Biology student share experiences from internships in the Arctic
Biology student share experiences from internships in the Arctic

Good bye Polar Permaculture

This is my final blog about my time at Polar Permaculture which I thoroughly enjoyed. Since I started a lot has changed, and the circle is complete as I began as a student and finished as a mentor for the new interns.

We finished preparing the dome for the season and got the hole patched up, so it is now fully operational. We planted a lot of beans and moved some chillies and other plants out, hoping they will cope with their new environment. The other day temperatures almost reached 38C, so we had to make sure plants didn’t dry out in those tropical temperatures.

The last few days I’ve been working with Vanessa and Franz, two high school students from Austria, who are taking over my jobs as work experience for their school. I have taught them the basics about the basil barrack, and I am sure they will do a good job.

On the pictures you can see our most advanced set of beans, one of our two tomatoes that unfortunately cracked open and our cucumbers, which are doing great and look beautiful with their yellow flowers.

Looking back, I think I could utilise my knowledge of biology, although there were technical limitations to apply it. It was helpful to have an understanding of why we fertilise the water with a mainly nitrogen-based fertiliser for example, or that watering too much can be as detrimental as not watering enough, but laboratory tasks such as soil nutrient analyses would simply be too time and cost intensive for a small business.

I wish I had more knowledge and skills in plant propagation, as this would have definitely helped, maybe then I would know why we struggled so much with the coriander and the dill. It is difficult to say what exactly I have learned during the internship in regard to new biological knowledge, but I can confidently say that I acquired horticultural skills, improved my team work capabilities and speaking in front of audiences in particular.

I think the internship exceeded my expectations, I did definitely not expect how much I would enjoy it as well as how much I am going to miss it.

A big thanks to everyone making this internship possible, I am going to miss being an intern at Polar Permaculture, that’s for sure! It was a great time with great people and I wish them all the best in the years to come. Maybe I can return someday…

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