Job opportunity for a Head Gardener at the Irish Seed Savers Association

Job opportunity for a Head Gardener at the Irish Seed Savers Association

The Irish Seed Savers Association in Co. Clare are looking to recruit a Head Gardener. Please see below for more information and contact them directly to apply for the role.

Head Gardener Vacancy


Title:                                      Head Gardener


Reporting to:                      General Manager (Jan-Jun 2018) / Seed Co-ordinator (July-Dec 2018)


Contract Term:                  12 months, with potential for extension


Hours:                                   4 Days per week


Pay:                                       €23,000 per annum pro rata.


  • Role Summary

A reliable, skilled Head Gardener required for renowned conservation organisation. Working with a team of three to maintain the heritage seed gardens, including 3 individual growing areas, 6 polytunnels, a glasshouse and seed bank.

2.0 Main Responsibilities

  • Organic seed-to-seed crop production; sowing, planting, transplanting, tending, harvesting and overall soil management.
  • Supervision of the garden team, volunteers and work experience students;
  • Planning, organising and prioritising garden work in collaboration with seed bank coordinator, including observations, record keeping and project work.
  • Maintenance of; beds, polytunnels, hedges, paths, sheds.
  • Operating and maintaining garden machinery & tools.
  • Maintaining IOA standards and preparing report.
  • Observance and implementation of Health & Safety requirements (PPE, safe work methods).
  • Collaborate with other Departments within ISSA to ensure all aspects of organisational needs are attended to.
  • Collaborate with Nursery and Orchard team, Education team and Facilities and Maintenance worker for effective planning and management of 20 acre heritage gardens, orchards and school gardens
  • Participate at ISSA On-site events, talks and tours (4 per year)
  • Participate at offsite events, representing Irish Seed Savers Association (2-4 per year)

Tasks maybe assigned which are outside of the above expectations, as per the requirements of your supervisor, the Seed-to-Seed Department, and the Organisation.

3.0 Qualities of a Head Gardener


  • An enthusiastic, highly skilled gardener with strong experience in organic horticulture
  • Horticulture qualification
  • Experience with seed-to-seed production preferable
  • Experienced in long-term soil fertility management
  • Ability to use own initiative and efficiently organise/manage a team
  • Multitasking, attention to detail, focused
  • Strong physical strength/capabilities
  • Experience with farming machinery and tools
  • Carpentry and DIY skills 

Applications to be made to before 5pm 11th December 2017.

About Us

Irish Seed Savers Association CLG purpose is to carry on the preservation and saving of open pollinated heritage vegetable seed and fruit tree varieties; to cultivate and research food varieties of plant material; to provide training programmes on horticulture and bio-diversity; to produce seed and fruit trees and make them available to the Irish and international community; To save as wide a spectrum [as possible] of food plant genetic resources for future generations. We are a registered charity since 1997.

Our aim is to:

– Protect, conserve, research, and utilize seed, grain, vegetable and fruit varieties

– To increase awareness, provide education, and promote the benefits of:

– agricultural genetic resources

– biodiversity

– open pollinated seed saving

– Be a working example of successful agricultural conservation by growing and distributing Irish grown seed and fruit varieties.

We are based just outside Scarriff, in East Clare. For more information on our work please visit our website