Applied Permaculture Practitioner Internship – April/May 2019



21st April to 25th May
Instructors: Rico Zook & Roman Eisenkoelbl, plus Local Guest Instructors

Can Lliure, Spain

While each course(individual advanced short courses) can be taken independently, this is an opportunity to have a deep, comprehensive and hands-on learning experience that provides the foundational learning in permaculture and regenerative design as well as advanced skills, during a 5 week hands-on permaculture application, with additional hours for advanced design practice and learning.

During the 5 Week Internship combined workshop, you will get a chance to:

  • Receive a toolkit of comprehensive course materials covering all the different areas of permaculture design (printed playbook and digital files)
  • Gain an understanding of the principles of permaculture design, an in-depth introduction into water management and earthworks with hands-on projects specific to the site needs
  • Get Practical hands-on experience of implementing a Permaculture Design
  • Work together in a small group on a design project that you will present at the end of the course, with opportunities to do other individual system designs
  • Interact and network with participants and experienced instructors
  • Experience rural and farm living
  • Experience community with a shared vision and goal
  • Experience living & learning on a Permaculture site in its pioneer phase with lots of learning opportunities
  • Upon completion of the course curriculum and the group design work receive an 5-week Internship Certificate.

Internship: 1750 Euro

All Rates Includes Camping and all Food, Plus over 15gb of Data

Course time will consist of traditional lectures, guest presentations, group discussions, exercises, hands-on projects, photos, movies and site visits. We will be outside and working as much as is possible and to what suits the energy level of the crew. However, there will still be times when we are in a more traditional class setting.
While we will focus on land systems, many discussions and examples will be explored of applications in the ‘Invisible Structures’. These are the social, cultural, political, and economic structures we create as humans that powerfully shape our world today.

Class usually lasts from approximately 9:00 to 17:00, though we often go on until later as everyone is enjoying the work and wants to get the needfuls done.

The course will be conducted in English. All participants need a functional level of English in order to follow and contribute to classes, clarify doubts, collaborate in groups and present their individual design projects.


5-week Internship
This is a special opportunity to gain hands on experience implementing Permaculture systems under the guidance of experienced and internationally active Permaculture Designer Rico Zook. For 5 weeks we will live as a community designing, implementing and learning about the many different regenerative systems that are part of a functioning and productive holistic farm ecosystem. This is an in depth opportunity to live and work on a developing permaculture farm in the beautiful Pyrenees north of Barcelona Spain.
The Can Lliure Project is in its pioneer phase and this gives us the incredible experience of real life hands-on practical Permaculture Learning in the field, mentored and guided by professionals.

Invisible Structures & Design:
This first week will set the solid foundation the 5 Week Permaculture in Practice Internship. Here we will have an overall look at our collaboratively created learning ecosystem. We will get a deeper look at the site itself and its Permaculture systems. We will refine the Can Lliure Design together, learn more about the invisible structures that strongly influence the success or failure of a permaculture project like social arrangements, legal, and finance.

  • Introduction to community living and collaborative decision making
  • How we organize ourselves living together for the next 4 weeks in a learning Ecosystem
  • Daily Farm Chores, Schedules and Projects outline
  • Presentation of the current state of Can Lliure Design and Vision
  • Design Sessions on the Strategic Design for Can Lliure
  • The Invisible Structures understood and made Visible !


Water and Earthworks:

All physical land systems are literally grounded in the earth. The Water and Earthwork aspect to macro scales of understanding about water and landscape for designing, working and shaping the earth as the foundation for regenerative systems; concurrently learning and understanding about how water interacts and affects the land, supports productive landscapes with human habitation, and its central role in resilience and regenerative system design.


  • Water: mineral, resource, living, precious and political
  • The watershed perspective
  • Patterning in water and earthworks
  • Keypoint and keylines: conceptual understandings and practical applications
  • Earth structures: hand-built and working with machines
  • Ponds: siting, construction, creating an ecosystem, full site perspective
  • Water in the built landscape, urban and suburban situations
  • Water and Infrastructure
  • Forest Garden design and implementation
  • Advanced Design strategies and techniques


Annual and Perennial Production Systems:
With focus on our regenerative production landscapes we will dive deep into how to produce all our food needs in a regenerative way using annual and perennial species with the integration of suitable animals.This will give everyone the confidence that a regenerative way of producing food is possible in all climatic zones if we observe nature and work with her rather then against her. We will share with you several important design and implementation considerations in setting up such systems and also we will get a lot of time to actually practice in the field.

