Extended Personal Intensive / Internship Trainings at Friendly Aquaponics in Hawaii
Spend two months in beautiful, sunny Hawaii and learn everything you need to know about aquaponics to successfully build and operate your own aquaponics farm of any size, anywhere in the world, which we will help you design!
This is the deal:
An Extended Personal Intensive / Internship Training consists of two months on the farm, free semi-private room, free food (and we eat very well!), free hot showers, free internet, laundromat-style washer and both indoor and outdoor cloths lines, and two 256 sq.ft. aquaponics systems (non-commercial) as well as two 64 sq ft MicroSystems that you can play with to your heart’s content. We also include you in trips to the beach and other excursions with our “Farmily” in our 15-passenger van, if desired. We give you EVERYTHING we know about aquaponics, aquaculture, tilapia breeding, system chemistry, plant biology, mechanical systems, grant writing and receiving, alternative energy and off-grid aquaponics, solar greenhouses, biogas, business,marketing, and even cow milking (!), in both formal “class” time, and informally, in the course of our day-to-day work, on our farm as well as special field trips to three other commercial aquaponics operations here on the Big Island, built and run by our students. You will have an awesome opportunity to get a tan (well, a farmer’s tan, anyway!) as you participate alongside us in our day-to-day aquaponics activities from Monday through Friday, and occasional half-days on Saturdays.
Start dates are the first day of each month, with arrival on or before the first Saturday (this arrival is not negotiable, as the first Saturday of the month includes the free public farm tour we offer, as well as the orientation. You’re welcome to arrive early, but if you can’t make it by the first Saturday, plan on coming the next month).
We often go to the beach or do barbecues Saturday afternoon, and take all of Sundays off. You are welcome to come along with us on our days off, but if we stay home, please understand this opportunity does NOT include the use of one of our vehicles. You are welcome to rent a car, make friends and get a ride with them, take the bus, or hitchhike (very safe and common here in Hawaii). We don’t have servants or a cook; everyone pitches in to cook and clean and accepts assigned chores, and you do your own laundry (in a machine we provide, along with the soap. Washing machine and line-drying is free, using the dryer is $5.00 per load).
We understand you will operate with integrity, non-violence, and are a hard worker. You understand you are joining our “Farmily:, and if you come with an “attitude of gratitude”, and give more than you take, you will forever be a member of our “ohana” (Hawaiian for “family”) and that we will teach you everything we know.
Here’s the financial arrangement: You pay us $2,500 a minimum of 15 days before your arrival, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which details all our agreements. Room, board, electricity, utilities, and internet is provided (which is a $437/week value in Hawaii, as a resident, MUCH more if you are a “transient” or “tourist”). Upon arrival, you receive our Commercial Training materials (a $995 value), as well as the Solar Greenhouse Manual (also a $995 value), so you can begin studying aquaponics at your own pace. The first Saturday you are here, you begin your Internship with our Free Farm Tour in the morning, and your orientation in the afternoon. Please understand that this is a non-refundable fee (especially since we are now left with an “open” intern slot which could have gone to someone else on our waiting list); because the internship is an opportunity to see how we do things, not a job or a product. This way, if an intern bails after the first week, we are still happy for the time we spent on them, which otherwise would have gone into teaching more committed interns. This also gives you a reason to stick it out through the “carry water, chop wood” period that sometimes comes before you fall deeply in love with aquaponics. With your great attitude, flexibility, curiosity, and willingness to learn, we offer you a whole new life.
After two months of successful participation, a Certificate of Completion of Aquaponics Internship will be awarded, which you can use as a reference of your experience from our farm to any other aquaponics operation in the world. Under certain circumstances, you might be invited to stay on for a longer term, for an additional fee.
You can compare our Internship to Morningstar Fisherman’s (a supposed non-profit!) internship, which is $2000 per month not including dorm (that’s another $1500 per month!) So, that’s $3500 per month, not including airport pickup with lei greeting, let alone your food! .
In the past, we discovered we had interns who were illegal drug users, smokers, or alcohol abusers who lied (or were in deep denial) about their habits before coming here, and we had to ask them to leave. So, please note: WE ARE AN ALCOHOL, DRUG- AND TOBACCO-FREE farm. We are a family and do not tolerate any illegal drug use or alcohol use here on the Farm. Because of the high risk of tobacco mosaic virus transferring to other crops from tobacco products, we don’t allow ANY tobacco products onto the farm. And if you want to drink alcohol, there is a cute little Sports Bar in town that could use your business.
Of course, we are happy to give you a list of interns (both past and present) who can tell you what it’s like here. If you want to sign up to be an intern, or have any questions about the terms of the internships, email Susanne and she will start you on this process.
We are looking for people who want to change the world, and who are willing to change themselves first. We are looking for people who want to help others by pouring from a full cup, not an empty one. We are looking for family and friends we have not yet met. So, if you are open-minded and open-hearted, flexible, non-judgmental, loving, committed, and a hard worker, we’d love to hear from you. There is much to be done, and time is short. Thanks for reading so far, and remember, contact Susanne, not Tim. THANKS!
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