Lauriston Farm

We're looking to recruit a grower for Lauriston Farm!

This exciting role will be key to developing the Market Garden at Lauriston Farm.

● 4 days (32 hours) per week from May/June 2022 to 31st October 2022
● 2 days (16hrs) per week from 1st November 2022 to 28th February 2023
● 4 days (32 hours) per week from 1st March 2023 to end May 2023

Work days: Mainly weekdays, with some flexibility for occasional weekend working required.
Duration: One year contract with intention to extend subject to income generation / funding.
Location: Lauriston Farm, Edinburgh, EH4 5EX
Remuneration: £27,300 gross annual salary PAYE (£18,291 pro rata). Statutory pension contribution and holiday allowance.
Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Wednesday 4th May
Interviews: Monday 9th May at Lauriston Farm
Start date: ASAP ideally mid to late May. Must be able to start by week commencing 30th May

About Edinburgh Ecology Cooperative
Edinburgh Agroecology Co-operative (EAC) is a Community Interest Company (CIC) newly formed to develop the Lauriston Farm project. The founding members of the EAC each have a close personal connection to North-West Edinburgh, whether through living in the area, in depth work with the local communities and environment, or both. Between us we have expertise in food growing and farming, urban biodiversity and landscape ecology, woodland conservation, horticulture, food processing, community development and engagement, seed saving and project management. We are a dynamic and vibrant organisation that is at an exciting point, having secured funding for the start up phase of Lauriston Farm.

About Lauriston Farm
Our vision is for a large scale urban food growing project which is nature rich, and which will benefit primarily the communities that live in the local area but also the wider city into the future. We aim to address some of the issues around access to local, affordable fresh produce, environmental degradation and lack of opportunities for people in cities to gain experience in food production resulting in a greater understanding of the wider food system. Lauriston Farm has the potential to deliver many benefits including increased access to affordable locally grown food, increased biodiversity and enrichment of local wildlife habitats, carbon capture, multiple avenues for training and education around food growing and biodiversity and for celebration and coming together through community activities and events. Lauriston Farm is a unique opportunity to create a large urban farm in Scotland that will be beneficial for the land and the people.

We have made a good start! Since December 2022 we have planted almost 10,000 trees including 950m of hedgerows, set up 8 community growing plots, created amphibian ponds and expanded wetland and engaged close to 500 volunteers.

Lauriston Farm Market Garden
This year is the first year of production for the market garden at Lauriston Farm. The market garden is situated in the western part of the 100 acre farm. The land has been under pasture for many years. This year we will have approximately 1 acre in cultivation, increasing to 2.5 acres in 2023. We are in the process of installing the infrastructure we need for the market garden. The site is deer fenced with an access track and area of hardstanding. In the coming weeks temporary buildings and polytunnels will be added.

The market garden will be run as a social enterprise. Produce will be sold fresh throughout the season, the majority going direct to consumers via shares in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme. While initially no organic certification will be sought, we will use certification compliant methods. As this is the first year of the CSA membership will be kept small. However we are aiming to start next season, June to November 2023 with 100 shares going out each week.

Job Description:
The Grower role will focus on food production in the market garden. It will involve working closely with the Market Garden Coordinator on running the market garden, making the day to day decisions about food production as well as more medium term strategic ones. The role will include working with volunteers on a weekly basis. The market garden will be organised and run as a working group of EAC that has been delegated responsibility of food production there. As the market garden team grows it is the aim to establish a horizontal decision making structure. This will include participation in weekly team meetings, quarterly strategic meetings and peer reviews. There will also be an option to become a member of the EAC’s workers’ co-op, with the right to attend meetings and be involved in decision making of the whole Lauriston Farm project.

EAC has secured funding for this role on a one year contract. We have a commitment to extending subject to income generation from produce sales / funding. The position will be subject to a 6-week trial period.

We are committed to our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and we welcome and encourage applications from anyone interested in this role who feels they have the relevant experience and skills. We would like to particularly encourage those from under represented and marginalised groups to consider applying for this role.

Specific responsibilities of this role will be to (alongside the Market Garden Coordinator):

● Prepare ground for planting
● Planting, maintenance and monitoring of crops
● Managing pest and disease
● Propagation from seed, cuttings or division
● Harvesting, cleaning and packing
● Operating machinery (where required and if trained/certified to do so)
● Put up infrastructure on site eg polytunnels
● Maintain records, plans and schedules for sowing, planting, harvesting in pursuit of optimum productivity
● Manage the market garden using regenerative methods in line with Garden Organic’s Organic Gardening Guidelines or Soil Association Organic Standards
● Farm in accordance with the wider principles of EAC and vision of Lauriston Farm

Potential Additional Roles:

● Delivery of produce
● Develop and coordinate activities for volunteers

Person Specification
This is an exciting role that will play an instrumental part in establishing and scaling up production on site at Lauriston Farm. The appropriate candidate will have the following skills and experiences:

Essential
● A passion for regenerative food production, and a desire to pursue a living in it
● At least one year working on a commercial food growing site
● Happy to work mainly outdoors throughout the year
● Happy to work closely with the market garden team, wider EAC team and volunteers
● Ability to work on own initiative, prioritise tasks and work to deadlines
● Experience of crop planning and managing rotations
● Ability to maintain accurate records on planting, harvesting and expenditure
● Ability to adapt, problem solve and innovate in response to challenges
● Commitment to and understanding of the aims and principles of Edinburgh Agroecology Co-operative and Lauriston Farm

Desirable
● Experience using horticultural machinery
● Experience supervising volunteers in a food growing or horticultural setting
● Valid driving licence and access to a vehicle


How to apply:
Please send (max) 1.5 page written response or (max) five minutes audio / video answering the following questions:

1. What skills and experiences do you think qualify you for this role? (½ page)
2. Which part of this role do you think you would find the most challenging? (½ page)
3. Can you give us an example of your experience of job satisfaction in a previous growing role? (½ page)

Please also attach a short CV (max two pages), this can be written, or an audio or video file, and the contact details of two people we can approach for references.
Please send your application to dav@lauristonfarm.org with ‘Application For Grower role’ in the subject heading.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss any aspect of this role in advance of applying please contact Dav Shand on dav@lauristonfarm.org and we will try our best to respond. Please email well in advance of the closing date.

When applying please complete our online monitoring form. The information you provide will be kept completely separate from the recruitment process, but will enable us to review our recruitment and monitor whether we are meeting our commitments to improve equity and representation in our organisation.

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