Wind Spirit Community offers three different seasonal intern opportunities for individuals or couples who are looking to learn and work at our organic permaculture food forest landscape. We will occasionally offer internships for other specific projects and will post them on this web site. The common four-month internship will be slightly different for each season. The fall/winter internship is from October through January. Spring is from February to May. The summer internship is from June through September (for more information please click on each season to learn more about them). We are looking for people with positive attitudes, who are willing to work, have a strong desire to learn, and do well living and communicating with others. The internships will provide an opportunity for interns to get to be able to be part of a community experience, allow oneself to live close with nature, will provide a great classroom to learn about the Sonoran desert, and work experientially with over 90 verities of fruit trees and some gardens too. There will also be many other activities that interns will be able to participate that will further their experience and learning.
Interns will pay a fee to be determined each season, and will have some of their food provided for them. Each season there will be different types of housing available and sometimes campsites may be used. The average intern works 4-6 days a week and will average between 20-30 hours a week of work. Our goal for the interns is to make the work fun and to learn a lot from doing it. Different jobs will be offered so that no one will end up doing the same thing over and over again unless they want to. Most of the time interns will be able to take part in classes that come to the land as well. We allow inters to take short vacations during the four months, they must be coordinated with the other interns to make sure that only one may vacation at a time.
If you are interested in doing an internship then please send us an e-mail with a description about yourself and include what season you would be available for. We will get back to you as quickly as possible. Let us know if you have any questions for us. There will be a phone or in-person interview before anyone is accepted to become an intern. Following the phone interview the community will decide together which applicants best fit within the community structure at that time. If none of the seasonal internships works with your schedule, then we still have a visitor program (which you can get more information on in the visitors link of this web site). Sometimes we allow interns to do two or three seasons in a row. These interns must reapply each season, half way through the season before. There are a limited number of intern spots for each season! We look forward to hearing from you!
Dates: Beginning of October to the end of January
Description: The main focus of the internship will be working with our trees. The first two months will include harvesting fall fruit, creating tree wells, fixing and walking irrigation lines, watering and providing mulch for the trees, and working with the compost. The second half of the internship will deal with pruning trees and helping with burn piles, and will continue with irrigation and tree wells. There is usually olive picking and brining, and the beginning of citrus harvest. There is usually other projects going on at the community and there will be opportunities to partake in other activities besides the ones mentioned above.
What You Will Learn: This internship will give you the opportunity to learn about fruit and nut trees, irrigation systems, basic permaculture, native plants of the Sonoran Desert, fruit harvesting and drying, creating tree wells and different concepts in water storage, compost and mulch, pruning fruit and native trees and different theories on pruning itself, how to brine olives, and many other aspects of living within a community. There will be potential opportunities to learn about some building techniques and gardening as well.
What You Can expect: The weather in the fall can be still quite warm for the first six weeks. The days are getting shorter and the weather can drop quickly into Arizona winter type of weather. The daytime highs can still be in the 90ís in October and can drop into the 40ís at night. Many days are usually quite nice though in the 60ís-80ís. By mid November the days can be chilly and the nights around freezing. By Thanksgiving till the end of January most nighttime temps drop into the 30ís sometimes the 20ís. The days can be either chilly in the 50ís to warm and in the 70í. It does rain sometimes, but we still have many nice days. Because of the short days and long nights we will try to get in work hours on the nice days as often as possible. The nighttime will have lots of campfires and gatherings around the wood stoves at night. We usually have a permaculture class come from Prescott College for five days in January. We have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings on the land with lots of friends of the community showing up. In some past years we have a Halloween weekend gathering on the land as well. Some of the work for interns will be helping to prepare for these celebrations. By the beginning of December the leaves begin to fall on many of the trees, creating a more barren landscape, which officially begins pruning season and provides mulch for the tree wells.
