Organic Gardens Coordinator

Type of job: 
full time

About the Job

(To be read in conjunction with the Background Information and Selection Procedure that gives additional information about working and living at Sunseed. The full proposal can be found on Sunseed website.)

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


The project is set in a small village in one of the driest parts of Europe, having less than 300mm of rain per year, and temperatures ranging from –7 to 40+. Specific techniques in horticulture are required to work the terrace system, irrigated by an irrigation channel that dates back to Moorish times. The project currently uses twelve gardens to produce a wide range of food crops such as tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, garlic, broad beans etc as well as herbs and fruit trees.

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 that the co-ordinator can effectively supervise volunteers at all times.

Key Responsibilities

General departmental responsibilities

Running a department, advising and working with other departments in a busy project
Planning and monitoring a departmental budget
Assisting and supervising volunteers
Documenting work done
Monitoring crop yield
Planning work to fit in the projects general activities
Tool safety, instructing on proper tool use, ensuring unsafe tools are not used
Liaising with staff and trustees as required, including regular written reports
Liaising with other organic growers and organisations
Planning and production of vegetables and fruit on irrigated terraces
Using a mixture of methods such as crop rotation, companion planting, inter-cropping
planning sowing and transplanting times
preparing beds and some tree care

Greenhouse Management

Propagating plants under cover etc.

Soil Management

Starting and maintaining compost heaps
Crop selection
Proper irrigation techniques

Nutrient Cycling

Managing humanure
Storing and using urine
Preparing liquid feeds from local plants

Pest Control

Using organic methods for prevention and treatment

Innovation and Research

Trialling and developing effective gardening techniques to meet local conditions
Co-operating with other departments to trial research projects
Supervising innovative volunteer projects

Education and Documentation

Running and contributing to Sunseed courses
Conducting tours of the department
Overseeing volunteers projects
Maintaining up to date information
Production of written materials in the form of reports, leaflets, web pages, articles etc

Supervision of placement students and working visitors

Incorporating volunteers into the work and methodology and development of their own projects to satisfactory completion


Writing and supervising the production of reports, documenting larger projects, preparing projects proposals, producing literature

Inter-departmental co-operation

Work as a team to ensure the smooth running of Sunseed

Essential Skills

Experience and knowledge of all aspects of organic growing
Tolerance of hard physical work in hot conditions
Ability to lead and motivate volunteers, who range from those with a wealth of experience to those with little or none
Ability to work in co-operation with other departments

Desirable Skills

Experience of Organic Growing in a Dryland environment
Ability to communicate well in Spanish and English
Computer Literacy and clean driving license

To apply for this role: Please send an email with the subject line ‘Organic Gardens Coordinator – Sunseed staff application’ and your CV and letter of motivation stating how you meet the responsibilities of the post, to [email protected].

Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted and the position will be appointed once a suitable candidate has been found.

Closing date for applications: 
Thursday, 15 March, 2018