“Members of our team, internationally speaking,” Farmer Lee Jones shares, “come from multiple places around the globe, from Mexico to the Philippines to Russia, and many places in between. They often come from agricultural backgrounds where they have learned farming practices from their own families and communities. When they come to The Chef’s Garden, they listen and learn from us, but we listen and learn, as well, as they share ideas and experiences.”
Typically, members of our international crew come to The Chef’s Garden because they need a stable job, but then they develop friendships, even a brotherhood and sisterhood with one another. We are enriched by their motivation, their enthusiasm, their hard work and love of fun, and we couldn’t imagine what it would be like if they weren’t part of our team.
“It’s a fascinating experience to be part of such a diverse environment,” Lee continues, “where people share their cultures with us, with foods ranging from pierogi to pasta, and their remarkable backgrounds, philosophies and knowledge.”
The majority of our harvest team comes from Aguascalientes, Mexico, and you can find more information about them here. Aguascalientes is one of the smallest states in Mexico, with slightly more than one million people as of 2005. The name means “hot waters,” because multiple hot springs exist in the area. Aguascalientes has been a Mexican state since 1852, a locale where table wines, fruit liquors and brandy are produced. They are especially known for aguardiente, a strong cane-sugar-based liquor, aguamiel (the sap from sweet agave, sometimes called honeywater) and pulque, the fermented juice from a specific kind of cactus (maguey).
When Christmas nears each year, some of our team members can return home for the holidays, while others can’t – which is why we invite all of them to our home to celebrate the holiday season. “Not all of our team members celebrate Christmas,” Lee says, “which gives us another opportunity to share traditions with one another. Every year, we take a picture in front of the Jones family tree, with members of the international farm team at the celebration standing around that tree. I never fail to feel humbled, grateful and amazed when we take those pictures. It’s one way to share our holidays with our extended farm family – and each year I realize how, because of these amazing people, the world is a better place.”
Our team is indeed diverse, multicultural, multifaceted and inspirational. If you’re interested in joining our farm family and becoming part of our incredible team, please check out current job offerings.