Vacancy: External Evaluator

CALDMORE VILLAGE FESTIVAL ARE LOOKING FOR AN EXTERNAL EVALUATOR FOR CALDMORE COMMUNITY GARDEN AND OUR “GARDEN FOR ALL” PROJECT

Role: External Evaluator

Fee: £6,000.00 to £7,000.00 for the full engagement period (paid in two annual installments).   

Engagement period: July 2022 – February 2024

This is freelance self-employed post, spread over two years.

Place of work: Remote working and visits to the project in Walsall

We are looking for an evaluator who has experience in the arts and participation to carry creative evaluation of our flagship project – Caldmore Community Garden with activities and events funded as a part of Reaching Communities’ “Garden for All” project. If you do not fit all the criteria but do have relevant experience that could make you a great candidate, we would still love to hear from you and encourage you to apply. We welcome applications from people with a range of experiences and skills.

We promote equality, diversity and inclusion throughout our projects and our workplace. We actively encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply. We aim to make the application process as accessible as possible.

To apply, please email your CV and a one page cover letter to:  Anna Webster –  caldmoregarden@gmail.com by Friday 24th June.

Please note, applications will be reviewed as they come in as we are looking to appoint this post as soon as possible.

GreenSquareAccord Chairman Robin Bailey visits Caldmore Community Garden

Many local CaldmoreAccord residents may be aware that it has merged with GreenSquare to become GreenSquareAccord.

We welcomed Robin Bailey, the Chairman of the GreenSquareAccord Board, at the Garden yesterday to show the work of Caldmore Housing and then CaldmoreAccord in helping to create Caldmore Community Garden and the House.

CaldmoreAccord have been instrumental in setting up our Community Garden and developing many core areas and projects.

We wanted to share the good work with the new Chairman and the Chief Executive, Ruth Cooke, who has promised to visit in the future, so that we can re-establish our partnership working with a key local social housing provider.

Without the funding from CaldmoreAccord we would not have been able to start the refurbishment of the Caldmore Community House. The former Chairman of CaldmoreAccord, Mike Hew and Director Margot Lambert were key partners in the development of Caldmore Village Festival Group which oversees the Garden and the House.

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Day – Saturday 25th June at Caldmore Community Garden

Join us this Saturday at 12p.m. for a fun afternoon of craft activities, live music and games (we have an educational treasure hunt and quiz).
See what we get up to at the Mens’ Shed on Mondays and the Womens’ Tuesday group.
There will be live music from Trouble and Strife at 1p.m. and we’ll be looking at ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle.
As usual, there will be homemade cakes for sale, so let’s help save the planet (and eat cake).

Caldmore Tots

It’s going to be an animal month at Caldmore Tots, in preparation for the Animal Man visit at a special event on Saturday, 9th July. This week we will be exploring edible animal habitats and playing with salt dough – all at our weekly free toddler playgroup, every Thursday 10.30-12.00 at Caldmore Community Garden. 

It’s VOLUNTEER WEEK and we could not exist without all the amazing people who create and maintain the Garden, organise events, run activities, help with play schemes, gardening, building, educating, drafting publicity, delivering newsletters, baking cakes, chatting, taking photos, and being such a lovely bunch to be with! Thank you so much, everyone, for all your past and ongoing help. 

If you would like to join us and leave your mark at this ever-changing space, that exists for the local community only, every little bit helps – and it is fun, too!

In the photo, captured by Craig, is Condessa, a long-standing volunteer, who is a force of nature!

Easter Egg Hunt at Caldmore Community Garden

It’s time for Easter Egg Hunt!

Join us this Saturday 12-4pm for chocolate madness at Caldmore Community Garden – the hunt will start at 1pm and will be over around 1.20, so please be there on time if you don’t want to miss out! There will be two zones – one for toddlers who must be accompanied on the Hunt by a parent and one for children over 5.

There will also be lots of other attractions – tombola, face-painting, Easter arts and crafts, Garden stall, and hot drinks and homemade cake at our community cafe!

See you on Saturday!

Free Gardening Course at Caldmore Community Garden

Descriptions of courses

Planning your plot – 15th February 2022

Planning what to grow, when to grow it, and how to arrange it all often seems like the most bewildering choice both for new growers and even those with more experience.

Successful organic growing, in particular, is all about good planning. In this course you will learn how to plan your plot organically, with a focus on crop rotation, preventing pests and diseases, maximising harvests and planning for the year ahead.

We will guide you through the steps, giving you a fundamental understanding of the planning process so that you have the confidence to make your own personal plan.

Session will cover:

  • How to assess and plan your growing space
  • How to design a rotation
  • Choosing a range of crops that suits you
  • Designing a cropping calendar so you know what to do when
  • Making an action plan

Healthy Soil, healthy plants – 22nd March 2022

Healthy soils are the basis for healthy plants and the building block for any organic garden.   This course will examine what makes a healthy soil and consider methods for testing it in your own gardens or growing spaces.  We will also discuss the practical steps you can take to improve your soil using organic methods such as composts, green manures and no dig methods.

Session will cover:

  • An introduction to the importance of soil health, soil life and the components which determine a ‘healthy soil’.
  • Discovering the properties of your soil; how to test the health of your soil.
  • How to manage your soils organically, including an overview of no dig methods.
  • The function of plant nutrients and how to recognise deficiencies

Wildlife gardening – 24th May 2022

The importance of gardens as wildlife refuges for all sorts of life, not just beneficial insects is becoming widely recognised, and we’re all being encouraged to be more wildlife friendly in our gardening practices. But how does this translate into reality in a small urban garden? 

