Grower, PCC Austin Farm - Windy City Harvest, Chicago, IL

Requisition Number: 
Windy City Harvest
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
VeggieRx Manager, Windy City Harvest
Windy City Harvest apprenticeship intern, allotment gardeners, and volunteers
Windy City Harvest is looking for a dedicated grower to oversee and maintain the PCC Austin Farm. The farm began with a partnership between PCC Community Wellness Center and the Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest. Both organizations share the belief that access to fresh fruits and vegetables can transform individual and community health. The PCC Austin grower will play an integral part in this mission by growing produce for the weekly onsite farm stand and prescription produce boxes, assisting allotment gardeners with maintaining and cultivating their garden space, and serving as a resource for Austin community residents. The ideal candidate for this position will be well-versed in organic vegetable production and able to demonstrate experience and interest in community engagement and education. Generally, the grower’s time is focused 75 percent on farm production and 25 percent on programming. This is seasonal position for approximately eight months, working Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.



Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following:


  • Execute the PCC Austin Farm and Kenneth crop plan using organic farming Use appropriate growing techniques for a raised bed, intensively planted site. Meet or exceed yearly sales goal for both farms
  • Utilize season-extension methods for winter growing in a hoophouse and low tunnels
  • Manage whole farm irrigation, integrated pest management, composting, equipment inventory, and trash removal
  • Harvest and process vegetables in compliance with GAPs standards and the Windy City Harvest post-harvest handling guide
  • Assist with greenhouse management and start seedlings for PCC Austin Farm and Kenneth
  • Maintain accurate records for harvest, sales, and food safety requirements
  • Coordinate and lead five educational gardening workshops at PCC Austin Family Health Center
  • Set up, operate, and accurately transact sales for the weekly PCC Austin Farm Stand (June through October)
  • Provide oversight and feedback to a seasonal intern placed at PCC and Kenneth from Windy City Harvest’s Apprenticeship program. Follow and maintain a seasonal farm production schedule for farm staff
  • Assist with an eight-person allotment garden from May to October. This includes engaging new gardeners, teaching gardening skills, and encouraging ongoing participation
  • Assist with coordinating and promoting the VeggieRx distribution, Windy City Harvest’s prescription produce program, for patients at PCC Austin Family Health Center
    1. Assist with VeggieRx distributions. Distribute, collect, and enter surveys into Excel tracking to report knowledge of food preparation, healthy eating habits, and VeggieRx evaluation.
    2. Grow produce for PCC Austin Family Health Center VeggieRx program. Assist with farm production, irrigation, and harvesting at Kenneth Street Farm in Garfield Park to meet number of VeggieRx boxes needed.
    3. Works in partnership with staff at PCC Community Wellness Center to deliver programming and engage staff, patients, and community residents.
  • Act as a resource for program information for project partners, community members, and Garden staff, PCC Community Wellness staff, and media as required
  • Maintain display garden aesthetic and landscaping at PCC Austin Farm
  • Uphold Chicago Botanic Garden’s standards of performance


Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.
  • Is capable of training individuals with varying levels of work
  • Thrives in high communication environments and is capable of public speaking, presentations and providing tours.

    Our ideal candidate will have the following:

    • Strong knowledge of urban agriculture with at least one season of vegetable production experience
    • Experience following a crop plan
    • Familiarity with creative methods of community engagement
    • A detail-oriented personality with the capacity to multi-task and problem solve
    • Experience teaching or working with individuals from diverse educational and socioeconomic backgrounds
    • Well-demonstrated ability to work dependably and independently at a fast pace
    • Capability to self-organize and communicate well with a team
    • Degree in horticulture, agriculture, community health, social work or related subject is preferred
    • Ability to work weekends and evening if necessary
    • Experience working with Microsoft Office (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
    • A valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation is preferred


    Physical Demands: 
    Office and farm setting. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 75 pounds. Ability to work outside in all weather conditions.
    Why Apply?: 

    Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

    Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

    The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

    We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

    In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.