Though I’m called the Estate Gardener, my job covers far more than that, as it’s been enlarged many times over the centuries. So let me detail what I do.
Of course I’m responsible for both the edible gardening and the ornamental landscaping we do here. Given the size of the Estate staff, the events we host and the bartering we do with our farms, we’ve many, many acres under production, all organic.
We have extensive livestock — bees, poultry (chickens, ducks and geese), pigs, and sheep. To keep the sheep safe, we have Russian wolfhounds — I dare any predator to tangle with them! Most of that work is done by my staff but I reserve the beekeeping for me as I love working with them.
Though we no longer heat the buildings with wood, we do have enough usage (kitchen, library, saunas, smoking bacon, et al.) that we burn twenty cords a year. That means we need to keep the acreage devoted to harvesting maintained. Much of that work gets done in the winter, a quiet time for pretty much all of the other outside work. Oh, and we have horses for harvesting work now.
We also maintain the pathways here, none of which are paved. We use stone, crushed stone and granite dust. Likewise we need to keep the paths through the woods safe by removing unsafe trees and limbs as quickly as we can.
We do all of the infrastructure work from the yurts to the massive Estate building by hiring extra staff that lives here all summer in a group of yurts we set aside for them. That frees us up to do everything else that needs doing.
There’s other stuff, such as maintaining the solar power setup and the low head hydro, the salmon spawning pools, and numerous other tasks.
It’s hard work, often with very long hours, but I (mostly) enjoy it.