Can you really have a wildflower meadow co-existing with football-mad children, for example? And won’t that big brushwood heap become a home for less welcome wildlife such as rats? Find out how to really make your garden work for wildlife – and you!

Session will cover: 

  • Wildlife corridors, man-made habitats & sympathetic management
  • What wildlife will there be likely to see in summer in urban settings? and hence what is worth trying to encourage
  • Plants, trees and practices which will help wildlife thrive
  • Common-sense water in the garden
  • Do’s and don’ts

Pests and diseases – 19th July 2022

As a new vegetable grower, you may feel everything is out to get you as you watch one row of seedlings after another succumb to some nameless grot, or be munched by unseen foes. 

Feel you have to reach for a spray but don’t want use toxic chemicals on your food? You don’t have to. Learn about the insects out there who are on your side, as well as methods of control for almost every garden problem. We’ll help you identify what you can do in the way of prevention, cures and controls, as well as methods for minimizing the most common pest and disease problems. 

The session will cover

  • Physiological problems: dealing with weather extremes – what you can plan for and what you can’t. The importance of soil health and composting in disease control, including what dead plants can you safely compost?
  • Identifying common pests and diseases
  • Barriers, traps & deterrents
  • Natural predators
  • Permitted Organic applications as last resort
  • Planning for resistance and diversity

Seed saving – 20th September 2022

Seed saving might seem like a dark art but once you get into it you realise how satisfying it can be to take one step further towards self-sufficiency in your growing. This course will introduce you to the rationale behind seed saving and give plenty of practical examples of the process. We will also introduce you to some of the fascinating varieties within Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library.

Session will cover:

  • Reasons for saving seed saving
  • Extracting seed from key crops
  • How to improve the purity of your seed
  • Storing seed

Successful composting – 22nd November 2022

Home composting has always been a no brainer. With each compost bin, you are saving 125 kg of waste having to be taken away from home, and instead turning it into a great product that will benefit your soil, your garden and everything you grow.

However, there is a bit more to it than just throwing it all on a heap and hoping it will make lovely compost. This course will help you to fine tune that process, so that you have a better idea of how it all works. It will give you an understanding of the basic requirements for composting to take place and the various influencing factors giving you a much better degree of control and confidence.

Session will cover:

  • Successful composting including what and how to compost
  • Recognising the biological life involved in producing compost in your bin
  • How to deal with problem compost heaps
  • A basic knowledge of how to use compost in the garden

Trainers

Anton Rosenfeld has been with Garden Organic for 18 years. His work has ranged from projects with commercial field-scale growers to small-scale community gardens and allotments. He has worked as a grower, runs many training courses and regularly writes for Grow Your Own and Kitchen Garden magazine. He has a passion for soils, composting and growing veg from a wide range of cultures and horizons.

Sally Cunningham has spent a lifetime as a professional gardener, and has always been fascinated by creatures that she finds in the garden: what they are, what they eat and how they live. She has worked with Garden Organic for over 20 years and has encountered almost every horticultural problem. Sally reckons a well-adjusted garden should wriggle, crawl and squirm as well as sing…

About Garden Organic

Garden Organic is the national charity for organic growing. We have been around since 1958 and have over 20 000 members. Our goal is simple – to get people growing organically. We do this in lots of ways:
• Working with communities providing them with support in their growing
• Providing horticultural advice to gardeners
• Campaigning on topical issues such as the use of peat or pesticides
• Preserving traditional and heirloom varieties in our Heritage Seed Library
• Researching into organic gardening techniques

We also have an organic demonstration garden at Ryton on Dunsmore just outside Coventry, where you can book onto to tours and workshops. For further information visit: www.gardenorganic.org.uk

The course is a part of our Garden for All project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

To book a place, please e-mail us on caldmoregarden@gmail.com.

Job Opportunity – Assistant Community Development Worker

Employer: Caldmore Village Festival Ltd

Job Title: Caldmore Community Garden Assistant Community Development Worker

Contract Type: 2 years with potential extension subject to funding.

Start Date: February 2022 (subject to references and DBS checks)

Salary: £24,000 per annum plus employer contribution pension

Closing Date For Applications: Noon on 5th January 2022.

Interviews to take place on Wednesday 19th January 2022.

Caldmore Village Festival Ltd (CVF) is seeking to appoint a dynamic Assistant Community Development Worker to work alongside our Caldmore Community Garden Project Manager and team of volunteers. This is a fantastic opportunity to join CVF at an exciting time. You will be a motivated self-starter who is able to use initiative and have experience in administrative work. This post is a 2 year fixed term contract.

Key roles include:

  • To support the work of Project Manager and other team members and volunteers at Caldmore Community Garden.
  • To provide administrative support to Project Manager and Management Committee.
  • To promote the work of Caldmore Community Garden and House by communicating with the public via phone, social media, newsletters, etc.
  • To ensure that the Garden responds to the needs and demands of the diverse local community.
  • To work with the staff team and Management Committee to:
    • Plan and implement a programme of events, activities and learning opportunities associated with the Garden and House.
    • Build on existing and identify new areas of development work.
    • Recruit and support Garden’s volunteers.

You will:

  • Have previous experience in a community orientated role.
  • Be an active team member in relation to projects and events.
  • Have flexible working which includes working some evenings and weekends.
  • Report to Project Manager and CVF Management Committee.

This post is subject to an Enhanced DBS check.

Job Description and Person Specification (attached)

Please send your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are suitable to be considered for the role to: caldmoregarden@gmail.com

All candidates shortlisted for interview will be contacted by January 12th 2022 by email.