We're glad you stopped by for a (virtual) visit to our farm and to see what we are up to these days.
Plum Granny Farm is a USDA Certified Organic small family farm located in the north central piedmont area of North Carolina. The farm is set on 54 beautiful acres of rolling countryside just south of Hanging Rock State Park in the Capella community.
We are building on our heritage as a NC Century Farm, as the farm has been in the Ferguson family for over 140 years. We grow raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, garlic, ginger, specialty veggies, herbs and cut flowers.
Although full-time farming is fairly new to us, we both have deep connections to our farming heritage. Cheryl grew up on this farm and her father, grandfather and great-grandfather all practiced the art of cultivation on this soil. Ray has his farming roots in Kansas where his mother grew up amid some of the most beautiful soil that has ever been seen.
Our approach to farming is to nurture the soil and the land to return it to its optimal state. Building the soil with cover crops, compost and manure will help us produce better, healthier crops and is an essential part of our sustainability.
We hope you'll stop by frequently to check out our blog and check on the crops. Our website will continue to grow and develop just as our farm continues to do. So join us in our adventure!
Here's to good growing and good eating!
Cheryl & Ray
Photo: Walt Unks, Winston-Salem Journal
Posted by Cheryl :: Friday, March 24 :: 7:49pm
Hello Farm Friends! Happy Friday!
The calendar announced the beginning of Spring on Monday and we are ready to see it! Now if it will only stay with us a while. We are getting a bit weary of taking the field blanket on and off the strawberries (just took it off again this morning!).
Our transplants are saying they want to get in the ground but our heads kept saying that we needed to wait a bit. Based on the forecasts for the next week, we are out of the woods in terms of low temps for a while(?) Let the planting begin!!!
But before plants go in, fields must be prepped. Ray has been working on tilling the fields and getting the fertilizer incorporated. We were able to borrow a bedshaper from NC A&T which lets us form the bed, lay the irrigation tape and cover the bed in plastic (or not) in one step. This will help us speed up the process of getting the fields ready for planting.
We are still spending a lot of time in the greenhouse. Cheryl has been a tomato transplant tornado this week -- over 1,200 seedlings are now in larger containers where they can stretch out their roots and g-r-o-w!
And the really exciting greenhouse news is that the hose trolley is now complete! No more kinked hose on the floor and wrestling with winding up the hose! Hooray!
Part of this project has included plumbing so that we could add a water treatment method for our irrigation water. We have known for a while that our well water had a pH that was too high for our plants. It has taken a lot of research to figure out how to correct this problem and then it was a matter of finding the time to make it happen. Ray's plumbing skills (and about 25 trips to Lowes Depot) have really been put to the test -- but the results are terrific! Now we just have to work on getting the pH corrected -- we are using food grade citric acid to lower the pH. In an organic system, we don't have as many options as conventional growers. And of course, citric acid is more expensive than their chemical choices! We are always amazed at how much it costs to be Certified Organic.
The most exciting news of the week is that the first of our caterpillar tunnels is up! We've been working on getting the site prepared (measuring, putting down landscape fabric on the edges and adding leaf compost to the soil). Today the bows went up and, despite the wind, we were able to get it covered. It's going to be a fine spot for crops -- first in will be lettuce and other greens. Hip, hip hooray! Now we have to find a proper name for the tunnel -- we are thinking caterpillar or butterfly types...any suggestions? Check out the pictures!
Ginger Workshop is Full!
Thanks so much to those of you who have registered for our class next Saturday. The workshop is now full! Stay tuned for more workshop opportunities soon -- we'll be doing a small fruit growing class in May.
Only 5 memberships left for PlumFresh!!
And we are filling things up left and right around here! Just a few more slots left for PlumFresh! If you've been thinking about it but just haven't gotten your application in, NOW is time! For more information and an application, please click here.
That's it for now! Gotta go plant some stuff! And rescue Ray's coat from Detroit.
Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray