Pakaraka Permaculture

Organic Market Garden, Permaculture, Sustainble Living, Off Grid Farm


Pakaraka Permaculture Training program 2017-2018

This is a hands-on program, you will be working with us on the farm, doing what we do. You will learn many aspects of market gardening and will become proficient in: bed preparation, crop care, plant propagation, transplanting & direct seeding, weeding, watering, tool maintenance, harvesting a diversity of crops, post harvesting of vegetables & salads, microgreens production. As part of our program we are offering a 10 week Organic Gardening Course. During your time here you would be able to chose a personal project related to our operation needs which we will mentor you through. Operating a small scale diverse organic farm is hard work, but is very satisfying. We love what we do, and are excited to share this experience.

Gardens Feb 2017.png

Time frame:

  • The first cycle will start 1st October and will end 16th December. The second cycle will start 7th January and will end 1st April. Application deadline for the 1st cycle is on 9th June, results will be sent by 19th June. Application deadline for the 2nd cycle is on 15th September, results will be sent by 24th September. 

  • The working week will be 40-45 hours, 5 days a week or equivalent.



For each cycle, we are looking for 3 passionate individuals who

  1. Are serious about growing food, and are considering a livelihood in growing food for market.

  2. Wish to continue their learning about sustainable living and homesteading skills.

  3. Kids friendly :)

  4. Are physically fit, can work independently, enjoy team work, have prior experience working outdoors and love it.


Farm experience

You will also experience many aspects of what we do on the farm. About 6 hours of each week you will be working on other aspects of our organic farm:

  • Firewood management, gathering & collecting.

  • Weed management of mainly gorse & thistles.

  • Tasks relevant to the season, regarding animal husbandry & orchards.

  • Opportunities for milking the house cow, feeding animals, fixing fences, and so on.



  • We will provide you with mostly local and organic produce. You will be making you own breakfasts, evening dinners and cooking on your days off. When working with us we will cook lunch and share it together, and ask for your help with the dishes.

  • Cleaning of your personal & communal living space is the responsibility of interns that live on the farm.

  • We will gladly pick you up from the bus station in Thames, and welcome you to join us on our occasional trips to town. We recommend you organise your own personal transport to and from the farm on (car, bicycle).

  • We cannot house partners or pets on the farm.

  • There is no smoking on the farm.

  • Applicant must have a NZ residency or a valid visa.


Camping area

Camping facilities are under the pecan orchard, besides the river. Facilities include; outside covered kitchen, hot shower, lights & phone charging (that’s new!), gas fridge, and composting toilets. You will need to provide your own tent / caravan / van. We recommend a tent that can handle moderate winds and be big enough to be a comfortable private space for you.

During the summer holidays there will be a few weeks were you will temporary move to camp next to the gardens. There is mobile reception at the campsite, and you can charge your laptop at our house and use wifi. There is also free internet at the Thames library.


How to apply

This application is an opportunity, for both you and us, to determine if your expectations and this internship are a good match. Please answer the questions below to the best of your ability, with honesty and clarity. We do not discriminate on any basis.


  1. Please tell us briefly about yourself. Hobbies, your favorite food, things you love doing.

  2. What interests you about our farm and this program?

  3. Have you ever had experience working on a farm? Please describe.

  4. How do you see this program assisting you in your personal and professional development?

  5. What experience are you bringing to the program, and what practical skills do you hope to acquire?

  6. Have you ever worked as part of a group? What were the most challenging things for you when working or living with others?

  7. We raise animals for meat on the farm. What is your perspective on the role animals play on a small farm?

  8. Do you have any allergies, food restrictions, or physical limitations that might affect your ability to live in a rural setting and do farm work?

  9. Will you be able to attend the full duration of program?

  10. What is your favorite vegetable?

Please send a completed application and a picture of you to this email address:

Thank you very much for your interest, and for sharing this information with us. We will get back to you within a few days confirming we have received your application. We will contact you to schedule a phone, Skype or on farm (preferred) interview.

Please send your application as soon as you have decided to apply, the program is limited to up to 3 participants.