Backyard Growers hiring full-time Development Director

Backyard Growers is now hiring a Development Director to lead all of Backyard Growers‘ fundraising efforts. This role is ressential to our small but mighty team, helping us fulfill our mission and maximize our impact on our community. This team member plans and organizes fundraising activities, manages the development budget, and assembles team members to raise funds.

Help Backyard Growers pursue the expansion of Burnham’s Field Community Garden

It’s that time of year again! Normally, we would be gearing up to host our annual fundraiser, the Great Gloucester GrowDown.

First, the Bad News. We’ve made the tough decision to cancel this year’s GrowDown. We’ve been watching the spread of the Delta variant closely, and feel that this is the best choice for us and our community.

Now, the Good News. While we are not hosting a traditional in-person event, and we know people are pretty maxed out on all things virtual, you can still support our work and help us pursue the expansion of Burnham’s Field Community Garden with a $100 (un)GrowDown ticket purchase that gives you access to:

🌿 A chance to win an installed double-high 8’x4’ raised garden bed filled with Black Earth Compost OR 3 GrowBags, plus a planting plan by Backyard Growers’ founder and executive director, Lara Lepionka. We’re giving away 2!

🥕 The Raffle Fine Print: Garden bed/bags to be installed and delivered within 30 minute drive of Gloucester. Winners can transfer their garden prize to a local friend or family member.

🍅 An exclusive veggie-loving Spotify playlist curated specially for us by our great friend and Gang of Four’s Hugo Burnham

🥬 A video premiere honoring a year of resiliency to watch whenever and wherever you’d like

Join us for our Virtual ‘Auction’! We’re raising critical funds to help us pursue the expansion of Burnham’s Field Community Garden in downtown Gloucester in order to meet our community’s growing needs for fresh, healthy produce. And, we’re planning on additional programming and services to meet the increased demand. Thank you for sticking with us and for supporting our work and community as we continue to weather this storm together.

Now Hiring: Accounting & Payroll Specialist, Xero & Gusto

Backyard Growers is seeking a part-time Accounting & Payroll Specialist to manage the organization’s bookkeeping and payroll using BYG’s existing software platforms, Xero and Gusto. Must be proficient in accounting for not-for-profit organizations. Apply by 9/30 for an 11/1 start.

About Backyard Growers:

Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots community-based organization in Gloucester, MA. We are a small but mighty group of committed people who love what we do, and have fun while we work hard. Our mission is to cultivate healthy, connected, environmentally sustainable communities and to fight for food justice by teaching people how to grow their own food. We provide resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools, and offer learning opportunities in growing and preparing fresh produce. 

BYG serves low- to moderate-income residents and public school children in Gloucester, and shares our scalable and reproducible school program models regionally through a consulting practice to increase our impact. Our goals are to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, help support attitude and behavior changes in making healthy food choices, reactivate neglected urban spaces through food production, and to build community and self-sufficiency within diverse populations.  We believe that by growing some of our own food, we are empowered, connected, and strengthened. 

Backyard Growers’ May Seedling Sale now OPEN

It’s TOMATO TIME! 🍅 The Backyard Growers May Seedling Sale is now live! Click here to shop for a cause and purchase wamth-loving vegetable seedlings grown by our friends at Cedar Rock Gardens. We also carry Black Earth Compost, Neptune’s Harvest, our own custom GrowBags, and more.

Proceeds support Backyard Growers’ work connecting our community with the resources to grow their own food. All orders available for curbside pickup only on Friday, May 21, 10am – 1pm at 44 Commercial Street, Gloucester 🌿

Redefining Heritage: Garbage to Gardens

Hosted by Essex National Heritage Area, join three Essex County agriculture experts to learn about the history of sustainable growing and the future of healthy soils.

Essex County has a long history of agriculture, with some of the oldest working farms in the country still operating today. There is also a deep-rooted tradition of individual and community gardening that has seen a rise in interest during the social isolation of the current pandemic. Creating healthy soils and sustainable landscapes not only for large, established farms, but for backyard gardeners is essential, and something that the speakers in this session will focus on. Join Jennifer Core, Director of Agriculture for The Trustees, Andrew Brousseau, Partner and Compost Manager for Black Earth Compost, and Lara Lepionka, Founder and Executive Director of Backyard Growers, to learn the history of farming in Essex County, the science of soil, and how those interested in starting their own sustainable garden can begin.

