We are serious about getting more people into commercial food growing, and we are looking to support people who are serious about doing it too!
This Autumn we will be running our fifth Commercial Organic Horticulture course - offering people an amazing training opportunity to learn how to set up an organic food growing business from the growers themselves.
The course is part of a package unique in the UK to support people into organic commercial growing - with the chance to go on after the course to participate in the FarmStart programme. FarmStart provides access to land and a part-time training programme so that you can farm on top of your normal paid work.
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 and managing volunteers.
- Understanding and maintaining soil fertility
- Small-scale market gardening – focusing on plant propagation and salad leaf production
- Field-scale vegetable production, including pest and disease management and machinery maintenance
The course also includes two 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.
"I did Kindling's Commercial Organic Growing course in 2013, and it was a really good way to tap into what was happening growing-wise in Manchester. I got to look around and meet the growers from Fir Tree Farm, Moss Brook and Glebelands. Their approaches are all really different. It was helpful to put names to faces, and I know its ok to get in touch if I have a question about my Farmstart garden". Lindsay Whalen, 2013 participant.
Kindling is working to create a more sustainable food system for Greater Manchester and have set up a number of projects as part of that. 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: Climate Friendly Food at Fir Tree Farm, Glebelands City Growers and Moss Brook Growers.
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). You will also have to confirm you are able to attend all 4 training dates, and two placement days.
The training will run on the following dates:
- Saturday 18th October
- Saturday 25th October
- Saturday 8th November
- Saturday 15th November
There are limited places on the course, so to apply please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form. The deadline for applications is 9a.m on Thursday 25th September.