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Organic Agriculture Internship

Internship description 
This 4-week program concentrates on providing interns a hands-on introduction to a variety of organic gardening practices. We will utilize the food forests, gardens, orchards, and market gardens as our teaching guides. Our aim is to strengthen the understanding of permaculture practices by providing a hands-on farming experience that allows interns to participate in the process of growing, maintaining, and harvesting crops, using sustainable practices. They will also learn how to cook and create nourishing foods during their farm-to-table classes. Lessons and workshops will be taught daily, by local experts and our experienced directors to help provide a more in-depth understanding of essential agricultural concepts. Interns will be required to complete an organic ag-related research project at the course based on a topic of their choosing. Our directors will help facilitate their research and assist with the practical application of their findings. There is also the possibility to engage in local restoration projects located on the Big Island. 

Program Dates 

July 15th – August 9th, 2024

Throughout the internship, students will be required to do the following:

  • Design and create a food forest using the principles of permaculture 
  • Conduct and present a director-supervised research on a topic of choice related to organic agriculture (companion planting, medicinal plants,soil regeneration, agroforestry, etc.) 
  • Understand and implement regenerative organic farming techniques
  • Tropical Plant identification 
  • Build and regenerate soil 

Curriculum Overview 
Our program is structured so that you will spend part of your day in the classroom learning from our organic ag directors and guest speakers, while the other part will be in the fields applying the information you have just learned in the field. We will also have a weekly excursion to various parts of the island to engage in some outdoor recreation.

  • Develop a strong foundational understanding of organic and regenerative agriculture 
  • Enhance understanding of the natural world through permaculture exploration
  • To become stewards of the land (Malama Ka ‘Aina) by cultivating crops as well as their mind, body, and spirit.
  • Develop the mindset to live a more regenerative and sustainable lifestyle
  • Promote leadership skills 
  • Inspire personal growth 

The following is a list of topics we will cover throughout the program. If there is an area of focus not listed that you are passionate about, please do not hesitate to reach out to discuss the possibility of incorporating it into your internship program.

Organic Agriculture and Tropical Horticulture

  1. Principles of Permaculture Design
  2. Organic Agriculture
  3. Tropical Agroforestry
  4. Ecological Economics
  5. Soil & Water Conservation
  6. Edible Ecosystems
  7. Orchard Management
  8. Plant Physiology
  9. Edible Ecosystems
  10. Soil Composition
  11. Composting 
  12. Apiculture
  13. Plant Identification & Medicinal Usage

Receiving College Credit?

Because this is an educational internship, many of our interns have received college credits during their time with us at Big Islands Farm. Interns have received course credits in organic agriculture, horticulture, environmental science, and more with our diverse and extensive curriculum. 

We are more than happy to work with your institution to meet your academic needs. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can fulfill your course credit requirements.

Some educational institutions require prior approval before the start of an internship. It is the responsibility of the student to check with their institution to be sure they meet any requirements before they accept a position.

$3,500 for 29 nights. This includes accommodation, meals, and workshop fees during the internship.

Additional Notes

*This is an unpaid educational internship, the students will not be working nor required to do any work at Big Island Farms.
*They will be following a detailed curriculum and have daily courses related to the subject they have selected for their major.
*They will complete a group project and each student will have to fill up an internship report supervised by their director.