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Head Gardener at Minam River Lodge - 18572

Job Title: 
Head Gardener
Minam River Lodge
Wallowa Whitman National Forest
97846 Joseph , OR ,
Job Type: 
Employment Type: 
Job Description: 

The Lodge Gardener grows a productive wilderness garden to support the Farm to Table cuisine of our remote wilderness lodge, (only accessible by small plane or hiking trail!). The greenhouse and garden serve as a focal point of the property and receive frequent visitors. The primary production focus is on greens, herbs, and flowers, however, the gardener has a lot of room to grow other crops such as radishes, peas, peppers, and whatever they or the chef are interested in. The space consists of a fenced area of about eight 45-ft rows and a greenhouse about half the size.

In its 6th year of full operation, the garden has been loved and cared for by only a few different hands and is in great shape. Support materials such as a planting guide, seed order guide, and past years' synopses will be provided upon hire. There is also an assistant gardener who is regularly scheduled to assist with harvesting, maintenance, and floral needs for the whole season.

This position is part of the kitchen team, led by the Head Chef, and reports to the General Manager. The pay is $850 per week, plus a full tip share ($200-$800 extra per week). All staff work 6-day workweeks. 5 days of PTO are provided to staff who work an entire season. The gardener position starts in early April and ends in late October.

On-site staff housing and food are provided by the Lodge. Staff enjoy property amenities during off times, such as hiking the endless trails in the surrounding Eagle Cap Wilderness, enjoying river time in or next to the designated Wild and Scenic Minam River, or completing a few rounds of the hot sauna<-->cold river loop.

We work hard and take pride in the level of service and special experience we can provide our guests. Time and again, the guests report a fantastic staff as one of their favorite parts of their stay. We work as a true team and it shows. Living for months in the wilderness is not for everyone, but for those who "get it," a season spent living and working at the Minam Lodge can be life-changing.

Duties & Responsibilities: 

-Plans, plants and grows a wilderness garden that provides a plentiful supply of food for the kitchen and serves as a beautiful focal point of the property;
-Works and communicates closely with Head Chef to achieve primary food production goals of providing kitchen greens, herbs, microgreens, and garnishes to supplement daily guest meals;
-Able to give direction and guidance to other staff who assist with maintenance and harvesting;
-Harvests produce regularly and communicates effectively with kitchen staff about available produce;
-Rinses, labels/dates, and stores harvested produce in walk-in in an organized manner;
-Keeps track of quantities harvested to the best ability as possible;
-Leads the Lodge composting program;
-Grows and harvests flowers and other materials for guest room and Lodge bouquets, works with head housekeeper to meet demand;
-Leads restoration of native vegetation in areas around the Lodge and cabins;
-Maintains equipment and facilities in excellent condition in garden area;
-Communicates effectively with the General Manager about supply needs;
-Is enthusiastic, friendly and helpful always to team and Lodge guests;
-Consistently offers professional, friendly, and engaging service;

Education & Experience: 

-High school degree or equivalent;
-Solid understanding of gardening, harvesting and landscape techniques, specifically in the conditions unique to the microclimate of the Lodge, located in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Eastern Oregon;
-Able to garden on a large scale, providing quality produce to supplement daily meals for up to 36 guests;
-Team player who takes initiative and works well as a member of a close-knit staff;
-Passion for plants and great food;
-Ability to live and work for an intense six-month season in a remote setting;
-Ability to lift up to 50 lbs, climb stairs, hike frequently on uneven terrain carrying heavy loads or with a cart.

Application Instructions: 

Please send a letter of interest, resume, and three references to Margaret Smith at Also, feel free to email questions about the position before applying.

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