Interested in volunteering with us?
Watch this video to get a sense of who we are and find out more.
We offer a number of different volunteering and internship opportunities, depending on your interests, motivations, and what you're looking for.
We are looking for a highly motivated couple, with a passion for food and sustainability to join us in developing our property. There are options to develop business ideas based on the farm.
There is a possibility to develop a small cheesemaking business but other business ideas may also be possible. However, 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 can be discussed.
We are looking for people who are open and friendly, reliable, hardworking and honest. This is a challenging and fun opportunity for the right people.
Contact us to find out more
We have two different internships available, but the line between them can be flexible, depending on the season, personal interests and motivation. Interns will generally start as Farm to Table interns with the possibility of moving to the dairy intern role.
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. You must be prepared for early morning starts and working into the evening.One of the joys and challenges of farming is living and working with the rhythm of the seasons. The work schedule follows the demands of the seasons, the weather, and animal needs.
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.
Farm to Table - focused on food production
The Farm to Table intern will take responsibility for the whole process of producing food and all its associated activities.
This touches all areas of the farm such as:
The garden (e.g sowing, transplanting, water management, composting, harvesting, foraging, greenhouse work, cooking, and preserving)
Animal management (e.g. feeding and managing chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep and goats, taking care of animals, hoof trimming, mucking out, butchering and processing)
Farm maintenance and building (e.g. fencing, repairs).
Daily chores will always include feeding the animals and assisting in the dairy with daily cleaning and other related chores. You may also have the opportunity to participate in milking if you are enthusiastic.
This internship will give you the opportunity to 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 will take responsibility for the day to day running and management of the animals and dairy.
Milking twice daily by hand and machine (cleaning, record keeping)
Animal management (mixing feeds, health monitoring, nutrition and grazing management)
POSSIBLE progress to cheesemaking (making and aging our range of 15-20 goat and sheep milk cheeses, beginning with affinage and fresh cheeses)
It is expected that the intern will also participate in other activities around the farm depending on skills and interests, but certainly including some garden work and general household chores.
Dairy Intern - focused on dairy and cheese
You will be doing a lot of heavy lifting, repetitive hand activities (milking) and cleaning and must be prepared for this.
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.
Volunteering - WWOOF/HelpX
We are also happy to accept people through WWOOF or HelpX for shorter stays to help with specific projects. This is only available to highly motivated 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 or HelpX.
Barn loft accommodation
Barn loft accommodation
For volunteers we have accommodation available in the loft of the barn, or in a converted, off-grid container.
The barn has a simple composting toilet, but you will also have access to the main house (for showers, meals etc.).
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.
If one person in a couple earns a part-time income outside the farm, a contribution to living costs is expected.
Although we are 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 ask everyone who comes to stay to undergo a trial period of 3 days. It's very important for us that the experience and "fit" of the farm is good for everyone involved. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you, but also for YOU to see if AislingQuoy is the right place for you.
What we're looking for
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 start early to care for the animals. Chores happen daily - the animals must get fed and cared for regardless of the day of the week.
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.
If you are interested please email us with details of your learning goals, previous experience and skills, and future plans.
Please note that we do not usually respond to general and impersonal messages or requests.