Thanks for your interest in the Emerald Earth Internship program.  We get a lot of joy from the interns that come through our community.  Our internship season runs from April through October, though we occasionally accept interns off-season in special circumstances.

We are currently looking to fill four types of positions: off grid handy wizard; nourishment alchemist; ‘goats and gardens’, and event coordination/community organization.  Specific descriptions of each of these follow the general internship description below.

As intern you will become a part of our community, involved in land based activities, including gardening, livestock care, building, food processing, general maintenance, child care, chores,  meal preparation and clean up. We are interested in folks who are able to be here most of the season, and we request a minimum of a two month commitment.

Wholesome, delicious, organic meals will be prepared once or twice a day and shared by the entire community. Accommodations will be tent camping, with a couple of trailers available for early arrivals.

We welcome a diverse group of people to live and work together in a mutually respectful and affirmative environment, using consensus process and open, direct communication.

The nature of the activities we do here requires participants be fully present. Those who are often drawn away from the community by other commitments will not get as much out of this experience.  A person’s inconsistent presence also disrupts the community as a whole.

Individuals should be prepared for the personal and physical challenges that will arise during such an intensive experience. If you do not feel physically, mentally and emotionally well, the reverberations will be felt throughout the community. The participants that tend to get the most out of this experience are those who have the energy to engage in all aspects of community life. We encourage a fun and easy going attitude and a love of physical endeavors.

You will share meals, work, and common spaces with the other interns and our resident community of 5 adults and 3 children.  Although our schedule can be busy, there are many opportunities to share a walk, a game, or a talk with other residents, especially around meal times and on days off.  After hours social events are not an organized part of the program; if you have high social needs, you will find them best met by being proactive. However, be forewarned that resident members have many commitments both on and off site, and tend to be less available for social interaction than some interns might wish.

Typical Week

The average week will include about 3 days of hands-on activities in your focus area, a day of participation in community projects, several shifts in the kitchen and/or doing child care, and some meeting time devoted to both projects and the experience of working and living in community, adding up to a total of about 35 hours.  We also encourage daily walks, exercise, mindfulness practice, and study.

All members of our community (seasonal and full-time) participate in:

  • Chores
  • Community Business and Sharing meetings
  • Weekly group maintenance projects
  • Reflective time in nature

Financial Exchange

We ask that people coming as interns pay $290 for the first two months of their stay, totaling $580 for the season, to cover their food and other costs. Emerald Earth will cover your costs thereafter. We try to keep your financial responsibilities here as low as possible as there will be limited time for you to make money while you are here.

Application Process

To apply, please email us and request an application form:

Answer the questions in detail, including those not in your preferred focus area; we’d like to know a lot about you. We also strongly encourage a visit so that you can get to know the community.

Off-Grid Handy-Wizard

Magic happens all the time around here:
Flip the switch–a light comes on!
Open the tap–water comes out!
Turn a dial, flame emerges!

This intern position will be uniquely varied. Depending on need, it will include some or all of the following:

Maintenance and repair of:

  • Solar electrical system
  • Spring and well pump water systems
  • Electric and non-electric fencing and gates
  • Propane appliances
  • Small motors
  • Cellular phone system
  • Satellite internet
  • Houses and outbuildings
  • Solar hot water systems
  • Carts and wheelbarrows
  • Composting toilets

Other Miscellaneous Sorcery

  • Cutting, spitting, and curing firewood
  • Sharpening and repairing hand tools
  • Documenting systems and repairs
  • Researching parts, appliances, and improved systems
  • Organizing building materials, hardware, and tools

Some projects we can plan for, such as equalizing the batteries or monitoring the water system. Much of the activity, however, will appear in response to spontaneous needs of the community as things break down and wear out. Opportunity for more creative projects will be possible, as well.

The physical and technical skills needed to keep a homestead or rural community up and running are diverse and constantly evolving. We are always learning more, and are excited to share what we know with you. However, there will be times when we will point you to a manual or the internet, or give you a phone number of someone who knows more. The wizard should be familiar with basic tools, excited to learn from others at times, enjoy reading and researching (self-learning) at other times, and motivated by challenges and puzzles.

