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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 …

Peyton and Alex

Peyton and Alex were so sweet and kind and came to the farm to see their flowers growing. Everything except the roses and the eucalyptus were grown on our farm. Photos by Images by Whitney

Take a Class

Our last class of the season is in one month. Join us! Dahlia Flower Arranging Class Thursday, September 7, 2017 | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. September boasts some of the season’s most luscious blooms: dahlias. Bring your favorite bottle of wine and come create a farm fresh dahlia centerpiece at Finding Eminence Farm.   Though our farm is normally closed to the public, during this class you’ll get a farm tour and be able to harvest giant, fluffy dahlias as the golden sun soaks over you as it sets. Audra will then lead you through each step of creating a stunning, abundant centerpiece to take home and enjoy. This is a beginner level course and guests are welcome to bring their favorite adult beverages. Space is limited. Class will be held through rain or shine. Photos by Rachael Schirano Photography.

Arm Crunch

Mwelp. It happened. Lincoln went almost four years without an Emergency Room visit. Almost. He fell on his arm Friday night, he cried and we consoled him, but also told him to walk it off. After snapping pictures of one of the bridal bouquets from this weekend, I gave him his bath and he couldn’t put his arm into his shirt. I called the 24 hour pager hotline of our pediatrician (which I’m pretty sure was solely set up for first time parents) and the Dr. said if he were her child, she’d taken him in to be x-rayed. Of course, this is all occurred after Prompt Care was closed. We took him to ER, they told us he was fine, no breaks and sent us home. Fast forward to today….we receive a call from the ER charge nurse. An Orthopedic Dr. had taken a look at his x-rays, he does indeed have a small fracture. We drive back into town to get an arm sling, which is a hilarious suggestion that a three year …

Micro Greens at Finding Eminence

One of our most exciting new ventures on the farm this year has been growing micro greens. As we continue to try to identify and establish markets for our micros, we’ve found that quite a bit of education of consumers is needed.   So here’s the deal with micro greens.   Micro greens are immature versions of the fully grown plant. Most of our micro greens are harvested within two weeks of being planted. Most are still in what is called the “cotyledon” stage, which means that the plant hasn’t even gotten its first “true leaves.” These little beauties are jam-packed with flavor, and perhaps more importantly, all the nutrition in that seed that was intended to help the plant fully grow. Studies have shown that micro greens are loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins C, E, and K, lutein, and beta-carotene, 40 times that of the mature leaves of the same plants. At this moment, we are growing a “mild micro mix,” which is a mix of all sorts of vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, …

The Little Church on the Prairie

**Edited 7/4/17** I received an email from the family that helps to maintain this church and property and would like to apologize. I originally called this church abandoned, which wasn’t fair. While services are not held regularly at this church, it still remains a staple of the community and many people have helped to maintain it, including raising the funds needed for a new roof. We very much understand how hard work and determination are key elements in keeping something special. Calling it abandoned on my part undermined the progress of many people. Just because I didn’t see people in the church, doesn’t mean it’s abandoned.** Tucked in the corn and soybeans is an 150 year old church that sits on the prairie of central Illinois. This church is where Arden and Josh decided to exchange their vows. Sara Gardner Photography joined us and captured what it takes to make something sacred look overgrown and loved. The flower installation for this church is one of the most magical things we have been trusted to do. …

Slacking Off

How do you run a small farm and have sanity at the end of the day to be a good family unit? I’m not really sure, we’re very much running this show with a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” mentality. We don’t have it all figured out, I’m not sure we really want to have it all figured out. And quite frankly as grey hairs keep creeping onto my head I’m pretty sure NO ONE has it all figured out. But we’re slowly learning how to make this farm work for us instead of us constantly working for this farm. I can’t stop thinking about this article I read a few weeks ago called “Darwin was a Slacker and You Should be Too”. To save you the time of reading the article heres what it’s about: Charles Dickens, Henri Poincaré, and Ingmar Bergman showed an almost superhuman ability to focus on their work This superhuman ability comes from only focusing on something for four to five hours a day and napping, walking, and resting your brain for the rest …