The Greening the Desert Internship
This is a four-week internship at the Dead Sea (or Jordan) Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) site. This small project is located in the village of Jawasari on less than 1 acre of ground.
Immerse yourself in a once in a lifetime experience. Come and join us, live and learn about permaculture in the lowest place on earth.
Students will be engaged in the ongoing development of the land as a demonstration site and education center.
This is an opportunity to experience a Permaculture Master Plan project in action and learn directly from its main designer Geoff Lawton while it is still in the establishment phase of construction. Part of the time you will be engaged in practical daily work while other parts of the program you will be learning theoretical aspects of applied permaculture.
PRACTICAL COURSE COMPONENTS WILL INCLUDE:
- Construction of multiple wicking bed roof gardens.
- Maintenance of existing food forests through chop’n’drop, pruning and mulching.
- Working closely with small animal systems as functional elements within the overarching design.
- Working with natural fertility systems with compost, compost tea, soil probiotics, natural fermentation and anaerobic natural fertiliser creations.
- Maintaining and working in desert vegetable gardens.
- Nursery and shade house work.
- Reed bed maintenance.
- Compost toilet maintenance.
- A field trip to observe established gabion water harvesting systems in the desert landscape.
SOME OF THE IN CLASS SUBJECTS THAT WE WILL COVER WILL BE:
- Home garden and school garden design and maintenance
- Food Forests
- Small animal systems
- Large grazing animal systems
- Water harvesting
- Broad landscape rehabilitation
- Constructing wicking beds
- Worm farms
- Grey water reed beds establishment
- Installing a solar system
- Rocket stoves
- Solar hot water systems
- Fuel wood systems
- House design
- Straw bale mudbrick building
- Compost production and compost tea
- Biological fertilizer
- Nursery systems
ABOUT THE TEACHER
Geoff Lawton is the main facilitator for this PDC course. He a Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He first took his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course with Bill Mollison in 1983. He holds a Diploma in Permaculture Education, Design, Implementation, System Establishment, Administration and Community Development given by the founder of Permaculture, Bill Mollison.
Geoff has undertaken thousands of jobs teaching, consulting, designing, administrating and implementing, in 6 continents and close to 50 countries around the world. Clients have included private individuals, groups, communities, governments, aid organizations, non-government organisations and multinational companies.
He has currently educated over 13,000 students in Permaculture worldwide. These include graduates of the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course and courses focused on the practical design of sustainable soil, water, plant, and legal and economic systems.
Damien had his first exposure to permaculture in a design certificate in Thailand, with Geoff Lawton, over 10 years ago. With an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology and already a fascination and desire to live a natural life he found the perspectives and possibilities presented by permaculture to completely overhaul the way he looked at the world. Damien has worked on several different permaculture projects throughout Thailand and has been investing the last year in upgrading his practical skills at Zaytuna farm in Australia, of which he is a native, under the tutelage of Geoff Lawton.
During a detour away from the permaculture world, Damien worked as a science teacher at a bilingual school in Thailand, teaching science to primary school students with English as a second language. This experience has trained Damien to be a patient and natural teacher, as he says “teaching adults is easy after that experience!”. He has also worked as a project leader for volunteer students on various wildlife projects throughout Thailand. Damien is a creative and passionate writer with a flair for articulating concepts in an easy to understand manner both in written and spoken forms.
He is concurrently studying a Masters degree in Social Ecology and working on various writing projects both related to permaculture and to other areas of interest while being a full-time permaculture farmer/student at Zaytuna.
ABOUT THE LOCATION
About the Greening the Desert Site
The site is located in the Al Jawfa area in western Jordan, Shouneh Janobieh (i.e., South Shouneh), in the Dead Sea Valley just 10km north of the Dead Sea and 6 km east of the Jordanian-Palestinian border, directly east of the West Bank.
The local population is made up of traditional Bedouin tribes and long-term refugees stemming from displacement of local populations from within Palestine. The project site is typical of the area – a marginal arid land low-income settlement. It is currently still under development and upon completion it will demonstrate energy-efficient appropriate housing with natural cooling systems and a plant nursery attachment, solar electricity, solar hot water, biological waste water treatment recycling, dry compost toilets, rain water harvesting earthworks and diverse interactive plant, animal and tree systems for local food production and processing. The demonstration house will function as a classroom and administration office for the project and local Permaculture group. Once established, the project will serve as a model that can be replicated within the village, throughout Jordan and other countries in the region. The project, started in 2008, has already seen significant progress. The first trees were planted and are growing well and the first garden is producing some vegetables. Now, the water tank needs to be expanded, the fence and gate improved and the rest of the project started. The current focus is to set up basic living accommodations for volunteers coming to work on the project. PRI has the people power in place to move on this project, but is in great need of funds to purchase supplies. Any financial support is greatly appreciated. In this heightened time of great tragedy for the Palestinian people, this is something positive we can all do to directly affect their survival.
The Jordan Valley is home to an ancient and classical civilization that has had many cultures, traditions, and peoples cross through its land and also settle within. International students are requested to be culturally sensitive to the Islamic traditions and Muslim social protocol. A full orientation will be provided.
- Open and receptive attitude toward cross cultural communication
- Willingness to ask questions whenever necessary
- Conservative attire is recommended
- Respecting cultural gender relations
- Sobriety at all times during the PDC course
- Respect for elders, religious traditions and practice, and community leaders
- Not photographing locals without permission, with cautionary emphasis on photographing local women and children
For men this would include:
- Respecting Muslim gender relation etiquette
- Wearing long shorts at least to the knee
- Wearing shirts at all times
- Not touching or shaking hands of Muslim women without explicit permission
- Not displaying overly intimate affection in public with wife or partner
For ladies this would include:
- Showing respect for oneself
- Respecting Muslim gender relation etiquette
- Long skits or pants (Shorts considered offensive)
- Wearing shirts at all times
- Not displaying overly intimate affection in public with husband or partner
What You Will Need to bring with you?
The climate during the course will be dry and warm although the extreme heat of the summer will have passed.
Recommended to bring:
- Sun Hat and sunglasses
- Good walking or working shoes
- Casual and comfortable clothing – natural fabrics recommended for coolness
- Water bottle
- Your own bedding (sheets etc.)
- Ample supply of any needed medications
- Tent if needed (depending on accommodation option)
- Sleeping bag and hiking mattress if needed
- Personal toiletries
HOW TO ENROL
You can pay for your course now via Paypal or credit card by purchasing a ticket below, or you can contact us at [email protected] All prices are in Australian dollars, including GST. An early bird discount is available if the course fee is paid 21 days prior to the course start date.
Prior to booking please read our refunds policy.
If you have any questions about this course please contact us.