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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. Sprouts: Sprouts are germinated in water. To prevent mold growth, they are rinsed one to two times per day Very little light and nutrition is needed for sprouts to grow They require high humidity to grow 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) Micro greens: …

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 …

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 …

Gratitude

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 …

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 …

Full Circle

Last night, I removed all of the scattered items from the dining room table. I wiped it off, got out my supplies, and set up the ironing board. I got my glass of water and placed it on the side table, realizing the sacred act I just performed was one my mother did hundreds of times growing up. Throughout my childhood, I’d watch her cut out patterns, sew curtains, design costumes, doodle, and help with school projects all at the dining room table. All family life circled around that wood slab. I listened to an episode of the Levar Burton Reads podcast recently and in it Levar talked about a formative time in his life. When he was in the third grade, his teacher would leave him in charge of the class by having him read a book while she went to go fix herself her afternoon cup of tea. It helped him understand the responsibility of telling a good story and later in his life he realized this teacher saw something in him that …

The Art of Being Weird

Almost three years ago, we started our farm and put a lot of our lives out there for you to see. Like a lot. This formula of “watch us do a thing online” isn’t a new formula and I think most people walk this line of “how much do I share?” and “Whoa, I just shared too much.” (See: me most days on our Instagram stories) There’s one part of this formula that we don’t talk about enough: talking about yourself authentically and honestly requires vulnerability. And being vulnerable is weird, awkward, and most times uncomfortable. But as my homegirl Brene Brown has said, “I’ve never achieved a single thing in my career or life comfortably.” (Seriously, if I ever get to meet Brene Brown, we’re hugging it out.) Even though we have a farm, we are no different than you – guy who is eating a bowl of ice cream in sweat pants that his mom bought him 15 years ago or lady who just said that weird thing to the cashier about bandaids. …

Our BCS Tractor

After months of research, this past winter we finally made up our mind and bought a BCS two-wheel tractor.  Though the expression is overused, we will still say that this tool has been a “game changer”.  When we talk to people about our new tractor, we often get some raised eyebrows, especially since we’re in corn and soybean country and when we say “tractor” that conjures up images of much bigger vehicles.  So, here’s the skinny with our BCS. These Italian-made, two-wheel tractors have been popular in Europe for decades.  With the resurgence of small-scale farming in the U.S. the past few years, they are becoming standard fare for little farms like ours.  Our BCS looks like a tiller, but it is actually a whole heckuva lot more.  The tractor is entirely gear driven, so no belts to break.  It’s built as sturdy as a full-size tractor, but in a much smaller package.  It has a PTO that allows the user to attach all sorts of implements to the unit. We have just three implements …