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Short Term Internship Opportunities with Fruit and Nut

Short Term Internships (updated 12/03/19)

For the 2019 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 summer period (typically starting at the beginning of June) but may also be possible during the spring or autumn. The internships can be tailor-made to suit individual requirements (for example interns who have particular interests such as food security, specific nut crops etc) and for those carrying out the internship as part of an academic course elsewhere it can accommodate those requirements too.

Short term internships are generally research-focused and project-based, for example helping with maintainance of the nut trialling beds, data gathering, mapping and recording of information. However, there will be opportunites to assist with the commercial aspects of the nursery too and this will be of interest to those looking to start a business venture in horticulture.

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 is in the process of moving to a new site and the focus of the internships in 2019 will be in maintaining the nut trees allocated for trialling purposes. The first year at the new site will involve a lot of pioneering work 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 tailor-made to suit the intern's personal requirements.

The next available start date will be the end of June (2019).

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. The food is vegetarian. In addition, the nursery will provide full protective clothing and footwear. There is good wifi at the nursery.

Other Supports

Residential interns who have no other source of income may be eligible for a personal expenses allowance of €25 per week.

Applicants from outside Ireland

The nursery welcomes applications from outside of Ireland. Fluency in English is generally a prerequirement.


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.


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 may be considered.

2 An interest in food security and climate change issues is highly desirable.

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).


Preference will be given to the 21-30 age group. Younger applicants who have previous horticultural or agricultural experence may also be considered.

Physical Work

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 and in decision-making - will be beneficial for the future of food production.

Personal development

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.

Further Information

Please contact us for further information. If you are unsure whether an internship is the right choice for you, why not email us and outline your concerns. We will be happy to discuss these and hopefully tease out any potential problems. 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.