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Posted 3/14/2018 8:32am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

As March Madness settles across the country with nonstop broadcasts of basketball tournaments, we are settling into our own form of madness.  The madness induced not by hours of watching basketball (although Cheryl was well-schooled in the art of ACC tournaments growing up) but rather the madness driven by very long lists, terrible weather and the realization that farmers market begins in a month.  Aieeeee!!!!

This week we've been quite busy getting geared up for the growing season -- and helping our fellow farmers.  We got our huge co-op order from Seven Springs Farm Supply on Monday. This task would have been IMPOSSIBLE without the muscle-power of Chris and Jonny.  Even though we had a pallet jack and the truck had a lift gate, there is no way that this load could have gotten off the truck in anything less than 4 hours without these two awesome guys.  Thank you, Chris & Jonny -- you ROCK!

This is 14,460 pounds of organic fertilizer, soil amendments and other farm products destined for 9 different farms in the area!  By collaborating and ordering a large amount of products, we are able to save everyone money.  Power to the Farmers!


It hasn't all been lifting 50# bags this week!  We got to play plant scientist with Farmer Al from Farmhaven earlier in the week.  Both of us had been wanting to graft some tomatoes so we had ourselves a little grafting party!   By grafting tomatoes, you are able to add a more disease-resistant rootstock to your desired variety of tomato.  For example, Cherokee Purple is notoriously prone to disease but by putting it on a more resistant rootstock, you will have have a stronger plant.  So far it seems the plants are doing okay -- fingers crossed!


The weather has definitely been a challenge this week -- from crazy winds to rains to colder temperatures to snow flurries -- it feels like we have seen it all!  The poor strawberries are really confused -- they have been flowering like crazy for the past month or so. We have had them uncovered for several weeks to give them a chance to be pollinated and to prevent pests and disease.  But with this most recent round of cold, they got covered back up again.  It was 28 degrees here this morning.

Bluebird House Crop Mob!
Our resident population of bluebirds continues to increase and we need some bluebird nesting boxes!  We will be making houses here at the farm on Sunday, March 18 from 2-5 p.m.  We will provide tools and materials.  We only will have space available for 8 volunteers so if you are interested in participating, please email us as soon as possible (just reply to this email).  Come on out to an early spring afternoon here at the farm -- weather permitting, of course.  Pre-registration is required.


Interested in PlumFresh? Better Hurry!
More and more registrations have been coming in this week for our PlumFresh Harvest Subscription Program!  We are now FULL for our Cobblestone Market pick-ups but we do have some openings left for our Wednesday on-farm pick-ups and Wednesday delivery option (for just $4 you can have your bag of farm-fresh, Organic goodies dropped off at your DOOR!).

PlumFresh is not your typical CSA.  We have lots of fruits and there's no big up-front cost.  A great benefit is its flexibility -- if you need, you can skip a week and not be charged.  Here's another testimonial from one of our members:

"The variety of produce was fantastic! I love that you guys supply standard produce items that everyone is familiar with, but also get people to try new vegetables, as well as offer interesting items like garlic, scapes, pesto, mushrooms, berries, etc, that aren't typically in CSA's. Also, your flexibility is really what made the program work for me! I could swap items as needed if there was something I didn't want/need, or  I could cancel my box if I was out of town."

Don't miss out -- get your spot today!  We have a new online registration form available here.  If you'd still like more information about PlumFresh, click here. We would LOVE to be YOUR farmer!

That will do it for this week!  The sun is shining and the list is long!  And since we lose an hour this weekend due to Daylight Savings Time, we'd better hop to it! 

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 3/6/2018 6:06pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

I have decided to start a petition.  It's a rather simple petition:  change the name of the 3rd month of the year from "March" to "Run." 

Yes, "March" is a command -- we had a friend in DC that told us that her birthday was Command Day (March 4th).  But I think that "Run" captures the urgency of the month and its tasks so much more accurately.  In the month of Run, we are doing just that.  We are running to get fields prepped, seeds sown, transplants planted, supplies ordered, equipment repaired, etc.  In the month of Run, we are closer to the start of market and further from the slower place of winter. 

