Organic Gardens Assistant

Sunseed Desert Technology
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Sunseed Desert Technology

Sunseed Desert Technology aims to develop, demonstrate and communicate methods of low-impact living and environmental stewardship in a semi-arid environment. Through accessible, low-tech, collaborative and practical learning, our research is directly applicable to low-income societies and a transition to an environmentally sustainable future.

Sunseed acts as a hub for hundreds of international volunteers every year to learn and practice environmental stewardship through individually tailored, multi-week voluntary programmes. These programmes are diverse in scope, although include permaculture courses; how to build photovoltaic and wind power systems; eco-construction, and managing soil quality in semi-arid conditions.

Sunseed Organic Gardens

Sunseed Desert Technology is set in a small, once abandoned village, in one of the driest parts

of Europe, having less than 300mm of rain per year, and with temperatures ranging from –7 to


Specific techniques in horticulture are required to work the terrace system, irrigated by an irrigation channel that dates back to the Moorish era. The project currently cares for twelve gardens which produce a wide range of food crops such as tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, garlic, broad beans etc as well as herbs and fruit.

The role of the gardens are:

  1. To provide food for the project

  2. Education and research

  3. To improve environmental integration by maximizing the cycling of our waste materials.

Our gardens are run strictly according to organic principles. Careful soil management is especially important because of the type of soil (alkaline) and the effects of flood irrigation. Our soil is maintained using compost made on site and manures. No artificial chemicals are used, neither to increase fertility nor combat pests.

Working in the gardens is always popular with volunteers and it is therefore important to be able to work and communicate effectively with a wide range of people.

The gardens team consists of one coordinator (responsible for the overall planning and management of the gardens) and one or two assistants (depending on the season).

Please note, the successful applicant will work and guide volunteers in the gardens, and simultaneously learn from our current Gardens Coordinator over the summer period and into the autumn with a view to become the Organic Gardens Coordinator for the period of one year after our current Coordinator leaves in November 2015.

Organic Gardens Assistant

Responsibilities and activities of Organic Gardens Assistant:

  • Planning and production of vegetables and fruit

    • Using a mixture of methods such as crop rotation, companion planting, intercropping

    • planning sowing and transplanting times

    • plant propagation

    • preparing beds

    • fruit tree care

  • Soil Management

    • starting and maintaining compost heaps

    • crop selection

    • mulching

    • irrigation techniques

  • Nutrient Cycling

    • managing humanure

    • storing and using urine

    • preparing liquid feeds from local plants

  • Pest Control

    • using and developing organic methods for prevention and treatment of pests and diseases

  • Desirable skills

    • Good working knowledge of different horticultural practices based either upon academic study, practical experience, or a mixture of both

    • Previous work experience with volunteers ideally in a support role

    • Good communication skills

    • A strong affinity with Sunseed’s vision and mission

    • Ability and drive to do physical work in a wide variety of weather conditions including extreme heat in summer, and rain/cold in winter

    • Motivation to succeed the current gardens coordinator when she leaves in November. Thereafter, you will become the Organic Gardens Coordinator with a commitment to stay in the position for 1 year. For more information on the Coordinator role, please visit our website.

    • Ability to self-organise and motivate others

    • Good spoken Spanish and English

    • Clean driving license if over 25 years of age

Can you see yourself in this role?

If yes, that makes us very happy! You can apply by sending your CV and a motivation letter stating how you meet the desirable skills for the role to our email address below.

Please send your application by email, with the subject line ’Organic Gardens Assistant Application’ to

This recruitment will be open until we find a suitable candidate. All applications will be considered as they are submitted. The recruitment process will consist of a Skype interview, and if deemed suitable, a subsequent invitation to visit Sunseed for a one week trial period after which the team will meet to discuss your recruitment. You will be given a decision immediately after the trial week.

This role is unpaid although all food and accommodation is provided. Once you take the Coordinator position, you will receive a small financial contribution on a fortnightly basis to help with expenses.

We also have a number of other roles currently being recruited for. You can view these on our website here.