Garden Manager (Residential)

Website Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) is an 80-acre demonstration, education, advocacy center and organic farm. OAEC’s work focuses on cultivating ecological literacy and building the capacity of civic and social movement leaders and organizations to guide their communities toward an ecologically regenerative, economically viable, and socially just future. We offer a diverse yet interrelated set of projects and partnerships to achieve our mission including modeling resiliency, training change makers, building the capacity of communities and organizations, and policy advocacy.

We are seeking a residential Garden Manager for our 45-year-old 1.5 acres of highly diverse hand-tilled organic garden. The OAEC Garden has served as an inspiration to gardners, farmers, and landscapers. It is a living laboratory demonstrating beauty, biodiversity, and production providing delicious fruit, vegetables, herbs, and flowers for thousands of meals prepared onsite each year.

Job Summary

The Garden Manager manages and implements all aspects of our demonstration, food production and educational garden which grows food primarily for OAEC’s programs and rentals and has a close relationship with our Kitchen Manager, staff and community. The position is 36 hours, four or five days/week, and can start as early as mid-January 2020.

Primary Responsibilities of the Job

Managing and coordinating all aspects of work in the garden, excluding perennial borders and seed saving work, with an ongoing attention to the beauty inherent in the work itself and of the garden as a whole.
Managing and coordinating garden food production throughout the year to provide seasonal harvest for OAEC guests, staff and community residents.
Coordinating and supervising two annual Garden Interns for 25 hours/week, each for nine to eleven months of the year.
Co-managing weekly Wednesday Volunteer Days.
Working as a liaison between the Garden and the Kitchen and with the Community.
Managing small Nursery and Greenhouse for garden production needs.
Managing the annual Garden Budget.
Participating in garden education for OAEC programs and rentals whenappropriate.
Assisting and working in our retail Nursery.
Participating in OAEC staff meetings and serving on appropriate committees.

Required Qualifications for the Job (Please do not apply if you do not meet the following requirements)

At least three years of experience as a manager of food production of a wide diversity of food, flower and herb crops on a large garden or farm
Commitment to organic sustainable farming and gardening philosophies with comprehensive knowledge of biointensive gardening methods
Familiarity with adhering to CCOF (or equivalent) rules and regulations
Experience in managing and educating Interns and coordinating volunteers
Experience and ability in teaching diverse audiences at varying skill levels
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Passion for plants, gardening and growing food and commitment to healthy eating
Confidence to be self-motivated and self-managing and have the ability to work both independently and collectively
Ability to lift 50+ pounds and work outside year around in the Occidental weather
Good CA DMV record
Excellent record-keeping skills and computer literacy, proficient in Word, Excel, and Google Docs
Have enthusiasm for OAEC’s broader mission and programs that work to create a just and sustainable communities


As a non-profit, salaries at OAEC are modest. Salaries for all staff are set by the OAEC staff compensation committee, elected by the staff. OAEC does not provide health insurance. OAEC does offer generous paid time off (total of 5 weeks and 3 days per year of both vacation and floating holidays, prorated for partial FTE). Staff can participate in OAEC courses free of charge, use the OAEC facilities (pond, hot tub, sauna, etc.), and harvest produce from our gardens.

Residential Arrangement – Living at OAEC

While we would prefer that the Garden Manager live onsite, we are also open to considering local applicants who want to live offsite.

If onsite, the Garden Manager will live in a very nice, well-insulated 24’ yurt, with full kitchen, shower, toilet, wood stove, internet, nice windows, electricity, etc, in a private area near other homes and buildings. Rent is $1,000/month, or $1,300/month if a couple. Residents share our site and common facilities, including gardens and orchards, wildlands and swimming pond, sauna and hot tub, well-stocked workshop, kitchen, and other aspects of community life.

All residents at OAEC/Sowing Circle pay about $250/month into, and participate in, our Food System, and thus are welcome to partake of any prepared meals by OAEC or the resident community, and use or bring home food from our collective kitchen. All residents cook community dinner (for 10-20 people) once or twice a month, and are otherwise able to enjoy community or OAEC cooked meals without cooking or dishes responsibilities.

To Apply

OAEC is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based on an individual’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or on any other basis prohibited by law.

We are accepting applications until 5:00 pm, Thursday, December 12, 2019. Early application is encouraged! Start date for the job will be mid to late January, 2020.

Qualified applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and list of current references to OAEC’s Mother Garden Biodiversity Program Director Doug Gosling
at with the subject: “Garden Manager Position.” Resumes without cover letters will not be considered. Please DO NOT contact OAEC directly with questions or inquiries, but refer to this Job Announcement and to the OAEC web site for information ( Thank you!

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