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Modern Art at Home

We’re here, at home, in quarantine for an indefinite period of time. All of a sudden I have been thrust into the role of a teacher and am now expected to carry out our child’s education (this is also where I’m laughing maniacally). So what do you do when you went to college and majored in Communication and minored in Visual Arts. You teach your kid the basic stuff he needs to know, BUT also you rub your hands together like an evil with because the past six years have been nothing but tractors and agriculture and it’s now time to get artsy and especially very farsty. After we tackle our e-learning materials and before lunch, Lincoln and I explore an art movement and an artist and then make our own piece of art from the movement inspired by a particular artist. Each art lesson has a basic structure: watch a few videos, look at examples of artists work online, and then make our own artwork. I create a piece with him each day and …

5 Years

It was five years ago this weekend that we moved into this home with an 18 month old baby and started Finding Eminence Farm. We are not the same people that we were on day one. Our child is in kindergarten, there have been career shifts, we have wandered and wondered and gotten our hands dirty and have built a sustainable business that makes money. This thang hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been the hardest things I have ever done and continue to do. One of our first products when we started the farm was our story. We invited you the reader to follow a long with us as we started a farm with no farming background. We’ve strayed away from telling our story because we have been so bogged down with trying to keep a new born business afloat. This winter has left me planning and budgeting harder than we’ve ever done before. There’s a misconception that as your business gets older it should expand and become larger each year. I want the …

Katie and Eric

Katie utilized bold burgundy peonies in her bouquet to make a big statement and relied on clean line bud vases to add a pop of color to her tables. Photos by Rachael Schirano Photography.

Let’s Celebrate the Women Who Raised Us

Here’s to Carmen. Who let me brush her beautiful long, blonde hair and who never rolled her eyes when I would ask her to Pepper (volleyball game) with me in the backyard. Who is pee your pants funny, and reminds me the only way to succeed is to put myself out there and ask for more. Here’s to Joyce. Who let me look through her jewelry box, sleep on the floor right next to her bed during weekend visits. Who taught me not to put up with bullshit, who cleans up our family messes and is the glue that holds my family together. Here’s to Margie. Who held my hand after Lincoln was born and told me I can do this. Who is an active member of our daily village that makes this farm and family work. Who taught me that good food is made with time and a lot of love. And that homemade applesauce tastes better with a marshmallow thrown in. Here’s to Diana. Who brought me into this world and would only …

Prairie Winds

This is my first spring being full-time on the farm and boy are things different. We have most evenings together, which has been such a nice treat. In the past, most spring planting was crammed into weeknights after supper or weekends. We’ve gotten more time back as a family and for that I’m extremely grateful. We always try to develop a game plan for where the plants will go in the field. But what always happens is we’ll have two or three nice days where we can plant and so it’s a mad dash to get whatever plants are ready into the ground. We always forget how strong the winds are this time of year. I tried to put up low tunnels with Agribond fabric yesterday on the newly planted crops, to only to have it be a fool’s errand with the wind whipping it around like a bunch of Kleenex. Our hoop house is just about to burst with blooms. We just need a few more sunny days. The violas in the hoop fill …

It’s So Close

We’re almost there, can you feel it? The way the sun hangs above the horizon a little longer each day? The way the thawing earth squishes beneath our feet? How the thermometer tempts us by stretching towards 40 degrees. Spring is almost here. I can see it in the little snow birds nipping near the peonies, the pheasant who has taken residence near the creek, the way Sweet Pea stalks the vole trails, and the third opossum who has made it’s way into our chicken coop this month. Yuck. We’re almost there. We’re slowing shaking off the slumber we have been in. The hibernation we need that winter brings. Chris has been upgrading our microgreen set-up. We’re swapping out metal shelves for custom wood shelves that house a large watering tray for the microgreen trays and it will speed up our daily watering process. And we are upgrading to LED grow lights to conserve more energy. Seeds are being started, corms are being soaked, and anemones are poking up in the hoop house. I have …

Do You Think We Can Make it to the Bridge Today?

“Do you think we can make it to the bridge today?” I ask Lincoln as we trudge through the tall grass next to the creek as two kittens follow us like a pack of dogs. “Um. Maybe. But it’ll take a long, long, long, time,” he responds. During my maternity leave I turned the options over in my mind on what I could do. Being a stay-at-home mom was something I knew I wasn’t cut out for and I enjoyed my job and wanted to continue it. But I also couldn’t stand the thought of leaving the tiny swaddled burrito in my arms 5 days a week with someone else. I was stupid lucky and my employer-at-the-time agreed to let me work four days a week. Linc would go to daycare during those days and then on Friday we would be together. “Mommy/Lincoln Days” as we called them. Sometimes these days went great, other days I’d constantly watch the clock counting down the minutes until Chris would come home and I’d get a break. In …

A Lightning Round

Almost since we started the farm, Audra and I have listened to Chris Blanchard’s “Farmer to Farmer Podcast.” I don’t even remember how we learned about it, but from the first episode I heard, I was hooked. Each episode is essentially Chris interviewing a small-scale grower and learning about their farm and how it fits into their life. The podcasts are engaging, funny, insightful, and uniquely educational for small growers like us. Even a couple of our “farmer friends” were interviewed for the show. Audra and I would occasionally joke that if we ever got our act together, maybe we could be cool enough/successful enough/lucky enough to be interviewed as well. This fall, Chris Blanchard passed away after a long battle with an illness. Though I never met him in person, or even spoke to him in writing, he has left a profound impact on my life. I have listened to his voice in my ear for dozens of hours. As a result, I, like so many other listeners, feel as though I got to …