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.

Backyard Growers hosts online Lunch & Learn, “Frontyard Growers: Algonquian Farmers of Cape Ann”

Join Backyard Growers and local historian & anthropologist Mary Ellen Lepionka on April 8 at 12 pm for a FREE online Lunch & Learn, Frontyard Growers: Algonquian Farmers of Cape Ann, comparing the practices of indigenous and colonial farmers on Cape Ann during the 17th century. Click here to register for this event and discover:

Who were the indigenous and colonial farmers of Cape Ann? How and where did they plant? What did they grow? How did land pass from Algonquians to colonists on Cape Ann? What role did enslaved people and freed slaves play in the Cape Ann farm economy? Was Dogtown farmed? What can we learn from indigenous growers about conserving land, managing trees, using our soil and water, cultivating crops for food and medicine, preserving harvests, and saving seed? What inspiration can we draw from Algonquian garden designs and community feasting?

Mary Ellen Lepionka of Gloucester is a retired anthropologist, college instructor, author, and textbook editor who embarked on a study of the archaeology and early history of Cape Ann and Essex County from the last Ice Age to around 1700. Her articles on indigenous history here appear in the Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society and at www.capeannhistory.orgwww.enduringgloucester.com, and www.historicipswich.org. When not researching and writing, Mary Ellen enjoys gardening and is continually inspired by her amazing daughter Lara (Backyard Growers’ founder & executive director) and Backyard Growers.

Thanks to Backyard Growers’ Cultivator & Harvester Sponsors for making this programming possible:

Backyard Growers’ Spring Gardening Workshops & Events Schedule

Spring is here! Backyard Growers is thrilled to welcome the community to a series of Spring Gardening Workshops and Events with the mission of helping more people successfully grow their own fresh, healthy produce this year.

Click here to explore our upcoming events.

Plus, support Backyard Growers’ programs that increase fresh food access among low- to moderate-income families, seniors, and kids through vegetable gardens in backyards, public parks, housing developments, schools, and more. Join us for our virtual fundraiser, a Cook-along with Ken Duckworth on March. 25.

Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.

Gardening workshop: How to start seeds indoors

Join Backyard Growers for the virtual garden workshop “How to Start Seeds Indoors” and learn how to start your own seeds this spring. In this workshop, you’ll learn the benefits of starting seeds indoors, what you need to be successful at starting your own indoor nursery, and how to care for your seedlings from seed to garden. The event includes an interactive Q&A and demonstration.

When: March 11, 7 – 8pm

Where: Zoom

Tickets: FREE for Backyard Garden Program participants. $15 general admission. Ticket sales support Backyard Growers’ school, community, and backyard garden programs. Click here to reserve your spot or purchase a ticket.

Seaside Garden Club’s October Meeting

Susan MahlerSeaside Garden Club welcomes Suzanne Mahler as its guest speaker at their October 9 meeting, “Dividing and Transplanting Perennials.”  Nearly all perennials benefit from periodic division. Learn the indicators for division, which plants require regular separation, and the best times to split and transplant. Tools of the trade and methods of division will be covered during a live demonstration of multiple plant species with different types of root systems. Divisions will be donated to the club for raffle at the end of the presentation.

Suzanne Mahler has been sharing her passion for gardening for more than 30 years, having spoken at the Boston, Rhode Island, and New England Spring Flower Shows, Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Environmental Protection Agency, and garden clubs and organizations throughout the New England area.

She is past President of the New England Daylily Society, an Overseer for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, works part-time at a local garden center, and writes a weekly gardening column “Green Thumbs Up” for Gatehouse Media’s South Shore Mariner Newspapers.

Suzanne has been developing her acre property for 40 years and is an avid plant collector with extensive collections of woody plants and perennials including more than 300 daylily cultivars and 250 varieties of hostas.

The Seaside Garden Club is a group of fun, active, civic-minded and hands-on gardeners. We welcome all types of gardeners from beginners to experienced… there is always something to learn and share. We invite you to become a member of our club and enjoy our monthly programs which feature interesting guest speakers and creative workshops.

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, September through June, at the Manchester Community Center, located at 40 Harbor Point. Social time begins with light refreshments at 7:00 pm, followed by the program at 7:30 pm. Program dates are subject to change – see our current schedule: https://seasidegardenclub.wordpress.com/2018-2019-schedule/.