  • Establishing and designing of regenerative Agroecosystems
  • Market Garden Design and Layout
  • Intro to Syntropic Agroforestry and Forest Garden Systems
  • Edible Landscaping
  • Animal Integration into Production Landscapes


Sustainable Forest Management and Economic, Social and Invisible Structures Design:
Being surrounded by a big oak forest thats protected by the government we will have the opportunity to share with you about how to manage a forest ecosystem in a regenerative way. We also will talk about Fire Preparedness and Preventive Management Strategies as we are located in a Fire Prone Landscape.We will share with you some insights on Ecological Beekeeping and Ecological Mushroom Production.We also will have the chance to have a look once more at the Can Lliure Design and focus in from Pattern to Detail at the Economic and Social Landscape of the project

  • Ecological Beekeeping,
  • Ecological Mushroom Production,
  • Forest Health and Management,
  • Fire and Disaster Preparedness,
  • Design of Can Lliure Economic and Social Landscape


Number of participants and the interests of the group will influence projects done. There is room for multiple concurrent projects, allowing for layered and expansive learning opportunities.

  • Siting and Hand building small swales, boomerangs, and other small harvesting structures
  • Planting Guilds
  • Working to establish a Forest Garden
  • Annual and Perennial Garden Design and Implementation
  • Designing and Creating a Nursery
  • Drip irrigation design and installation
  • Chicken and Duck coops and system
  • IMO’s, Vermicompost, and Compost tea
  • Pond siting and design
  • Forest Management
  • Can Lliure Permaculture Farm Infrastructure development
  • Reishi and Shitake Mushroom log inoculation
  • Truffle Plantation area preparation
  • Bee forage area design and implementation
  • Spring Improvement
  • Olive tree revival
  • Building a Geese Tractor
  • Silvopasture System for Pigs,Sheep and Chicken Design and start of Implementation
  • Design and Establishment of Multi functional Hedgerows and Living Fences
  • and much much more!


For those interested in the art and science of instruction and helping others learn, we are very excited to offer a PcTT pathway as an embedded overlay in this 5-week internship. This pathway is being facilitated by Rico, who is assisting Jude Hobbs ( with her Teacher Trainings in Europe, India and Thailand. The hours of this pathway are mostly part of the regular internship time and most of the work will not be perceivably different from those of interns not on this path. However, there will be some additional hours and work that will be done in order complete this pathway, either in the evenings or separate from the work of the other interns. These additional hours will include instruction from Rico, reading/research assignments, and preparation for and giving a series of 3 presentations. At the end of the internship, and with successful completion of the PcTT hours and work requirements, a Permaculture Teacher’s Certificate will be awarded. This Certificate is backed by the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA) and allows the holder to award permaculture certification.

Even if you are not interested in teaching, this pathway is invaluable for increasing your communication skills and success in sharing all forms of information and understanding.

There is an additional fee of 250 euros for those wanting to have this as part of their internship experience. We will need a minimum of 2 people joining this pathway to make it happen.



Rico Zook (USA)

For the past 20 years, Rico has been a Permaculture designer, consultant and educator. He has worked with private individuals, farmers, villagers and local organizations in India, Cambodia, Spain, USA, the mid-east and other parts of the world. His work focuses on assisting all levels of the global community to create culturally and environmentally appropriate life systems that are resilient and regenerative. He has also worked with local and indigenous cultures to help preserve traditional knowledge and technologies while adapting to, and becoming active members of, our rapidly globalizing world. With work in different climates and cultures, Rico has established himself as one of the new leaders and innovators in permaculture worldwide. This is further supported by his work with global permaculture organizations organizing the International Permaculture Convergence. He is a managing partner at Permaculture Design International, a leading global design, build, and educate company.


Roman Eisenkolbl (Austria & Spain)
A semi-nomadic Tree Planter,Soil Builder and Seed Disperser has been studying and living in Permaculture Projects and Communities since over 8 years which brought him to a diverse range of Projects, Countries, Climates, Cultures and People all over the planet.

