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Students take part in organic farming internships
by Jim Karpen

The Review, Vol. 20, #4    Translate This Article
20 January 2005

Eight students in the environmental science major are currently abroad for Block 5, including a group getting hands-on experience at an organic farm in Costa Rica.

Six students are at Costa Rica's Farm Internship program at the Punta Mona Centre for Sustainability and Education. The Punta Mona Centre is located four miles south of the town of Manzanillo on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

They work five hours a day, as well as meeting daily with their academic supervisor. Their activities include greenhouse management and plant propagation, crop planning and garden design, creation of interpretive trails (including plant identification), building with natural materials, menu planning and vegetarian cooking, orchard maintenance and development, accounting and food buying, project coordination, composting, mapping, and more.

'Having experience on a real organic farm is extremely valuable,' said David Fisher, chair of the Department of Environmental Science. 'Classroom learning is never the same as on-the-job learning. The ideal is to get background information in a classroom and then apply it by working on a farm.'

He said that by being in Costa Rica the students are also getting a valuable cultural experience and that Costa Rica is known for its sustainable practices. Also, because farming in a tropical climate is different from a temperate climate, they are broadening their background.

Copyright 2005, Maharishi University of Management

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