Market Garden Internship Program at
Stepping Stone Farm
Applications due by 14 August 2020
Aspiring market gardeners are invited to apply for internships at Stepping Stone Farm, a unique training facility on a working farm 8kms west of Moruya NSW.
Starting in September 2020, the one year hands-on and immersive training program will be led by Joyce Wilkie, a farmer and educator with more than 35 years’ experience. Interns can expect to learn all aspects of running a successful commercial market garden including planning, preparation, production, sales, distribution and using adaptive farming practices.
The 2020 inaugural internships are offered free with no fees, full time (35 hours a week) with some flexibility to allow students to work part time in paid employment if necessary. Wages or other payments are not offered to interns in the program. Interns are expected to support themselves financially for the 12-month program and organise their own accommodation near Moruya and reliable transport to and from the training farm.
Stepping Stone Farm Inc is an initiative of Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla Inc (SAGE), a not-for-profit, community based organisation whose mission is to create and support a NSW South Coast sustainable fair food economy and food sovereignty for local communities. SAGE manages the award-winning SAGE Farmers Market and e-Market in Moruya, supports charities with food and runs a popular program of education and events. The aim of the Stepping Stone Farm intern project is to create jobs, secure the food supply and serve the community.
Applicants should ideally have 12 months farming, gardening, or relevant experience and be aiming to establish or work in a commercial market garden business at the end of the program. You must be able to work in Australia, speak English, and have literacy skills necessary to study, communicate and operate a business. You should also be physically fit and able to do manual farm work.
Applications must include a resume with your personal details, references and a covering letter addressing why you believe you would be a suitable applicant. Also include relevant work or life experience, any relevant future plans and how you would support yourself during the 12-month program. You may be asked to agree to a police check prior to engagement.
Stepping Stone Farm (SSF) will be a training farm for new growers. The farm will be a working market garden with all associated infrastructure, tooling, vehicles and machinery to ensure a viable market farming business.
The Farm and its program, based on organic and regenerative farming practices, will provide opportunities for new farmers to develop the skill set sand experience to run a successful farm enterprise, and the knowledge to develop a business plan. With the knowledge, skills and experience these new farmers will have better chance of securing capital and land access, and as a result be more likely to succeed in realising their farm.
Our current plan is that Stepping Stone Farm will open in early 2020.
The first SAGE Farmers Market was held on New Year’s Day 2013 at Riverside Park, Moruya. Since that first sunny Tuesday afternoon, the market has established a reputation as an authentic and respected farmers market. In July 2014, it was awarded “Outstanding Farmers’ Market” at delicious. Magazine‘s Annual Produce Awards – an extraordinary achievement in just 18 months. Even more extraordinary was another win for the same award in 2015.
When you buy something at the SAGE Farmers Market, you can be confident that the person you’re buying it from either grew it, harvested it or made it. That’s what makes a farmers market different. There are no middle-men, no wholesalers and everything was grown and made within our local area.
This market is also different because it’s held every Tuesday afternoon. When people can buy local produce every week as part of a normal shopping routine, it has a huge impact on the community. It means farmers can afford to stay on the land and continue to produce quality food in a sustainable way. It means the local economy stays strong and it means we continue to have access to the freshest, healthiest food possible.
The market is another mainstay of SAGE’s activities and with the support of the Eurobodalla Shire Council, is now returning funds back to SAGE to continue our work to “grow the growers”.
Click or tap to visit the SAGE Farmers Market website