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 :: Thursday, May 19 :: 11:07am
Hello Farm Friends! Happy Thursday!
What a strange May this has been. Gloomy days seem to be the norm (although last Saturday at market was exquisite!). But the cloud cover and mist are good for planting and weeding, which are high on our to-do list this week.
The weeds are definitely getting their spring growth spurt so we are trying to get them out of our plantings before they take over. The leeks are a good example. In the picture below, the unweeded bed is full of sedge and the newly weeded bed (to the right of Detroit) is nice and clean. Leeks, along with other alliums, don't compete well with weeds so it is especially important to keep ahead of the game.
Another crop we are trying to tend extra well this year is potatoes. Last year the weeds jumped up before we could get in the field to hill and cultivate. In the battle between the weeds and the potatoes, the potatoes lost big time. And if the weeds didn't do them in, the Colorado Potato Beetles did. This week we scouted the field and found very few beetles or eggs (yay!) and Ray did another hilling and cultivation. Don't you think the field is looking mighty fine?
One of the busiest "fields" on the farm is Raz House, our high tunnel. This little 30' x 40' space has a lot going on! The snow peas came out this week and the early sugar snap peas will probably follow today. The peas are being followed by tomatoes along with lettuce, basil and radishes. We are doing lots of inter-planting to maximize the space -- it's prime real estate! The picture below shows the newly planted tomatoes in the former snow pea bed -- behind it are the snap peas awaiting their final picking. We can really pack a house!
The middle of May always signals one of our favorite times of the year -- Scape Season! Yes, our little acrobatic friends are starting to emerge in the hardneck garlic. These tasty morsels are always a frequently requested item at market -- and this week we'll have some! In addition, we are doing a cooking class on garlic scapes for Southern Home & Kitchen at Thruway Center next Tuesday (5/24) at 6 p.m. Contact them for reservations (336.777.3660) – it will be fun and tasty!
On the Bee front, Ray completed the transition of the damaged hive to a top-bar hive and things seem to be doing okay -- it is still hard to tell if there is a queen. Later today, Ray will be installing a nuc from a swarm that our friend, Brian Hart, caught. His wife, Sharon, had read about us losing one of our hives and called to offer one of theirs. Those bees will be going into the Langstroth hive body -- trying again! Thanks to Brian and Sharon for sharing!
Or was that hey day? The lambs and Brix were treated to a pre-haying feast of fresh grass this week. Freshly cut and delivered straight to their waiting mouths... sometimes you are just in the mood for fast food delivery!
We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including Snow Peas, Garlic Scapes, Kale, Swiss Chard, Broccoli Raab, Frissé, Easter Egg Radishes, Garlic Powder and Granules, Triple Crown Blackberry Plants, and lots of transplants (tomato, tomatillo, herb). Our fruit-forward jams and Raspberry-Chipotle Molé will also be available. We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and King from 11-1. Please note that we may not always have every item at the Wednesday market.
Tomorrow is Pick Strawberries Day. While we won't have any to pick, we want to thank everyone who came out to our PYO event last Sunday -- what a wonderful day! And thanks too to everyone who bought strawberries from us this year -- we know that we never had enough to go around but we really appreciate your enthusiasm for our little red fruits!
Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray