In the spring and summer, interns work with our partner’s management team to produce organically grown fruit, vegetables, and flowers for the retreat center. This is an opportunity for students interested in the planning and maintenance of an organic garden to gain hands-on experience of growing techniques and garden production.
There is a community garden one day per week which brings another element to the whole experience. All food and flowers grown are used to make beautiful vegetarian meals and floral arrangements. Interns are welcome to partake in cooking for the community. These vegetables supplement other bought items as there is a strong seasonal element to the garden. Other volunteers are involved in keeping the grounds looking well and interns will only be involved in the walled garden. We are trying out several types of systems including no-dig and polyculture, to create soil and to observe how wild plants and vegetables grow together as opposed to more traditional weeding methods.
Interns may also pair this internship with an opportunity at our partner’s NGO that operates in Mongolia. At the site in Mongolia, interns work on a sustainable food production project, aiding local people in providing healthy food for themselves and their families. Interns could use the skills they develop in Ireland to aid struggling families in Mongolia.
Throughout the year, interns can work with the team to design organic vegetarian menus and prepare the meals for the residents and visitors to the retreat center. As this center is a self-sustaining community, all food comes from the property itself.
Our Sustainability and Horticulture partner organization is a residential retreat center located among the hills and lakes of northwest County Cavan. The center opened in 1990 under the guidance and spiritual direction of Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche. A small group of his students manages the center with the support of many others scattered near and far across the world. The center is open to all visitors, Buddhist or otherwise, and strives to achieve the following goals:
Organic Garden Management (Spring/Summer)
This is a great internship for students studying ecological sustainability. The intern would support the team’s work to maintain the organic vegetable and flower garden. The strictly organic garden sometimes incorporates bio-dynamic growing techniques. The garden has a large poly-tunnel as well as mature fruit trees. Some typical tasks include:
Organic Meal Design and Preparation (All Terms)
Interns interested in culinary arts and food science can collaborate with the management team to design and produce organic, vegetarian menus for the residents and guests of the center. Interns can practice designing seasonal and local meals by following specific guidelines about when certain types of meals should be prepared. All meals are vegetarian, but not necessarily vegan.
*Fee amounts are calculated with an exchange rate from European Euro at the time of posting.
The retreat center provides dormitory-style housing along with meals at the rate listed above. Accommodations are in the large Victorian house called Owendoon, which is in thirteen acres of meadow, woodland, and gardens, next to a lake.
Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15
-Students who are interested in Buddhist practice are strongly encouraged to apply.