Fruit and Nut
|Short Term Internship Opportunities with Fruit and Nut|
Short Term Internships (updated 27/08/20)
Please read the information below before contacting us.
For the 2021 season, the nursery is offering short term internships of 400-560 working hours over 12-16 weeks. Short term internships generally take place during the spring or summer period but may also be possible during the autumn. Where possible the internships will be tailored to suit individual requirements (for example interns who have particular interests such as land rehabilitation or are carrying out the internship as part of an academic course elsewhere).
The work programme will be based loosely around the seasonal requirements of nursery's flagship project: Agriculture for Climate Change: Land Rehabilitation and Small-scale Fruit and Nut Growing. Further details of this can be found on the studentship page (here). The nursery moved to a new site during 2019 and for the next few years the priority will be maintaining research stock - notably our large collection of pine nuts - and and in developing essential infrastructure. The focus of the internships will be on maintaining stock and in helping with the creation of new beds. The interns duties will also include some work with vegetable production as the nursery is now growing all the vegetables used on site. The vegetable work includes experimental techniques with crops like winter squashes that are normally associated with polytunnels or warmer climates and will build on the trials undertaken this year.
There will be opportunites to assist with the commercial aspects of the nursery too and this may be of interest to those looking to start a business venture in horticulture. The next few years will see a lot of new projects get off the ground and will be a very exciting time to be working at the nursery.
The number of working/training hours per week will average 35. There will be considerable flexibility regarding the scheduling of the hours, including provision for a break period of up to two weeks during the middle of the internship period. Training will be an integral part of the internship programme and will be tailored to suit the intern's personal requirements.
The next available start date is 5th April 2021.
Who is the internship aimed at?
The internship is aimed particularly at the young person considering a working life involving nut trees, or in food security-related land rehabilitation projects.
Accommodation and Board
The intern is not required to live in, however accommodation (timber cabin) and full board are provided if required. In addition, the nursery can provide protective clothing and footwear.
The food is vegan. Interns staying on site will be expected to share meal-preparation duties and must possess basic cooking skills.
Residential interns who have no other source of income or support may be eligible for a personal expenses allowance of €50 per week.
Applicants from outside Ireland
The nursery welcomes applications from outside of Ireland. Fluency in English is essential.
The intern will have access to the extensive on-site library covering horticulture, sustainable agriculture, tree crops, soil and plant science, land use, climate and micro-climate, global warming and many related subjects. The library is probably the largest of its type in Ireland.
Extending the internship
It may be possible to extend the internship for a longer period. Please enquire.
1 Previous horticultural experience or training, ideally FETAC level 5 (or equivalent) or higher is desirable, but not an absolute requirement. People with no previous horticultural experience but who have practical skills in other areas (for example construction skills) may be considered.
2 An interest in food security and climate change issues is essential. If these are not your thing, it's probably best to look elsewhere!
3 Minimum of one week stay at the nursery working as a volunteer (for prospective interns based in other countries who would incur considerable expense in travelling to Ireland, this requirement may be waived)
4 Prospective interns should be physically fit and prepared to work outdoors in poor weather (in practice, little work is carried out during very wet weather, but occasionally it is necessary).
5 Familiarity with vegan food and ability to serve up tasty meals (see 'Meals' above)
Preference will be given to the 21-30 age group. Younger applicants who have previous horticultural or agricultural experience may also be considered.
We place considerable emphasis on learning how to use tools properly, both for work efficiency and for worker comfort and safety. The ability to correctly use tools such as scythes, spades and shovels are skills that once acquired will last for life and there is great satisfaction in knowing a skill has been mastered and that muscles know what to do. All physical work carried out at the nursery is grounded in good technique and personal awareness, not gung-ho brute force. In recent years, the majority of interns and other volunteers at the nursery have been women and this has helped us develop an approach to training geared specifically to women.
Women in Agriculture
In Ireland (as in many other countries) around 90 percent of registered farmers are men. This is largely the same with organic farms too. The nursery believes that a greater participation of women in agriculture and horticulture - and in particular in skilled work, decision-making and ownership - is an essential component of sustainable food production.
Personal development is important strand of the internship and we hope that all interns gain useful soft skills in addition to the practical skills associated with nursery work.
If you are unsure whether an internship is the right choice for you, why not email us and outline your concerns. Please include a short CV (up to date please!) and a brief outline of why you want to do an internship with Fruit and Nut. All enquiries will be treated with strict confidence. We strongly recommend that intending interns contact us at least six months in advance.
We look forward to hearing from you.