This Spring we’re lucky enough to have six new permaculturalists living at our farm. Our Spring 2011 permaculture interns are here for 12 weeks of designing, doing and digging. And they are some of the most amazing folks I have had the pleasure to meet since we’re been here.
Apart from being formidable individuals, these six folks have formed a fabulous tight-knit crew who literally wake, work, think and play together, just about 24/7. Let me tell you a little about them all…
Sabina Arokiam is from Malaysia. She’s a firey go-getter with a background in new media and permaculture, and has traveled the world learning and observing best-practice permaculture education models.
Sabina recently completed her Permaculture teacher training with Rosemary Morrow in Austria, and is considered a leading Permaculture practitioner in Malaysia through her work at Embun Pagi.
She’s at Milkwood to learn how to run a kick-ass permaculture educational enterprise.
Jurgen Soecknick is from Austria. He’s a deep listener and a biologist by training. Jurgen has also traveled the world studying and working on permaculture farms, learning everything he can.
Jurgen is aiming to become a permaculture teacher and also just completed his Permaculture teacher training with Rosemary Morrow in Austria. He’s been working with Sabina on their Embun Pagi project and is looking to take his permaculture designing and teaching to the next level.
Claire Dunkley is from Australia. She’s a nurse, a rock climber and a wanna-be farmer. Claire has come to Milkwood straight from wwoofing at Taranaki Farm in Victoria, where she was learning regenerative farming with the Falloons.
Claire is planning to make her small acreage in Victoria a brilliant ‘beyond organic’ small farm, and is here at Milkwood to learn as many skills as she can in order to effectively design and realize her small farm dream. And we can’t wait to see it happen.
Adam Shand is a Kiwi and a fearless geek who may have just cracked our DIY remote area internet problem. Nick is a bit in awe of Adam’s back-end sys-admin capabilities but he’s coping with it by getting Adam really muddy as often as possible.
Adam is at Milkwood to figure out if permaculture is really for him as a future strategy. He’s been in south-east Asia for the last two years observing permaculture and traditional systems of living, and now he’s here to work hard, design systems and figure out a way forward. Adam.Shand.net
Ashley Harris is from a particularly high part of the USA (Colarado). She’s got a background in all sorts of things, including accumulating some great overalls, and has spent time in Mexico and Guatemala. Ashley is interested in people, and how they interact, and how they do what they do.
Ashley would like to leave Milkwood ready to hit the ground running with strategies to devise some sort of urban farming or community food production enterprise for her hometown, to create resilience in her community.
Olivier Sofo is from Australia. He’s a chef and restauranteur by trade but is now looking at how he can connect food, growing and teaching all into one fabulous permaculture livelihood. Olivier is passionate about, well, everything. But in a good way.
Olivier is just at the start of his permaculture journey, having just completed his PDC, and is looking for a new path forward involving permaculture, growing food, cooking food, sharing knowledge and getting others excited about all these things too.
…So there you have it. What a cool crew! These six folks are working together as a team on a daily basis to design and implement a range of projects, in addition to doing an extensive range of on-farm courses while they’re here.
Each intern project is tied to a learning outcome that we’ve identified as important to the needs and aspirations of the group, as well as the needs of Milkwood Farm. And it’s working fabulously.
Part of this internship is about learning to document what you do and communicate that clearly, in order to create useful resources. So there’s now a Milkwood Intern Notes blog, which will grow in the course of this and successive internships. Please read, comment and participate!
And here’s a little clip Olivier took during the recent earthbag dome rendering project – what happy campers!
Welcome to you all – we’re privileged to have you all here at our farm.
Thanks to everyone for the photos, and particularly to Trev Bamford for his ongoing work in helping us develop a truly excellent and dynamic intern program.
The first photo sadly does not feature Olivier Sofo as he took the shot, but it’s such a winner I had to use it.