The Real Food Garden is an established market garden with a veg box scheme and farm shop. We grow a full range of vegetables over a long season both outside and undercover. We have been no-dig for five years and have recently expanded the garden significantly, now growing across 2 acres. Although we are not certified we work organically and focus on biodiversity and soil care. Alongside our veg production we also have a small poultry flock and pigs for meat production. The business is owned and run by partners Amelia Lake and Chloe Bines, who live on site. We are passionate about nurturing people & place and are offering a traineeship for someone with some experience who is keen to learn in detail the organic commercial horticulture sector.
About the traineeship
As a trainee you will undertake a wide range of tasks according to the growing season. This will range from propagation to planting, preparing growing spaces, polytunnel work, crop care, pest management, irrigation tasks, livestock work, weed management, harvesting, veg box packing, and site maintenance. You will work with the head grower to learn and hone skills.
The traineeship aims to give the trainee the full experience of what it is to be a grower. By the end of the traineeship you will be able to plan a market garden, develop a cropping plan, understand how to manage pests, disease and weeds, nurture soil, use tools effectively and prepare crops for sale. You will be able to understand the infrastructure requirements for a market garden, be able to create a sowing schedule, establish a business model & objectives and have a basic understanding of business management. These aspects combined will equip you with the skills required to gain employment in the sector or develop your own business.
Most of these skills will be learnt through practical experience within the garden but there will also be weekly mentoring sessions to cover technical aspects and business skills.
Skills & experience required
A trainee with some experience in a market garden would be well suited to this role. Other practical outdoor work will be useful. The successful trainee will be self-motivated and flexible, with an eagerness to learn and attention to detail. You will have an interest in all aspects of growing, be happy to work outside in all weathers. You should be able to work efficiently with your own initiative and be able to work within a team.
Duration & terms
The traineeship commences in March 2022 and runs to September 2022. The first month will be a trial period. Most work will be weekdays with some with some small responsibilities at the weekend. Typical working hours will be 8am to 4pm and there is a holiday allowance after the trial period.
The traineeship comes with basic accommodation in the form of a self-contained caravan on site, a modest weekly stipend and provision of organic wholefoods, store cupboard essentials and, of course, fresh veggies from the garden.
To apply for the traineeship please send your CV and covering letter, detailing why you want the position, your aspirations for the future and the skills you can bring, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is 1st December 2022.