Our 2023 FarmStart Programme is now open for applications!

Are you interested in growing food on a commercial scale, or setting up a small-scale horticultural business? Would you like to play an active role in setting up new food growing enterprises around North Lancashire?

We are looking for a group of committed, enthusiastic and local trainee FarmStarters to join our team at our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) market-garden at Old Holly Farm (near Garstang) and Polytunnel in Whitelund (Morecambe) for a full growing season of hands-on training in 2023.

The global food system is broken and is currently very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Covid-19 crisis and the recent political turmoil in Ukraine have also highlighted the need for short food supply chains, adaptable business models and collaboration between local producers, retailers and consumers.

The need to connect people with their food, nature and the land is crucial in building a local resilient and local food economy. It is also crucial that we do this in a way that provides meaningful jobs for local people.

The FarmStart model aims to combat some of the challenges involved with entering the food system as a new grower.

FarmStart is a year-long programme where you spend two days a week working with an experienced grower across our two diverse sites. In addition, a dedicated training and mentoring programme covers both the horticultural skills and business skills needed to set up and run a small-scale market garden. This programme provides a great foundation for becoming a grower or setting up your own local project in the future.

Our aim is to increase the capacity for growing food around the district, providing good quality food for local people.

See more on the following information sheet.

All these issues and more are discussed in the Our Food Futures community strategy for North Lancashire.

Find out more

If you are interested please join us for a voluntary work session/ taster session on-site at the Plot, on any of these dates, timing by arrangement on 2 hour slots: 

  • Wednesday 2nd November, 10-4pm
  • Wednesday 9th November, 10-4pm
  • Wednesday 16th November, 10-4pm

Please register for these sessions here: https://forms.gle/7SowaC4ZoG5YXUwG9


It’s important that you come and visit the farm, and do a couple of hours on-site in advance of making an application. If you are not able to join on the dates mentioned, please contact us to arrange a suitable time (email: theplot@lessuk.org).

Apply for FarmStart 2023

Apply here: https://forms.gle/n3mo3T6D6uPQzUhW9

The deadline for applications is midnight, 27 November 2022.

Interviews will take place on 2 December 2022.


You can read about experiences of our 2021 cohort of FarmStart trainees here:

Paula’s story: https://foodfutures.org.uk/the-plot-for-more-locally-grown-veg-paulas-story/

Lucy’s story: https://foodfutures.org.uk/the-plot-for-more-locally-grown-veg-lucys-story/ 

Jess’s story: https://foodfutures.org.uk/the-plot-for-more-locally-grown-veg-jesss-story/ 

Sam’s story: https://foodfutures.org.uk/the-plot-for-more-locally-grown-veg-sams-story/ 

And our 2022 FarmStart trainees:

Andy’s story: https://foodfutures.org.uk/our-food-stories-andy-parkinson-farmstart-trainee/ 

Rashid’s story: https://foodfutures.org.uk/our-food-stories-rashid-hussain-farm-starter-2022/ 

Jo’s story: https://foodfutures.org.uk/our-food-stories-jo-poulton/ 


Further monthly news articles are available on www.the-plot.uk 



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