This listing has expired.
Applications closed
JOB Ref: EC44303

Head Grower

  • Full Time PRIVATE AD
  • Up to £30,000 DOE
  • Hampshire

Head Grower – Fruit and Vegetable Enterprise (Organic principles) required

Salary: Up to £30,000 per annum depending on experience (accommodation may be available as part of overall package value).
Other Benefits: 25 days holiday plus Bank Holidays, company sick pay, pension
Hours: Full time, permanent position (with weekend, bank holiday and flexible seasonal peak working required).
** a temporary, short-term role is also available starting end of June to pick and maintain the veg and fruit plot until a permanent member of staff can be found. Please apply to the same email address.

The Role:
Lockerley Estate, a well-respected award-winning rural business situated 5 miles outside Stockbridge, Hampshire, is offering an exciting opportunity for someone who has the passion and skill to produce fresh, high quality and ecologically grown fruit and veg to join their team as Head Grower for their popular and growing ‘Veg Shed’ enterprise. The Veg Shed, established in April 2020, is currently open 3 days a week and grows local, nutrient dense, healthy and great tasting food for local people, meeting “consumer pull” and growing demand.
As Head Grower you will need to know how to grow fruit and veg following organic, ecological principles and help us achieve organic certification in future. You will be responsible for hands on soil husbandry, planting, growing, harvesting as well as leading on market development, brand, events and shared accountability for managing the business aspects of the ‘Veg Shed’, managing around 2 staff and reporting to the Farm Manager and owners. Most importantly you will have a real enthusiasm to grow produce in this way and drive high standards so that our customers can see and taste top quality, delicious produce.

In this exciting role you will be able to enjoy working independently, driving and shaping this new enterprise, whilst having the committed, long term and stable support and keen interest of the landowners who are also interested in the wider social, environmental, educational and economic impact of the enterprise. You will also be part of a wider farming business that understands the importance of farm gate produce, so you will benefit from support of a wider team with shared responsibility, but who are also fun to work with!

Accommodation may be available as part of the overall benefits package and you would have use of a delivery vehicle and wider farm and estate equipment when needed. The enterprise equipment and infrastructure is no more than 18 months old and there is a new brand, logo and website with an e-commerce platform about to launch. A Partnership model may also be considered in future.

We’d love to hear from you if you meet the following essential criteria:

  • Experienced and knowledgeable fruit and veg grower
  • Team player
  • Entrepreneurial – ability to seize market opportunities
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and make decisions
  • Passion for regenerative farming and ecologically produced farm gate produce
  • To help in conversion to organic status
  • Physically able to perform gardening tasks (in all weathers) and use gardening equipment and machinery safely.
  • Full UK recognised Driving Licence
  • Right to Work in the UK

Experience in:

  • Rotation design
  • Crop planning, planting, harvesting, marketing
  • Soil and fertility management
  • Produce Stock management
  • Irrigation management
  • Pest & disease management using cultural techniques
  • Record keeping / compliance / housekeeping

The following experience will be an advantage:

  • Ordering – seeds, consumables, bought in veg
  • Box scheme admin –  defining box contents, order management and fulfilment
  • Demand creation – retail / whs, plus marketing & events
  • Payments reconciliation
  • Health and Safety knowledge in this area
  • Financial budgeting, forecasting and reporting
  • Collaboration on the strategic direction and development of the enterprise (with the family and farm manager)
  • Small team management/supervision experience

More on Lockerley Estate and the infrastructure for the role:
Lockerley Estate farms using regenerative, agriecological farming principles. We have arable cropping, livestock, large higher tier stewardship environment scheme, re-wilding / wood pasture creation, 2x SSSI and 1x SAC, continuous cover working woodland and our new fruit and vegetable enterprise, the “Veg Shed”, which is an honesty shop in the farm yard at Manor Farm East Tytherley (currently open 3 days a week), a fruit cage with 20 fruit trees, 3 rotational field plots and two poly tunnels (with electric for propagating tables and good lighting), along with a new irrigation system in tunnels and field plots, we are very well equipped for a new enterprise and have space to expand! We also have 50 laying hens. All the veg, fruit and hens are grown and reared on organic principles but currently without certification (which we are working towards).

Lockerley Estate is a LEAF demonstration farm, beacon for regenerative farming and Leaf Marque assured.

To Apply: Please send your CV to with a short covering letter highlighting your relevant experience, availability/current notice period, salary expectation and whether you would be interested in discussing accommodation possibilities.

Closing Date: 15th June 2022 (9pm)

Interview date: 21st June 2022 (please keep this date free if possible).

If you do not hear from us by the 21st June please assume your application has not been successful. Thank you.

Data Privacy Note: Applications will be shared with our external HR Advisor (New Forest HR). Applications will be stored securely and deleted 3 months after the interview date unless consent is given by an applicant to keep their application on file for future reference and opportunities.

This private advert is being managed directly by the employer. English Country Gardeners are not involved in the hiring process and are therefore unable to share any additional information on this role. If you have any questions regarding this position, the best course of action is to apply for the job which will open a line of communication with the employer.

Tagged as: agriecological, entrepreneurial, fruit, head grower, Market Gardener, organic, vegetables

Lockerley Estate