Volunteer / Trainee application
Volunteer or become a trainee for PermEco Inc. at the Kendall Permaculture Farm
Hosting and training volunteers since 2005
Are you keen to learn what is involved in running an almost self sufficient farm? Would you like to work with animals and plants, set up new systems and maintain existing systems on the farm and learn how to improve soil quality? Would you like to eat homegrown food, discover how to separate cream and make butter and preserve excess produce? Are you not afraid of hard work, keen to learn and easygoing? If so, volunteering with us may be for you!
Jobs you may be involved in include animal management (chickens, goats, cows), gardening, planting, harvesting, harvest processing, composting, new garden bed preparing, mulching, chipping and biodigester feeding and emptying. Outside of these regular tasks there are also projects which need to be done like digging out stones for new garden beds, planting Syntropic and Permaculture systems, building jobs, fencing and other jobs which come up. As this is a working farm, jobs always vary. The longer you stay with us, the greater variety of jobs you will be exposed to.
In general volunteers take around 4 weeks to learn the systems on the farm, another 4 weeks to integrate them and after that they feel reasonably comfortable with them. So ideally volunteers should stay 3 months or more. If volunteers stay longer than 3 months they are classed as trainees. Days can be long and are full, we usually start around 6.30am and finish between 4.30 and 6pm, depending on weather and jobs to be done. During the hotter months we are happy for everyone to take some time off in the middle of the day to prevent heatstroke. We also have regular breaks during the day, for breakfast, morning tea and lunch.
You will be learning a lot during the working days, Tom will explain why we do things the way we do when he shows you a job and works with you. You can learn a lot whilst working with Tom, as he cannot help but teach. Tom is a hard worker and working beside him is an experience in itself. As he is a do-er, he will teach while you work beside him, rather than sit down with you.
Weekends are days off, with no work to be done on the farm apart from feeding the animals. You may be asked to look after the animal routines on weekends, we try and take turns so that everyone can have a full weekend off on occasion. Tom and Zaia usually still work on Sundays and you can join them if you like, but it is not required.
Due to the complexity of the Permaculture Systems you will be learning, we ask that your minimum stay is 4 weeks, unless things aren’t working out for either or both of us. If you are unable to commit for 4 weeks but still would like to be involved, you may want to apply to be part of one of our Blitz Teams.
We will supply farm grown and produced food for our trainees and volunteers, but ask that they cook their own meals. Usually volunteers/trainees take it in turns to cook their meals. We do not supply any store bought foods, only those foods grown on the farm. If you would like other foods (eg grains like wheat or rice or other foods out of season) you can purchase them at the Kin Kin General Store or at the weekly markets in Pomona. There is also an IGA supermarket in Pomona. We recommend you try to use our farm grown food as much as you can, as this is more sustainable. We use root vegetables and green bananas for flour if needed.
As we look after the animals before we look after ourselves, breakfast time is at around 8.30am, morning tea at 11.30-12.00 and lunch at 2-2.30pm.
Volunteer accommodation is in a tent (supplied by you). Please bring your own mattress, pillow and sleeping bag as well. Other camping essentials like a torch and gumboots also come in handy. Our facilities are very basic, with composting toilets and wood heated showers.
Trainees are will have a room in the communal house (maximum of 3 people).
To make the farm a pleasant space for everyone we do not allow any drugs, alcohol, chemicals or cigarettes on the property. We also do not allow any intoxication of any kind. Please check any soaps, shampoos and toothpastes you bring, whether they have any sulphates or other nasties. If unsure, please ask, we do always have spare soaps, shampoos etc available for use on the property.
We can provide pickup if necessary from Pomona or Cooroy, please contact us before you book any transport so we can discuss the best day. We try to use our cars as little as possible, so if you need us to pick you up we would like to make sure we can run some other errands at the same time.
Bus number 632 runs from Noosa and Cooroy to Pomona daily. No public transport runs to Kin Kin at this stage.
There is no internet access (WIFI) on the property. If you need to be in contact with family or friends via internet or phone, please purchase a SIM card with data on the Telstra network (Telstra or Belong are the best ones and work on the property, other cheaper ones may not work here).
Please be aware that animal processing for consumption may occur during your time with us. Please do not apply if you have any objections to this activity.