irish seed savers image

A reliable, Skilled Horticulturist required for a renowned conservation organisation.

Reporting to the Seed Curator, as part of a 4 strong team, the main focus of this role is to develop and maintain the heritage seed gardens at Capparoe, with an effective contribution to our heritage seed processing, and supporting site maintenance for our 20-acre organic farm.

This is an exciting opportunity for those eager to contribute to the important work curating biodiversity collections.

Immediate start (July/August 2019), this is a two-year contract, which may be extended to a longer-term subject to funding.

Who We Are:

Irish Seed Savers Association CLG have been in operation since 1991, focusing on conserving and preserving heritage rare heirloom and heritage seeds and fruit trees to protect Ireland’s long-term food sovereignty in this ever-changing climate. Located in Scarriff, in Co. Clare, we run a 20-acre organic farm containing gardens, orchards, nursery and the country’s public seed bank.

What We Do:

Our work involves growing produce for seeds, curating the country’s heritage apple tree collection: conservation and preservation in our live seed bank; research on native and heritage seeds and fruit trees; making these seeds and trees available to the public at large to continue on this growing and preserving cycle; and educating and raising awareness on the importance of protecting our food sovereignty.

Reporting to:   

Seed Curator


3-4 Days per week (Seasonally Dependant)

Main Responsibilities:


  • Organic seed-to-seed crop production; sowing, planting, transplanting, tending, harvesting and overall soil management
  • Work as part of the garden seed team to maintain the seed gardens and manage fertility for efficient crop production
  • Planning, organising and prioritising garden work in collaboration with seed curator, including observations, record keeping and project work
  • Follow existing plans for seed sowing and rotations
  • Maintenance of: beds, polytunnels, hedges, paths, sheds
  • Operating and maintaining garden machinery & tools

Seed Bank:

  • Seed processing – threshing, cleaning, packing

Other Responsibilities:

  • Supervision of volunteers and work experience students
  • Maintaining IOA standards and preparing an annual report
  • Support the Seed Curator with implementation and completion of annual KPIs with the Department of Agriculture’s Crop Protection Unit
  • Observance and implementation of Health & Safety requirements (PPE, safe work methods)
  • Tidying before, during and after job completion (safety of workers and visitors, routine tools maintenance and storage)
  • Collaborate with Orchard team, Education team and Facilities and Maintenance worker for effective planning and management of 20-acre heritage gardens, orchards, and school gardens
  • Giving guided tours of the heritage gardens
  • Participate at ISSA On-site events, talks and tours (4 per year)
  • Participate at offsite events, representing Irish Seed Savers Association (2-4 per year)
  • Collaborate with other Departments within ISSA to ensure all aspects of organisational needs are attended to
  • Contributing to ISSA newsletter/publications

Tasks may be assigned which are outside of the above expectations, as per the requirements of your supervisor, the Seed Department, and the Organisation.

Qualities for the Role:


  • An enthusiastic, highly skilled gardener with strong experience in organic horticulture
  • Horticulture qualification
  • Proven experience with organic crop production outdoors and undercover
  • Experience with farm machinery and tools essential
  • Experience with long-term soil fertility management essential
  • Capable of sustained hard physical work
  • Strong attention to detail and following instructions
  • Good time keeping and accountability
  • Experience with seed production preferable
  • Ability to use own initiative and effectively support a team
  • Multitasking, attention to detail, focused
  • Experience with farming machinery and tools
  • Carpentry and DIY skills
  • Computer skills for seed packing, record keeping and report writing as well as responding to email queries.
  • Full clean EU/Irish Driving Licence
  • Fluent in English

Go to HorticultureJobs to apply to this job.

Deadline for submission: Monday 1st July 2019.
Interviews will take place week of 8th July 2019.
Start date ideally end-July/early-August 2019.

Irish Seed Savers is a conservation non-profit enterprise, Charity Number 13989. For information on our work and to get involved please go to

Job Benefits

  • Base Salary
  • Training and Development
  • Be part of a growing organisation and one that is vital to the protection of Ireland’s biodiversity and plant genetic resources