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katie and jazmin

Careers in horticulture | Digging in with gardenstead Ep. 6

October 3 – 7 is Seed Your Future’s Green Career Week this year.

And in case you hadn’t realized — there are many different paths you can take to get into a career in horticulture.

Jazmin Albarran’s career was in mental health and youth development before before she became the executive director of Seed Your Future.

Katie Macdonald was a brand builder and advertising executive before she became gardenstead’s president.

They are each proof positive that you don’t need to first be a plant expert before you can get into a career in horticulture. There are many different kinds and levels of green careers you can get into — and truly, the realm of horticulture/floriculture/agriculture is more complex (and accessible) than it’s typically understood to be.

Katie spoke with Jazmin to learn more about Green Career Week, and the resources Seed Your Future has to offer.

More than 100 green careers

According to Seed Your Future’s website, there are more than 100 possible careers to enter into working with plants.

Beyond the expected (think florist, landscape gardener or lawn maintenance, perhaps), careers listed on the site run the gamut from scientist to drone operator to gardening writer — anything one could imagine to be even peripherally related to the plant sciences.

39% of green collar jobs unfilled in 2022

When Katie went to Cultivate (the horticultural industry’s biggest networking event and vendor showcase), she learned from Seed Your Future at that time that 39% of jobs in the “green-collar” industry will go unfilled this year.

There is obviously a ton of opportunity in the business of horticulture, and as Jazmin says, the jobs are “literally in people’s backyards”.

Seed Your Future’s mission is to help people become aware of these opportunities, to provide useful resources to educators, and to connect employers and employees.

Comprehensive career resources

Seed Your Future’s mission is to “promote horticulture and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants”, and boy, do they ever live up to that promise.

The site lists career possibilities from A (starting with aerial applicator or “crop duster”) to Z (zymurgist: scientist who studies the chemical process of fermentation in brewing and distilling; also, by extension, a brewer) — honestly, who knew?

You can also find information about scholarships (including scholarships in Canada), internships, horticultural camps and really, just so much more.

Show notes

  • Seed Your Future envisions a world where everyone understands and values the importance of plants and the people who work in the art, science, technology and business of horticulture
  • Green Career Week was started because Jazmin had heard from horticultural industry professionals that they had gotten into their careers by “accident” or as a second career because they weren’t aware of all the opportunities working with plants and flowers — or with the employees or consumers of those businesses and products
  • via Green Career Week, Seed Your Future wants to help grow awareness that for every plant you see for sale there’s a “huge backstory” of people who had a hand in growing that plant (and that everyone can find a place on that path)
  • Jazmin learned that there were many businesses that wanted to connect with local schools and future employees, so Seed Your Future created resources and tools for industry and schools to create those connections
  • there are many different paths that can be taken to a green career, and Jazmin shares the many roundabout ways that people can get to into the business of horticulture
  • neither Jazmin nor Katie have a background in horticulture, and yet here they are in the business of plants (and loving it)
  • if you’re interested in pursuing a career in horticulture, you can find all kinds of resources at seedyourfuture

We hope this podcast gives you the spark you need to pursue the job of your dreams in the world of plants. We know everyone around gardenstead is thrilled to spend their days endlessly thinking, talking, filming, and writing about all things green and growing — here’s to plants!

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