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GREAT Zerodig Project
Royal Agricultual University, Cirencester
Posted: 21 Nov 2023
Deadline: 14 Dec 2023
Compensation: £25,000 - £27,000pa, full time
Paid Full-time Flexible hours Permanent Fixed term / contract
This Head Grower role is a key recruitment for the GREAT Zerodig Project, delivered by the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and ZeroDig Earth, in collaboration with a range of project partners, including the Royal Agricultural University (RAU). The land, 7.4 acres adjacent to the RAU, is leased via a 5 year farm business tenancy and will be used to produce a range of vegetables and fruit for local sales. It is also an experimental site where Zerodig market gardening methods are tested in the field, measurements made and recorded and systems refined. The market garden operation is a commercial operation and aims to be profitable to demonstrate the viability of small scale and local market gardening. This project will also embed agro-ecological learning in the curriculum of the Royal Agricultural University, engaging its students and the wider academic community in the development of this site. The Head Grower will support this integration of the ZeroDig project into the wider RAU community, from engaging with academic staff, students, contractors, and other key partners.
Working on a Zerodig site also includes participating in the Zerodig climate action programme which removes carbon from the atmosphere by increasing the stock of carbon in the soil. Growing practices should be adapted to meet this objective.
The Head Grower is in charge of the production of fruit and vegetables at the site – including the propagation of plants, planting out and harvesting; and the maintenance and improvement of soil quality. Soil with a healthy set and diversity of soil micro-organisms will do much to grow healthy plants. However, the Head Grower should also be developing above ground plant diversity around the margins of the beds to provide hosts for beneficial predator insects and planting trees to coppice for woodchips.
The site should be kept in a suitable condition which fits with its high profile location, which will include weed-free growing beds, with all tools and equipment kept clean and in good order. The viability of the crops should be prioritised, to ensure high quality produce for ongoing selling to a range of customers. Good hygiene, health and safety practices should be followed at all times.
As the main demonstration and research market garden plot for Zerodig, there will be frequent events and visitors. The Head Grower role has a strong public facing element and the successful applicant will be expected to engage with these events and play an active role in their delivery,. There will also be many visitors – clients, members of the public and people generally interested in what is going on, and others – who should always be engaged with and treated with friendliness and courtesy. Support will be available from project partners, and the Head Grower won’t be expected lead on the majority of these events, but rather play an active role within a wider events programme.
The Head Grower will also participate in sales initiatives and is expected to assist in developing friendly relations with the local community and a range of stakeholders working with Zerodig.
Zerodig accepts that the Head Grower cannot be held responsible for actions and outcomes where there has been insufficient training and/or facilities are not in place.
Employer and Manager
Measures of success
Ideal skillset and previous experience
Accommodation may be available, subject to discussion.
Applications close Friday 14 December, 23.59
Applications may be made by CV and covering letter, setting out your suitability to meet he responsibilities and experience required for the role, to Liberty Nimmo: email@example.com
Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs
About GREAT Zerodig Project
The GREAT Project is putting Gloucestershire in the vanguard of the transition to regenerative agriculture. GREAT stands for Gloucestershire Regenerative Environment and Agriculture Transition. It’s a three-year project, funded by Thirty Percy, to boost the transition to farming methods that restore the soil, water and air.