Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Food Growing Courses

From Transition Town Bolton ..............

More veg growers needed: Come and learn from the experts!

Fancy a career change? Want a better quality of life? Why not help make our region more sustainable? We are looking for more farmers and new food growers for a proven market in and around Greater Manchester.

Make the most of an amazing training opportunity to learn how to set up an organic food growing business from the growers themselves this Autumn. We have a growing market for organic local food, an amazing network of support and training straight from the field – what's stopping you?!

We are in the unusual position in Greater Manchester, of having a market for local organic produce that actually pays the cost of production, not the volatile market prices! But we need more crops, and therefore more organic commercial growers local to Greater Manchester.

To try and address this, and grow more growers to supply the likes of Manchester Veg People, Unicorn Grocery and Dig Food, we are running a unique four and a half day course for people who are interested in starting up a market garden/veg growing business.

The course, is being organised as part of Kindling’s

Greater Manchester Land Army and Big Dig projects and is being taught by the experts themselves:

Jenny Griggs of Climate Friendly Food /Fir Tree Farm,

Glebelands City Growers and Moss Brook Growers.

The training will run on four consecutive Saturdays in September/October and will involve additional placement days at local organic farms (these will ideally be during the week in between the Saturday course days, but alternatives can be discussed if trainees need to fit them in around work). The idea of this is to put what you are learning into practice and to bring up questions while you are still on the course.

The course will run from September 22nd to the 20th October, on five consecutive Saturdays (with one of those a half day with an accountant, focused on finance and business, date tbc.).

It will be a mixture of practical work and theory and will be based at the different organic growing sites of the course tutors:

Glebelands City Growers , Climate Friendly Food's base at Fir Tree Farm and at Moss Brook Growers .

The course will cover the key areas for setting up and running an organic food growing enterprise, including:

· Introduction to setting up a commercial veg production enterprise e.g. legal, records, H&S, working with volunteers, seed sowing schedule.

· Understanding and maintaining soil fertility (a foundation of organic veg production)

· Commercial small scale market gardening – focusing on plant propagation and salad leaf production

· Field scale veg production

· Pests and diseases.

· Machinery maintenance

· Finances and running a small business.

Anyone interested in becoming an organic grower for Greater Manchester, who can commit to all the days of the course (including the placements – though days for this can be negotiated), can apply for a place on the course.

We need more growers, you want to grow, what's stopping you? Get in touch now!!

This course is free (Funded by Making Local Food Work), but a deposit will be required as way of making sure people take it seriously and turn up! (you will get it back when you've completed the course and placement days). Places on this training are limited so please get in touch now to avoid disappointment.

To book your place please contact

helen@kindling.org.uk or call 0161 226 2242

Circulated by Transition Town Bolton
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