Thinking of applying to the OGI Work Placement Programme but not sure what’s involved? Bruna, who completed our 2023 programme, describes her experience of making her application, getting accepted and her work placement at Beechlawn Organic Farm. Good luck with your future as an organic grower Bruna!
When did you become interested in organic farming?
Being an agronomist myself – if not wearing my wellies, barefoot, but always wondering where the vegetables are – and hating the fact that somehow, at some point we’ve become the villains when it comes to growing food, the opportunity to experience the Irish organic farming expanded the frontiers of my previous conventional knowledge acquired at the university and refreshed my beliefs in growing food again when taking the approach of our old folks that worked and lived in synch with nature.
Where did you learn about the OGI internship?
I first heard about the OGI internship when I was WWOOFing in Tipperary. It took a few shared words by my host at that time, to get me completely interested. For more information, I found everything about it on the OGI website and social media.
What was your experience of the application process?
Because I wanted to be one of the 2023 OGI interns so badly, I took the process of filling out the application form pretty seriously. Thinking back now, it was as if I was writing a colourful book. But it was worth it, both farms I chose, selected me after reading my form and getting to know a bit more about me via Zoom, during a brief interview. I wish I could’ve been able to do the internship at both farms, but those laws of physics, huh?!
So here I am, answering this questionnaire while I wait for my next customer on the farm shop I run once a week at Beechlawn Organic Farm!
What kind of work do you do on your host farm?
Apart from running the farm shop on Saturdays, which is amazing – getting to know the customers, chatting with them, learning about their preferences, and so on – I also work on the farm as part of the field team. Our activities depend on the season we are in, but, basically, our days are filled up with everything related to growing the best Irish vegetables ever… Be it, sowing seeds, feeding the seedlings, planting them on the field, weeding, pruning, side shooting, harvesting, and so on.
What do you hope to do after your internship?
Well, the list is a bit long, but to sum it up, being involved in the organic certification process and helping more Irish growers to convert their conventional land into organics is certainly the first step of the ladder that would bring me career wise fulfilment. The second one, – a girl can dream big right?! – is to be able to share all my love and experience in horticulture. To teach the younger generation how fascinating and precious this science is – and that would fulfil me in every possible area of my life.