Farm Internship


2020 Farm Internship, Organic Market Garden Position – Cardboard Reality Farm & Studio

Position: 2020 Farm Internship

Type: Full-time.  Includes shared accommodation on the farm, meals, stipend, more (see below)

Organization: Cardboard Reality Farm & Studio

Location: Roseneath,  Northumberland County, Ontario.  

30 Minutes North of Cobourg – 45 minutes South of Peterborough.

Organization Description:  


Cardboard Reality is a permaculture farm and animation studio in Northumberland County, Ontario.  Founded by artist-ecologists bekky O’Neil & Keith Del Principe, we focus on creating sustainable goods and media that will feed your tummies and your soul.

On our farm we believe in low impact sustainable agriculture that feeds the soil, rather than depletes it.  (We are particularly inspired by the writings and ideas of Masanobu Fukuoka & Ruth Stout). Our market garden uses no-till permaculture principles to grow produce that is as beautiful as it is delicious.  We focus on cultivating colourful heirloom varieties that differ from what is available at most grocery stores. Our aim is to provide healthy, pesticide free produce, and to make it available in season to members of our community.

Situated on 123 acres in Roseneath, our farm is as much an ecology project as it is a working plot.  In addition to our market garden, we are in the process of developing an edible forest garden and are actively reforesting several acres.  We also keep a laying flock of 25 Indian Runner Ducks, as well as bees, and stock our pond with trout

Our storefront at 83 King Street West in Historic Downtown Cobourg is the epicentre of our market garden operation, and it’s where we sell our farm fresh produce and flowers as well as items from our studio.  In addition to making seasonal products from the farm available in a convenient location just a short walk from the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario, we are excited to have this new studio and gallery space in which to produce custom animated work, hand made paper goods, and gift items stretching from hand poured beeswax candles to textiles and pillows made with botanical dyes and silkscreened with our original designs.  All of our work is inspired by a love of the outdoors and the wildlife and landscape of Northumberland County.

Our long term goal is to create an off-grid studio and education centre where we can share our experiences with (and adventures in) art & hands on ecology.

We’re always happy to connect with like minded individuals who are passionate about moving towards a more sustainable food system.

Internship Overview


We are looking for two passionate and motivated interns to join our small farm team through the 2020 growing season.  This will be our fourth summer with a market garden and our second with our brick & mortar retail space in Historic Downtown Cobourg.  

This is an ideal position for an individual with a desire to be part of an organic farm with an interest in the culture of agriculture.  Over the course of the summer the successful applicant will learn all about three season garden management on our farm, and will participate in the cultivation of pesticide free produce, flowers, and foraged goods from soil to farm stand.

Our focus in the market garden is on heirloom produce, cut flowers, and of course our flock of 25 Indian Runner Ducks.  Our interns will also assist with day to day farm chores and duck care.

2019 was our first year running our C.S.A.A. Program – a twist on the traditional model which stands for Community Supported Art & Agriculture.  We had weekly pick ups in the shop as well as a weekly drop off in Toronto. Our interns will assist in the coordination of our farm’s food program, from planting to harvesting to distribution of the veggies at our shop.  On occasion our interns may be asked or offered the opportunity to assist with art projects in the studio.

As a new farm we specialize in the clever use of simple equipment.   Our world is built on a passion for providing our community with good food, and a desire to farm in a style that feeds the soil, rather than depletes it.  We are looking for individuals with a similar passion, an energy and exuberance to fuel the way as we use simple solid tools for complex ecological solutions.

Tasks during the internship may include


planting seeds, transplanting, harvesting, cutting flowers, moving logs, pitchforking manure, moving soil and rocks, building tables and farm infrastructure like wash stations, hand drilling, light carpentry, weeding, mulching, watering, duck care – feeding ducks, washing duck bowls, farm dishes, sweeping garden sheds



Includes accommodation on the farm, 3 meals a day, $100 a week stipend and access to our studio space.


