Debra Prinzing

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Episode 593: Tom Precht and Sarah Daken of Grateful Gardeners, on buying farmland and establishing a new aquaponics greenhouse operation

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

I’m excited to reintroduce Tom Precht and Sarah Daken, Maryland-based Slow Flowers members and owners of Grateful Gardeners back to the show today.

I interviewed them for the Slow Flowers Podcast in the fall of 2019, before adding our video podcast (aka vodcast) feature. That’s when we discussed the early chapters of Grateful Gardeners, when Tom and Sarah both had fulltime, off-farm careers that they were hoping to leave behind and grow flowers for both a living and a lifestyle.

Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Grateful Gardeners
Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Grateful Gardeners

Well, lots has happened in the past few years, and they joined me last week in the to record an update to share with you. This is a full-blown conversation so I won’t take too much time introducing my friends, Sarah and Tom. But I will share just a paragraph from Sarah’s January 1st blog post:

She wrote: “Dreams do Come True. We knew we needed to expand if we were ever going to try to make flower farming our livelihood. But could we ever have imagined in less than a year it would mean selling our old house, buying a new one, moving thousands of perennials, building new fields, building a greenhouse, a pavilion, a walk in cooler …. that we would spend over $300,000 dollars in 9 months! That we would win over $350,000 in grant money. Literally, you can’t make this up.”

So let’s learn more and jump right in to meet Tom and Sarah.

More resources:

Follow Grateful Gardeners on Instagram and Facebook.

Read More about Aquaponic Flower Growing

News for this Week

Slow Flowers Creative Workshop logo art

I also want to remind you that registration continues for the 2023 Slow Flowers’ Creative Writing Workshop — and we’ve just extended the $100 discount through Sunday, January 22nd. This online course begins on January 28th and is designed to help you gain confidence with content as a write. Sign up for the Slow Flowers Creative Workshop: Floral Storytelling and receive the following: Three Modules; Ten Lessons; 19 Worksheets; Four Writing Templates; Two Guest Editor Sessions; 4 Weekly Q&As during Debra’s “Office Hours,” You’ll also receive a 28-page workbook, “The Journey from Blog to Book.” PLUS, you’ll enjoy our BONUS MODULE – “Visual and Verbal Storytelling” with Debra Prinzing and BLOOM Imprint’s Creative Director Robin Avni.

The course is $297 and we will extend the $100-off discount through Sunday, January 22nd. Join our highly motivated group of students who have already signed up — florists, designers, flower farmers and growers, gardeners and flower lovers who want to be better Floral Storytellers!

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 850 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

Thank you to The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at

Thank you to Details Flowers Software, a platform specifically designed to help florists and designers do more and earn more. With an elegant and easy-to-use system–Details is here to improve profitability, productivity, and organization for floral businesses of all shapes and sizes. Grow your bottom line through professional proposals and confident pricing with Details’ all-in-one platform. All friends of the Slow Flowers Podcast will receive a 7-day free trial of Details Flowers Software. Learn more at

Thank you to CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at

Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.  Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time.

Music credits:

Discovery Harbor; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field