Job Vacancy for Business Partner/Organic Vegetable Grower

Vacancy for Business Partner and Organic Vegetable Grower - Ragmans Lane Market Garden

Ragmans Lane Market Garden was established 2 years ago by a team of young growers. Based at Ragmans Lane Farm in the Forest of Dean, we have developed into a thriving small business, selling the produce grown on our beautiful two-acre site to local shops, restaurants and residents. We are now seeking a new grower/business partner. The successful candidate will work, and ideally share an on-site rented house, with the two existing members of the team. They will be jointly responsible for all aspects of growing, selling and distributing vegetables. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone with previous experience to develop upon their existing growing skills and play a major role in a progressive and exciting business venture. This position is appropriate for someone who wants to endeavour to create a lifestyle and livelihood surrounding organic vegetable growing.

Working Hours: Full time: May-September  Part time: October-April (exact working commitment for each month to be confirmed)

Income: After making a small initial investment to obtain a 1/3 interest in the partnership, the new partner will be entitled to an equal share (i.e. 1/3) of all profits. The business is growing, but profits at present are fairly small, and the new partner is likely to require some form of additional income. Further financial information is available on request.

Based at: Ragmans Lane Market Garden, Raglan Slade Cottage, Lower Lydbrook, Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, G17 9NU.

Other Information: Please note that we are a separate enterprise from Ragmans Lane Farm, although we are based at the farm, renting land from and working closely with them.

Position Description
We are seeking a new grower/business partner to help manage the garden and develop the business. The role combines decision-making with the practical growing, selling and distribution of vegetables.

Position Responsibilities

In the garden:
✦ Propagating, planting and harvesting crops
✦ Preparing and managing fertility of vegetable beds in a way that protects and enhances soil health
✦ Weed management and mulching
✦ Observing and responding to problems with crops
✦ Site maintenance e.g. mowing and strimming, clearing around fencing etc.
✦ Supervising volunteers and sharing knowledge with them
✦ Day-to-day oversight of a section of the cropping area (all partners work in all parts of the market garden, but each takes the lead on managing a particular area)

In the wider business:
✦ Weekly meetings to discuss work priorities
✦ Keeping a record of activity in the garden in accordance with Soil Association organic standards
✦ Compiling and sending produce availability to customers, and taking their orders
✦ Packing and labelling produce
✦ Writing sales invoices and recording payments
✦ Making and recording business purchases
✦ Making deliveries (if in possession of a full driving licence)
✦ Liaising and co-operating with staff at Ragmans Lane Farm

Person specification
The successful candidate will:
✦ Have experience of growing on a commercial scale
✦ Have a grasp of organic principles and commercial growing techniques
✦ Work well within a team and be willing to adapt to an established growing system
✦ Be able to act on their own initiative and willing to contribute practical ideas
✦ Be willing to make decisions collectively and non-hierarchically
✦ Be enthusiastic about sharing knowledge (including with volunteers) and learning from others
✦ Have the willingness to participate in shared living (if living on-site), but also be comfortable in their own company
✦ Have lots of energy and enthusiasm, and be easy-going
✦ Have good time management, record keeping and planning skills

The following experience, interests, ability and skills would also be desirable:

✦ A full driving license to be able to make deliveries✦ Owning a vehicle and being willing to use it for business purposes (with mileage reimbursement)
✦ Practical experience of organisational decision-making and management
✦ Crop planning experience
✦ Computer literacy (especially spreadsheets and basic accounting software)
✦ Basic knowledge of construction, carpentry and farm machinery
✦ An interest in developing educational projects at the farm
✦ Interest in/experience of progressive and experimental growing techniques

Commitment:
✦ Commitment to continue to develop a financially viable business
✦ Commitment to organic principles and philosophy
✦ Commitment to provide fairly priced food to local people
✦ A willingness to develop the market garden as a place where people can connect to each other and the land

Start date: Late January 2016

How to apply
Please write a brief outline explaining why you are interested in the post, how your experience and skills relate to it, and your work and training history (this could be attached as a CV). Please also provide the name and contact details of up to two referees and your own contact details.

Please e-mail applications or requests for further information to: ragmanslanemarketgarden@gmail.com

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 8th December

Interviews: Week starting 14th December

Ragmans Lane Farm website: http://www.ragmans.co.uk/home/

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