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Practical Permaculture Internship (6 Weeks)

Hidden Garden Permaculture Courses and Workshops

Ask about our next internship dates by calling Mark Bennett +61 403004888

A Permaculture internship on Christmas Island’s Hidden Garden Sustainable Farm is a one-of-a-kind experience. Much more than a Permaculture farm, Hidden Garden offers a unique opportunity to be part of a ground breaking project that is literally breathing the life back into the land – degraded and depleted after decades of mining. Set against the back-drop of one of the world’s most diverse ecologies, Christmas Island is surrounded by abundant marine life, unique eco-systems and pristine oceans.

Our six week practical Permaculture internships are for anyone interested in living a more sustainable self-reliant and resilient lifestyle as a productive citizen of our one and only planet. Study the principles of Permaculture and the art of more sustainable living with our qualified and passionate Hidden Garden team working together to realise the common goal of quality local food production, regardless of where you live. To promote and grow organic foods that are not only better for you but ‘cheaper’ because there is more food at a lesser environmental cost. Less food miles, less food storage and packaging, less toxic chemicals, less water, and less distribution cost! We’re a mix of part science, part technology and part heritage farming. We grow low input high yielding organic produce working alongside nature. We make use of local waste streams turning them into resources, aided by science and technology, to accelerate naturally occurring processes.

Example curriculum

Week 1


Introduction to Hidden Garden Sustainable Farm

Tuesday – Wednesday ‘Food for Free’
Learn how to grow healthy, living organic food for free through our introductory Permaculture course and further your journey of knowledge into food self-reliance. Empower yourself and become part of the solution towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Design and manage your own sustainable food production system – from backyard vegetable gardens, to hobby farms and larger-scale ventures.

Topics include:

  • Principles of Permaculture
  • Understanding soil fertility and plant nutrition
  • The benefits of organics and soil health
  • Permaculture as a design science for ethical human settlement
  • How to make, manage and apply high value compost
  • Aerated, specialist ‘Compost Tea’ as a liquid plant and soil pro-biotic

Thursday – Friday
Introduction to sustainable horticulture and farm management. Understanding whole systems management for improving production, eliminating waste and advancing production.

Free time to explore the island. More than 60% of the island is national park with a remarkable ecology and kilometres of trails to explore.

Weeks 2 and 3

Monday to Friday – Permaculture Design Certificate 

Learners will receive in-depth practical knowledge over this intensive 10 day Permaculture Design Certificate which delivers 72 hours of life-changing Permaculture learning and techniques. Qualified, passionate instructors teach you to grow more resilient, productive gardens and properties guided by nature and aided by science and technology through Hidden Garden’s patented Bio-Vital™ approach.

Regardless of your background or country of origin this Certificate course will equip you with the skills to design and implement Permaculture into your home projects or professional environments from urban back-yard plots and Permaculture systems to small farms and community projects.

Topics include:

  • The importance of water ‘self-reliance’
  • Water management, collection and storage
  • Greenhouse technology and management
  • Propagation and seed saving
  • Earthworks

Free time to explore the island.

Week 4

Monday – Friday Practical Farm Skills 

Learn about the Hidden Garden Sustainable Farm design and get practical hands on knowledge with each system. Understand farm skills including Permaculture Principles, tools, equipment, greenhouses, open row systems, irrigation and water management, team building.

Free time to explore the island.

Week 5

Monday to Friday

Sustainable soil management – redefining sustainable agriculture from the ground up.

The unprecedented global demand of modern agriculture is unsustainable. It depletes the soil and strips it of long-term nutrients. This PDC course focuses on the relationship between the health of the soil and its ability to produce high quality, healthy food. We demystify the complex sciences of soil microbiology and plant nutrition to bring you a cutting edge system of sustainable soil management.
Hidden Garden’s Bio-Vital™ system for sustainable soil management redefines sustainable agriculture and Permaculture practices and teaches how to build soil fertility to improve production and reduce input cost. With our ‘Specialist Composting Made Easy’ method you’ll learn how to convert local resources and common waste products into high value, ‘smells good’ compost. You’ll gain hands-on experience making powerful organic, bio-fertilisers from commonly available materials for just a few cents per litre.

Topics include:

  • Compost made easy – the Bio-Vital™ approach
  • Making soil pro-biotic – a simple easy system for building soil fertility
  • Making bio-fertilisers – feed your plants and your soils – a cost-effective solution to increased production

Free time to explore the island.

Week 6

Monday – Tuesday, Thursday – Friday

Integrating knowledge – practical on farm experience.

Following the sustainable soils management course instruction and introduction to process in the field, we extend our knowledge through further real-life practical experiences on the farm. We learn how to manage composting over time, make, monitor and amend bio-fertilisers, use compost for accelerating plant growth and build soil fertility. We apply bio-fertiliser as foliar sprays and soil drenches and get familiar with the techniques and equipment required to set up systems that apply to home gardens and commercially productive systems. You will become confident with the system and techniques and to be able to apply the methodologies in the field, on the farm, as a productive gardener and as a teacher or consultant.

Wednesday: Micro Earthworks Workshop
A practical Permaculture earthworks workshop that explores the relationship between water and land. Turn your farm, community project or urban garden into a living ecosystem.

Topics include:

  • Soil and water management
  • Swales
  • Water harvesting
  • Ponds and dams
  • Drought proofing
  • Habitat

Free time to explore the island.

Further details & cost:
Where: Hidden Garden Farm Christmas Island

When: Course times subject to student numbers and seasonality. Contact Mark Bennett for further information +61 (0) 403 004 888


  • 140 hours intensive theory and hands-on practical sessions – 7am – 4pm
  • 9 days ‘on farm’ work-experience (7am – 1pm hours tbc)
  • Transfers to and from your Christmas Island accommodation to Hidden Garden Farm site
  • Morning, lunch and afternoon tea
  • Course notes and manual

$6,000 + GST

Accommodation options:

  • Backpacker $50 per person, per night
  • 2.5 star $100 per room, per night for two people, single supplement
  • 3.5 star $200 per room, per night

Register your interest for this unique Hidden Garden internship or book today. Places are limited.

Register your interest or book today
Fill out the form below if you would like to enroll or pay a deposit to hold your space for 14 days.
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