Internship on the farm

Live and learn
on a regenerative organic farm

Six month program where people learn with nature, study and live together doing an internship on the farm.

Internship provided by Projecto Novas Descobertas in partnership with Quinta Vale da Lama.

Applications for the program beginning on November, will close on September 6th, 2024








an Intern

become an intern - internship on the farm

The program

6 month residential internship on the farM

Our combination of work experience, individual study and group activities allows the intern to develop both a practical and theoretical understanding of their area of study. The Internship is also about living together on the farm which allows for personal and communal growth and friendship.

We offer comfortable accommodation, healthy vegetarian food and a full Permaculture Design Course (PDC), to inform practical work on the ground.

The culture of this farm is driven by our passion for Living and Learning Closer to Nature. It’s not an easy path. Anyone looking for “easy” need not apply!
— But for those truly committed to “Living the Change” that Mother Nature now demands of us, this program will set you well on your way.

Internship on the farm

THEMES AVAILABLE: Organic Market Gardening

Internship on the farm – six month program where people learn with nature by work experience while studying and living together on our farm.

Internship in the farm - Organic Market Gardening

Organic Market Gardening

This internship focuses on small-scale organic growing. Using our established market garden interns learn how to plan their garden layout, make beds, plant a variety of crops. And also: plan what goes where, prepare for a harvest, sell in the market and much more.

Learning outcomes

— Garden designs, planning and layout,
— Tools, resources and other considerations,
— Propagating healthy seedlings,
— Bed preparation,
— Soil fertility and management,
— Harvesting, washing and preparing produce,
— Proper use of Bio Effectors,
— Irrigation strategies,
— Plant monitoring,
— Startegies for establishing and leveraging markets for your produce,
— How to grow and interact with markets, fom direct supply of our restaurat to farmer’s markets and other suppliers.

*Please be advised that learning outcomes are dependent on what is needed on the farm. QVdL will do its best to accommodate the learning desires of the intern, however these learning outcomes are ultimately defined by the work which is needed to be done on the farm.

A day in the life of an Organic Market Gardening Intern

7:00am  Wake up and hit snooze.

7:10am  Wake up for real and grab some breakfast.

8:00am  Go to the White House and meet your mentor.
Have a quick chat about the day’s work which is harvesting vegetables for the weekly market.
As you harvest, your mentor and you keep a log of quantity and quality of each item.

10:00am  Have a quick break for some food, and then back to work.
You finish loading the truck and grab some produce for lunch.

12:00pm  Head back to Lama Village.
It’s your day on the Cooking Team so you help prepare the meal for yourself and the other interns. The salad is made from food you harvested from the garden.

12:45pm  Lunch with all the interns.

1:45pm’ish  Clean your plates and tidy up the kitchen.

3:00pm  As you’ll be helping with the market you have the afternoon off.

5:30pm  Head into town with your mentor to set up for the weekly market

6:30pm  You and your mentor manage the Quinta Vale da Lama stall at the weekly market taking orders, balancing the books and distributing produce.

7:30pm  Dinner at the market.

9:00pm  Pack up the market stall.

10:30pm Arrive back at Lama Village and find that the other interns have saved you dessert.

11:00pm Collapse in your bed.

About the farm

Regenerative Agriculture

Our biggest driving force here at the farm is making sure we are regenerating our soils, instead of depleting them. From trees to animals, water to compost, all we do is in the name of regeneration. Because sustainability is not enough.

Respecting Tradition

Our farm has a past rooted in tradition and old-fashioned ways of taking care of the land. Now, some ways are antiquated, but there are still some that are useful and prized in our project.

Quinta Vale da Lama

Permaculture Design

We utilise permaculture design in almost every aspect of our farm. Permaculture Design is an approach for designing ecosystems that are Effective, Efficient and Ecologically sound.

holacracy at vale da lama


How we care for the soils, the trees, the animals is also transported to how we care for our people.

Holistic Planned Grazing

The animals at the farm follow a carefully designed plan of grazing on our land. From the south slopes to the north side of our farm, the sheep, the chickens and the donkeys have their life all figured out.


GPS: 37°08’26.3″N 8°37’57.7″We

Quinta Vale da Lama, EM534, CP 325-N 8600-258 Odiáxere Lagos, PORTUGAL

Some testimonials

I just knew that I am interested in permaculture and want to learn more about it and the people who are involved with it. There was no better place to be (that I know) to do that. While there are definitely duties and responsibilities, interns were given room to play and get to know to not only to their specific work but the dimensions of the natural world: sun, wind, water, different plants and their characteristics… It was at first overwhelming to have all those interesting activities, people, books, workshops around you but you get used to the luxury. I wasn’t looking for a functional farm and there are probably better places to go if that’s what you’re looking for. Through an inspiring environment I was introduced to new concepts and took further steps in deep ecology, being nature and natural food preparation.


