Spring 2015 Commercial Organic Growers Course

Tue, 02/03/2015
Training at Moss Brook Growers

Make the most of an amazing training opportunity this Spring. Learn how to set up an organic food growing business from the growers themselves.

Kindling is working to create a more sustainable food system for Greater Manchester and has set up a number of projects as part of that, including Feeding Manchester, the Land Army, and FarmStart Manchester (an incubator farm for brand new growers). We are also in the unusual position of having a great network of people and organisations to work with - from existing local organic growers to buyers such as Manchester Veg People and Unicorn Grocery.

We are now looking to support and grow more commercial organic growers to supply these buyers, as well as local Farmers Markets, box schemes etc., and as part of that are running a four day course taught by the experts themselves on their farms:

Jenny Griggs of Climate Friendly Food at Fir Tree Farm and FarmStart, and Glebelands City Growers at their market garden in Sale.

“A big benefit to us has been spending time both with those who are already part of an organic food growing business, as well as others like us who aspire to develop one. Our hosts have been warm and welcoming, and very generous in sharing their experiences as well as encouraging us in our future endeavours”.

Jennie Savage, Autumn 2014 course participant.

The course covers the key areas for setting up and running a food growing enterprise, including:

• Running a food growing business (including finances, legal issues, record-keeping, Health & Safety, managing volunteers) and co-operative business models

• Understanding and maintaining soil fertility

• Small-scale market gardening – focusing on plant propagation and salad leaf production

• Field-scale vegetable production, including pests and diseases and machinery maintenance

The training will run on the following dates in 2015:

• Saturday 28th March                      

• Saturday 11th April

• Sunday 19th April

• Saturday 25th April

It will also involve 2 additional placement days at local organic farms (week days if possible), so that you practice what you learn during the course and get a taste of working at a commercial scale.

Although we won’t be recruiting new growers for FarmStart until Autumn 2015 (for next year’s growing season), we welcome future FarmStart applicants, as well as people who are looking to become commercial organic growers in other areas of Greater Manchester - or anywhere else for that matter! (though people looking to supply Greater Manchester will be prioritised and you will need to organise your own accommodation).

"Informative and inspirational, we'd highly recommend it to others looking to develop their understanding of commercial growing” Jennie Savage, Autumn 2014 course participant.

Anyone interested in becoming a commercial organic grower, who can commit to all the days of the course (including the two placements days), can apply for a place on the course.

The fee for the course is £100 and you will need to cover your own transport costs to the sites (though car sharing can be organised with other participants).

We are really serious about getting more people into commercial-scale growing, and we are looking to support people who are serious about doing it too!

Places are limited so please get in touch now to avoid disappointment.

Application Deadline: 5pm on Monday 9th March.

To request an application form email alex@kindling.org.uk or ask for Alex or Helen on 0161 226 2242. 


The Kindling Trust is a not for profit social enterprise with charitable aims (Company number: 6136029).
Kindling Trust Ltd - Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HR