Yes indeed.  I think a change is needed.  Who's with me?

Lots of great things happening on the farm this week -- in between the rain.  Although we didn't get Wally the High Tunnel finished, there's not too much more to finish before he gets a cover.  Hooray!

And we didn't let the lack of a cover stop us from planting the first crops in it!  Chris got the beds tilled and shaped.  And then snap peas were the celebratory first planting.  Looking good!

Our running around last weekend resulted in a bunch of potatoes in the walk-in cooler.  We'll be cutting them into appropriate sizes (there were some real lunkers!) and then warming them up before we plant in a few weeks.

We also received all of our ginger and turmeric orders.  Part of what we ordered was destined for Dr. Guochen Yang at NC A&T for his ginger high tunnel trials.  On Wednesday, Ray (and Detroit) spent much of the day cutting the ginger into proper sizes. 

Then on Thursday, Ray delivered the ginger to Dr. Yang and his team.  The boxes were opened and they got right to work on getting the ginger going on presprout!


PlumFresh Is Selling Out F-A-S-T !
We had a great time at the Meet Your Farmer/CSA Day event sponsored by Forsyth County Cooperative Extension last Friday!  It was great to have the opportunity to talk to folks about our farm and let them know what we have going on!

We are blown away at the tremendous response that we have had to our PlumFresh Harvest Subscription Program sign-ups this year!  We are filling up FAST!  Our Cobblestone Market pick-ups only have a very few slots remaining but we do have openings for our Wednesday on-farm pick-ups and Wednesday delivery option (for just $4 you can have your bag of farm-fresh, Organic goodies dropped off at your DOOR!).

PlumFresh is not your typical CSA.  We have lots of fruits and there's no big up-front cost.  A great benefit is its flexibility -- if you need, you can skip a week and not be charged.  Here's what one of our members said about the program:

Plum Fresh has got to be the best CSA ever. The variety of delicious, fresh, organic fruits and veggies is amazing. Each week we look forward to not only our "box" but the creative recipes and tips provided. Add the flexibility of the program and Plum Fresh has got to be #1 among CSAs.

Don't miss out -- get your spot today!  We have a new online registration form available here.  If you'd still like more information about PlumFresh, click here. We would LOVE to be YOUR farmer!

Thinking About a Garden?
In today's Winston-Salem Journal, garden writer Amy Dixon discusses things to consider when starting your spring garden.  She kindly contacted us for some advice and you'll even see some great photos of our peas and cabbage seedlings.  Check out her story here.   And if you want to get some great plant starts, mark April 22 and April 29 on your calendar for our big Plant Sale!

In closing, we want to pay a tribute to Steve Gauthreaux.  We just learned that Steve passed away on February 25.  Steve (aka the Praline Man) was our neighbor at the Cobblestone Farmers Market for a couple of years.  His business, Steve's Pralines, came after a long military career but was born from his Louisiana roots. He taught us the proper way to pronounce those tasty candies.  His delicious pralines brought a smile to so many.  Our condolences to his family.

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/25/2018 1:33pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!
What a difference a week makes!  Although we have definitely had our share of clouds, fog and drizzle, this week has been SO much better than last week!  The past two days of some sunshine has helped dissipate the clouds (actual and mental) and made us realize that a sunny day is possible!  It has been beautiful and unseasonably warm.  The maples are really popping and the daffodils seem to be springing up out of no where!


Even Tony says that this Spring-like weather (and food) is worth closing your eyes and savoring!

As we get closer to the Equinox, the farm's pace quickens.  So many things to do!!  We got the snap peas planted in Raz House...


And work continues on the rebuild of the Wally caterpillar...  It's been at that tedious phase -- much trial and error as we get the details of the design and mechanics of how it works figured out.  We hope that we'll have him finished next week!

It's National CSA Day!
Did you know that today is the day that more people sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs than any other day?  Yep, according to research done by Small Farm Central February 23th is the big day and there's even a national celebration of CSAs.

