INTERNSHIPS

Permaculture Internships

Do you want to be a farmer, or do you know someone who does?

We are looking for people to join us at Purple Pear Farm to learn about running a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture enterprise.

This year, as a result of our desire to see more people growing and eating on a local scale and to help increase food production through sustainable small scale farming practices, we have formalised our internship programs into seasonal opportunities with inspiration from Transition Farm in Victoria.
Internship Program

The Purple Pear Farm Internship programs are an opportunity to learn a wide range of farming skills with particular emphasis on intensive market gardening and sustainable farming.

Interns will learn all aspects of living and working on a permaculture farm and will learn methods of design applicable to everyday farm situations. They will be fully involved in all farm activities. On top of that, they will also undertake regular projects which may include but are not limited to the following:
  • Mandala Gardens
  • Earth Building
  • Farm Fencing Methods
  • Food Forestry
  • Agro Forestry
  • Water Management
  • Plant Species
  • Propagation
  • Animal Care
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • DIY Mechanics
  • Resource saving and salvage
  • Zone 1 Gardening

  • Harvesting and preparing food for storage
  • Seed saving
  • Earth works
  • Composting and soil improvement
  • Community Supported Agriculture
Our education method for this program is loosely structured. It is example- and experience-based.

We endeavor to show interns what great things can be done on a small farm, what things we now know not to do through trial and error and how to produce fresh seasonal produce from seed right through to getting it into the weekly boxes for our CSA members. From green house practices to running a CSA, crop rotation and soil building, interns experience all aspects of our farm.

There are also opportunities to study skills for living sustainably through our courses in preserving, cheese, yoghurt and sourdough bread making.

Essential Requirements

Applicants will have a strong work ethic, a fit and able body and mind, excellent communication skills and the ability to work with a task based approach (as opposed to a time based system). The manual work is often repetitive and strenuous. This is farming!
Your own transportation is suggested. The town of Maitland is about 1.5km away, with shops and facilities such as libraries and medical. Newcastle and the beach is around 30minutes by train or car.
Purple Pear Farm accepts a maximum of five interns per season, couples are welcome.
We work in all weather, please come prepared.
You must have completed or be willing to complete a Permaculture Design Course (PDC).

Expectations

We expect all of our interns to be hard working, willing, well presented, polite and humble. How much you get out of this experience depends on how much you are prepared to put in. We hope, a lot! We aspire to share our knowledge and experience with those who are looking for a deeper understand of intensive, sustainable small scale farming and the crop planning, rotation and customer communication involved in running a CSA.

Ask lots of questions…every day!!

We need to get to know you and  talk about expectations, and plans for the future. This is to ensure that we can all work together and that we can provide the experience you are looking for. We want interns to leave the farm with solid, specific skills for successful, enhanced organic market gardening and to have a meaningful, positive educational experience.

A refundable $500 bond is required. This bond ensures that abuse or negligence of tools does not occur and that participants adhere to the guidelines stated here including completion of the period of the internship.

Work Hours

Interns are expected to work a 5 day week. Work times vary, but the typical working day starts early and includes 8 hours of work with a lunchtime break. Although there are daily tasks that occur 7 days a week, work can be flexible with a desire to make a schedule that works for the farm and an educational opportunity suited to the intern.

Intern Room and Board

Caravan accommodation is provided with a kitchen.
There is a separate, private bathroom with shower and toilet facilities.
We will provide you with our farm fresh produce and eggs as available. Interns are responsible for providing all other groceries.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted one week prior to:
    • Autumn Internship - 6th March to 12th May 2017
    • Winter Internship   - 22nd May to 28th July 2017
    • Spring Internship    - 4th September to 10th November 2017
A prerequisite for the internship is that you must have completed a Permaculture Design Course (PDC). This may be done at Purple Pear Farm or elsewhere.

Contact Us

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