Lead Gardener

Location: North Bellmore, NY (Nassau County)

Term: Part-time

Salary/Pay: $20,000/year

Deadline to Apply: 04/30/2021

How to Apply: [email protected]

The Garden at St. Francis Episcopal Church

Garden at St. Francis Vision

The Garden at St. Francis is a ministry of St. Francis Episcopal Church and a community outreach program in North Bellmore, NY. The Garden was established in 2011 and has been an exciting and rewarding journey as we have been able to grow and expand our knowledge and help fulfill our community’s needs. Our mission is to provide healthy, nutritious, and fresh food to our community and beyond. We seek to raise awareness of the real issues of hunger right here in our midst. The Garden at St. Francis seeks to provide sacred space where individuals can heal, grow, and nurture their relationship with God and nature. Through organic gardening practices, we heal the soil and nurture the earth.  In return, we are rewarded with an abundance of pure and nutrient rich food.  The Garden at St. Francis freely shares the blessings of our knowledge and abundance by donating a significant amount of its produce to local feeding ministries. 

There is also a seasonal farm stand where produce is sold on Sundays from 11 am until 2 pm during the growing season. Through our farm stand in partnership with the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) we provide fresh produce to veterans, senior citizens, and WIC recipients free of charge. Additionally, the Garden provides educational programs for various community groups and has partnered with schools, churches, and other organizations to start their own gardens.

The Lead Gardener does the majority of the actual physical labor associated with cultivating the garden, in partnership with a team of volunteers. The Garden Administrator works in collaboration with the Priest in Charge, Lead Gardener, and Development Coordinator in consultation with the vestry for support in garden related programming and volunteering programing.  

Job Description

Lead Gardener Roles & Responsibilities

Attend monthly Garden Committee meetings to plan and report on activities.
Provide an update to the Garden Administrator to be included in the Monthly Garden Update to the vestry.
By mid-March, submit a budget identifying all anticipated expenses for the upcoming season.  Work ongoingly with the Garden Administrator to identify expenses (both tangible and hidden) so that an accurate profit and loss statement can be developed.
Attend regular staff meetings and/or one-on-one supervisory meetings with the Priest in Charge.
Apply to & ensure compliance with the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP).

Create a strategic plan and calendar for each garden season, including seeding, sprouting, planting, transplanting, and crop rotation.
Coordinate the sprouting, planting, and harvesting of garden produce.
On a weekly basis during the growing season, meet with the Garden Administrator to identify and prioritize work for the coming week.
This should typically be done by 9:00 AM on Monday mornings so that volunteers can be scheduled accordingly.
Schedule Garden Clean-Up days at the beginning and end of the growing season, and at other times, as needed (such as after a storm).
Work with the Garden Administrator to plan and oversee volunteer activities for the clean-up.
Collaborate with the Priest-in-Charge to contribute to the long-range planning for the garden and produce distribution.

Order seeds and seedlings for the upcoming growing season. Choose organic options, whenever possible.
Purchase items as needed (or work with the Garden Administrator to purchase), leveraging tax-exempt status and eligible discounts (e.g. Lowe’s) whenever possible.
Submit expense receipts within 7 days to the Office Manager.
Vestry approval is required for any singular purchase over $500 and/or anytime $500 is spent in one calendar month 
Oversee the care and proper use of all garden equipment.

Identify and plan garden maintenance projects, keeping the Garden Administrator informed of plans and expenses, including in-season and off-season projects.
Implement routines for composting, mulching, etc.
Supervise, mentor, and direct Garden volunteers, in collaboration with the Garden Administrator.
Select an (un)paid experienced assistant/intern to help in implementing Garden duties. 
Assist with setup and breakdown of the Sunday Farm Stand and be present during operating hours to harvest additional produce, meet visitors, and show the garden. It is expected that you remain in the Parish Hall/Garden should the Garden Administrator need your assistance. If you are unable to attend on a particular Sunday, please notify the Priest in Charge and the Garden Administrator.
Attend to or oversee the routine maintenance of the Garden, including weeding, watering, thinning, etc.
Lead Gardener will assist with feeding and caring for the chickens and maintaining a clean coop. 

Partnership Development
Work with the Garden Administrator to coordinate programs with established educational groups and develop new programs when possible.
Maintain relationships with existing vendors (beekeeper, vermiculture supervisor, irrigation system contractor, etc.) and identify new vendors, if needed.
Review agreements with vendors and contractors to ensure that they are in the best interest of the church and Garden.
During garden season, attend church services 1x a month in order to provide an update to the parish on the garden ministry, as well as attend services on the Feast of St. Francis celebration.