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Grower and Trainer

c/o Creative Hub, Storey Institute, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster LA1 1TH

Posted: 10/07/2020

Deadline: 09/08/2020

Compensation: £20k per year FTE (pro rata to 0.8 FTE)

Paid Part-time Fixed term / contract

Job description

  • Job title: ​Grower and FarmStart Trainer
  • Responsible to: ​LESS Directors
  • Salary​: £20,701 pro rata (30 hours, £16,560 p/a)
  • Hours of work​: 30 per week (4 days) with flexibility required
  • Purpose of job​: To set up, coordinate and run a successful one acre market garden. To develop and deliver a dedicated FarmStart training programme. To support the development of new sites within the Lancaster area.
  • Place of work​: FarmStart and growing sites within Lancaster District. Travel will be required between sites (currently likely to be central Lancaster and Old Holly Farm, PR3 1AA)

We seek a part-time (four days per week) grower and educator to set up and coordinate a successful 1 acre market garden (and other growing sites) and to run a FarmStart training and education programme.

We are looking for an experienced, passionate grower to help to shape this project, set up the growing sites and establish our FarmStart training programme. This is a varied, multi-skilled role with responsibilities for overseeing growing, packing, deliveries, sales, finance, training and development. You will work closely with the FarmStart project coordinator who will coordinate project funding, marketing and local distribution networks, and recruitment and coordination for the FarmStart programme.


  1. To lead the set up and on-going coordination of successful agro-ecological growing sites around Lancaster, including, initially, a 1 acre site at Old Holly Farm, and then a planned second site
  2. To manage and coordinate the sites, working closely with and coordinating a team of FarmStarters and volunteers
  3. To crop plan and manage sales targets in collaboration with local stakeholders
  4. To manage the budgets/finance for the sale of produce, including the preparation of cash flow /statements/forecasts as requested
  5. To deliver dedicated and structured training to the FarmStart cohort to an agreed programme
  6. To provide regular updates and reports on project progress, achievements, challenges and risks to directors for the LESS Directors’ Meetings and if requested at other times
  7. To do additional work as agreed with LESS directors should the plans for the projects change

Person specification



  • Track record of growing in a small-scale commercial set up, managing outdoor and polytunnel growing sites
  • Experience of managing an organic certification (or similar) process
  • Experience of crop planning and sales forecasting
  • A full, clean, UK driving licence
  • Ability to work occasional evening and weekend days as required
  • A knowledge of and commitment to food sovereignty, organic and agro-ecological approaches, alternative food growing and distribution models and economie

People and project coordination:

  • Enthusiastic, proactive and collaborative working style and good at team working, cooperative working and conflict resolution
  • Experience of delivering engaging training, workshops, open days and/or training qualification
  • Experience of running a food distribution model and/or working cooperatively with other growers/distributors
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • An ability to follow all organisational policies and procedures
  • Experience of the creation and delivery of project plans
  • The ability to manage budgets and finance, producing cash flow forecasts and cash flow statements
  • The ability to manage, prioritise and organise work, and to work independently
  • Experience of working with effectively with volunteers
  • Access to own transport as the sites are in different locations


  • Experience of working with stakeholders and organisations in the food sector (growers, farmers, caterers, community groups and/or retailers)
  • Good computer skills and ability to use the following, email, the internet, word-processing, Survey Monkey and Excel
  • Track record in securing project funding, grant funding and/or crowd funding
  •  Five or more years experience of working on organic farms

Application information

Please see further information: 

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About LESS

LESS in a Lancaster-based CIC, focusing on a sustainable local food economy. We coordinate the North Lancashire Food Futures network and The Plot, a new FarmStart scheme.