The purpose of this guide is to walk the potential PermaBlitz intern through the process of doing a volunteer design and clarifying what is involved in the Earthshed PermaBlitz Intern Program.
Why become a PermaBlitz design intern?
Interns are graduates of a Permaculture Design Course (PDC). They may be newly graduated or may have graduated some time ago but would like to hone their design skills. Interns have the opportunity to put their acquired knowledge to work so they can expand their understanding of the many skills and tools learned in their PDC. This mentoring experience will help burgeoning permaculture practitioners experience design and implementation beyond the basic permaculture concepts and ideas provided in a PDC.
Participating with the PermaBlitz committee and design team is a fun opportunity to practice design, help with strategizing implementation, and learning facilitation skills. This type of hands-on learning could be a step toward becoming a professional designer or will allow you to hone your skills for your own personal design. It is also a great opportunity to give back to the Earth and our local community as part of the permaculture ethics: Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share.
Defining the PermaBlitz
The PermaBlitz is an education program of Earthshed Solutions. The PermaBlitz committee is made up of one or two chairpersons, the design team and committee members and organizes the PermaBlitz (PB) events themselves.
A PermaBlitz is a day on which at least two people come together to:
- Create or add to an edible garden or system for enhancing our environment
- Share skills related to permaculture and regenerative living
- Build community
- Have fun!
What to expect as a PermaBlitz intern
The PB intern will expand their knowledge of the following:
- Gathering data, observing the property and doing site assessment and analysis, mining the internet for information and accessing the information gathered for accurate conclusions.
- Interviewing the Host and clarifying the Host’s visions and goals.
- Generating ideas and strategies for water, access, plant guilds, reusing resources, and designing for multiple yields and energy efficiency.
- Using design tools: principles, functional analysis, zones, sectors, slope, microclimates, random assembly, WAS, and relative location and designing with the Host’s and site’s constraints and opportunities in mind.
- A final concept design, base maps, timelines, and presentation skills.
PermaBlitz intern commitments
- Interns must be able to communicate with the design team and respond within a 1-2 days to any emails, text messages or phone calls. Face-to-face meetings occur once or twice at the Host’s home and at least once per month at the Chico library or similar venue.
- Interns will review the timeline with the PB committee and make sure they can commit to the deadlines for the next PermaBlitz.
- Interns will spend 20 or more hours doing research, writing, drawing and attending meetings over the course of four to five months.
- Prior to the initial site visit with the Host, interns will gain an understanding of the completed Host Site Questionnaire which articulates goals and desires for the Host and property.
- Interns will attend the initial site visit with the Host and design team. This visit includes an interview with the Host, a walk of the property, a site assessment and initial analysis, taking pictures or video of the property, and marking and measuring the target areas for the base map.
- A base map will be developed from the measurements taken at the initial site visit and given to each designer and intern.
- Interns will need some computer skills and software. PowerPoint or a word processing program, Google Earth, a printer and possibly scanning ability. Skype, Google Drive, and Dropbox or other useful tools for communicating, expressing ideas and doing online research is also necessary.
- Interns will be responsible for completing several assignments, such as creating a scale of permanence analysis, zone and sector maps, species matrix chart, mind maps, etc. The assignment goals are for the intern to achieve an in-depth knowledge about one or more subjects that relate to the Host’s goals for the property. The assignments will be multi-dimensional and will consider the many design tools permaculture has to offer.
- Interns will work with the lead designer(s) to help prepare concept designs based on the outcome of the various assignments. Drawings can be done by hand or with computer software. PB designers utilize Power Point or Publisher for computer generated concept designs and hand draw final working master plans.
- Interns and lead designer(s) will present the concept designs to the Host. The Host will provide input and any additional information needed to complete a final working master plan. This design may include elements outside the scope of a PermaBlitz event but is included as a completed design.
- Interns will work with the PermaBlitz committee and design team to determine which projects and activities will be completed on the day of the PB, help make materials lists based on projects and activities, and create timelines for completing said tasks.
- Interns have the opportunity to present some of their work at the Chico Permaculture Guild (CPG) Pre-PermaBlitz Gatherings.
- Interns will attend the day of the PB, help with set-up and clean-up, and possibly act as a Facilitator or run a project or activity.
Once an intern has completed their volunteer design work, they will have immersed themselves in the permaculture design process. They may wish to join the Earthshed PermaBlitz committee or they can continue volunteering at PBs and attending CPG Gatherings to earn additional credit toward Hosting a PermaBlitz at their own home. Remember, the more involved the intern is, the more they will learn!
PermaBlitz Intern Application
You can fill out the application below or follow this LINK to fill out the form via Google. If you would prefer you may download the Intern Application in pdf. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.