Permaculture Internships

Join our Permaculture Internship and experience everything that happens on a permaculture farm with a structured and educational program. Live off-grid with like-minded people, eat healthy food, immerse yourself in nature and enjoy optional yoga and workout classes.

This page is for our internship program which is during the summer and winter. The internship program is a structured permaculture living experience.

If you want to join a certified course with more theory classes, then visit our events page and apply for an event. If you prefer to volunteer at keela, then please visit our volunteer page.

Summer 2024 Permaculture Internship

We will be running an 11-week summer permaculture internship from 10th June until 23rd August for people who want to learn more about permaculture. You can join for the whole period, or join us for a minimum of two weeks by starting on any of the following Mondays:

  • 10th June / 24th June / 8th July / 22nd July / 5th August

Pricing for internship

  • 11-week program – €1000
  • 4 weeks – €350
  • Less than 4 weeks €100 per week
  • Can’t afford to pay? Then apply and let us know in the comments and we can work something out for you.

This price includes free camping in your tent. However, you can also hire a tent, tipi or caravan from us. All three accommodation options include a mattress and all your bedding. See the accommodation page for more on this.

Video from Summer 2021 permaculture internship

What to know what it will be like? Check out this 20 min video taken during the Summer 2021 internship. Of course, every internship is different, but this gives you an idea.

What is included in the internship program

  • 3 Farm to table meals per day
  • Experience working on all aspects of Permaculture
  • Every day we work on a different aspect of the farm
  • Workshops
  • Communal living
  • Opportunity for responsibility in one area of the farm to gain more experience in a focused area, e.g. animal husbandry, natural building, agroforestry or gardening.
  • Free weekends to explore the area
  • Community outreach days
  • Visits to local markets where we will sell our products

What are you going to do each day:

Learn how to process food from the garden.

Learn how to grow an abundance of food in our vegetable gardens and food forests. This is the biggest aspect of the internship.  Did you know food for us isn’t the only thing we grow! You can grow materials for clothes and dyes, food for animals, firewood, medicine, tea, spices, herbs, timber, rope. This list goes on. Each year we should be producing more than we did the last year.
Nursery Management
Learn nursery and greenhouse management. We will be planting seeds for vegetables, trees and shrubs. Some for the farm and some to sell or barter with the local community.
Learn and create new permaculture beds. Sunken beds, back to Eden wood chip beds, hugelkultur or larger planting for food for animals or grains.
Permaculture internships - Permaculture systems
Use and learn about our permaculture systems & build new permaculture systems.  Long drop vermiculture compost toilet/chicken compost system/food forest system/solar heating systems/greywater systems/flushing vermiculture toilet system/biochar systems/animal systems
Food Harvest and processing.
Learn specific seasonal skills. e.g Harvest olives in November and make olive oil and olive products. Harvest grapes in September to make wine. Harvest different fruits to make jams and chilli sauces.
Learn natural building. We have houses made of straw bale, cordwood and wattle and daub. Usually, we have some sort of building project for a new permaculture system on the go. We use natural materials so you will get a chance to learn about Natural Building. In the summer we also have a natural building focused internship.
Compost for food forest
Learn about composting. You need lots of compost to grow great plants. We have many compost systems including deep bedding in the chicken, sheep and pig systems. We also have a chicken powered compost system, a long drop vermiculture system, many worms farms and we also make a quick hot compost. We then make different homemade mixes for potting and planting.
Deep bedding in the pig house
Learn animal husbandry. We have chickens, sheep and pigs. All of our animals work for us clearing land and turning the weeds and grasses into food and manure and compost so we can grow vegetables organically. One of the daily tasks for the intern is to help with the animals.
Permaculture Internship - Earthworks
Learn about earthworks such as swales, roads, ponds, sunken beds and hugelkultur beds.
Work in one of our food forests. This is a big focus on the farm. This includes propagation, weeding, harvesting, pruning and planting.
Woodland management
Learn about forest management. Pruning trees, cutting firewood, harvesting wood for building, planting trees, clearing fire hazard and turning it into wood chips for the garden or charcoal to make biochar.
permaculture internship - bee keeping
Learn sustainable living through many avenues. How to make it yourself instead of buying it. Beekeeping is one of a huge list of things you can learn about. We also make our own soap, preserves, cleaning products, wool insulation, cheese, housing and structures and more.
permaculture internship - chickens
Learn how our chicken compost systems and chicken food forest work. Each intern has a daily task and one of them is to help look after the chickens.
permaculture internship fermenting
Learn and practice preserving food. Growing food is one thing. But we also need to preserve them. We make jams, fermentations, sauces and chutneys depending on what is in season. Working and creating in the kitchen is one of the most common skills people take home with them.
Trees for reforestation
Every winter a big focus goes to tree planting and reforestation. You can learn about this all year by either helping us maintain in the summer or planting in the winter.