Spring/Summer 2020

I applied for the internship with a specific goal of learning Permaculture as I had the plan of starting a project on Education in Nature and building a Permaculture farm. The 6 months I lived on the farm were life-changing. I learned a lot from the best teachers, my mentor really cared about our learning experience and meeting the educational experience. I thought that having the PDC over the 6 months combined with the work on the farm 5 days a week makes the experience super immersive and, for me, it felt like deeping in knowledge without much effort. The sights are beautiful, people are kind and inclusive. Overall, it was an amazing experience that shaped my way of thinking in many ways and gave me the tolls to implement my project. A big big thankyou!


Fall/Winter 2021

This Internship Program allowed me a total immersion and a very concrete experience in Permaculture. Unlike short courses, here we follow the cycles of Nature, in its own rhythms, we gradually integrate the learning -AND we do it together, in community. I arrived with specific interests and I learned a lot in daily sharing with all the little bees of this great family we have become 🙂
I deepened the themes that motivated me, I woke up to new areas, I greatly expanded my network – which today is an important base across the work I develop. I collected seeds for new Projects, one of them being Activism for Natural Burial.
I am very grateful for the time spent in Vale da Lama, which for me is Home!


Spring/Summer 2020

My experience in Vale da Lama was so enriching. I made my internship in the agroforestry area. Vale da Lama has a large variety of places to explore and I had the possibility to learn how to manage different explorations. From chickens and sheep’s to manually chop and drop, passing by natural treatments and soil amendments. I am very grateful for allowing us participate into almost every course that takes place in their space and also doing a PDC specially for us, it really demonstrate their interest in teaching us and preparing us to work with permaculture. Finally, but not least, im very grateful of the group experience we had, it’s a great opportunity to know people related to your ideals, share knowledge and feelings and learn to live in community. I did really good friends in VdL.


I’ve learned many valuable new things, and absolutely loved taking care of the animals. Ricks is an inspiring mentor and knows a lot about soil regeneration. Gained knowledge here that I’ll take with me during all my further travels and volunteeringplaces. After finishing the internship I’ve returned twice, because you’re not just building on your knowledge, you’re also creating a new family.


Spring/Summer 2021

I came to do my internship in the context of Kalø a Danish organic farming school. I arrived later in the intern group because I had tried another farm before that didn’t suit my learning and human necessities. The warmth of the group, the care of the working team and especially Lesly, who makes sure the small community we build has interns get its hommy needs fulfilled, made me integrate the experience easily. One of the biggest quality I would attribute to this internship is the balance between the farm work, the permaculture teachings, and the design projects we can develop through the course. It make the lessons being integrated pretty fast. Also sharing with the other interns that are learning different aspects of the farm work gave me a good holistic view.
It was also interesting to experiment some details of the structure at the farm, decision processes ect… The detailed I enjoyed from being an intern of the market garden was to take part of the all part process, from planning to selling at the market. Making connections with the outside community. Of course as every human system, it can get sometime tricky, to live and work together. But it is a big learning journey. Well, I guess It has been a significant experience to me, I made very strong friendships who made me come back to Portugal and chose it has a homeland.



Quinta Vale da Lama has played an enormous role in my life. As my first agricultural experience, it gave me a fantastic baseline to build future knowledge and experience in organic market gardening. It also gave me so many amazing friends and memories during those 6 months!
My time on the farm learning about regenerative agriculture and permaculture through passionate teachers was truly inspiring… I had time to develop a three-month permaculture design project, allowing me to put into practice everything I learned. Make sure you can embrace this experience to its fullest, you will not regret it!


Spring/Summer 2020

Application process

Only detailed, complete applications with thorough answers will be reviewed. Be sure you have prepared and compiled all of the additional supporting documentation.

A complete application for the internship on the farm consists of the following:

CV or Resume

Your document should be saved as “last name_first name initial_CV” in .pdf, .doc, .jpg or .png format (Example: Smith_J_CV.pdf). File size must not exceed 5MB.

Essay questions

Please answer the following questions thoughtfully; we expect responses of between 250-500 words per question.

1. What motivates you to participate in the Vale da Lama Internship? Why is now the right time for you to become an intern?

2. What do you hope to accomplish in your time with Vale da Lama? Please comment on your goals in regards to work, study and communal living on the farm as well as your personal development goals.

3. The internship experience can be challenging. Vale da Lama seeks interns able to handle the experience both through their independence to take initiative when lacking support as well as being able to strongly contribute to a team. Explain with concrete examples how you are ready for this experience and what qualities and strengths you possess to help advance the internship program of Vale da Lama.

4. What is one of your weaknesses and how do you try to overcome it?

5. What is your favorite quote and why is it meaningful to you?

Your document should be saved as “last name_first name initial_Essays” in .pdf, .doc, .jpg or .png format (Example: Smith_J_Essays.pdf). File size must not exceed 5MB.

Submit application form

We recommend submitting the application form only after you have prepared and compiled all of the additional supporting documentation.

The Internship team will then review your application to determine whether you will be invited to an interview.

All interviews will be conducted online or by phone, unless the candidate is currently located near the farm.

Applications for the program beginning on November, will close on September 6th, 2024








Internship on the farm - Live and learn on a regenerative organic farm

6 month residential internship on the farm

Internship provided by Projecto Novas Descobertas in partnership with Quinta Vale da Lama


Apply here

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