He has lived, worked and learned in places like East Africa, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Portugal and Spain.

He has been part of 15 PDC Courses (organization & co-Facilitation) and several short courses .He has learned himself from some of the Pioneers and Experts of Permaculture include David Holmgren, Darren Doherty, Rosemary Morrow, Robyn Francis, Sepp Holzer, Ernst Goetsch, Martin Crowford, Larry Korn, Alex Kruger (Berg en Dal Ecovillage), Bernard Declercq (Pebble Garden,Auroville), Rico Zook (i-permaculture) and Govinda Sharma (Organic Hasera – Nepal).

He is the founder of the Soil-Sun-Soul Project and Blog.

For the last 2 years he has been living, working and learning in Auroville, India and visiting,advising and volunteering at countless other projects in South East Asia. He spent 6 months doing a Practical internship program at the Permaculture Research Institute Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast, Australia, where he deepened his experience and studies in the field guided by PRI Teacher Tom Kendall. During his time in Australia he spend time in Crystal Waters (the first Ecovillage designed with Permaculture Principles),has been inspired by Permaculture Pioneers like Max Lindegger and Robyn Clayfield as he has been part of the monthly Crystal Waters Permaculture Village Markets several times.Recently he has been deeply involved with organizing together with an international Team the Pre IPC India Permaculture Teacher Training and PDC in India with a total of over 100 participating students from over 30 countries which greatly furthered his international experience and connections.

Currently he is based in Spain to start a regenerative Enterprise at Can Lliure a 100ha Living and Learning Centre and in the process learn more about eco-social life systems design and integrated Agroecologies whilst still supporting various projects in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal by co-facilitating and sharing his experience.





During the courses students get a chance to experience aour land and permaculture site more intimately by camping on the land. In a semi-wild area, we have several level terraces among the trees and stones for people to pitch their tents in a beautiful natural setting surrounded by mountains and forest..
There is also the possibility for some students with their own bus/camper-van to stay on the land, although space is limited; so if you are interested in bringing a bus, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to accommodate everyone!


From the outdoor communal kitchen, we provide 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner included in the cost of the course (except Sundays when the students are free to feed themselves!)
Prepared with love, the food is always diverse, fresh, healthy, homemade and vegetarian. By that we also help to stimulate the local food economy by purchasing what ingredients are not grown at Can Lliure from the local organic “Cooperativa” and other local producers and processors


Can Lliure as a place for mindful Human-Nature Relationships. With our aim of creating a Living, Learning & Research Centre to develop once capacities and to realize inherent potentialities with natures guidance and support.

We see Can Lliure as a important, vital place and seeding ground for ourselves and the wider global community to adapt to their surrounding environments once again and enjoy their bounties in a sustainable manner.

Can Lliure is based in the wonderful and magical Alta Garrotxa area close to the Spanish Pyrenees. The land we are in Stewardship of is 100ha and is mainly covered in wild Oak forest with lots of wild goats, wild boars and limestone cliffs. There are 3,5 ha of cleared terraces with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We recently started to regenerate these terraces which in the future will become a diverse Agroforestry systems and organic vegetable gardens. We also started our first steps on Mushroom Production and we host a ecological Bee Sanctuary on site. We are very blessed and very grateful to have a clean, natural freshwater spring on our land from which we drink. We also have a few simple structures like outdoor showers, compost toilets, geodesic dome and bell tent to accommodate and host people to enjoy this wild and natural place.

Pictures of the site can be found here

The current initial evolving site design of Can Lliure can be found here

Photos from the Host site in Spain – Can Lliure:


Feedbacks from the September/October Internship 2018:


This past fall’s 4 week internship was a great success with everyone having a fun and learning filled experience. During this time not only was much learned about what has been outlined in this posting Interns also learned about pruning trees with the use of saws, loopers and sectors, about the use of various tools for digging and shaping the earth, as well as the care and maintenance of all these and others tools. While using these tools we provided guidance about body mechanics and safety so everyone started to develop practical and function understandings about tools and how we can use and care for them in a positive and functional manner.