Following the presentation, there will be a moderated Q&A. Live captions are available during this presentation.

Click here to register.

Backyard Growers online workshop: How to Plan Your Vegetable Garden

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
6-7:30pm
📍 Zoom

Join Backyard Growers for this online training to learn how to plan your own vegetable garden according to what you like to eat, the space you have for growing, and the amount of time you have to spend tending to it. In this training, attendees will be introduced to the square-foot gardening method to help them make the most of their garden this year. It includes an interactive Q&A, so come with any and all veggie-growing questions! This is the final occurence of this training for the 2021 growing season.

🙌🏽 FREE to Backyard Growers Program participants (e.g., Community Garden Program and 2020 & 2021 Backyard Garden Program)

👉🏾 $15 General Admission.

Click here to purchase tickets or reserve your spot.

Thank you to our Cultivator and Harvester Sponsors for making this event possible:

Shop for a cause and buy your cold-tolerant veggie seedlings from Backyard Growers

The Backyard Growers Online Shop is now OPEN for our April Seedling Sale, and chock full of cold-tolerant veggie seedlings like kale, cabbage, broccoli, swiss chard, and more, organically-grown by our friends at Cedar Rock Gardens.

The Sale also includes other supplies to get your garden going this spring, like Black Earth Compost, Neptune’s Harvest fertilizer, and a range of vegetable and flower seeds. Start (or expand!) your own container veggie garden with our felt custom GrowBags.

Proceeds support nonprofit organization Backyard Growers‘ programs in the community connecting families, seniors, and kids with the resources to grow their own food.

The fine print: The 2021 April Seedling Sale is online only for curbside pickup only next Saturday, April 24. The shop will close at noon on Thursday, April 22, to allow time for us to prep your orders.

Happy Growing!

Backyard Growers hiring full-time Garden Educator

About Us:  Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots community-based organization in Gloucester, MA. We are a small but mighty group of committed people who love what we do, and have fun while we work hard. Our mission is to cultivate healthy, connected, environmentally sustainable communities and to fight for food justice by teaching people how to grow their own food. BYG provides resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools, and offers learning opportunities in growing and preparing fresh produce. 

We serve public school children and low- to moderate-income residents in Gloucester, and share our program models regionally through a consulting practice to increase our impact. Our goals are to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, mobilize attitude and behavior changes around healthy food choices, reactivate neglected urban spaces through food production, and build community and support self-sufficiency within diverse populations. We believe that by growing our own food, we are empowered, connected, and strengthened. 

About the Garden Educator:  This position is our lead school program staff person responsible for the implementation and execution of all Backyard Growers’ School Program activities. The Garden Educator also supports community garden programs with a focus on educational programs, community outreach, volunteer and service population engagement, and physical garden site maintenance. This position reports to the Program Director and works closely with the Program Coordinator.

This role is our lead school garden educator and implements all of Backyard Growers’ school program deliverables. At the elementary school level, this includes Salad Days & Fall Harvest Days—a program that involves growing two crops each year with K-5 students and hosting district-wide harvest celebrations. Job duties also include teaching in-class food systems lessons, leading monthly cafeteria taste tests, and developing special events and initiatives to promote food system literacy and healthy school food culture.

The Garden Educator will deliver our middle school programs at O’Maley Middle School, including our 6th grade Popcorn, 7th grade Wheat, and 8th grade Soil Health programs. Job duties include collaborating with teachers to integrate the school garden into their lessons, designing and leading lessons, and strengthening connections with other academic departments to make the program truly interdisciplinary. This role will be responsible for our pre-school Stone Soup program at Gloucester’s public pre-school and Pathways for Children. This position will also work with Gloucester High School students, staff and administrators on the integration of the high school permaculture garden into student life.

Click here to learn more.

Apply Today! We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Apply by 4/25/21; Tentative start date is Tuesday, June 1, but there is flexibility to start later in June
  • Send resume, cover letter, and contact information for two references to info@backyardgrowers.org (include “Garden Educator” in the subject line)
  • We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates, and contact only those individuals selected to continue in the search process — No calls please.