We are looking for a highly motivated couple, with a passion for food and sustainability to join us in developing our property. AislingQuoy is an organically run smallholding in North Canterbury, New Zealand, with a focus on sheep and goat dairy and cheese. We aim to sustainably produce most of our own food and a small surplus for supply in the local area. In addition to dairy sheep and goats we raise and breed pigs, chickens and ducks, maintain vegetable gardens and a small orchard, harvest, process and preserve food and are continually developing our farm and processes.
There is an option to develop a small cheesemaking business but other business ideas could also be considered. This is a lifestyle choice, not a job. Days can involve long hours working on your feet, there is always more to do than time to do it in. It could be possible for one partner to earn a part time income outside the smallholding and contribute to living costs.
We have short term accommodation available in a furnished barn loft or converted container and other longer term options.
You need to be open and friendly, reliable, hardworking and honest. This is a challenging and fun opportunity for the right people.
For expressions of interest, further information and application
please contact Lyndal at
Short term Interns
Interns live and work on the farm, experiencing many facets of our diverse activities. AislingQuoy internships are full-time, intensive experiences allowing you the opportunity to experience what it really means to farm. One of the joys as well as the challenges of farming is living and working with the rhythm of the seasons, and the work schedule follows the demands of season, weather, and animal needs. Enthusiasm and a sincere commitment to sustainable agriculture and food production are more important than experience, though experience with animals and dairy is a plus. You need to be self motivated, hard working, able to attend to detail and keep sight of the big picture. We work long hard days but always try to take moments to pause and appreciate what a beautiful place we live and how privileged we are to live this amazing life.
Long Term Interns
Internship will be focused on food production - “Farm to Table” with an opportunity to move to a Dairy internship for a person who is able to demonstrate required motivation and aptitudes.
Farm to Table Intern Role
The Farm to Table intern will take responsibility for the whole process of producing food and all its associated activities. This includes all aspects of growing food from sowing and tending, transplanting, water management, composting, harvesting, foraging, greenhouse work, cooking, and preserving. Animal management will involve feeding and managing chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep and goats, taking care of animals, hoof trimming, mucking out, butchering and processing. There will also be some farm maintenance and occasional building or construction projects, fencing or other special projects. You will assist in the dairy with daily cleaning and other related chores. You may also have the opportunity to participate in milking if you are enthusiastic. You should gain knowledge and skills in holistic animal management, pasture and nutrition, many horticulture skills (eg pruning, propogating, seedsaving, grafting) and approaches, practical permaculture, water and resource management, building and design. The right person will have excellent skills in planning and organization as well as being able to see the bigger picture.
Dairy Intern Role
Internship will be focused on dairy and cheese, with an intern taking responsibility for the day to day running and management of the animals and dairy. Other responsibilities will vary with skill and interest in other farm activities, but include some garden work and general household chores.
Dairy work will include twice daily hand and machine milking, milk management, cleaning and record keeping in dairy as well as preparing feeds. Animal management will include day to day health monitoring, nutrition and grazing management of sheep and goat herds.
There is opportunity to progress to cheesemaking where the intern would be involved in making and aging of our range of 15-20 goat and sheep milk cheeses, beginning with cleaning and dishwashing, affinage, and fresh cheeses and progressing to pressed and aged cheeses.
You will be doing a lot of heavy lifting, repetitive hand activities (milking) and cleaning and must be prepared for this. You must be prepared for early morning starts and working into the evening.
If you are interested in cheese making you must be comfortable learning the technical aspects of cheese making, including some chemistry. Must be very meticulous, and detail oriented. Cleanliness is key. Making cheese is fun and rewarding and also requires long hours on your feet washing dishes and caring for the aging cheese.
Internships can be from 3 to 12 months with opportunity for the right people to stay on longer. This is an unpaid internship for room and board with extensive opportunity for learning and personal development in dairying and farm management. If one of a couple earns part time income outside the farm a contribution to living costs is expected.
Accommodation is a furnished barn loft with composting toilet or off grid converted container. Main meals are with us and you would be expected to share in some of the cooking. Other meals are prepared yourself, with ingredients from the farm.
We are looking for self-motivated people, over 21 who are interested in learning through hard work, with a passion for food and sustainability. Days can involve long hours working on your feet and there is a lot of cleaning and heavy lifting involved in dairying and cheesemaking so you must be prepared for this type of work. Although not remote, we are in a rural area, so you need to enjoy the outdoors with limited access to amenities and be easy to get along with.
We are also happy to accept WWOOFers for shorter stays to help with specific projects. This is only available to highly morivated people who have specific things they want to learn here. If you are interested please email us with details of your learning goals, previous experience and skills, and future plans. For further information please see our profile on WWOOF NZ.