism; sustainable design methodologies; water harvesting techniques; wildlife management and biological pest control.

Student Responsibilities

The non-credit bearing internship consists of 70 work hours, or about 7 hours per week. Responsibilities include:

  • Conduct weekly sector analysis at a self-selected campus location.
  • Maintain a journal of activities and participate in discussion-based seminar.
  • Read Practical Permaculture and watch assigned permaculture films.
  • Participate in campus garden and RAFC outpost workdays.
  • Develop 5 plant research profiles for publication on the Eastern Shore Food Lab website. 
  • Help guide public walks on wild edible plants.

Academic Credit Option

The Permaculture Internship can be adapted to most majors for academic credit. This approach requires working with a faculty advisor to meet additional academic requirements, which vary by department and typically include journal submissions and completion of a final paper.