Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development (SARD)
SARD Internships offer the opportunity to combine on-farm learning and continued education. SARD Interns gain experience on organic farms and can develop research work for future projects. Additional opportunities are available for touring permaculture operations and biodynamic farms in the area. Work sites may include a horse drawn operated organic farm, an organic vineyard, an organic berry farm, orchards, botanical farms, soil building and permaculture for the latest affordable housing project or the farm-to-school program. SARD Interns follow the island farming season which can include planting, cultivation, harvesting and food preservation, market gardens, orchard gleaning and livestock production.
A unique placement within the SARD Internship is at the island school’s Lopez Island Farm Education (LIFE) Garden which includes the school’s cafeteria. This placement is most applicable for people interested in learning about farm to cafeteria programs, food security and nutrition. Equal time is spent “putting up” or preparing harvested food in the school kitchen from the LIFE Garden and island farms as working in the garden. Applicants will gain great experience in a garden-to-cafeteria program showcased in the Center for Ecoliteracy‘s book Smart by Nature as one of twenty innovative K-12 programs across the country that prepares students for a sustainable future.
Preference for placement in the LIFE Garden may be given to applicants who can commit to availability during the busy food preservation period of late summer/early fall.
Please Note: There is a 6-week minimum time commitment for all internships. We cannot accommodate requests for shorter internships. Children and/or pets cannot be accommodated.
LCLT Internships on Lopez bring you into an intimate setting with many opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the San Juan Islands and to experience living in an island community where we depend on and celebrate one another.
LCLT Interns come from many different backgrounds and interests including college students, people exploring career options or course of study and college graduates. Past Interns have hailed from across the US and 10 different countries. All Interns express an interest in developing a greater knowledge of sustainable living models including net-zero architecture and building, construction management, sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, renewable energy and food security issues.
Interns are expected to exhibit initiative and self-motivation and to treat the internship experience in much the same way as they would employment. From time to time, Interns are required to attend seminars as part of your work week.
LCLT’s staff work with each Intern to develop a flexible workplan/learning contract that takesinto account each intern’s interests or needs while meeting LCLT’s program and field/farm or project needs. Internships may begin as early as February with more slots available during warmer months from May through September.
LCLT will help locate housing for all Interns who require it. Housing is generally provided by volunteer hosts who have an extra room or guest housing. This housing is sometimes rustic, including wood-heated cabins, canvas tents or yurts and tepees. Other housing may be modern room within a house. As part of the agreement with housing hosts, Interns are required to work-trade one day per week for their hosts on a variety of projects which may include gardening chores or light home maintenance tasks. This arrangement is mutually agreed upon in advance. LCLT makes every effort to match interns and prospective hosts with complementary lifestyles and expectations.
Interns shall participate at the rate of 32–40 hours per week for a minimum of six weeks. Construction interns work from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on designated work days. Days may vary on farm or school placements. All internships require a minimum six-week commitment with four days per week on site and one day per week host work/trade. Interns receive $100 per week stipend for discretionary food and expenses.