Why so early? 
When the farm gets advance knowledge of demand, your farmer can focus on growing healthy food and getting the food to you.  You get the freshest possible ingredients from a farmer that you know and trust, and the farmer gets some up-front cash and a better understanding of how much to grow.  It's a great partnership.

In honor of CSA Day, we are kicking off the beginning of sign-ups for our PlumFresh Harvest Subscription Program!  PlumFresh, is a bit different than a traditional CSA.  You aren't paying for the entire season up-front and it is very flexible.  You can skip a week if you need to and you don't have to get a box every week for 30 weeks.  Our members love the program -- we have one of the highest member retention rates of any CSA program in the country!  Click here for more information. We would LOVE to be YOUR farmer!

As a celebration of National CSA Day, we are participating in a "Meet Your Farmer" event at the Old Salem Visitor's Center today (February 23) from 11-2.  Stop by and say "Hello!" -- we'd love to see you!

That does it for this week!  A busy few days in store as we go running all over the state getting 200 pounds of seed ginger, 725 pounds of seed potatoes, half a ton of coir and MORE!  Whew!  And it's just 25 days til the First Day of Spring!

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/16/2018 7:22pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!
My daily conversation with the clouds:  "Okay...thanks for your generosity but that's plenty!  Please...we really have quite enough.  I know some folks in New Mexico who haven't seen your kind since October.  They need you much more than we do..."

I don't think it's working too well, do you?

And it's so muddy that even the donkey is asking for curb service!

Yes, the subject is rain.  So much rain.  So much mud.  It was nice to have a respite last night (even had a beautiful sunset!) and for a few hours today but more is heading our way.  

Ray and I are solar-powered creatures.  That's why New Mexico was a great place for us.  We had the opportunity to move to Seattle before we moved to NM and turned it down because there just wasn't enough sunshine.  That's what makes these rainy, grey, dreary days so difficult.  But we will try to look on the bright side.  The hay fields are green again and the peepers are already out!

So time in the greenhouse is even more important now.  Today we got the cucumbers planted and the peas are really starting to pop.


And there are many signs that Spring is on the way.  Maples are starting to bloom, the garlic is growing like crazy, crocuses are popping, and the shallots are announcing their presence as well.  


So we will look on the bright side.  And listen to the peepers.  While knowing that Spring (and hopefully less rain) is on the way.

Have a great weekend!
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/9/2018 6:52pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Hey!  I recognize that guy on the cover!  Golly!

Yep, we have finally made it to the cover of a national publication.  No, it's not Rolling Stone (now I've got that Dr. Hook song running through my head!) but it is Country Folks Grower, a national farmer-to-farmer publication based in New York State.  We got an email in November from one of their writers asking if she could do a feature article on the farm.  Her editor had gotten a list of agritourism farms in NC from the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and thought we sounded interesting.  And so it began.

We did an extensive phone interview and then pulled some photos together.   A big thanks to Mary Jac Brennan and Steve Howell to getting some photos of the two of us (we don't have very many of those...!)  And we waited.  Finally yesterday a package arrived in the mail -- it was a laminated copy of the cover along with the article and two copies of the magazine!  In case you are interested, you can read the article here.  

Ok, so back to our normal stuff!

The greenhouse is definitely the center of farm activity these days.  We outgrew the "inner sanctum" that we originally created in order to contain heated space -- too many seed trays!  So we expanded the area to include about 3/4 of the greenhouse -- but by having a ceiling, we are able to keep the expensive heated air where we want it instead of having it rise 10 feet to the roof.  Take a look and see what's going on there! 


More and more trays have been seeded and we are just getting started.  We are trying to start more plants indoors and then transplant them.  We have read where several farms have had success with transplanting snap peas for an earlier crop so we are giving that a try.  Today we got those seeds in the trays!

It's good to have this space to work in -- especially with as much rain as we have had recently.  We got about 1.25 inches on Wednesday.  We are hoping that the forecast for over 2 inches this weekend and early next week doesn't materialize.  The soil is pretty waterlogged.  It's going to take a long time for things to dry out enough to get in the fields as it is....  

