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Aranya Agricultural Alternatives’ Permaculture Design Internships

We bring our project to India for training and implementation of permaculture design internships. Interns learn practical and effective skills for working on poor rural farms in foreign environments. The interns become proficient in Permaculture International Aid while poor rural farmers benefit from life changing permaculture improvements to their farms and villages.

Overview of Internship:

The beginning weeks of the internship start at the Aranya Agricultural Alternatives farm and orient the intern to Indian culture, agriculture and permaculture practices.  Aranya’s specialty is water harvesting for watershed restoration and farm use. The Aranya farm is an excellent location to learn Indian permaculture, plant identification and uses.  Through the practicum, interns will help further permaculture practices on the farm.  The Aranya farm is an oasis and excellent example of rainfed agriculture in the drylands.

The second phase is the social and environmental study.  Interns learn, listen and get to know villagers they will be working with.  Trust, respect and friendships are mutually built  during this time.  This is a very important part of engaging in a beneficial aid project.  During this section, interns will make an evaluation of what is needed and decide what approach to take in their design project.

The third phase is the design and implementation of a project in the village or on a villager’s farm land.  These projects are functional permaculture model farms that inspire other villagers about what possibilities are available to them.  In this section, interns will learn mapping and project skills to be a permaculture consultant in their home country or in other places of the world.

After this phase, there is a 2 month break due to extremely hot weather.  Some members of the permaculture design internships choose to explore India, others return home to work.   This is a good time to exit the country and renew your visa.

The fourth phase begins in the middle of June, when the rainy season starts.  This is the implementation time for the planting part of the project.  Food forests, annual food crops and live fences will be planted.

The following year, a follow up report is required for certification.  This is because permaculture design internships and aid projects are often implemented without evaluation of how they actually benefited the target community.  In this phase, interns will be able to learn from the successes and problems of their project, and follow-up with their farmer client.

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