Permaculture Internship

The Internship runs every year after the Permaculture Design Course pending the success of our rezoning application.

The Drylands Permaculture Internship is a 2 week practical course run after the Permaculture Design Course.  The Internship focuses on Zone 1 and 2 production techniques on different sites. The internship runs in two cycles of six and five days with a rest day at the end the first cycle. Each day starts with a theory session that sets the context for the day’s work followed by 3 sessions of supervised practical work and interaction with a wide range of permaculture systems and techniques.

The internship is ideal for anyone wanting hands on experience and learning in the context of a functioning dryland permaculture system, facilitated by highly experienced practitioners with a solid knowledge base.

The internship is ideal for NGO field workers, home gardeners, community garden facilitators, farmers, urban gardeners and project managers. Anyone wanting practical experience of the day-to-day realities of living on and managing permaculture systems will find this valuable. The internship is the perfect complement to the PDC as it provides the detailed practical experience of systems and themes covered in the PDC.

The internship is open to 8 participants who have completed a Permaculture Design Course anywhere in the world. The small number of participants allows for effective learning and high levels of interaction with the facilitators and the systems. You will be living in and interacting with the Berg-en-Dal community and thus will receive a good taste of Ecovillage living.

Students developing a Dryland Terraced Kitchen Garden, Implementing Grey Water Inputs

Implementing a drip irrigation system

Zone 1 Production Methods (6 days)

Participants will design and develop a garden from scratch as well as interact with existing mature systems on the farm.

– Vegetable Garden Design

– Vegetable Garden Layout: Bed preparation (pit beds, terrace beds, long beds, mandala beds), W eeding and Trellis making…

– Fertility Systems: Compost Making, Effective Microorganisims, Worm Farms, Liquid Manures, Mulching…

– Water Infrastructure: Irrigation systems, Earthworks and run-off catchment, watering regimes…

– Propagation: Planting mediums, Soil sterlization, Seed planting direct and in the nursery, Cuttings, Grafting, Transplanting, Basic Nursery Design.

– Polyculture Planting: Seasonal Planting Calendar Development: Astro Calendar: Species Selection, Companion Planting, Interplanting…

Zone 2 Production Methods

Participants will design and implement a small Dryland Food Forest System and interact with existing systems on the farm.

– Dryland Food Forest Design (Perennial Polyculture Design)

– Food Forest Layout: Water Infrastructure and Earthworks, Shelter Belts, Planting Calendar

– Food Forest Implementation: Species Selection, Pioneer Planting, Planting Productive Layers

– Food Forest Management: Pruning, Thinning, Fertility Management, Pest Management


Learning how to prune fruit trees

Course approach

Now that we have run our first few Internships, and identified the gaps we would like to encourage a conscious communal attitude on the Internship. Your participation in shared living will need to be wholehearted. This means that cooking and cleaning become group responsibilities. We also found that everybody had many food cultures to share and that we all had to be conscious of how we use communal space. In addition, the tea times need to be managed by the group and extra snacks need to be in the backpacks as we roam all over the farm on the Internship.It has been a really good learning experience and we would like to encourage more of this!

Course costs

The course fee of R6500.00 covers two weeks of camping accommodation, tuition and food. We will supply the basic ingredients for three meals a day, as well as teas – you will be cooking all your own meals together. This gives you an opportunity to explore different cooking technologies, healthy eating and the wide scope that vegetarian cooking can offer. Organic toiletries will also be supplied by us.

If you are not comfortable with camping, you can opt for the other accomoodations, and top up your fee. Please request aditional accommodation information on booking, to see what your top up amount should be, or we can work it out for you. This can make communal cooking more tricky, and we encourage you to work with the team you are in to cater together. If you prefer to be a stand-alone unit, you need to let us know beforehand, as this will affect our shopping lists.


We will accept bookings once we begin running the course at Berg en Dal once again


Kent Tahir Cooper, Alex Kruger and guests….

For more information please contact Alex or Tahir at or phone 028 5511678.


Students making compost

 Students surveying earthworks
Learning how to implement a largeswale using earth moving machines
Designing a food forest
Implimenting a small drylands food forest
Food forest completed with 7 layers planted…