That'll do it for us this week.  There are so many celebration opportunities this coming week, it's enough to make your head spin!  It starts off today with National Pizza Day which you can enjoy while you are watching the Opening Ceremonies of the 23rd Winter Olympics.  Then next week on Fat Tuesday you can laisse les bons temps rouler for Mardi Gras. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which is also the same day as Valentine's Day!  Oh the choices!

Be good, stay dry and we'll talk next week!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/4/2018 2:46pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Welcome February!
Kerchunk!  Did you hear it?  That was the sound of another page of the calendar being flipped.  We are now in Month 2 of 2018!  The good news is that we are even closer to Spring but the bad news is that we are even closer to Spring!  So much to do! 
But this morning Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so we are in for another 6 weeks of winter. :- (


Even before we got Phil's tweet, we knew that more winter was on the way.  This morning we covered the strawberries again before the winds really started wailing later in the day.  If the wind didn't get us, the frozen fabric did!  

The fabric had frozen together in spots which made stretching it out without tearing (as shown above), quite difficult.  After getting one section covered, we decided to take our chances on the wind and let the fabric thaw out a bit before covering the last part.

The plan for this week was to get Wally reconstructed.  Oh well, the best laid plans...  We got a call Monday from our Organic Certification Inspector saying that she would be here on Thursday morning.  We really couldn't defer the inspection so we wrapped our heads around the new schedule!  While we had our records in good shape, it takes a while to organize them to make it easier to audit.  Ease of review is important when you are paying the inspector by the hour.

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 seed purchase receipts, empty seed packets, when and how much we seeded, when and how much was planted, when and 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!  

Of course, farms and their equipment don't seem to care about human concerns like inspections.  They have their own cycle and agendas no matter what the weather or appointment book says.  On Tuesday, the heater in the greenhouse decided to go out.  Not a good time -- they never seem to break in June. 

With colder temperatures heading our way, we needed to do something and fast!  Mr. Fix-It to the rescue!  Thank Goodness for service manuals on the internet.  Ray diagnosed the problem and got it running again!  It's now blowing hot air to keep the plants warm.  ASF (Always Something Farm).

Ray says that the farming is the absolute dream job for a Mr/Ms Fix-It.  And that is so true!  From electrical to plumbing to carpentry and mechanics, farming requires so many skills.  We are very fortunate that Ray has such a broad skill set.  Unfortunately my repertoire is quite limited in that area. 

So I'll go back to doing something that I like to do -- and can do well:  seeding!  It's time to get more of these tiny promises of Summer and tastiness on their way.  Something new we are trying this year is to grow shallots from our own seeds.  We saved some shallot flowers from last season and are using the seeds from the flower stalks as a trial for transplant production.  We are moving away from planting shallot bulbs and instead will grow transplants from seed.  Our French Red shallots grown from bulbs produce a large scape or flower that when cut, can create a perfect environment for mold and decay.  As a result, they don't cure properly.  Seed-grown shallots don't form a scape.  We have lost nearly half of our shallot crop for the past couple of years to bulbs that didn't completely dry.  Maybe now we can grow a few of these shallots from bulbs to produce seeds and grow the rest of the shallots from transplants!  We'll keep you posted on our progress.

That does it for this week's news!  Have fun watching the Super Bowl this weekend or enjoying some time on your own if the rest of your family is caught up in the game.  You'll find us in the nice, warm greenhouse!

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/28/2018 7:14pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!
It's pay-back time.  This is the time of year that we always refer to in summer.  "Don't have time to do it now, we'll do it in the winter!"  Well now it's time to pay up -- all of those projects, deferred maintenance and other tasks that must be completed at this time of year come due.  They might not be the most sexy but they are pretty critical to making sure things move smoothly in the main season.

And of course, equipment always breaks...

And roofs must be attached (in 15-20 MPH winds...)

These are on top of the other building and repair projects that we already had on the list.  Whew!  So what does a farmer do in the winter?

