Return to Listings |  |  

Heartwood Institute for Food, Arts, Culture, & Ecology

Garberville, California
MESA Notes – Public
Website :
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
[email protected]

About the Placement:

Detailed Placement Description

Heartwood Institute is an educational 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Southern Humboldt County community’s needs in social, educational, economical, environmental and physical health through education, programs, services, research, resources, and facilities. With our mission of cutivating community through food, arts, culture, and ecology (FACE), Heartwood Institute is a holistic-healing school and community dedicated to empowering each individual in fulfilling their dreams of a career and life with heart. Our vision is to ethically develop a productive, regenerative community that is dedicated to supporting holistic-healing education and right-livelihood, honoring the sacredness and unity of all.

Primary Production :

Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Tree fruits, Poultry, Bees/Honey

About the Internship

Training Hours:

40 hours/week

Training Expectations :

Permaculture is a global grassroots movement that builds healthy environments, regenerates the land and empowers communities. It is a sustainable-design approach that mimics patterns in nature to create regenerative edible ecosystems. It applies natural design principles to create resilient systems – providing food, water, shelter and energy needs while building ecology, community and economy.
Permaculture is an interdisciplinary framework/ holistic approach which uses both modern and traditional technologies and focuses on the synergistic relationships between different approaches to find creative solutions through collaboration.

In contrast to monoculture farming, permaculturists cultivate perennial-focused multi-layered polycultures of crops that provide ecological services to each other to create biodiverse, climate-resilient and marketable food forests.

Let’s learn and grow together to create a sustainable, permanent culture: Permaculture!

Heartwood’s Permaculture Program is a participatory, project-based, research-driven and outwardly focused spiralling curriculum that bridges and applies permaculture teachings, scientific research, and agroecological traditions from around the globe.

We offer a variety of programs, from 3-hour introductory courses to 4-month long immersion programs in permaculture, culinary, and eco-arts. MESA stewards will be working closely with the Farm/ Ecology Manager and guest ecology instructors in sustainable practices and methods as well as some time with our culinary department. Stewards will split their time between implementing permaculture projects on the site (including rainwater harvesting, earthworks, polyculture research, building a cold store and packhouse) and raising organic (we are not organic certified but practice at least organic and beyond, only the healthiest methods at the institute) produce from seedling to market and co-development of curriculum, as well as coordinating with the Culinary Arts Department on supporting food service for the center and the teaching kitchen.

On-Site Training, Steward’s primary activities :

MESA Stewards will be working closely with Nolan Schmidt and will be getting hands on skills as well as opportunity to share their skills and knowledge while also working on real-world permaculture projects. Stewards will not only participate in the daily routines and responsibilities of running a 200 acre permaculture farm and 1-acre organic garden, but will also be invited to participate in campus educational and social activities.

Climate and Location Description

Heartwood is a 200-acre campus located in the extremely remote and rugged mountains in Humboldt County, California, 45-60 minutes above the towns of Garberville and Redway at 2500 ft elevation up a part paved, then part dirt road. We are in agricultural zone 9 and focus on establishing permaculture food forests in addition to traditional organic vegetable production. While the location is remote, students will be living within a larger intentional educational community, and will have opportunities to study and interact with staff, Board, community members, neighbors, guests and students at the institute. Weather varies greatly, spring is soggy, muddy, green, wet. Summer is hot and extremely dry with cool nights. Winter can bring light snow and power outages. Internet and phone is spotty. There is no public transportation until being back down in town, Garberville has bus service. Heartwood can provide stewards with one or 2 town runs with a Heartwood vehicle and there may be community carpool shares occasionally available. Wildlife seen are turkeys, turkey vultures, hawks, owls, deer, pigs, rarely seen are occasional bobcat, mountain lion and bear, rattle snakes. Ticks that can carry lyme disease are a concern to the area.

Compensation :

$650 USD/month, Stewards will have shared housing in the Heartwood campus dormitories., Free, daily food

Accommodations and amenities provided :

Stewards will receive 3 organic vegetarian meals per day when the HEartwood Kitchen is open for retreats, food staples and community kitchen access all other times, shared dormitory housing in our straw bale dorms and/or cabin housing with bedding. Stewards will be expected to participate in agricultural training activities, with 3.5-5 hours per week volunteering in the campus kitchen or other small chores. Stewards are responsible for assisting the kitchen with cooking 1 lunch per week.

Preferred start date :

April 15

Preferred length of internship :

6 months