We are open to offering to cover food costs or possibly offer a small stipend to an experienced wizard.

Nourishment Alchemist

Consuming fresh, whole, nutrient dense foods is a key element of Emerald Earth Sanctuary. Our passions, strength, and ideas ferment and bubble in the kitchen!

We are blessed with an abundance of:

  • Produce from the gardens
  • Milk from the goats
  • Meat and eggs from the animals
  • Fruit from the orchards
  • Seafood, seaweed, and salt from the coast
  • Grains, legumes, and other produce from neighboring farms

Are you interested in learning how to take these raw materials to create tasty, nourishing food for a thriving permaculture community? We are seeking an enthusiastic, excited, and hungry alchemist (or alchemist-in-training) to help us keep the food flowing!

In this intern position, you will:

  • Pound cabbages into sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Create cheeses and yogurt from fresh, raw milk
  • Turn whole wheat berries into wood-fired desem or sourdough bread
  • Plan and cook several meals a week for the community using in season, local ingredients
  • Help manage the flow of food so that other cooks know what is available for them to use
  • Can, dry, ferment, and freeze fruits, vegetables, and meats for future use
  • Make bone broth

Depending on the time of season and your interest, you may participate in some of the following:

  • Animal slaughtering and butchering
  • Cider pressing for fresh use as well as making vinegar, cider syrup and hard cider
  • Harvesting and gleaning
  • Chicken care
  • Sausage making and meat curing
  • Rendering lard
  • Soap making
  • Childcare

This is a 35-40 hour/week position. Once oriented and comfortable, you will be helping to lead others in these tasks as well as creating menus for other cooks, especially during events such as work parties and classes. Therefore, we are seeking someone who is comfortable working alone, excited to take direction in learning, confident in leading others, and willing to make a commitment of at least 2 months.

Event Coordination/Community Organization

Are you thinking of starting an intentional community or learning center?  Do you enjoy understanding the nuts and bolts of human systems?  Would you like to live in a beautiful rural area and share your organizational and networking skills?  Then come on up!

We have many workshops and events scheduled this year, along with much organizational work to do to keep this community and the non-profit organization Emerald Earth Sanctuary up and running.  Things you may help with:

  • keeping Emerald Earth updated and classes publicized on social media
  • maintaining the website
  • communicating with workshop attendees
  • documenting physical infrastructure and invisible structure systems
  • maintaining email list and sending out announcements
  • creating flyers for events
  • Using the 8-shields Acorn model to host workshops and work parties

Full scholarship may be available for experienced and enthusiastic organizer!

This position could also be split half time with Nourishment Alchemist, Off-Grid Handy Wizard, or Gardening focus.

Goats and Gardens

We find a lot of joy in eating food from our land, raised by our hands.  But this isn’t an easy row to hoe, as they say, and many hands make light work.  We milk our goat friends twice a day, take them for walks, and move their electric fencing around as a part of the restoration of California’s endangered oak-savannah habitat.  In this internship, you will milk once a day and also learn other aspects of goat care and feeding.

Depending on the time of year you are here, you will help turn beds, plant, weed, water, and harvest the garden.  During work parties, you may be called upon to lead groups of visitors in the garden.  You will be an integral part of a small team of gardeners, filling our kitchen with the bounty from the land.

Short-term Intern

To fill our focused intern positions, we request a commitment of at least 2 months.  We are open to folks staying for one or two weeks (or more), and participating where needed.

Maintenance and grounds:

  • Splitting firewood
  • Repairing fences, tools, carts
  • Electrical/plumbing/etc repairs
  • Organizing tools, equipment, and building supplies
  • Help milling lumber
  • Burning or chipping slash piles


  • Starting plants in the greenhouse
  • prepping garden beds
  • planting and harvesting
  • Weeding, mulching, pruning, prepping, transplanting and setting up drip systems on annual and perennial food plants (veggies and fruit trees)


  • Baking desem (sourdough) bread
  • Making sauerkraut
  • Stocking the kitchen
  • Cooking and planning meals
  • Slaughter of animals
  • Yogurt and cheese making
  • Knife sharpening
  • Drying mushrooms


  • Childcare
  • Computer work