Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I'm In The Wrong Business, Part 617: Apparently Irish Dirt Sells For $11.40 Per Pound

If you want pounds (£ not #) or € per kilogram you'll have to do your own math, I still have trouble remembering how many ferlings in a vergate.
From Atlas Obscura:

Who needs to hunt for leprechauns when a one-pound baggie of lucky Irish dirt only costs $11.40? 
Official Irish Dirt is normally sold in the U.S. in small pouches or canisters—sometimes with shamrock seeds thrown in for extra luck—but for some folks, that’s not enough. One 87-year-old lawyer hailing from the Emerald Isle spent $100,000 worth of Irish dirt to fill his American grave, while a man originally from County Cork purchased enough Irish-sourced earth to spread under his freshly constructed house in New England, a total investment of $148,000. Funeral directors and florists order the dirt in bulk, while others just need enough to sprinkle around a tree or on a casket to connect with their land of birth.
Desire for the “auld sod” of their homeland is apparently enough to bring Irishmen abroad to tears. And when businessman Alan Jenkins saw those tears, back in the mid-'90s, he saw an untapped opportunity and a market unmet.
It all began when Jenkins, an Irish immigrant then in his mid-50s, found himself at a gathering in Florida of the Sons of Erin, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting Irish heritage. “The only thing everyone [at the meeting] would give their right arm for was a drop ‘of the auld sod’ to put on top of their casket,” Jenkins told The New York Post. It seemed that while Irish-Americans had been able to bring over their families, their schools, their churches, and their pubs, the one thing they didn’t have was their dirt—and Irish dirt, it turns out, holds a special place in Irish hearts. Men would sometimes tear up, said Jenkins, expressing how deeply they wished for a bit of true Irish dirt to be spread over their caskets....MORE