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Helping Hands from the Emerald Isle {Week 10 CSA}

From the shores of central Costa Rica to the plains of the wide-open Great Basin, there is beauty to be mined from those who chase the land.

It was a rainy night in a particularly touristy part of Costa Rica's volcanic terrain and we had stopped in what seemed like the freshest cafe in town. We tucked under a brightly lit gazebo, stationed our excited little farm fairies at a table and ordered a colorful array of vegetables and smoothies. It had been a long day of traveling and, despite our best efforts, there wasn't time left to enjoy the famous hot springs simmering around Mt. Arenal. A good meal was the ticket instead and the four of us were audibly gracious when it landed. While every bite confirmed the gem of a place we'd randomly chosen, a quiet couple with large, smartly-packed bags on their backs took a nearby table. Unable to contain our excitement, Zach leaned over to let them know which items wouldn't disappoint. Their tired faces lit up with smiles, both for the tips and likely also for an offering in English. It wasn't long before that quick entry into their meal became a full-fledged, tables-combined, entire conversation. As life would have it, we had several things in common with these travelers and the topics flowed eagerly. Gary and Gráinne had just landed in Costa Rica that morning and had a long and weary journey to the cafe we were all enjoying. A couple from Ireland, they were on an extended backpacking trip throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Little did they know, we'd be luring them to the high desert along the Sierras in a few months' time... The timing for our rendevous was perfect. We were able to meet up with Gary and Gráinne farther south in Costa Rica before we left, solidifying our impression that the Irish are some of the nicest and most polite people on Earth. They both were teachers in Ireland (teaching agricultural science) on a leave of absence to travel abroad and they entered our world with big dreams of growing vegetables on their parents' cattle ranches. Our exchanges were vibrant and centered on the power of regenerative agriculture to reconnect us to food sovereignty and soil restoration. The seed had definitely been planted and the Colombian downpours they were headed towards ensured speedy germination. Fast forward eight weeks when we began filling our intern positions for the peak season ahead. Zach emerged from his morning meditation with a wide smile, announcing he had invited both Gary and Gráinne to come for the summer. There was a neighbor's studio just across the dirt road they could live in and we had a donated old van they could borrow. It was unfolding perfectly, all they needed were some work visas. Should be easy! Insert here anyone who knows anyone who has applied for something beyond a tourist visa to enter the United States: their eyes will bulge and roll, just like ours did. Despite their best efforts, there was no way a work visa would be issued for their time here, so we pivoted in our plans, and welcomed them out here for six weeks instead of twenty-five. Six glorious weeks of eager hands here to learn as much as they could. We've long talked about welcoming international farm help to the farm, but never pursued it since so many locals were interested in learning about hand-scale regenerative farming techniques. After all, we want to see a vibrant foodshed in the Great Basin, but there is always room for more hands to pull weeds and plant seedlings and jump on the trampoline with the always-giggling farm fairies. And getting to learn about other cultures and ways of doing things is intrinsically wonderful.

Gary and Gráinne brought a refreshing enthusiasm to our peak season endeavors, enjoyed all of the social gatherings that surround our work days, and got a chance to jump into the mix of small scale organic American farming. They say they've had as much fun as we have.

We're bidding farewell to our Irish friends this week, but we're excited to watch the rest of their journey unfold from afar (until we can visit and help their farm, that is). These are the hands helping your harvests as of late and they couldn't be friendlier! Gary and Gra, slán go fóill!

Gary and Gráinne: Future Regenerative Farmers of the Emerald Isle

Inside Your Box This Week

Slicer Tomatoes

Curly Kale

Little Gems

Salad Mix

Bok Choy







Recipes Worth Trying...

{click images to go to recipe}


For supporting our small organic farm.

For helping pave a way forward for regenerative agriculture.

For investing in young farmers.

For buying local.

We're honored to nourish you!



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