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Great Barrier Island
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 8
Persons: 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 23913
Region: Great Barrier Island

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Last Updated: February 7, 2020

Hi there, we would love some help for the next two to three months with harvesting, watering, planting and all the other interesting tasks on an organic garden. If you are keen on learning about organic production and getting your hands dirty in an incredibly beautiful environment, do contact us.

We request 30 hours per week of your help. We supply all meals (excellent food and plenty of it). Accommodation is in 2 caravans and we have
a spare room in the house. Helpers have access to our house at all times for meals, showers, laundry, relaxing time etc

We are also seeking applications for our three-month spring internship starting in August 2020, and for our summer Internship starting November 2020.

Okiwi Passion is a small scale intensive market garden, nursery and orchard on Great Barrier Island, operating according to organic/biological principles since 2007.

We grow a wide range of high quality produce including fruit, vegetables and herbs. 100% of our produce stays on the Island. Our small but busy nursery grows a wide range of seedlings for local gardeners, as well as our own plants for cropping. Our produce and seedlings are available at a small weekly Saturday market, and via a Produce Box service for locals and visitors almost year round. We also supply local shops, cafes and restaurants with a microgreen based salad mix.


The Internship

Internships are intended for individuals earnestly seeking hands on training and experience in preparation for becoming small scale organic commercial growers themselves.

As well as training as in the field, we offer education via lectures and workshops, involve interns in a wide range of the workings of the farm and give interns responsibility for looking after several crops from seeding to planting to training to harvesting.

We provide all meals and accommodation.

Interns contribute 35 hours of work per week to the farm. On occasion this may increase by necessity at peak periods, but we really try to avoid this. Work days are generally Monday to Friday over the summer. We get up early to avoid the heat of the day. Often we will have a break through the middle of the day and resume work later in the afternoon, again to avoid the intense midsummer midday heat! There are small tasks that need to done over the weekend such as harvesting, watering and collecting eggs. Everyone works co-operatively on this to enable interns to get away for the weekend, camping and so-on, if they so choose.

As a general guide, farm tasks include bed preparation, planting and direct seeding, crop maintenance such as delateraling, chipping banna grass and bamboo for farm sourced mulch, compost making, weeding, spreading mulch, applying tarps for weed kill, seedling production, sowing and harvesting microgreens, harvesting field crops, packing veg boxes, irrigation, pest and disease prevention/ control (bugs and rats), caring for free range hens, pruning fruit trees as well as contributing any skills you may have such as building, website work etc. If time permits you may assist with bottling, making jams and relishes and everything else that is required on an organic farm.

We have a strong focus on working effectively and efficiently, according to Standard Operating Procedures, which requires a mindful, focussed and structured approach to farm work.

The spring and summer internships run over a very busy period.

Successful applicants will be social, warmhearted individuals, hardworking, well organised, quick on their feet, dextrous with their hands, have an eye for detail, and be bright minded! Enthusiasm, curiosity, and commitment to the well-being of the farm essential. A high standard of spoken English is required.

A bit about ourselves:

Gerald and Caity have been involved in growing plants for most of our lives, but are constantly exploring new approaches to organic and biological growing. We have slowly grown Okiwi Passion over 12 years and in this time have developed a very high reputation among our ever-growing loyal band of private and commercial customers.

We enjoy teaching what we know, passing on our extensive experience and skills to the next generation of farmers. At the same time, we encourage interns to seek to continually improve what we do.

This year, for the first time, we are employing a full time member of staff, Bree! Bree is responsible for microgreen and nursery production, developing our website and online shop, managing the vegetable box order system and keeping Caity sane!! She will also become increasingly involved in growing. She is a wonderful, warm, hardworking member of our team.

About Living Here

Interns have all their farm meals with us during the working week. We require a helping hand with preparing meals, making bread, yoghurt, and washing dishes in addition to your farm work. One meal a week is cooked by interns for the whole crew.

95% of the food we eat is organic, all our fruit and veg are our own. We operate a successful small organic co-op to bring in organic dry goods. Over the weekend things are fairly flexible meal wise so you can get away and have an outdoor adventure if you so choose.

Our diet is omnivorous - we eat small amounts of meat, fish when we catch it, and lots of vegetable based meals. Breakfast is oatmeal with activated seeds, fruit and yoghurt. Lunch usually consists of home made bread, cheese/hummus/eggs/labneh/chutneys and so on.

There is no mains power out here so we are off the grid - we rely on solar panels, batteries and a generator. We have no TV but we do have WiFi Internet (limited), and lots of board games. Interns need to be self sufficient and able to entertain themselves, preferably in the great outdoors or reading our range of excellent horticultural texts!

This is a place for those who love the outdoors. Great Barrier Island is extraordinarily beautiful. We are right next to an estuary that leads to one of the largest white sand beaches on the island, and we have a canoe to go and explore. Interns often go fishing off the rocks. We also have a couple of farm bikes you can use around our valley. There are many walking tracks on the island.

We have 2 lovely big dogs that share the house with us, so interns must be animal friendly.

We do not accept smokers. Applicants must be at least 23 years of age.

Please email us for an application form. We look forward to hearing from you!

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