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 Ferguson :: Friday, December 9 :: 12:58pm
Hello Farm Friends! Happy Friday!
Even though Winter's official arrival is 12 days away, the temperatures didn't seem to get the email -- it's cold out there! The morning temperature was 28 degrees -- and it will be colder tomorrow. And I'll remember to turn the faucet off.
Ray and Chris worked on getting things winter-ready on Wednesday (covering wells and draining water lines) and yesterday morning, the strawberries put on their winter coat. They seemed to appreciate it this morning!
Before the cold came in, we were able to get more bulb garlic planted -- there's only Nootka Rose left to go! The field is really starting to sprout tags (each step-in post marks a change in variety)...
... and garlic! Some of the earlier planted varieties already have gotten quite tall -- the Shandong (planted November 11) has a 3" top and the Lahontan, which was planted on November 29, has a 1" stem and 1" roots but it hasn't emerged yet. Here's some of the Shandong this morning:
Much of the week was spent in pulling together files and records for our organic inspection. Because of Tuesday's rain, we rescheduled it for yesterday -- a much better day to walk all over the farm. From the inspector's comments, it seems that everything was fine and that we passed. We'll be getting their final determination in a month or so.
The on-site inspection is very thorough and involves a complete farm walk as well as reviewing our documentation -- half a day at least. One of the parts that we have to be prepared for is to show our all crops from seed to sale -- a complete audit of when we seeded, when and how much was planted, what was harvested and how much we sold.
For the newer readers of our newsletter, you may ask, "why do you do this?" Great question. We believe it provides an important assurance to our customers regarding how we grow our crops. Unlike vague terms like "naturally grown" or "no spray", what we produce is regulated through an extensive Federal certification process. From the seed we plant to our tent at market, we have specific requirements that we must meet to ensure that the food you enjoy from us is grown in a way that nourishes the land (and you!). We deeply appreciate your trust in us and thank you for supporting a Certified Organic farm!
With the inspection behind us, we can now breathe a little bit. We are trying to get in the Holiday Spirit by doing some special things. We took a break last Sunday afternoon to go to Mitchell's Greenhouse and Nursery in King for their annual Poinsettia Open House. They are the largest grower of poinsettias in the Triad (over 9,000!) and grow 81 varieties. Because of their prolific poinsettia passion, they are one of 33 greenhouses in the U.S and Canada to participate in the North American Poinsettia Trials. Go check them out -- they still have beautiful flowers for your home or office!
This week, we hope to move our Christmas tree from the greenhouse (where it has been since the Holiday Market) to the living room and deck the farm sign with our traditional purple lights! It's so much fun getting in the spirit!
And, yes, it's time to take a nap or two. Brix recommends it highly.
Need a few more gifts?
Don't head out to the Big Boxes! We make it easy to shop local without leaving your house! Our jams, garlic braids and gift boxes are ready for giving and are perfect as a hostess gift, a teacher, or even for yourself! Looking for a custom option? Give us a call (336-994-2517) or send us an email (email@example.com) and we can put something together for you! We'll even take care of the hassle of shipping them! Check out our updated online store and see what we have to offer.
And we'll leave you with a mystery... sort of. Our dear little black lamb, BB, has a secret. She's not really black... she's GREY! It really is a weird thing! She started getting lighter and lighter after she was sheared but now she is getting really grey! We've heard that some black sheep turn grey or even white as they age because of genetic factors. We suspect it might be Big Brother Tony that is causing those darn grey hairs! What do you think? Should we change her name to GB (Grey Beauty)?
Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray