Replay of 144: Honest To Goodness Farms and Flowers | Audrey Coley | Elizabethtown, KY

Originally published on Jun 14, 2016

I’m so honored to share this guest today because she’s in the Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community! 

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Tell us a little about yourself.

Honest To Goodness Farm and

Honest to Goodness Farm and Flowers is located in Elizabethtown about an hour away…  This is our first year growing cut flowers for sale at the market. Honest to Goodness Farm and Flowers is located in Elizabethtown about an hour away from Louisvilee, KY.  This is our first year growing cut flowers for sale at the market.with our weather…it gets really hot here. our soil is

it goes into what happened last year….

renegotiated the least

able to take back the

we wanted to grow food,

compost brought in

got everything planted

we didn’t

it was pretty much a total fail

stunted cucumbers

it did not work out very well

Johnny's Beneficial Seed Mix JohnnysButterflyMix

did plant a huge row of Johnny’s butterfly mix and beneficial mix

I was able to make bouquets for friends family

it was just the bright spot

not having everything go like we had planned.

What was it that stunted the cucumbers?

we had had a ton of rain…so that was not something we considered

where we planted, had poor drainage

idk if it has anything to do with the fact that it’s been farmed commercially and sprayed.

IDK if it had anything to do with that. The soil’s not the best, it’s kind of clay, we did try to amend it.

It was kind of strange

we’ve grown in a plot up closer to our house but when we got to the commercially farmed land it was totally different story


So we had to make some changes at the end of the season

  • we did some cover cropping

  • we added more compost

normally we would do ….

  • thatch to cover

flowers are now on that piece of land. 

growing really well

it really taught us a lot, idk why it did that? We just had to move stuff around a little bit

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.

I really do not like weeding… I know most people say that, but for me especiallyI do not like to be still, Im constantly moving, the mental fortitude that it takes to weed doesn’t work for me. 

we’re using


come by

a huge load of raw wood chips and we’re using them. I’m sure we’re gonna come across some pest issues, maybe slugs and I’ve heard there are something called ear wigs really don’t have, but I think we might those especially around the dahlias

We’re using natural ways to try to keep the weeds away, 

I think one of the big themes of my show has been soil health and I think you guys sound like your trying so hard to improve your environments. I think they say it takes 3 years officially to turn a place that has had chemicals and pesticides, and if this is your second year, one more year before you get there. I think the wood chips will help and it will certainly keep the weeding down. I just went out and took pics of my weeds that are growing. Its really been amazing!

Honest To Goodness Ladybug

We’d never seen lady bugs before and in hat patch that we had planted last year it has come back and there is beautiful yellow coreopsis and even the new stuff I planted this year is covered in lady bugs os it’s just amazing to see this stuff out there and it works, its’ really been helpful for us

changing for us

part of the process

it’s not always easy but it’s worth it!

Clover Field at Honest To Goodness Farms

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?

I love photographing things… that’s been really fun, I want to share what we’re doing and how things are going. Every morning I walk out with my coffee and take  a look and check and see what’s changed and what’s blooming and I also I really enjoy harvesting too!

What is the best gardening advice you have  ever received?

This was a hard question for me, we’ve been getting a lot of advice. And most of it is not what what we want to do. Most of it is from 

especially not what we want to do

extended family

you need to bush hog that, or you need to do this or you need to  spray with this. But we get research from our books etc and we’re just trying to keep and do organic practices

not what is typically done around here, and typically done in the extended family and we’re just turing to do our own thing!

I think that’s great and you gonna find. One of my very first guests Ladonna Kinnick said she was in a very commercial area and the farmers were telling her this is not gonna work and that’s not gonna work and then they were like how come you don’t have any mosquitos and how come your stuff is coming out so nice? And the commercial farmers that were laughing at her in the beginning. And it’s hard.  

Lentil Underground

And Liz Carlisle’s wrote this book called the Lentil Underground but she asked why do we if we know that this produces the best crops and crop rotations is important and mixing green cover crops are the best practices why aren’t we doing it and she was surprised to see home much an affect social pressure was having… if you on’t spray near the wate. It didn’t have anything to do without the science. the were worried but.

I agree it’s really fear based

sued to doing food a certain way, when you livelihood is on the line it’s a really touchy thing.

it’s really fear based

they are so used to doing things a certain way

there’s fear there that its not gonna go

especially when your lively

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be?


I really like the stirrup hoe and my husband likes the wheel hoe

We also have this tool it loops and edges and we use it all the time

I also get what

The basic garden tool… made in the USA can get it on amazon… we use it all the time!

I’m 5”1’

I get really well made wood and solid metal kids garden tools and those are really helpful to me. I probably sound silly, when your short, all of this stuff is taller then me and hard to use!

I’ve been thinking lately why doesn’t Apple make a different phone for women and men, and to expect me and my husband to use the same size phone is crazy. I am adapting to my new phone.

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

What we always make every year, when the tomatoes come in , is just

  • sliced tomato
  • fresh buffalo mozzarella
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

I think that is the most recommended recipe on my show. I grew up in NY and my mom gets the fresh mozzarella balls from the Italian cheese store mmm…

the simple things ….

A favorite internet resource?