Dates: Beginning of February to the end of May
Description: The main focus of the internship will be working with our trees located within the community. The first half of the internship will focus on pruning fruit and nut trees and helping with burn piles from the pruning. Interns will be asked to walk irrigation lines and do repairs if needed. Constructing tree wells and maintaining old ones will be a major focus as well. There will be a small amount of fruit harvesting, but not as much as other seasons. The second half of the internship will involve creating garden beds and getting starters and seeds ready for summer gardens. We also do some weeding to lessen the fire danger. April begins the thinning of the summer fruit. There are usually other projects going on at the community. There will be opportunities to partake in other activities besides the ones mentioned above.
What You Will Learn: This internship will give you the opportunity to learn about fruit and nut trees, irrigation systems, basic permaculture, native plants of the Sonoran Desert, creating tree wells and different concepts in water storage, compost and mulch, pruning fruit and native trees and different theories on pruning itself, thinning fruit, creating garden beds and planting seeds, and many other aspects of living within a community. There will be potential opportunities to learn about some building techniques as well.
What You Can Expect: Spring is a great time to be at Windspirit Community! The first half of February is the world famous Gem and Mineral show in Tucson and is busy around southern Arizona. The weather can still be cold in the winter, but spring usually begins early in southern Arizona. The nights usually are still frosty till early April, but the days get warmer and there is usually less and less rain as the springtime immerges. If it has been a wet winter, then the spring is the greatest time for wild flowers, as the hills become a mixture of colors that are famous around the world. The land itself is amazing, in that all the different trees flower within a month of each other, creating one of the most beautiful times of the year. April days are getting longer again and there are many nice days between 65-95 degrees. May can become quite warm as summer peaks itís head for the first time. There is a chance of the weather going into the 100ís. The nights can still be a bit brisk. This is also when the animals of the Sonoran Desert come out. We usually have an Easter gathering at the community to celebrate spring. Springtime is also when we do a lot of work with fire safety. Fire danger is high in May and June so we tend to do lots of weeding and burning on the land before that time. May also begins the summer harvest as we get our first taste of peaches, loquats, and mulberries. Yum!
Dates: Beginning of June to the end of September
Description: The main focus of the internship will be working with our fruit and nut trees and making sure that they are healthy and surviving the summer heat. During the summer months the interns will focus on harvesting fruit, nuts, and vegetables, and then drying and canning some of the harvest, doing weekly checks and repairs of the irrigation systems, creating and maintaining tree wells, hand watering trees and gardens, keeping storage water tanks full, and other projects going on within the community. There will also be opportunities to partake in other activities besides the ones mentioned above.
What You Will Learn: This internship will give you the opportunity to learn about fruit and nut trees, irrigation systems, basic permaculture, native plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert, creating tree wells and different concepts in water storage, harvesting fruit, nuts and vegetables, canning and solar drying of foods, and many other aspects of living within a community. There will be potential opportunities to learn about some building techniques as well.
What You Can Expect: The summer internship is for true sun lovers. The weather on the land is mostly very hot. Daytime high temperatures often are above 95 degrees and go up to 110 degrees, but it is a dry heat. The nights cool off to a very comfortable temperature, but is still warm. This is the season when the Sonoran desert is most alive. The good news is that Wind Spirit has lots of shade and water is always near by. We have a new shower house, outdoor tubs, a small pool, hoses everywhere, the Gila River a few miles down the road, and monsoon rains fall often in the mid-summer afternoons. Usually by the beginning of July till early September we get monsoon thundershowers in the afternoon, which dramatically cool down the temperature for the rest of the day and evening. Most of us work in the morning and late afternoons. The summer months are when community members take turns going on vacation. This is the least populated season of the year for the community, which has its advantages. The main task for the summer months is to make sure that our fruit and nut trees stay alive and do not die from lack of water. The best part of the summer is the abundance of organic fruit that is ready at all times usually. In June we have plums, apples, apricots, almonds, and some peaches. In July are more peaches and apples, purple mulberries, and figs to name a few. August and September have more peaches and figs, nectarines, pomegranates, guavas, pears and Asian pears. Many native plants, trees, and cactus are also producing fruit during this time. Interns will be able to eat the fruit and will be asked to also harvest the fruit for solar drying and canning. Due to the heat, interns during this season will not be asked to do as much work per week. We usually do less building projects during the summer months as well. Most of community turns itís attention to working with the trees and watering.