Job opportunity – grower

Grower, to start at Common Soil in January 2024
£23,000 pro-rata
Role equivalent to 4 days per week, with differing seasonal hours – 37.5 hours per week in summer, 22.5 hours per week in winter.

Are you a food grower who is passionate about agro-ecological practices and wants to make a real difference to an organisation, the earth and the local community? We have an opportunity for you to lead the growing for a community veg box scheme.

Common Soil is a fledgling community supported agriculture (CSA) project in Stroud, Gloucestershire. We currently serve 50 members with weekly shares of naturally grown vegetables (without use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers) from three acres of a beautiful, ecologically rich site within walking distance of the town. We also have a community market garden onsite for specialist produce, wholesale and educational opportunities.

We are now seeking a grower to lead the next stage of the diverse food growing for the veg box scheme, as we expand to 80 weekly veg shares in the next food growing season. You will work directly with another part-time grower, a co-ordinator and a range of volunteers to run the veg box scheme. Where appropriate, you will also work in partnership with two other part-time growers in the community market garden area on our shared aims of supporting biodiversity at the site, providing unique food for our members and connecting local people to the land and each other.

This is a brilliant opportunity for someone who wants to have a real influence on a community project and can bring experience of commercial veg growing and enthusiasm for getting stuck into all that is involved in making a CSA work. We have exciting plans for new infrastructure and partnerships and there is a chance for you to develop the role and project over the coming years.

Find out more about Common Soil.
Find out more about the community supported agriculture model.

Essential skills/qualities/experience

  • Commercial, all-year-round organic veg growing experience, ideally a minimum of three years.
  • Experience of crop and harvest planning.
  • Hard working, strong, able to carry out physically challenging work and reliable in all weather!
  • Good communication, team-working and leadership skills, as well as ability to work independently and alone.
  • Ability to work efficiently, prioritise and make decisions while maintaining a keen eye for detail and good quality.
  • Full UK driving licence.
  • Positive attitude and passion for the work (with no expectation to be happy all the time!)

Desirable skills/qualities/experience

  • Maintenance and infrastructure skills.
  • Experience of biodynamic farming methods and permaculture principles (or willingness to learn – essential) and great respect for the other beings that we share the land with.
  • Passion for protection of the land, biodiversity, soil health and connecting people to food growing.
  • Experience of leading and teaching volunteers.
  • First aid and safeguarding experience.
  • Experience of using farm machinery.

What you need to know

  • We are paying £23,000 (pro rata)
  • At this time, we can offer a role that equates to a pro-rata salary of 4 days per week year-round (£18,400), but require different working hours in summer and winter.
  • The role will be 37.5 hours per week in summer (01 April to 30 September) and 22.5 hours per week in winter (01 October to 31March).
  • The role is responsible for ensuring weekend work is covered – this may mean carrying out approx 2 hours a day on one weekend day a month. Some flexibility on working hours around weather is needed (e.g. starting earlier on hot days).
  • We are not able to offer accommodation.
  • The position is available from January 2024, but start date is negotiable.
  • We are open to job-share or reduced hours proposals.

Download the full job description.

How to apply

To apply for this position please email your CV and cover letter (max 600 words) detailing your skills, motivations and why you will make a success of this role, to Georgina Anstey on hello@commonsoil.co.uk. If you prefer to record a video then we would happily receive that in place of a cover letter (max 3 mins).

Closing date for applications is end of 30th October 2023.

Interviews will be held during a work session on the farm where we will show you around, do some light work together and discuss your application, in November 2023.

If you have any questions about the role, please contact Georgie on hello@commonsoil.co.uk


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