Growing the community

SAGE Market Gardener Intern announced for 2018-2019 season

2018/19 SAGE Market Gardener Intern Kylie Emmett and her mentor Kat Cathcart in front of the cover crop that will soon be turned into the garden as green manure.

It’s hard to believe that it’s time to introduce our next intern, but another year has flown by and another cycle of market gardening is about to begin at the SAGE Garden.

We’re excited to announce the appointment of Kylie Emmett as our 2018/19 Market Gardener Intern. For the first time we have also offered Erin Henry a second tier internship so she can access all of the instructional aspects of the internship without the provision of land or equipment.

When we asked what motivated Kylie to apply for the internship, she responded, “I would love to share and provide nutritious, fresh produce with the community as it should be grown… without all the nasties! I’ve had some exposure to organic farming and it really made me want to get started in market gardening.”

We were very pleased to have received ten applications this year — the highest level of interest yet — for the position of our sixth intern. As far as we know, our internship is the only position in Australia which provides an income while you learn to market garden and this is something of which we’re very proud.

2014/15 SAGE Market Gardener Internship graduate Kat Cathcart will step into the role of mentoring Kylie. Her perspective and experience as a previous intern will provide enormous benefit to the new recruit. As a first time mentor, Kat will herself receive assistance from previous mentors in the spirit of “training the trainer”.

“The internship program is key to our strategic aims to ‘grow the growers’ and grow our local food economy,” said SAGE President Mark Barraclough. “Without support from the Eurobodalla Shire Council, which since 2016 has been returning a portion of the income they receive from stall fees at the SAGE Farmers Market to help us pursue these aims, SAGE wouldn’t be able to achieve as much as we do.”

SAGE has also received grant funding from the Building Better Regions Fund to build a prototype portable market gardening “kit”, the InCUBEator, and improve infrastructure at the SAGE Garden, so we can improve our capacity to keep building knowledge and skills for growing and farming food in our local community. All of these projects are focused on the ultimate goal of increasing the number of interns SAGE can train and support in future years, once we have overcome the biggest hurdle: finding suitable land.

For now, we welcome Kylie to SAGE. Keep an eye out for her at the SAGE Farmers Market in the coming months, selling her chemical-free produce grown at the SAGE Garden less than a kilometre away.

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