According to our past interns, one of the most profound learnings they had was how to look at and understand the land in a deeper and more honest manner. This included how to read the land to understand the flows and influences that have shaped it and are continuing to interact and effect all aspects of it. Many commented on how they will never again look at some land without also seeing past its surface to the deeper layers of history and processes that are an intimate and shaping factor of every place on our planet.

Feedback from Jenny,one of the past Internship Participants:
The Location & Staff:

From the moment I arrived I could tell I was in for a meaningful experience. I took in a long deep breath as I looked around, so impressed by what has already been created in the short time since Roman acquired this unique pocket of land. I enjoyed exploring up until the very last day.

I loved all the facilities, yes, even the plastic dome! As it gave us a bonding experience, bringing us together to adjust it when the winds came! If everything is set in place and perfect, then where’s the fun in seeing people struggle to keep things together? You can be anywhere and make it fun, adapting to what comes.

The warm and attentive reception from everyone was held and supported all throughout the course. Whatever situation arose was dealt with thoughtfully, in the moment, anchoring the sense of communal living. I comprehend the complexities in what it takes to run a course, and was just so impressed with how adaptable everyone was to peoples different needs. I enjoyed seeing the hosts fully integrate with the students. A great and curious bond formed with such different characters.


The Teachers:

Roman & Rico

It is rare in this life to find educators that really point the way and take you on a meaningful journey. One’s that not only have a deep understanding of the content, but one’s that acknowledge you. Inviting, encouraging and creating space for deep dialogue with many interesting topics, taking into account our differences, attentive to the energy in the room and assuring that the content is understood.

You both had the time and patience to get to the heart (and root) of what you teach. Your dedication made it feel like we were the first students to be taught by you.

Rico: never wanting to be overly soppy in front of you, I can totally say it now (in an email). You are one heck of a funny, fascinating guy from outer space. I fell in love with so many aspects of you. How your face lit up when discussing a topic, how excited you would become when sharing, how you listened, how you kept us company in the evenings, how infectious your energy is… Mostly though, your message: love is at the core of what you do, no matter who you are sharing with. You made each and everyone of us feel like we matter, that there is great importance in connecting with each other. You showed us this, everyday. When an opportunity arises to learn from someone so experienced, that lives and practices these methods, what a gift!

I could happily spend a long time following you around, taking notes and measuring rocks! If you are in need of hands for work on your land in Hawaii I would love to help! (Seriously).

Roman: Much respect. Very happy to have met you. I saw how many angles pulled for your attention and you really took such good care of us. It takes so much to run an educational engine, with spontaneous needs, and you were so hands on with everything. I enjoyed our sessions in the garden and the Yurt and you made the content digestible in your awesome Austrian accent. Your passion for what you do is clear for all to see. Thanks for such an amazing opportunity, and your kindness. I can still hear your laugh in my head. I have no doubt that I would like to help on your land and would love to contribute in some way in the future. Especially the with the mandala. If you need a hand I’m always here.


Guest Teachers:

I’m not alone in saying how much of an extra treat it was having such a variety of teachers share with us. From the Ecologist Couple, The kind folk at the Cement Factory, the wisdom of Jaime Nichol and the experienced Brazilian Duo, Eurico & Gabriel.

I was drawn to this course because of the diversity and wide range of practices offered, but I got so much more. A deep understanding of how to take care of what’s already around you, not disturbing it, adjusting and guiding it

What you both said in the closing will really stick with me, in that we are all responsible for stewarding our surroundings, sharing what we learn with others. Staying connected.

Most of all what a laugh! Fun until my face hurt

Feedback from Martin,one of the past Internship Participants:
I just wanted to thank you both for the great time and fun learning experience at Can Lliure this past month.
I really enjoyed the variation of the course, the fact that we covered alot of different aspects and especially the focus on acually doing and implementing things on the site.

As everything is site specific and ‘depends’ on different situations, it was great to see the processes from start to the first steps and forward, and i felt that all the concepts became more clear and easier to understand and apply to the reality of a piece of land. I was happy to experience that many concepts or techniques that might have seemed a bit abstract from the theory actually is quite straight forward when you know the land and apply it practically.

Food was great, people lovely, and i really liked having every day packed full of activites and learning.


Pictures from the past Internship in September/October 2018: