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The Biggest Bang for Your Buck

Ah, the joys of planning a wedding, right? You have found a photographer, you’ve found a venue, you are thinking about what the wedding party will wear and now you’re down to the flowers. Before you reach out to any florist, here are some things to think about. Typically flowers account for 8-10% of your total wedding budget. So let’s get really honest about some things to consider to help stretch those flower dollars:

Have a smaller bridal party. 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen? We know you love your squad, but that also means a bouquet and a boutonnière for each of those wonderful people, which increases your floral budget significantly. Reuse ceremony flowers. Skip the aisle markers
and go with a large alter arrangement or arbor that can be moved and reused at the reception.

Reuse bridesmaids’ bouquets. Don’t pay for additional arrangements for the head table. Get
beautiful vases, place the bridesmaids bouquets in them, call them centerpieces, and go dance the night away.

Reuse cocktail arrangements. Purchase small arrangements to go on the highboy tables at
the cocktail hour and have someone move the arrangements to the gift table, place card table, or
restrooms after the cocktails are over.

Sell your vases! When you purchase centerpieces from Finding Eminence Farm, you purchase the vase. Why? We don’t have a storefront, so we aren’t able to store these items or re-sell them in other avenues like most florists can. Also, styles and tastes are unique to each bride and we don’t believe you should be stuck with someone else’s vision. Sell your vases on Craig’s list,, or to score extra cash to spend on your honeymoon! Win. win.

Don’t have a centerpiece on every table. This is especially important if you have a lot of wedding guests. 350 guests translates into about 35 tables and having a centerpiece on every table instantly makes your flower budget explode. Put a low, lush centerpiece on every other table and fill in the rest with groupings of bud vases or candles.

Pinterest can be misleading. We know, sweeping, lush greenery is beautiful; however, it’s
really expensive because you have to use a lot to make an impact.

Use Color. Big, impactful blooms like dahlias only require a few stems to make a statement. If your ceremony or reception is outside, garlands of greenery get lost against the greenery of grass and trees and that’s wasted money. Punch some color into it to get your money’s worth!

Photograph by Rachael Schirano Photography.

Microgreens are not Sprouts

It was announced yesterday that a salmonella outbreak has been linked to sprouts that were sold on sandwiches at Jimmy John’s.

Some consumers use the terms “sprouts” and “microgreens” interchangeably, but they are actually very different crops that are grown in very different ways.  At Finding Eminence Farm, we grow only micro greens, not sprouts. Since they are often so easily confused, we thought it was important to highlight the differences.  Even the Center for Disease Control posted on their facebook about this breaking news story about sprouts with an image of micro greens. Here are the main differences between micro greens and sprouts.


  1. Sprouts are germinated in water. To prevent mold growth, they are rinsed one to two times per day
  2. Very little light and nutrition is needed for sprouts to grow
  3. They require high humidity to grow
  4. To ensure their safety, it is recommended that sprouts are cooked to prevent food borne illness since they are grown in dark, humid, and wet conditions (a perfect situation for icky stuff to grow)

Alfalfa sprouts from Johnny’s Seeds

Micro greens:

  1. Seeds germinate in peat moss or soil
  2. Plants require light and good air circulation, just like any other plants that are grown in- or outdoors
  3. The leaves and stems are eaten, but the seeds are not since they are in the soil

Three different varieties of microgreens grown at Finding Eminence Farm

On our farm, we compost our potting soil after each crop and then wash and sterilize our trays every week.  Seeds that are prone to fungal issues are soaked in a mixture of vinegar and food-grade hydrogen peroxide to prevent any possible issues before the seeds are sown.

If you really like sprouts, there are lots of countertop sprouting kits that you can purchase that would allow you to sprout seeds yourself and avoid buying from these mega producers.  We certainly wouldn’t recommend eating store-bought sprouts for the time being.  We’re jaded, but we think microgreens are better anyway.  We’ll just keep eating those on everything, and we’d encourage you to do the same.

You can purchase our microgreens at Green Top Grocery. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about Chris teaching a class at Green Top Grocery about microgreens too.


Frickin’ Freezin’

You guys. It has been SO COLD. And we have been cooooooped up.

But this is what we do this time of year. We rest and recover. We have to give ourselves grace because come June, ain’t nobody getting that 1:00 p.m. nap. So we have been reading all the books, doing all the yoga, walking on a treadmill in a creepy basement, and eating a crazy amount of Christmas cookies.

There are a few things I’d like to do better in the coming year. One of them is take better photos of us as a family. When we went to go put our Christmas card together, we realized only one photo existed of the three of us together. So the card got scrapped for the first time in seven years.

Read more damn books. Nothing exciting is happening on that phone of mine. I need to detach from it. Little Fires Everywhere and What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky were two great reads from this past year for me.

What are things that you’d like to do better this coming year?

Slow Flow

We are in recovery mode from the summer, but planning mode for next year as we steadily wade our way into engagement season. Engagement season? Yes, engagement season. People propose during certain times of the year and the most popular time to propose is, you guessed it, Christmas and New Years.

There have been quite a few nights of me chatting on the phone with wonderful people who explain with excitement their vision for their wedding day. There are people who get us and people who don’t and that’s okay.

But the people who get us are more than likely people who love the outdoors, who understand the value of hard work, and get that magical things don’t come from pressing a button.

A potential bride told me this week “that must be a lot of work for two people.” It is a lot of hard work, but it’s such great hard work. And the reality is getting to work is a privilege and I’m thankful for that hard, back-breaking, sweaty, buggy work because I get to do it with two people who get me.

And that hard work translates into days like this where other people just get it too:


Couples don’t realize it that all the world’s problems are solved, music is blared, tears are shed, dreams are conjured, so much laughter happens, and lame movie quotes are said over and over again all while growing and designing their flowers. Magic exists and it thrives on this little hill top and moving here and growing unconventional crops was the best damn thing we ever did.

Thank you for your love, support, guidance, and cheers this year. John B. McLemore once said, “but the best times of my life, I realize, were the times I spent in the forest and field.” We get it and we know you do too.

Photos by Rachael Schirano, Sara Gardner Photography, Larry Reimker, and Images by Whitney.


Each night, after we finish supper (whether it’s at our dining room table or staring like a zombie at the television) we have taught Lincoln that he has to ask to be excused and he has to thank each of us for dinner.

This seems crazy and I by no means am shouting from the rooftop about  what a wonderful parent I am. But I am trying really hard to teach our son empathy and compassion. Yes, it’s obviously my job to feed my kid. But I want my kid to know that we work really hard to keep a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and our bodies warm. We are lucky because we are healthy and have an obnoxious work ethic. And for all this, we should be thankful each and everyday.

I was telling Chris the other day how shocked I am that people pay us to do their wedding flowers and when we show up on their wedding day they are so grateful for our hard work. “But they’re paying me, it’s my job,” I told him. His response? “We work with really kind and genuine people.”

So, let me tell you, I am forever grateful for people who reach out and connect with us, for people who have followed us all along, for those who listen to us, and for new friends who have just joined this crazy party. I am grateful to everyone who believes in this dream. Thank you.

P.S. Calendars are still for sale!

Fall Update

I’m sitting here at about 4:30 p.m. on this first day without daylight savings, peeking out the window mournfully as I know that darkness will soon be here.  The increased darkness this time of year is a good sign that it’s time to slow down a little, hunker down, and enjoy the harvests of our efforts.  Things have definitely slowed down around the farm, but we still have a lot to accomplish before winter truly arrives.

Our field production is almost completely done, except for one last bed of lettuce that is growing frustratingly slow with the cooler temps and limited daylight.  I’m hoping it will provide us more good harvest before a hard frost takes it out.  We have ripped out the majority of our fields at this point, but a handful of beds still need our efforts.  Inside, our micro green production is starting to expand.  We continue to deliver weekly to Green Top Grocery, and we’re starting to do some restaurant business as well.

Yesterday our sunflower shoots were used in the “Cure Series” at Kemp’s Upper Tap in Lexington, just a few miles from our farm.  For years, Audra and I have kept mental lists of our “Top 5 Meals.”  Usually the meals were special occasions or memorable meals from past vacations.  The meal yesterday is most definitely now on my Top 5 list, made even sweeter by the fact that we had a teeny tiny contribution to its deliciousness.  The vast collection of craft beers on tap didn’t hurt, either.

In addition to the micro mixes and sun/pea shoots, I’ve also started experimenting with micro herbs and am excited to add those to our list of products soon.  

While there is always a lot going on around here, we are definitely taking the hint and slowing down a little.  We took a weekend trip to Iowa a few weekends ago to visit Seed Savers Exchange Farm and enjoy the fall colors, and there’s been a decent amount of Netflix watching after dark in the past month.  As the holiday season approaches with astonishing speed, we’re once again compelled to reflect on how blessed we continue to be to be able to chase this crazy dream.

Our fields are going dormant for a while, but you can still enjoy the beauty of the farm with our 2018 calendar.  These are available now on our website; they make great gifts or really beautiful scratch paper.