Green Thumb Internship

GREEN THUMB INTERNSHIP + Growing Abundance April 1 – May 15  (limited places available)

This internship commences with the 9-day intensive course Growing Abundance Year-Round for Self-reliance and Market Gardening followed by 5 weeks residential interning for practical hands-on learning through participating in the food producing systems at Djanbung Gardens. This is a great way to learn and gain well-rounded skills in permaculture gardening by living the reality in our subtropical paradise.

The Growing Abundance for Self-reliance and Market Gardening intensive course is included in your Internship Fee.

The course covers  basic botany for gardeners, analysing and amending soils, compost and compost teas, different bed preparation techniques, biochar activation, planning a year-round food supply, companion planting and crop rotation systems, succession planting, crop nutrition, organic certification requirements, post harvest physiology and handling, seed saving and propagation, Workplace Health & Safety, maintaining and caring for tools, plus field visit to commercial permaculture market garden. The focus is on vegetable and herb production. Course participants will receive a course handbook with detailed notes and resources and will receive a PCA certificate of completion.

Course teachers: Robyn Francis, Angela Skehan and Melian Fertl

The Green Thumbs Residential Internship following the Growing Abundance course will consolidate what you have learned through planning and planting the autumn/winter gardens at Djanbung.

This time of year we are planting familiar and unusual temperate vegetables to grow through the mild subtropical winter. We are also harvesting tropical crops we’ve been growing through summer, including a range of tropical tubers such as turmeric, galangal, cassava, taro, yakon and Jerusalem artichokes. Other activities during this internship will include making simple garden structures with bamboo, working on the Artisan Workshop for Forgotten Arts, assisting with special events, and other Djanbung activities. You will gain experience in managing the integrated animal systems and general farm maintenance.

Special events during this period at Djanbung Gardens include Repair Cafe, Nimbin DJ Club,   Buninj Festival (Bundjalung Aboriginal Cultural Festival) and will end with hosting the Permaculture Australia Fair and AGM.

Green Thumbs Internship Fee: for full 6 weeks $1475  includes the 9-day Growing Abundance Course and handbook (worth $925), plus additional 5 weeks internship camping and communal kitty contribution ($550)   Extras options:  Bunk bed accommodation $150 extra •  Private room accommodation $275 extra

To apply please download and complete the form and email to PCA admin with a $250 deposit payment to reserve your place.  The balance must be paid by April 1.  The deposit will be refunded if places are full. Please read the complete refund policy on the application form



Product Description


This internship commences with the 9-day intensive course to fast-track your knowledge and skills in food production in a permaculture system. The course days will have catered breakfasts, lunches and M/A teas.  Evening meals will be self-catered.

There will be a 2 day break between the end of the course and the live-in internship.

During the 5 week residential internship following the course you will be living as an independent residential community with facilities in the railway carriages. These include a kitchen with basic equipment (stove, fridge, toaster, pots, crockery and cutlery), plus showers and secluded communal social space on the verandas. The accommodation bunks and private rooms are also located in the carriages.

Interns will participate in weekly meeting to develop rosters for cleaning, preparing communal meals and managing the kitty budget, as well as regular farm chores such as feeding and tending the animals and watering the garden and nursery.

The communal cooking, sharing and living is an important component of the internship and a great opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, swap recipes and experiment with unusual produce. The kitty is designed to cover basic needs such as cooking oil, condiments, dry goods (rice, lentils etc) and some fresh produce. You may need to purchase additional food for the rostered meals you cook. In Nimbin village there’s a food co-op, Emporium supermarket (also has bulk foods) and a weekly farmers market.

During the residential internship you will volunteer 20-25 hrs/week in the gardens and farm maintenance.  Tuesdays to Fridays we meet in the morning to organise the day’s work. Most days involve 5-6 hrs and are adjusted according to weather and farm priorities.

You will have plenty of time to make use of the PCA library to do research and to take on special projects to explore your personal interests.

What we expect from interns

  • Willingness to learn and share knowledge and ideas
  • Keen to work with us, independently and under direction, to listen and follow instructions
  • Ability to work in a team, accept feedback and take responsibility for your work
  • Participate in routine jobs as well as interesting and challenging projects
  • Be respectful and community-minded, participate in community living, chore-sharing and rosters
  • Passionate interest in nature, permaculture and sustainable living
  • Motivated to do your best and take pride in your work
  • Interact with visitors and the public in a polite, friendly and informative manner
  • (NB we do not tolerate substance abuse or working under the influence of alcohol or drugs.)
  • Participate as team member to support set up, operation and clean up of special events.


What we offer

  • A unique opportunity to learn in a living, working permaculture environment: vegetable gardens, orchard & food forest, integrated animal systems, water systems, and whatever other activities may be happening at the time such as building, bamboo work, events, general farm and property maintenance.
  • Mentoring and on-the-job training with our team of qualified experienced permaculturists
  • Practical experience in sustainable lifestyle, homesteading and a diverse range of permaculture practices and seasonal production systems
  • Communal living where you cooperate to share cooking, cleaning and living space with fellow interns as a self-organising community in the railway carriages, which contain a well equipped kitchen, showers, sleeping space, under-cover and outdoor communal living space, fire pit, cob oven etc. The carriage have electricity (solar-grid).
  • Free wifi and access to the incredible PCA reference library (thousand of books about permaculture, gardening, health and sustainability)
  • The option to take on additional activities according to your interests such as research, practical projects, involvement in local community projects and events
  • Option to participate in some of our workshops and special events during your internship.
  • Option to apply for a scholarship to participate in PCA short courses following your internship, and/or apply to stay on as a longer-term residential intern at Djanbung Gardens


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