The Garden: Old Allangrange, near Munlochy is situated within 129-acres of organic farmland. Rare-breed Hebridean sheep fertilise the fields and are fed on the spent grain. A couple of ponds, surrounded by pollen-rich willows and fruiting trees, have been reinstated to support wildfowl and other wetland species. A vigorous programme to plant hedgerows of mixed native trees is on-going, and many of the plants are raised from seeds and cuttings to encourage local genetic diversity. As the south-facing house and garden look out across a small valley, these features provide a backdrop to the saltire-shaped parterres of neatly clipped Buxus sempervirens which frame beds of bee-friendly small trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials.
Black Isle Brewery is one of Scotland’s longest-running independent breweries. Of the many craft breweries to have sprung up in Scotland of late, it is one of the oldest, most successful and most versatile.
We run an organic market garden growing in approximately 5 acres, including a Keder greenhouse, within the beautiful 129 acre mixed livestock and arable farm. The produce from the garden supplies the two Black Isle Bars, in Inverness and Fort William, the houses on site and a CSA veg box scheme that we are trialling this year.
We grow our organic vegetables and fruit using agroecological, no-dig, Biodynamic and permaculture methods to increase biodiversity and support local flora and fauna. A good example of this is how we use the spent grain from the brewery – as well as feeding it to our Hebridean sheep, we combine it with green waste from the garden and wood chippings from local tree surgeons to produce the compost in which we grow all our veg – this ‘closed loop’ system acts in a regenerative way, allowing us to give back more than we take from the land.
By avoiding the use of any harmful chemicals, working within the rhythms of the natural world and gardening in a way which supports wildlife habitat we are continuously enhancing the land we are working with. This simply means we are creating a beautiful, healthy environment in which we can grow beautiful, healthy produce to end up on our tables.
Our latest project is transforming the market garden layout into a giant triskele shape in which we have implemented agroforestry and permaculture design elements.
As well as working with the Wwoofing scheme, we run a local volunteer day where anyone from the local area can come along and help out on the farm. Led by our experienced team and head gardener with a background in social therapeutic horticulture, this creates opportunities for anyone wishing to learn how to grow using sustainable methods while providing us with the help that we need to continue our ambitious project.
The gardens are open to the public – As well as visitors to the brewery shop we host open days and regular garden tours.
We also run Black Isle Garden Design, designing and creating gardens, both locally and nationally, for bees, pollinators and beauty.
The Opportunity: We are looking for a dedicated, enthusiastic assistant gardener to work alongside the head gardener, carrying out the day to day duties involved in running a busy market garden and ornamental gardens that are open to the public.
These include (but are not limited to):
Grass cutting using a variety of mowers, a strimmer and scythe
Propagation, pricking out, transplanting, planting
Harvesting and post-harvest handling
Weeding and hoeing
Soil Cultivation using no dig methods
Polytunnel management and maintenance
Compliance with Organic certification
At times helping the landscaping team with outside projects
Occasionally helping out on the farm
The right candidate will be:
Able to work outdoors, year-round, in all types of weather
Professional, collegial, flexible and patient
Capable of both working alone and in a team
Happy to work alongside volunteers and instruct them if necessary
Dedicated to growing organically, using regenerative methods
Able to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing
Good at record-keeping, ideally experienced in using spreadsheets, excel etc.
Able to use/maintain garden tools and keep them well organised
Able to drive and have own transport
Remuneration: To be arranged, depending on experience