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Biodynamic Farmer wanted

Tablehurst Farm is a 500 acre mixed farm with beef, sheep, pigs, poultry, vegetables, farm shop, butchery, café and residential care in Forest Row, East Sussex

We would like to bring more expertise and experience onto the farm and we are looking for a farmer who would like to join the existing team.

We are looking for a mature person, ideally with previous experience and a university degree in organic/biodynamic agriculture.

You are a positive, energetic person, passionate about sustainable farming with a strong desire to improve and develop.

This is a full time position. Salary depends on experience and living arrangements.

Please submit applications including CV and a letter of motivation to: djunghans78@gmail.com

 

 

More information for applicants:

Tablehurst Farm is a 230 ha biodynamic farm in south east England. The farm is mainly grassland with 50ha arable and 12ha woodland. It supports 55 suckler cows, 15 sows, 60 ewes, 300 fattening lambs and 10000 broiler chicken, per year. All followers are reared and sold on the Farm. Apart from this we have 30ha cereals, an 8 ha market garden, farm shop and butchery, small café, pie bakery and a residential care home with three residents with learning disabilities. Tablehurst is a vibrant place undergoing many changes and is currently seeking to find its future form to consolidate.

Past:

The original farm (70ha) has been farmed biodynamically for over 40 years, other land has been rented over the years (160ha). The farm has been turned into a community owned business in 1996 (700 share holders). Back then, beef, vegetables and dairy sheep were the main enterprises.

An on-farm butchery was built up and extended into a butcher shop and poultry for meat was introduced.

Between 2010-13 the shop was expanded into a full size farm shop with a small adjacent café and our own market garden as well as a pie bakery were established.

Present:

The farm has grown to 230ha with 30 full time employees and a turnover of £1.6 million.

Direct sale of meat products contribute to over 30% of the farm’s income. The farm is a training farm with many young people coming and going and attracts a fair amount of public interest due to it being an open farm owned by and farmed for the community.

A number of new farm buildings and some housing as well as an access road to the shop were built over the last 10 years.

More recently the arable was converted to non-inversion tillage and more emphasis has been put on productive grassland and compost management, all in order to improve humus levels and subsequently soil and livestock health.

Future:

The farm is still finding its future shape.

The farm’s ambitious goals include a re-design of the farm centre with larger farm shop and café, better access and facilities and a community space for cultural and educational activities.

The use of the land is being reviewed at the moment with the aim to find a better balance between meat production and other (perennial) cropping. We ultimately would like to build a more resilient farm, less dependent on external inputs (feeds, fuel etc.) with a higher diversity of products (fruits, nuts, mushrooms, milk, eggs) which is less susceptible to weather extremes and could possibly function as a viable business on the original area of 70-100ha should tenancies be lost. We also seek to strengthen community involvement in the farm.

What we look for:

We would like to bring more expertise and experience onto the farm and are looking for a farmer who would like to join the existing team. Interest in the current farm enterprises is needed and know-how in dairy, poultry and pigs is desirable.

Ideally you have previous experience and a university degree in organic/biodynamic agriculture. You have good social and communication skills and a practical approach to running a business without loosing sight of your ideals. You can fully subscribe to our vision to develop a diverse farm providing food, education and participation to the local community based on biodynamic and permaculture principles.

You are a positive, energetic person, passionate about sustainable farming with a strong desire to improve and develop.