OAEC supports diverse communities to design their own regenerative systems at the regional and local scale.
Our cookbook is a collection of inventive recipes inspired by seasonal eating from our biodiverse Mother Garden, orchards and Wildlands Preserve.
Experience the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center through a video tour and beautiful photographs of our Guest Houses, Meeting Room, Bathhouse, Kitchen & Dining Room, Mother Garden and more.
New in 2017: Now open every weekend April-October, Saturdays & Sundays from 10am-5pm! Our nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants. Join us for our three special Plant Sale Events focused on annual plants for starting your seasonal vegetable gardens.
OAEC offers the longest consistently running two-week Permaculture Design Certification course in the West. Immerse yourself in information, ideas and inspiration on how to design sustainable, regenerative systems in balance with your home ecosystem.
Our School Garden Teacher Training supports schools to integrate the school garden into multiple subject areas using place-based, experiential learning.
Each year, OAEC hires 6 enthusiastic interns to live and learn at OAEC. Interns work 25 hours per week in one department – Administration, Facilities or Garden. In return, the interns are given a private, cozy place to live, community meals with kitchen and pantry use, use of all the facilities on-site, and participation in some OAEC courses. The interns take part in the community cooking and chore rotations. There are some opportunities for additional paid work. All land residents, including interns, pool together a small monthly fee (approximately $250/person) to cover food and utilities.
Internship length: The internships vary in length by department. See individual internships for specific dates.
Intentional community: Interns participate as members of our community while at OAEC. We share meals and facilities. All community members also have collective responsibilities, with all residents participating in scheduled cooking, cleaning and chore rotations (these are in addition to intern work hours). We celebrate non-sectarian diversity and are fully committed to maintaining a pluralistic, supportive, and honest working and living environment. The community is comprised of approximately 24 people, including 6 children.
All land residents, including interns, pay a monthly community fee (approximately $250) to cover food and utilities.
The land: OAEC is located in western Sonoma County on 80 acres of organic gardens, meadows and forest of oak, fir and redwood. During free time, interns are encouraged to take advantage of the facilities, which include:
Housing: Intern housing is provided, with all structures being completely private and free-standing. Each of the units vary in regards to size and amenities, but all are rustic and conducive to a simple lifestyle. Interns share access to the community bathhouse and hot showers.
Meals: An abundance of nutritious food is provided during the internship program. Dinner is shared daily by the entire community, with lunch and breakfast also being prepared during OAEC courses and special events. Otherwise, produce from the Center’s renowned gardens and other high quality, locally sourced ingredients are available for personal meals. While OAEC maintains a vegetarian kitchen, it should be noted that not all residents are vegetarians.
Course participation: Interns have the opportunity to participate in OAEC’s course offerings. While this option is dependent on the available space in each course, interns are guaranteed a spot in one open-to-the-public course during their internship.
OAEC seeks individuals who embrace living simply in a semi-rural community while working in a thriving nonprofit organization. Applicants should be flexible, energetic, comfortable in groups, and able to manage a diversity of challenges. A good sense of humor, communication skills, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn are essential attributes of prospective interns. Each internship is intended for one person, as we cannot accommodate spouses, children or families. Due to the sensitivity of our natural environment, pets are not allowed.
2018 Application Deadlines
Visit each individual internship for more information on applying.