The flower farmer Facebook group.

really helpful people to answer your questions and that’s been really good.

Bare Mountain Farms Website

Bare Mountain Farms their blog has been really great

they’re doing a no-till practice which is what we are trying to transition

they’re doing flowers that way it’s interesting to read their posts. 

They were my New Years guests Tony and Denise Gaetz in Episode 110!

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?

I really love YouTube.

Floret Flower Farm

I like Florets blog too. I really like Youtube because I’m visual person if I can see a video instead of reading a book. We’ve watched a lot of documentaries on youtube.

The Market Gardener Jean-Martin FortierWe just got JM Fortier, the Market Gardeners Toolkit

it’s a documentary that’s great!

live action version of the book

also available on

Audio Book from

Business Advice

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

I have had not much to sell, my farther is selling starts,

I haven’t had much in yet,

it’s our first year…

we’ve had some luck selling to people directly on Facebook…

Honest to Goodness Farms and Flowers

Honest to Goodness Farm and Flowers on Facebook

people would come and pick it up kind of like a farm stand sort of thing, we’ve been selling that way.

That might be a good idea for people, I guess Jacqueline Freeman from Washington said something similar. 

I have really big hopes for this year, everything looks good, it’s hard to talk about this 

I’m just trying to do this, we are working with poor soil, farming and gardening is no an instant gratification thing. I have really big hope for this year, everything looks good fingers crossed.

i think you’ve been very inspirational today, and you talk about family members who don’t really know what your doing and your kids. it’s kind of like podcasting it’s a marathon not a sprint, 

you mentioned some great resources Denise and Tony from Bare Mountain Farms and Floret and they’re great resources for growing flowers. I like the way your focusing 

You know Mandy Gerth was like my Gardening CrossFit Hall of Famer, she said she moved her from Ohio or Indian and she said people in Montana don’t realize how having that cooler weather keeps a lot of those pests at bay. Sorry, I’be been working like crazy haven’t gotten much sleep today!


Final question-

if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

Well, I really thought about this, I want to tell people,

be the change you want to see,

  • support local business and local farms
  • even if it’s just pots on the patio,
  • you don’t have to go out and get miracle grow, don’t have to do the stuff that’s being told to you, you can be the change that you want to see by voting with your wallet and growing your own organic food. I know it’s expensive to buy but if you grow it there’s so much satisfaction by planting a seed and having that create something

it’s really great for your kids! It’s so important to know where you food comes from, when our kids could run out in the field and shell a pea, to see them eat it out in the fields…

and the kids love to be in the garden, sometimes….

Right as long as they’re not being asked to weed;)

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

The fear, the thing there’s some fear, move past it and give it a try! Be prepared to fail, because its all part of the process, but we are not giving up and you shouldn’t  give up either! Even if it’s starting small and make it manageable and do what you can, raised beds are super easy to do, pots on your patio, herbs for your cooking and it’s fun and it’s simple to do and it’s rewarding!

How do we connect with you?

Honest To Goodness Farms and Flowers

We do, we’re at and we’re on intersect at honest to goodness farms! 

Do you have any photographer for people. 

When you put them in a clean environment.  use my phone a ton and sometimes I use my real camera. Usually the camera that you have with you is the best. IF you can put it in a clear background. If you can really focus in and get close. That will help the eye. Sometimes they’re just an old piece of plywood. It’s really all about texture. Having that flower with textured background helps a lot it makes for a pretty presentation. 

Have you heard of the rule of 1/3s?


So if you think of a tick tack board, where it’s gonna cross, those are the points of visual interest

Instagram already has you in a square. 

not in the center

everything needs to be off centered…

tick-tac-toe board across there, where the lines intersect… that’s where you want to place the focal point of what’s dead center. Does that make sense. 

Like on a tick tack toe board….

Let me see if I can draw it out. Think about drawing a tick tack toe grid, think of the Instagram square, where the lines connect, that is where you want to put the focal point of your photo, maybe place the flower in the bottom left corner.

Oh, I get it now. 

That is what is more pleasing to your eye.

They didn’t center us at all, they took our picture and didn’t center us. But centering doesn’t look visual pleasing to the eye

There might be a setting, you might be able to turn on the grid

you can see it when they line up, normally if it’s a person right between their eyes is where lines are intersecting. 

IDK, it seems like they intersect in the middle but there are those 4 points maybe where they do intersect. 

Honest To Goodness Farm Blog

I want to encourage everyone to go to her blog, and there are nice pictures up there!

Honest To Goodness Farm and

Honest to Goodness Farm and Flowers 

We have some weeds, but I’ll continue to take pics anyway.

I think the iPhone 6 helps me post pictures. My big problem is the files are HUGE!!!

I still have the old phone but my husband has the iPhone 6 and it’s the video for him. He takes a minute a half and it stops, part of the problem.

They’re high quality, amazing photos, 

Another tip, take your pictures early morning or an hour before sunset, that’s refered to as the golden hour, that’s best time to take photos, you wouldn’t want the shadows of mid day. The light is really great … you don’t want direct shadows … morning right before sunset … cloudy day, will will work like a soft box…. So those are great days too!

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Well, I had fun!


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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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