Blue Fingers Farm began as a daydream I had driving endless laps on a tractor in Western Washington. My interest in food began at birth, and was formalized through a BA in Cultural Anthropology at Macalester College, where I studied the intersection of food security and conservation in Madagascar. That led to a year volunteering with WorldTeach in Tanzania, which led to an appreciation and interest in smallholder diversified farms, which led to a job as a farmhand/harvest manager at Red Wagon Farm in Boulder, Colorado. I also worked as a tractor/irrigation/delivery person at Willowood Farm of Ebey’s Prairie on Whidbey Island, Washington; my experiences delivering produce to high-end restaurants in Seattle encouraged me to diversify and translate local produce buying for restaurants in Sandpoint, Idaho, a small town in North Idaho I had fallen in love with while working as a ski patroller. During the winters I can be found taking hot laps in a red coat on Schweitzer Mountain.
Alani Strang grew up in Sandpoint and worked in almost every restaurant worth eating at. Her expertise as a prep cook translated naturally to harvest work, and her connections in the restaurant community in Sandpoint have been invaluable. Her interest in growing plants started as a small child (see picture below) and increased through her education at Sandpoint’s Waldorf School and beyond. Her ability to bunch radishes perfectly every time is unparalleled.
Leigh met Caitlin working on Red Wagon Farm in Boulder, Colorado. Conversations picking sweet peas turned into a friendship, and in 2017 Caitlin moved to North Idaho to help establish Blue Fingers. While she is a wicked fast sweet pea picker, her primary farm experience is managing restaurant sales and deliveries. Caitlin is currently living in Moiese, Montana, working on Lowdown Farm. She was a founding farmer for Blue Fingers and will always be included here.