The Internship program has been suspended, due in part to the pandemic. We are keen to get it activated as soon as is practicable.

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 formalized our internship programs into seasonal opportunities with inspiration from Transition Farm in Victoria. 
Agriculture Internships - Purple Pear Farm School

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.
Soon we will have details on how you can do a modular PDC exchange internship in conjunction with other establishments.
Interns will learn all aspects of living and working on a permaculture farm and will learn the methods of design applicable to everyday farm situations. They will be fully involved in all farm activities. 
Agriculture Internships - Purple Pear Farm School
Agriculture Internships - Purple Pear Farm School

On top of that, they will also undertake regular projects which may include but are not limited to the following:

Application Deadlines

It is advisable to apply as early as possible. An early decision is important for participants to get organised especially overseas applicants. Applications will close as soon as the number of acceptable applicants reaches 5 (five).

  • Autumn Internship
  • Spring Internship

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. Preference will be given to people doing their PDC at Purple Pear Farm

Our education method for this program is loosely structured. It is example, and experience based. We endeavour 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!
The town of Maitland is about 1 1/2 km away, with shops and facilities such as libraries and medical. Newcastle and the beaches are around 30 minutes 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).


We expect all of our interns to be hard working, willing, well presented, polite and humble. We expect that there will be no illegal drugs on site and that interns be not under the influence of drugs or alcohol whilst at the farm. Alcohol in moderation is acceptable. 

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 days a 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.