One of our big projects this winter is to rebuild our caterpillar tunnel, Wally, and turn it into a more structured and durable hoophouse.  We are doing this by giving it a peaked roof -- called a Gothic style -- which sheds snow better than a rounded roof.  We are also putting in end walls instead of the gathered plastic "beak" that it had originally.  We are also adding roll-up side walls inside of slide-up ones.  By making these modifications, we will be able to have a high tunnel that will meet our needs better and will be less frustrating than working with the original design last year.  Plus it will stand up to the rain and wind and snow much better.

The photo below shows Wally with one of the new top gothic bows with the peak in front of the original rounded bows. 

By getting Wally rebuilt, it is giving us the opportunity to determine exactly what we need for the next 2 tunnels we are building this winter -- another 50' one and a 100' one.  It was actually a good thing that we never got the other tunnels built last year because it means that we don't have to rebuild them!  Do-overs can be more challenging than building something from scratch!  We hope to have Wally finished next week.

We continue to get the fields cleared in preparation for spring planting.  The field that had all of our kale, lettuce, chard, etc. is now totally clear. Thanks to Chris and Jonny for getting up the plastic and drip tape!  A messy but essential task!  We are going to give this field a rest this year and will be planting alfalfa there as a cover crop.  Here's the before and after.


The greenhouse has been the hub of a lot of activity as well.  We are in major seeding mode!  It's time to seed all of the onions, leeks and shallots along with beets, greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes.  Our heat mats are almost full already and we are just getting started!

We were off to an early start this year with artichokes and cucumbers in trays by January 14 but unfortunately the mice decided they really wanted to eat these seeds (and they were quite expensive ones too!)  Now we have implemented our "Mouse Taxi" program.  We have some great traps that catch the mice unharmed and then we release them about 2 miles away.  That's far enough that they won't come back.  Seven mice relocated so far!

The good news is that the mouse population seems to be declining (knock on wood!) and our replacement seeds are beginning to emerge.

The mice may also be deterred by the increased presence of the cats in the greenhouse.  Detroit and RingBob really enjoy spending time in here while we are working.   Pretty energetic mousers, eh?  They say are just resting in case a mouse decides to walk by!  ;-)


That does it for this edition.  Here's a cheering thought:  we are just 53 days away from Spring!  Keep your eyes open for signs of the coming season!


Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/19/2018 4:45pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Brix says, "Do you know what today is?"  It's National Popcorn Day!  She's sniffing the air in hopes of scoring a handful of the fluffy white treat.  Don't you think today is a good day for a big bowl of popcorn?

Meanwhile, we are watching the snow melt away from the first snow of the year.  It was far from Snowpocalypse  -- we only got about 4 inches but had some drifts that were much deeper as a result of heavy winds.  Have a look at the farm under a fluffy blanket of snow...


The snow really changes the critters' behavior.  BB loves the snow -- she was laying outside her hutch all day on Wednesday as the flakes came down.  I thought she was a snow drift until I saw her mouth move!  Meanwhile, Tony stayed snug inside.  Brix's paths change a lot.  Normally she wanders every corner of the pasture but since the snow, she hasn't set hoof in the front pasture along Flat Shoals.  Maybe she wants to stay near her shelter since we've been feeding her more hay!  Smart donkey!

One of my favorite things about snow is how it reveals nature so clearly.  In today's walk, I could see where exactly the cats go and how the deer move through the farm.  No matter how stealthy we are, in snow we are no longer able to pass through unnoticed. 

Coming Attractions!

Since today is National Popcorn Day, we popped up a big ol' bowl and have been doing LOTS of planning!  Here are some of the events that we have up our sleeves for the coming season:

  • March (date TBD)    Ginger and Turmeric Workshop
  • April 7                      Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem starts
  • April 22 & 29            Open Greenhouse & Plant Sale
  • May 13                     Mother's Day Strawberry Pick Your Own (PYO)
  • June 24                    4th Annual Northern Triad Farm Tour
  • July 4                       Annual July 4th Blackberry PYO
  • October 14               Growing Great Garlic at Home Workshop
  • October (date TBD)  Fall Festival & Pumpkin PYO
  • November 24           Small Business Saturday Holiday market

Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more details!  We hope to do several blackberry PYOs -- our Monday evening twilight events were popular last year!  And we are likely to add another workshop or two.  Of course, things like Pick Your Owns are subject to fruit availability and weather...

