We're looking for a lead grower to join our team!
Role: Full Time Lead Grower, The Kitchen Garden People, West Oxfordshire
Start Date: December 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter
Salary: £24,500 – working hours 40 hrs a week Mar-Oct, 30 hrs a week Nov-Feb
Free weekly veg box - Working alongside a great team!
This is a great opportunity for an experienced organic grower to join the team at The Kitchen Garden People, a successful CSA growing hyper local salad and vegetables following organic principles for great taste and zero waste. Our plot is based at FarmED, a Centre for Regenerative Agriculture in the Cotswolds and we share much of their ethos when it comes to valuing biodiversity and recognising the importance of the soil food web in food farming and education.
The Kitchen Garden People comprises a small team with Dan, our co-lead grower working alongside Emma, Christine and seasonal staff in all aspects of running the business. We work closely as a team, each taking on a set of responsibilities, yet sharing the harvesting and growing tasks so that we rarely work a whole day alone and everyone gets their hands dirty. The plot is approximately 5 acres, with a field scale area, sections of smaller permanent no-dig raised beds and 900m2 of polytunnel space.
We currently grow a wide range of vegetables to supply 120 local families with a weekly veg box and supply the FarmEAT kitchens at FarmED with farm to fork produce.
Your role will involve all aspects of organic vegetable production in the field and polytunnel areas. You will work with Dan (who works part-time) with a view to gradually taking-on a broad area of shared responsibility including crop planning and management of crops and field workers. We have established ways of working but are also open to new methods and collaboration. Working hours fluctuate depending on the season and while we work longer hours in the summer, you will enjoy reduced hours over winter. This is a physically demanding role perfect for someone who loves the outdoors, is physically fit and has stamina. Many of our field operations are done by hand but we rely on larger machinery on the farm for ground preparation and weed control so tractor experience would be ideal.
This is an interesting and varied job and will suit someone with a wide range of practical skills who is excited by the prospect and challenges of field-scale organic production to meet market demands. We are looking for someone who wants to develop their established career in horticulture or agriculture. The prospects for future development in this role, for the right person, are very good. We would want you to start as soon as possible but definitely by 1st March 2023 at the latest in order to be part of the team when planning the season.
Essential qualities and experience are:
• At least 2 years’ experience in commercial organic growing or farming or similar industry on a similar scale.
• A full UK driving licence.
• A knowledge of propagation, planting and management of vegetable crops.
• An enthusiastic interest in the environment, soil, plants, biodiversity, tractors and machinery.
• An efficient, productive worker who has stamina and enjoys physically active work.
• A good natured, cheerful and patient team player, despite what the weather or equipment throws at you.
• An ability to adapt to established growing and harvest methods.
• A flexible approach to work and an understanding that there is always more to learn.
• A willingness to cover for other team members when required, and to muck-in with other aspects of the work on the farm.
• An open minded attitude and willingness to work with volunteers from all backgrounds and abilities.
• Knowledge of vegetable crop pests and diseases and organic approaches to their management.
• Harvesting and preparing vegetables for weekly veg box collection and deliveries.
• A calm and competent tractor driver to carry out manuring, cultivations, weeding, seed drilling and harvest operations.
• Machinery and equipment maintenance.
• Supervising colleagues and volunteers to ensure field or harvest work is carried out efficiently and to the required standard.
See our website and Instagram for more information about The Kitchen Garden People
Please apply with a covering letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org - Get in quick!