As part of our mission to get more people growing on a local scale and to help increase food production through sustainable farming practice, Old Mill Road offers internships for a minimum of 2 months between September and March.
We endeavour to show interns what great things can be done on a small farm, what mistakes we have made, how to produce on crappy, shaley ground, how to sell your produce and enjoy it all at the same time. We expect in return a good demeanour and sense of humour, a strong work ethic, an enquiring mind, an observant eye and self motivation.
We aspire to share our experience and knowledge with people who aim to gain a deeper understanding of small scale biological farming systems and who want to continue to grow in this field, it is not a working holiday.
At this stage of our evolution we can accept an individual or couple. We can offer a comfortable room, with cooking facilities, you would have access to our laundry and bathroom. We provide food for the fridge and cupboard and one main meal every day and you would also be free to cook meals with whatever produce is on.
Work would be flexible and tailored to suit both parties and particular education goals.We’d discuss hours at our initial meeting. Chores do need to be done 7 days a week after all this is a working farm but we would work a roster to share this around.
If you are considering an internship, you will need-
- to be fit and able, there is a lot of uneven ground, trip hazards, hard work which is at times repetitive and strenuous.
- your own transport would be handy. The beach and the shops are not a stroll down the road and we cannot be running you hither and thither.
- to be able to meet with us in person and spend a day or so here to see if we all can work together.
- to be honest with yourself and to us
- to ask questions all day long.
Meet the interns
Rod Kubyk- Spring 2012
Having been fortunate to live on self sustaining farms in Central/South America and Asia, I have never taken the opportunity in my own country. I have a fascination with growing plants and raising animals, but needed to do some fine tuning with my own garden projects. I needed design changes, as well as to be more productive with the space I have available to me.
I have completed many courses in Sydney, but find I learn more when having hands on experience. Old Mill Road gave me that experience. With Fraser and Kirsti’s guidance I was able to take in so much more than I would absorb in a class room. Their invaluable recommendations on suitable plant varieties for my situation will save me years of heartache. If I was to take two lessons away from the farm it would be that planning and bed preparation are two critical tasks for a successful garden.
The internship gave me the confidence to grow food successfully. They tailored jobs to suit my training in areas that I needed more exposure to. That flexibility really helped in achieving my goals. Old Mill Road was a life changing experience and I loved it.
Tim Saffery- Autumn 2012
My name is Tim Saffery, This year I made the decision to start my own organic market garden after 17 years of working as a chef. So where to start? After limited experience in my own backyard and at our local community garden I knew I needed some professional guidance. After trying to find an organic vegetable growing apprenticeship or trainee ship (which to my knowledge does not exist) and knowing a tafe course would be no good for me (I need to learn hands on) I approached Fraser and Kirsti at Old Mill Road BioFarm and they agreed to take me for a 3 month internship during autumn this year.
During my time there I had hands on experience with a range of tools and equipment relevant to small scale farming. I learnt the value of planning ahead, crop rotation, correct spacing of plants, weed control and integrating poultry into the garden. I also got a first hand look at the workload required to run a successful operation.
I feel that the internship was definitely worth doing and has given me the confidence to go forward and pursue my own venture. The experience I gained with Kirsti and Fraser now relates directly to my own venture as I am working on half an acre with similar tools and systems in place that I feel maximize the space and time available to me.
James McIntosh- Spring, Summer 2011
I started an internship with Kirsti and Fraser at Old Mill Road in September 2011, just in time for the growing season of summer ahead. My background was from anything but farming/gardening I’d worked as a web designer for years. I figured there was more to life than what was in front of a computer screen so I took an interest in organic farming after having been inspired and horrified by the film Food INC. My time working with Kirsti and Fraser was fantastic, it was a real change of pace but one that was easy to embrace. Early morning starts over looking a picturesque scene of the valley with the dams and garden ready to be pounced on, or tripped on as I would manage. I think I would average a trip of sorts about six times before the morning was out, drip lines, fences, whatever there was to be found I’d stumble on it at some point. Coming from a world of flat concrete ground it was a new terrain to negotiate. I took away a lot from my time on the farm, from fantastic times, delicious healthy meals and basically a sound background in this style of farming (natural market gardening). Probably the best part about my time was leaving with a greater awareness of my impact on the world around and how we can live a very rich life without mitigation from the planet. Kirsti and Fraser know their stuff, love to share it, are exceptionally patient and have a very open mind to the world and everyone that comes into their lives. I’ve been so fortunate to have been invited to do my internship at OMR. Did I mention the surf is amazing in the area?