Horticulturist: Executive Gardener

Wolwedans – as part of our 4C sustainability strategy – prides itself on its productive organic vegetable gardens, which improve guests’ culinary experience by offering quality home-grown vegetables (from farm to plate) and reduce our carbon footprint considerably. We serve our clients and staff the freshest and organic herbs and salad greens directly from our desert garden.

Growing your own vegetables makes so much sense in every respect, works incredibly well in the desert and adds so much quality of life to Wolwedans. We are looking to expand our gardens as well as crop variety in the years to come, both at Wolwedans and in Windhoek (NICE and at our training centers) and just as importantly, turn our gardens into commercial, self-sustaining enterprises (under the umbrella of the Wolwedans Foundation).

We hence need an experienced horticulturist with “green fingers”, who can manage all productive gardens and a growing team of 6-10 gardeners. This would include our existing (NICE) and future gardens in and around Windhoek. This is a line management position.

Key Performance Areas

  • Supervision of gardens and gardeners in 3-5 different locations
  • Planning of sowing/planting cycles (including companion planting) and demand driven harvest plans
  • Plan and maintain continuous supply of greatest variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit (pending season) for our lodges and restaurants
  • Supervising composting and soil preparation in different locations
  • Planning and managing earth worm farms in different locations
  • Irrigation plumbing including programming of irrigation computers
  • Maintaining NOA (Namibia Organics Association) certification for certified gardens (Wolwedans and NICE)
  • Planning larger scale production of herbs which can be processed into pestos (in cooperation with kitchens)
  • Find markets for excess production – avoid overproduction
  • Planning and production management of a Wolwedans based nursery producing indigenous plants (trees, shrubs and succulents) for re-selling in Windhoek and to other lodges
  • Rearing of decorative plants (i.e. Hoodia, succulents and Aloes) for Wolwedans lodges and markets to be explored 
  • Theory and practical training (as part of a new qualification) to gardeners and trainees according to NTA unit standards
  • Supervise and coordinate volunteers and trainees (both local and international) from colleges, technikons and universities.

Experience / Knowledge & Skills

  • You need to be 25+ and not older than 70 years of age
  • 5-10 years of practical experience in gardening is a must (preferably organic or Permaculture) 
  • In good physical health (not essential as there are juniors who can do the hard physical work)
  • What counts is experience (mind) and a thorough understanding of how these things work best
  • Fluency in English (speak, read and write)
  • Willing to study further and broaden your knowledge base (through internet research, books, courses and self-teaching)
  • Willingness to pass on and share knowledge to gardeners and trainees according to NOA standards and NTA unit standards
  • Prepared to offer in-house and external training courses
  • Professional work ethic 
  • Integrity and a good team player leading by example
  • A neat appearance, sober habits and immaculate track record (esp. with regards to alcohol and drug abuse)
  • “Pledge” to abide by the Wolwedans Compass and the companies’ values

Qualifications

  • A Level 5 (or higher) qualification would be very advantageous esp. with regards to vocational training facilitation (but not a key requirement)
  • What counts is a solid practical track record and a thorough (intellectual and practical) understanding of organic farming and/or Permaculture 

This position is available as of February 2018. 

The position requires flexibility, as you will be travelling between Windhoek and Wolwedans on a monthly basis, setting up temporary residence at Wolwedans (in the heart of NamibRand Nature Reserve) from 2 – 6 weeks, pending season. Hence, applicants need to enjoy living out in nature and ideally have a ‘home’ base in Windhoek.

Contactable references must be supplied and a probation period is applicable.  Please do not apply for this position if you don’t have the required experience but rather apply for a position as a gardener.

We offer employment with purpose as well as a competitive package (including medical and pension), a wonderful working environment, a healthy lifestyle, free board and lodging at Wolwedans, training support and the commitment to look after you to the best of our abilities, and help you grow. That is, if you commit to give your best to us too!

Interested applicants who meet the above criteria may email their CV, together with a covering letter and a recent head & shoulders photograph to: hr@wolwedans.com

Only short listed candidates will be contacted.