Community Living

Interns cook and clean in our large straw bale community house on a rotation.
  • Food is cooked on rotation with the other guests (Can’t cook? don’t worry, you will have support from our volunteer chef, so you will leave us a competent cook, one of the best take-home skills of being here)
  • Once per month, as part of our community outreach, we visit a local farm to help them out for a morning
  • Friday afternoons are a deep, clean afternoon so we can enjoy a clean environment for the week ahead. During this time, we may need to prepare accommodation for future guests or make some repairs or upgrades to the farm.

What to join a Permaculture course instead, then goto our events page and apply for a certified course

What can you do in your free time?

Take a walk into the village or explore around our farm, read a book from our library, use our unlimited wifi in the community house, or take a taxi with the group to a lake, river beach or one of the nearby mountains.
Yoga Classes
Join Yoga classes from an experienced yoga teacher
permaculture internship - wild life
Enjoy the wildlife including a huge amount of interesting birds, plants and insects. We are way out in nature and far from any road or town
Pizza party
We enjoy pizza parties or BBQs every month
Every month we do a community day to help a local farmer so you can see another project

How to get to us

You can get a train or bus to Fundao from Lisbon or Porto. Please see our arrival instructions page for more info

Goto our events page and apply for an event

Frequently asked questions

Is it ok to join the internship on a different date than the start date? This is not possible as we have a welcome for new arrivals and then a one-day introduction to the farm which can not be missed.

Is this a permaculture course? No this is not a permaculture course. This is work experience on a permaculture farm. There will be lectures and tours each day but most of the time you will be working and gaining experience. Usually, each day, you work on a different aspect, so you get to experience a variety of tasks. If you prefer a theory classroom-based course then we will be offering this from next year.

Why do you charge for volunteering? Usually, during volunteering experiences, volunteers will work on whatever task is needed that day. Work alone and have no educational structure. During our internship, you will have permaculture theory classes, and perform different tasks each day, so you get a varied learning experience and have the opportunity to take on some responsibilities if you are staying longer.

Will I get a PDC certificate from an internship? You will not get a PDC certificate. A PDC is a theory course on how to design a garden or a farm. You will work on our farm and see what it is like to live off-grid and manage a farm. Click here to join our Permaculture Design Course

How many interns will there be? There can be anywhere between 4 and 16 interns. There will also be some volunteers and apprentices on site

Who will be learning the internship and any lessons/instructions? All instructions will be given by the staff. They will also be working alongside you on all the tasks so you can fire all your questions at them during this time.

I am having some life troubles and want to find myself, is this is a good place for me to come? No this is not the place for you. However, you can consider one of our yoga retreats instead, where you will find time for relaxation, journaling and soul searching.

I have some injuries and am not able to do much physical work is it ok for me to just join the theory and not participate in the work? This is impossible for the internship as you will be expected to participate in farm life. Living here requires lots of physical work, which you must be capable of doing. However, you could join us for a farm stay instead and join some workshops at an extra cost.

How do I get to Keela Permaculture Farm. You can get a bus or train from Lisbon or Porto. Please check our arrival page for more information.

Can I stay longer at Keela? We are looking for people to join the community on a more long-term basis to help run the gardens and our courses. If you are interested, then we would discuss this during the internship


    If you just want to volunteer for a short time, please visit our volunteer page