California: Slide Ranch seeks Head Gardener

1 May

Reports to:     Director of Ranch Operations

Available :      May 1, 2011 (posting date: April 28, 2011)

Residence:      One bedroom house

Compensation:  $17,000 – $19,000/ year + housing, health benefits, food

Position:         Full Time, Resident position

Slide Ranch – Mission and Background

Slide Ranch teaches visitors the impact our choices have on food, health, and the environment, through hands-on activities and independent exploration of our farm and coastal wild lands. 

Founded in 1970, Slide Ranch is a non-profit agriculture and environmental education center.  Overlooking the Pacific Ocean just north of San Francisco within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) between Muir Beach and Stinson Beach, the facility sits on a 134-acre historic dairy farm that is over 100 years old. Organic gardens, goats, sheep, and chickens, along with the coastal wild lands and tide-pools, provide an ideal outdoor setting for teaching environmental awareness. 

We customize our educational programs to meet the learning needs of groups of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds, focusing particularly on elementary school-aged children. Approximately one-third of our programs support under-served populations.  Throughout the school year children from urban and suburban areas travel to the Ranch and encounter the animals and gardens that are the source of foods they buy at the corner store or grocery store.  Slide Ranch’s educational programs are taught by teaching interns, who spend 10 and 1/2 months living and working on site.

Position Summary: The Head Gardener reports to the Director of Ranch Operations, and is part of the Ranch Management Team which also includes a Ranch Facilities Coordinator and an Animal Care Manager.  The Head Gardener is responsible for the Slide Ranch certified organic garden and native plant restoration efforts.  The Head Gardener coordinates regularly with the Ranch Management Team and Teaching Interns to assist or seek help with chores as needed or directed.   This position requires living on-site in housing provided by Slide Ranch.

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Maintains the Slide Ranch garden in a sustainable, bountiful, attractive and accessible manner, consistent with available budget and aligned with the teaching mission of Slide Ranch.
  • Responsible for paperwork required to maintain organic certification of garden.
  • Develops and implements annual planting and harvesting and routine garden maintenance including soil preparation, garden bed and trellis construction, crop rotation, propagation, watering, transplanting, weed and pest control, mulching, pruning and feeding of all plants and fruit trees
  • Designs and maintains watering, irrigation and garden drainage systems.
  • Leads regular garden work sessions with interns and staff.
  • Trains and educates interns and staff in garden techniques and methods.
  • Leads effort to grow as much produce onsite for ranch residents as possible and supplements garden produce with routine purchase of produce from local farmers markets.
  • Manages all composting activities in garden and around ranch.
  • Coordinates regularly with program staff to integrate teaching programs with garden activities; supervises teaching interns’ work in the garden and leads teaching programs and garden workshops.
  • Maintains garden paths, bridges and hiking trails throughout ranch.
  • Provides regular input to Director of Ranch Operations about needed repairs and ideas for improving ranch garden.
  • Maintains garden tool shed and tools in clean and safe working order.
  • Trains and orients all interns and staff on proper use of garden tools.
  • Orders all tools and supplies needed for garden and plant restoration work.
  • Prepares garden for special programs and events.
  • Responsible for coordination with Golden Gate National Recreation Area on restoration of native plant habitats.  This may include invasive plant removal, seed collection and plant propagation and/or planting of plants grown by offsite native plant nurseries.

Other Responsibilities

  • Coordinates with Ranch Management Team to seek help with garden work as needed and to assist with any and all chores needed to maintain the garden and animals.
  • Coordinates and leads volunteer groups that come to work at Slide Ranch; develops regular volunteer program for garden and plant restoration.
  • As member of residential community at Slide Ranch, participates in residential chores, meetings, cleanup and cooking and helps coordinate residential training as needed.

Qualifications

  • Commitment to sustainable farming and environmental education.
  • Proven experience with cultivating and maintaining food and flower gardens using organic/sustainable methods.
  • Experience gardening without use of motorized implements.
  • Experience with native plant restoration and trail maintenance a plus.
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs. and perform strenuous outdoor tasks related to garden maintenance.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Self starter with excellent organizational, time management and computer skills a plus.
  • Teaching experience required.
  • Ability to work closely and collaborate with a wide variety of people. 
  • Clean DMV record and valid driver’s license required. 
  • High school diploma and 3 – 5 years horticultural experience.

Compensation: 

This is a full time, residential position.  Room and board, health and dental benefits, paid holidays and vacation, with additional salary of $17k to $19k per year depending on experience.  Food is mainly organic and housing is on-site and rustic, in a spectacular location on the coast just north of San Francisco.

To Apply:

No phone calls please.  Please mail, email, or fax your resume, cover letter and three references.  This position is open until filled.  We expect to fill it quickly.  In the cover letter, indicate why this position is of interest to you; describe any relevant experience in training, supervising, teaching, environmental education, agriculture, and previous experience living in a community.

Slide Ranch, Attn: Operations, 2025 Shoreline Highway, Muir Beach CA 94965, email admin@slideranch.org, fax 415-381-5762.  For more information about our programs, please visit www.slideranch.org

*Please note that Slide Ranch emphasizes diversity in both our programs and our staff.  People of all colors, cultures, class, genders, and sexual orientations are encouraged to apply. 

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