Please note that we have many animals including cats, dogs, ducks and a rabbit.  This position is not suitable for someone with pet allergies.

What We Are Looking For In Our Intern


We are looking for someone who is:


  • Interested in farming with limited fossil fuel usage.
  • Ecologically philosophically driven, interested in rooting philosophy in physical practice, spending days outside in the elements.
  • Active and likes physically challenging work day after day.
  • Interested in pursuing more sustainable agricultural models.
  • Interested in art and art’s ability to contribute to positive social change.
  • Comfortable around very large, occasionally grumpy farm dogs.
  • Comfortable with quiet, contemplative work.
  • Highly adaptable based on project need, self directed.
  • A creative problem solver.
  • Respectful of space (our farmhouse is small, we have many animals, and we appreciate our space).
  • Highly independent and self-motivated to work outside, push body to limits, and be in nature.
  • Kind and respectful to customers when working in the shop.
  • We work primarily with hand tools, and so the ideal applicant should feel physically capable of lifting and moving 50 lb sacks, pitchforking manure, shovelling wood chips, pushing heavy wheelbarrows, weed whacking, mulching, swinging a pick axe, moving rocks, chopping firewood, hand-sawing green wood, daily weeding by hand and with hand tools, harvesting heavy loads of vegetables, packaging items for CSA members & storefront market.


The ideal candidate has:


  • A love of plants and nature.
  • A positive attitude, clear communication skills and a willingness to work through conflict or disagreement.
  • A willingness to take direction.
  • A driver’s licence.  Own vehicle considered an asset.
  • First aid training and previous farm experience are considered an asset.

A Week on the Farm


This internship is a training position. 45-50 hours a week, which will fluctuate depending on season and weather.  Our work week is Tuesday through Saturday. One position is available from May 1 to October 31 for five months. Our second position is three months long, from May 1 to July 31st.

Farm work extends past 5 days a week, ideally we would like help on other days as well but you are welcome to leave the farm on your weekend.

Our shop is open Tuesday through Sunday every week.  Occasionally we will extend hours on holidays for tourist traffic.

The following schedule is just an example of what a week will look like on the farm. Tasks change depending on projects, season and weather, but this will give you an idea of what your week might look like.  Obviously with a shared living space chores are constant, and the successful applicant will share in the household chores.




Harvest to restock shop & Harvest for C.S.A.A. Members

Clean Vegetables

[Long weekends – Toronto delivery]



SHOP OPEN 12pm – 7pm

First C.S.A.A. pickup day at the shop

Planting in Garden



SHOP OPEN 12pm – 7pm

Weeding/Mulching in garden



SHOP OPEN 12pm – 7pm

Harvest for C.S.A.A. Members & Harvest to restock shop



SHOP OPEN (Sometimes street festivals) 12pm – 7pm

Second C.S.A.A. pickup day at the shop



SHOP OPEN (Sometimes street festivals) 12pm – 7pm

(Day off for Interns)

Harvest for Toronto C.S.A.A. Members


SHOP CLOSED – except on long weekends

(Day off for Interns)

C.S.A.A. Dropoff in Toronto – except on long weekends


To apply, please e-mail your resume and a brief cover letter including answers to our questions below to: with the subject: “2019 Farm Internship, YOUR NAME”


  • Can you describe your athletics routine?  Our farm, requires a HIGH degree of endurance. While raw physical strength is not a must, the ability to consistently work hard day after day at strenuous tasks is.
  • Are you comfortable with large dogs (farm dogs)?  
  • What drew you to farming?  Describe what interests you about our farm.
  • Do you have an art background or interest?  Please describe.
  • What is your ideal working environment?
  • If you could go anywhere in the world and do anything for 24 hours – where would you go?
  • What are your greatest accomplishments?  What are you most proud of?


Cardboard Reality Farm & Studio

83 King Street West

Cobourg, Ontario




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