Organic Gardens Assistant

(To be read in conjunction with the Background Information and Selection Procedure that gives additional information about working and living at Sunseed).

This role will begin as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

About Sunseed
Sunseed is a vibrant, intercultural community where each member contributes to the smooth running of everyday life, taking on responsibilities to assure a supportive communal environment. We are all part of this group, working closely with each other and respecting each other. The ideal candidate would be comfortable with, or ready to explore, this balance of community living, work responsibilities, and personal life.

About the role

Specific techniques in horticulture are required to work the terrace system, irrigated by an irrigation channel that dates back to the Moorish era. The project currently cares for twelve gardens which produce a wide range of food crops such as tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, garlic, broad beans etc as well as herbs and fruit.

The role of the gardens are:

  1. To provide food for the project
  2. Education and research
  3. To improve environmental integration by maximizing the cycling of our waste materials.

Our gardens are run strictly according to organic principles. Careful soil management is especially important because of the type of soil (alkaline) and the effects of flood irrigation. Our soil is maintained using compost made on site and manures. No artificial chemicals are used, neither to increase fertility nor combat pests.

Working in the gardens is always popular with volunteers and it is therefore important to be able to work and communicate effectively with a wide range of people.

The gardens team consists of one coordinator (responsible for the overall planning and management of the gardens) and one or two assistants.

This position is a learning opportunity to gain valuable knowledge in the running of an established NGO, in working closely with different departments, and in off-grid, sustainable, community living. The assistant will work closely with the coordinator in the Gardens team to ensure the educational potential of her or his responsibilities and overall experience are fulfilled.

Please note, the successful applicant will work and guide volunteers in the gardens, and simultaneously learn from our current Gardens Coordinator. The period of appointment in this role is for 6 months.

The Assistant position is remunerated with a small stipend of 40 euros every 3 months to cover the very basic needs and expenses that can incur. All food, accommodation, and amenities are provided (internet, soap, eco-detergent, etc.).

Core Responsabilities:

Planning and production of vegetables and fruit

  • Using a mixture of methods such as crop rotation, companion planting, intercropping
  • planning sowing and transplanting times
  • plant propagation
  • preparing beds
  • fruit tree care

Soil Management

  • starting and maintaining compost heaps
  • crop selection
  • mulching
  • irrigation techniques

Nutrient Cycling

  • managing humanure
  • storing and using urine
  • preparing liquid feeds from local plants

Pest Control

  • using and developing organic methods for prevention and treatment of pests and diseases

Desirable skills

  • Good working knowledge of different horticultural practices based either upon academic study, practical experience, or a mixture of both
  • Previous work experience with volunteers ideally in a support role
  • Good communication skills
  • A strong affinity with Sunseed’s vision and mission
  • Ability and drive to do physical work in a wide variety of weather conditions including extreme heat in summer, and rain/cold in winter
  • Ability to self-organise and motivate others
  • Good spoken Spanish and English
  • Clean driving license if over 25 years of age

To apply for this role, please send an email with the subject line ‘Sunseed staff application’ and your CV and letter of motivation stating how you meet the responsibilities of the post, to admin.coordinator@sunseed.org.uk. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted and the position will be appointed once a suitable candidate has been found.

For more sustainability jobs see environmentjob.co.uk