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Senior Grower

GROW
GROW, the Totteridge Academy, Barnet Lane, London, N20 8AZ

Posted: 24 Dec 2021

Deadline: 7 Feb 2022

Compensation: £25,000 per annum, pro rata for 3 days

Paid Part-time Fixed term / contract


Job description

About GROW:

GROW works with schools and communities delivering bespoke programmes in sustainable food growing and outdoor learning. 

We work predominantly with local children and young people who experience poverty, personal, or social barriers to learning, healthy living, and employment. We offer our participants the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make positive choices and changes in their lives and in the world around them.

Our agroecological farm and outdoor learning hub at The Totteridge Academy, North London, is at the heart of every one of our activities, providing a practical and inspiring resource for everyone who visits.

We want to set a national benchmark  for teaching young people and their families about where their food comes from and the importance of looking after themselves and their planet.

Purpose:

We are looking for a Senior Grower to join our small but ambitious team. Our 6 acre farm in Barnet functions both as a community farm; providing adult volunteering opportunities, traineeships and agroecologically grown produce for our box scheme,school canteen, restaurants and local people, and also as an educational site for our partner school and local children and young people in the borough. We grow vegetables, herbs and flowers and have a small flock of chickens and beehives. 

As Senior Grower, your main responsibility will be the running of the farm but we are looking for someone who is also committed to being a part of our vision to create a new model for schools and farms working together, and who is comfortable working around children and young people. 

The ideal candidate is an efficient, kind, knowledgeable and dedicated grower who wants to be part of a close knit team and to share the joys of food growing and the outdoors with others. 

We offer subsidised lunches in the school canteen (with produce from the farm), weekly staff yoga and access to training and events through our membership organisations. 

Duties and responsibilities: 

  • Work closely with the Farm Manager and farm team in the day to day running of the farm. This includes all duties as required to do with fruit and veg - watering, weeding, harvesting, health checks and maintaining records of yield, sales and planting / sowing dates. An ability to work at pace in a busy environment is a must. Managing a high level of quality for all fruit, vegetable and flower harvests using best practices in organic / agroecological growing. Taking group responsibility for looking after chickens and beehives when required. 

  • Assist the Farm Manager with planning and preparation for development and new areas of the site. 

  • Assist with the setting up, running of and packing down of weekly volunteering sessions. This includes working with and managing volunteers to ensure they are having an enjoyable and safe visit, whilst at the same time ensuring that the required tasks are completed. 

  • Being a welcoming and engaging member of the team for every visitor, no matter what age or background. Maintaining friendly and professional standards at all times.

  • Working closely with trainees, volunteers and young people, to include teaching best practice in organic growing principles, completing any relevant monitoring and evaluation as required. 

  • Assisting the farm manager with designing and implementing training sessions for seasonal trainees and workshops. 

  • Assisting with the setting up of tasks and activities for farm based education activities for young learners. This could include getting tools ready, updating notice boards or harvesting for sessions. 

  • Reporting any issues to the Farm Manager when noticed. Maintaining correct health and safety practices at all times.

  • Working closely with our partner restaurants and florists  to ensure clear communication and positive relationships. This includes being part of team duties to send weekly availability lists, manage orders and invoice buyers. 

  • Packing and delivering produce to outlets. Maintaining the highest levels of quality for all produce. We take deliveries in turn where possible. 

  • Taking part in the upkeep and tidiness of the GROW site and office. This includes washing up, farm toilet cleaning where necessary and loading / unloading the dishwasher

  • Assisting where necessary with any community, educational and outreach projects across Barnet and the local area.

  • Supporting farm tours for external visitors and school groups.

  • Attend conferences, talks and training sessions as decided by the farm manager to keep up to date with the latest best practices in sustainable agriculture. 

  • Working with a positive, kind and can do attitude at all times

  • Practice mindful ways of working and active listening

  • Working proactively and with efficiency in mind at all times

  • Being  mindful of child and adult safeguarding at all times.  Keeping up-to-date with relevant training and understand GROW and TTA’s safeguarding policies and procedures

  • You may be required to carry out other duties that may reasonably be required in line with your main duties and responsibilities

Person specification:

Qualifications / previous experience

Criteria

Required

  • Minimum of 3 years experience working on a farm, market garden or growing site, using organic principles. 

  • Experience of crop planning, pest and disease management, irrigation, weed control, harvesting and rotations. 

  • Comfortable using a variety of tools and machines. Hand tools, strimmers, BCS tractor. 

  • Experience of growing for sale, ideally for restaurants and cafes as well as markets. 

  • Experience of working with volunteers. Must have a positive, welcoming and kind nature and understand different abilities and outlooks. 

  • Experience teaching  trainees or apprentices about best practice in horticulture and farm work. 

  • Level 2 in horticulture or equivalent demonstrable knowledge of horticulture and plant science through experience.

  • Physically fit and capable of working at pace 

  • Excellent communication and team working skills

  • Full UK driving License

  • Understanding of safeguarding and working with / around children. 

  • Interest in food justice and education

Desirable 

  • Experience of working at a charity or social enterprise

  • Experience of box scheme / CSA model

  • Flower growing experience

  • Experience working with children and young people

  • Teaching and facilitation experience

  • Cookery skills

£25,000 per annum, pro rata for 3 days.  Terms: Temporary position with a 3 month probation period.  March - October, with a possibility to extend. Working days are  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Working hours are 8am - 4pm with an hour lunch break.

Application information

To apply for this position please send a CV and a short covering letter (no more than one side of A4) detailing your suitability to sarah@wearegrow.org by Monday 7th February. Interviews will take place the following week of 14th February.

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About GROW

GROW works in schools and communities to promote mental well-being, physical health and a more hands-on relationship with the natural world. From yoga to farming, philosophical thinking to boxing, GROW’s specially designed programme gives young people the knowledge, skills and confidence to think beyond their day-to-day routines. Since launching our pilot scheme at The Totteridge Academy, North London in May 2019, GROW has started a Forest School, built a community farm and rolled out a full programme to 250 students per week as part of the curriculum.