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Senior Kitchen Gardener

Employer
Chiswick House & Gardens Trust
Location
Chiswick, London
Salary
£31,400
Closing date
19 Jul 2024

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Contract Type
Permanent
Hours
Full Time
Function
Gardening Jobs
Sector
Charity & Voluntary
Seniority
Manager

Chiswick House & Gardens Trust Senior Kitchen Gardener 

Responsible to: Head of gardens 

Responsible for: Kitchen gardener, flower gardener, kitchen garden trainee, kitchen garden volunteers 

Contract: Permanent, 35 hours per week, FTE including weekend working as part of a team rota, some evening working 

Key relationships: Chiswick House and Gardens Trust (CHGT) staff and volunteers, community groups, produce distribution partners, visitor experience, retail and events team. 

Salary: £31400 

The Kitchen Garden at Chiswick House is a thriving, vibrant historic walled garden, framed by walled and trained fruit, providing produce and flowers for sale and donation. The Trust is investing in a new role to expand the Kitchen Garden’s reach in the local community, increase volume of production and ensure we are best placed for a sustainable future.

Role Summary 

As senior kitchen gardener, you will lead the Kitchen Garden productive team, making the Kitchen Garden as beautiful and bountiful as possible. You will exemplify the inclusive and encouraging culture of the gardens’ team, collaborate and lead by example with staff, volunteers and community partners. You will be creative, develop ideas, manage work lists and lead projects. Working closely with the head of gardens and community outreach manager, you will lead the kitchen garden with clear priorities to function efficiently and safely, with ambition and high presentation standards. As part of the managers’ team, you will play your part in the Fruit Garden project, developing a community orchard from a currently derelict 17th century walled garden. 

The role 

Lead and manage the day-to-day work in the kitchen garden working with staff, volunteers and community groups to care for and improve our kitchen garden, increasing diversity and volume of produce, improving visitor experience and providing a safe, enjoyable space for everybody. 

Work with external partners and CHGT staff to donate and sell produce and flowers, building working relationships with the aim of increasing income to part-fund the kitchen garden team. 

Implement kitchen gardens projects and tasks from planting to harvest to appropriate standards with momentum, positive energy and in a culture of encouragement, mutual learning and inclusive recognition. 

Manage the fulfilment of all health, safety and compliance in the kitchen garden, working closely with team members. 

Work with the CHGT volunteer co-ordinator to help to recruit and induct new volunteers. 

Lead the kitchen garden team to manage and support all volunteers to enable the growing, harvest and preparation of produce and flowers for sale and donation. 

Work to support the delivery of our community programme, working closely with the community and participation team, delivering the weekly ‘Gardening Together’ activity, initiating ideas for co-developed projects, supporting external practitioners, enabling activities to take place, demonstrating gardening tasks and techniques and leading tasks/groups. 

Under the guidance of the head of gardens, explore opportunities to further engage our visitors with our work, telling relevant and resonant stories, increase income from produce and flower sales and promote the gardens.  Co-develop the fruit garden project, an innovative approach to rejuvenating a currently derelict walled garden into a thriving orchard informed by climate science and influenced by history with community impact at its core. 

Work as one of the CHGT staff team to develop, improve, promote and conserve our property playing an active role on the CHGT management team. 

Key skills and attributes in this role  

Sound technical kitchen, ornamental and under glass gardening skills and knowledge, with enthusiasm to continue to learn and enable others. 

Proven all-round horticultural training and experience to at least RHS Level 2 or equivalent. 

Creativity, ideas and good aesthetic judgement. An interest in design. 

Interest in and experience of working with community groups and charities, with little gardening confidence, showing an understanding and sensitivity to a diversity of needs and interests. 

Ability and enthusiasm to lead and manage a growing team, with humour and discretion, supported by the head of gardens. 

Good coaching and demonstrating – the ability to convey information and knowledge with empathy, encouragement, and energy. 

Good organisational, project management and communication skills, ability to prioritise, think clearly and follow a framework in making day to day decisions with energy and focus. 

Up to date record keeping and budget awareness, proficient use of Microsoft 365. 

Work well with colleagues from all areas, understanding others’ points of view, seeking solutions and supporting improvements.  

Work collaboratively with kindness, fairness and consistency. 

Conviction in the social impact and well-being benefits of high-quality outdoor spaces and the professional gardener’s role to share knowledge, skills, plants, and gardens inclusively. 

Other information to note  

You may be asked to carry out other duties that arise from time to time and which may be reasonably accommodate within the post’s grading level. 

You will be required to act in the accordance with the provisions of the health and safety and work act 1974. You will work regular weekend days as part of the garden team’s weekend working rota and there will be some evening working associated with providing diverse volunteering opportunities (time off in lieu given). 

You will act as a spokesperson, guide and advocate for CHGT, and the kitchen garden as required onsite and as part of CHGT’s work. 

How to apply

To apply, please email info@chgt.org.uk with the subject SKG 24. Please provide your CV (no more than 2 pages) and a cover letter (no more than 1 page) outlining the reasons for your interest in the post and why you believe yourself to be suitable. 

Deadline: Closing date for applications is Friday 19 July 2024 at midday.  

Interviews will take place at Chiswick House on Tuesday 23 July.

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse work experiences and backgrounds. Whether you’re new to working in a historic garden, returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest and what you hope to bring to this role. If you would like to speak to somebody about the role in more detail, prior to your application, please email info@chgt.org.uk with your request and the subject SKG 24. 

 

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