Grower Opportunity: New Regenerative Farming Enterprise, Sussex.

Mar 30, 2021

The Knepp Estate is looking to work with a knowledgeable grower on establishing an organic horticulture business in West Sussex.

We would like to establish a new horticulture enterprise at the Knepp Estate that will become a key part of the food and nature story here at Knepp.

We envisage the enterprise will be the main supplier of fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables to the Estate’s new farm shop and café, and be led by someone enterprising and capable of making it a success.

We are interested to partner with a suitable grower to make this a reality and give someone the opportunity to develop a business and their skills. Could this be you?

The farmyard where new farm shop and café will be developed.

You the grower

We are new to horticulture but expect that an enterprise of this scale will be best approached if you have some experience and a good understanding of market gardening.

We are fans of the approaches advocated by the likes of Charles Dowding in Somerset and Richard Perkins in Sweden but are open minded about what you think are the most suitable methods for the land and situation we have available.

These decisions, the management of the enterprise and marketing of subsequent produce will be led by you, and any joint venture arrangements will be developed together with the Estate so that there is a shared investment in the set-up and operating of the business.

The site

South facing, 2.9 acres with soil classified as clay loam (detailed soil analysis available on request).

There is space within this area for infrastructure, polytunnels etc. as well as for wildflower strips/areas to encourage pollinators. A nearby barn could be used as a packing area.

The site is immediately next to the new farm shop and café development, and between areas of rewilding and regenerative agriculture. There is the possibility of working with the regenerative farm to produce compost.

Site for horticulture enterprise indicated (currently permanent pasture).

Markets

Our intention is that the primary outlet for fruit and vegetables produced on the site will be the adjacent farm shop and café which is expected to have a regular and growing footfall.

We would be open to you exploring and making use of other off-site markets, such as box schemes, other retail outlets in the area, farmers markets, etc.

Public engagement

Knepp Estate is becoming a popular destination and the horticulture enterprise will be immediately on view to visitors, so we are keen that it is visually in-keeping, but also part of the Knepp story.

We are therefore also interested to hear what you can bring to this venture that could help tell the story of the food you will produce.

Interested?

Please email Russ Carrington russ@knepp.co.uk to introduce yourself, send your CV and outline your ideas for the project.

As a next step, we will be looking to develop detailed proposals with suitable candidates during Spring 2021, with the intention of finding someone who we can then work with to prepare the site during 2021 ready for commencing production early in 2022.

For more information about Knepp Estate and this opportunity click here.

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