Nat Wiseman & Jessica Sanguesa – Dec 2011 to Feb 2012
Our internship at Allsun Farm was an inspiring and rewarding experience. We loved being on the farm every day, learning the patterns, routines and responsibilities needed to run a successful, holistic market garden. As well as learning all about growing vegetables from seed all the way to harvest, we looked after the chickens and pigs, maintained the garden, and learned many other things including preserving, value-adding produce, planning and project management. Joyce and Mike’s depth of knowledge coupled with a super-organised, well-stocked library meant we could keep our minds full of farm knowledge almost every waking hour of the day!
As well as working at the farm, we loved the excursions Joyce and Mike organised to like-minded farms, backyard gardens, restaurants and community and school gardens
we met lots of wonderful people and these ‘extra-curricular’ trips wove a thread of interconnectedness between the many different ways of growing food.
To future interns and anyone considering undertaking an internship, we would definitely recommend it! We’re so glad we made the commitment to spend some dedicated time learning about farming. Obviously there is so much more we need to learn, but it was an amazing, intensive kick-start to what we hope will be a lifetime of growing food. Our immediate plan is to find some land close to the city to start growing on possibly through suburban backyards, but we have also been scoping out the remnant market garden land lying unused along the River Torrens, 15 minutes from the city of Adelaide and still zoned for horiculture. There are hectares of unused space just ready for growing on but we’ll have to jump a fair few hurdles to get it happening! We will start small but hope to inspire others to join us in starting an Urban Growers co-operative sometime in the future. The skills we have picked up at Allsun are coming in handy every day, and we have had such an enthusiastic response from our family, friends and community, that we know it is going to be a worthwhile journey.
Olivier Sofo – Feb to May 2012
When I first met Joyce and Mike last year, it was while I was attending a three-day workshop on market gardening out at Milkwood Permaculture.
My first impression was that these two were seriously passionate about good food, and had a lifetime of experience growing it.
At that time, I was involved in Milkwood’s internship program, which gave me intensive and diverse overviews of sustainable and regenerative farming practices. I was particularly interested in food production systems, and after meeting Joyce and Mike I thought, this is it, they are who I want to learn from.
After a few emails back and forth and a meeting out here on the farm, I was invited to get involved in their internship program, Growing the Growers.
Joyce and Mike have been running parallel businesses for the better part of the last 30 years, their energy, and passion has not diminished over that time, they seriously love what they do, and this shows in their commitment to training the next generation of farmers.
Working at Allsun over the past 4 months has been many things, and without recounting every amazing, insightful, educational experience, I will say that even though growing food cannot be taught in one season, Joyce and Mike sure as hell give every bit of their knowledge and experience, empowering you to do so.
They are two of the most generous people I have come across and feel privileged to have had the opportunity of working with them. I have found clarity in a vision for my future, and I am inspired and motivated to grow food. I have attained some very sound practical experience out here at Allsun and many doors have opened for me during my time here.
I cannot extend enough gratitude to Joyce and Mike for their selfless generosity and patience, although I know that when I get out there and participate in nourishing my community, this will say it all.
Growing the Growers is a wonderful project and could not have been materialized by two better souls. They are true industry professionals, wonderful people, and fantastic new friends.
Madeline Owen – Mar 2012
I am someone who has just recently been introduced to the world of small scale, organic farming and it has been eye opening, if not a revelation in how I want to continue living my life. Being at Allsun Farm further confirmed in my mind that farming, if done respectfully, is something worth being involved in. While I was there I caught a glimpse of many aspects of the farm and the many things that come as part of being organic farmers: good food, land stewardship and community connections, being a few of the important things. I was able to see and be involved in the farm from feeding the chickens who fertilize the pastures, planting the seeds and seedlings, and harvesting and selling the produce to local chefs and co-ops. As well as, and perhaps most importantly, simply enjoying the fresh produce at meal times with Mike, Joyce and Olivier.
If I feel I was able to get so much out of being at the farm for just two weeks I can only imagine what one could gain by interning for a whole season with Mike and Joyce.