Dear Curiosity Journal,

My heart was filled with gratitude as volunteers gathered on the farm on Sunday to lend a hand with the marigold crop for the 2024 Driftless Region’s Dia de Muertos Celebration. We joked that it was like a Mexican Fiber Arts Weekend reunion, as seven of the volunteers were also with us for the spring workshops on natural dyes, weaving, and embroidery. It was so cool to see these students bring their work with marigolds as a natural dye full circle to putting seeds in soil and transplants in gardens. We’ve seeded over 7,000 marigolds, celosia, baby’s breath, and amaranth. We transplanted around 500 marigolds into the driveway field and flower tunnel. Volunteers reset the flower tunnel space, which was in desperate need of some TLC. They weeded, straightened the trellis, weaved the morning glories up, transplanted amaranth on the outer beds, marigolds on the inner beds, and celosia at the entrance. When I overhear visitors say things like, “It feels so good to put my hands in the dirt”, “That breeze feels so good”, and “I didn’t plant a garden this year, and that’s part of the reason I wanted to volunteer with the flowers”, it rekindles my recognition of the value of this work. These statements, and hundreds of other versions of genuinely joyful expressions of connection to the land, mirror our mission and make this labor of love worthwhile. The saying, “Many hands make light work” never hit so hard.