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Volunteer Food Growing Trainee

Stepney City Farm
Stepney City Farm E1 3DG

Posted: 05/12/2019

Deadline: 19/01/2020

Compensation: Voluntary

Unpaid Traineeship Volunteer Part-time


Job description

Stepney City Farm wishes to take on six new voluntary trainees for its Volunteer Food Growing Trainee programme 2020. 

We seek enthusiastic adults who enjoy working outdoors and with other people, and who are keen to gain the knowledge and experience of growing sustainable food in the community.     Working alongside our two experienced horticulture grower-trainers, trainees will learn all aspects of running an urban market garden, plant nursery and plant shop within a working city farm.    All trainees will be required to commit to volunteering at Stepney City Farm every Wednesday, 10am-4pm from March to September 2020. 

Voluntary Trainees will learn all aspects of running an urban market garden and community plant shop by assisting the grower-trainers in the garden one day a week. You will experience the pleasure and challenges of growing vegetables in regenerative ways without machinery. Alongside the regular garden tasks there will be a mixture of tutorials and structured practical activities.   This is an exciting time to get involved at the Farm as a section of adjoining land has now been returned following 8 years of Crossrail works. We will be developing a new growing field, forest garden, orchard and herb garden over the next year - more than doubling the existing growing space.   

Regular garden tasks include:  

  • Seed sowing.
  • Planting out & potting on.
  • Weeding.
  • Watering.
  • Harvesting,  weighing and packing produce.
  • Supporting and supervising volunteers.
  • Setting up and staffing produce and plant stalls onsite and occasionally running stalls at other events.    

Skills You Will Acquire: 

  • Soil care.
  • Plant propagation.
  • Composting systems. 
  • Cultivation of annual and perennial food plants, including forest gardening.
  • Observation skills. Organic weed, pest and disease management.  
  • Crop rotation.  
  • Use of green manures and companion plants.  
  • Knowledge of permaculture principles and design.  
  • Kitchen – garden liaison.  
  • Post harvesting processing. 

We are looking for people that have the following skills and qualities: 

  • Interest in sustainable food production and the desire to put that interest into practice.  
  • Able to work outdoors throughout the year in all weathers.
  • Are reliable, hardworking, organised and able to work on their own initiative.
  • Would benefit from this traineeship.
  • Work well with other people.
  • Could supervise other volunteers.
  • Have some experience in growing food or gardening.  

What we can offer you:  

  • Food growing training according to organic and permaculture principles.
  • Experience growing food and raising plants, working with volunteers, and participating in a small and busy environmental and community charity.  
  • Information about possible training opportunities.  
  • A friendly, exciting and supportive place to work.  

Application information

To apply email a cover letter and CV to tiffany@stepneycityfarm.org explaining why you want want to join the traineeship and how you meet the desired skills and qualities.

We welcome applications from all sections of the community.  

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About Stepney City Farm

Stepney City Farm is a three acre working farm, educational charity and a rural oasis in the heart of Tower Hamlets, offering children and adults the chance to interact with farm animals, learn how to grow food and try out arts and crafts. We provide a welcoming space for bringing diverse communities together, and cultivate wellbeing through high-welfare, environmentally sustainable farming practices. The Farm is free to all and everyone is welcome.