That does it for this week's news!  There are lots of activities this weekend -- Cobblestone Farmers Market Winter Market begins on Saturday at 9 and the Old Salem/Slow Food Piedmont Seed Swap is Saturday at 11.  Just a few things to shake off the winter blues and get us dreaming about Spring!  

And in answer to last week's question, "So what DO farmers do in the winter?,"  they bundle up a lot and take food and water out to their animals!  And yes, Ray IS smiling!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/12/2018 12:19pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday
Hope you made it safely and warmly through the polar plunge earlier in the week!  Our low was 3 on Sunday.  Don't recall getting that cold before.  We're not complaining though -- our sales rep at High Mowing Seeds was at -30 earlier in the week!  But as our wacky NC winters do, we're up to 65 right now.  Our ice bucket sculptures in last week's newsletter are now completely gone.  But we are looking to drop 40 degrees by tomorrow night down to 24.  It's enough to make your head spin!


So what DO farmers do in the winter?  We get asked this question a lot.  Many folks think that we nap a lot, read books for fun and watch a bunch of movies.  Of course we did do some of that in December.  And I'm reading Instagram posts (with some envy) about farmers taking vacations in Ecuador, Mexico and even just the beach.  But now for us, as Ray says, "Break time is over!"  We are flat-out in gear and preparing for the season ahead.  And we've are planning a great one for you!

The warmth this week has given us the opportunity to get some fields ready for spring planting.  Although we don't want to shape beds yet, prepping the soil now will make it easier to get things in the ground come March. 

Jonny is learning how to use the Grillo walk-behind tractor and is using it here to prep the beds in Raz 1.  There are 6 empty beds there now -- we removed fall-bearing raspberries a few years ago once the fruit flies (spotted wing drosophila) became such a problem for late fruit.  We'll be adding 2 more rows of blackberries and 2 rows of raspberries here along with trellised peas and beans.  Plants are ordered and they'll get planted in late March!

We are also doing lots of clean-up of the field margins to remove low hanging branches and to clear trees that have fallen.  That generates a LOT of debris that we need to burn.  We've had a couple of great days to do that -- no wind makes for perfect conditions.  Here's Chris with what is left of several trailer loads of brush!

Since we have so many downed trees and brush to get rid of, we are researching making bio-char as a possible soil amendment. Stay tuned!

We are also tending our overwintered crops.  Unfortunately several field crops didn't make it with the frigid temps.  We hit the point of no return with our chard, kale, broccoli and even collards.  Most of these will take a pretty good freeze uncovered but it appears that 3 degrees is just too darn cold!


But the good news is that plants in the hoophouse and even under cover in the field are doing pretty well!


Farming in the winter is a bit like having your home remodeled on one of those HGTV shows -- waiting for the "reveal" can be a bit nerve-wracking!

So see, farmers do a LOT in winter!  We haven't even talked about putting together crop plans, ordering seed and planning events -- ALL of which we have been doing!

So the next time you hear someone wondering aloud about "What DO farmers do in the winter?," you'll have an answer!

That's about it for the news from the farm for now.  We'd better get back to more crop planning and then over to the greenhouse to start seeding onions!

Have a great weekend!  Let's celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday and honor his memory by doing something to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.  It seems like we need something positive now more than ever.

Until next week,
Cheryl & Ray

Posted 1/5/2018 11:36am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! Happy New Year!
Boy, 2018 knows how to get our attention, huh?  Call it the Bomb Cyclone or Deep Freeze of the Century, this stretch of cold weather is quite memorable.  The lowest recording was 8 on Tuesday but the wind chill has been much, much colder.  This weather even has Gesti enjoying a blanket!

And as tempting as it might be to stick inside all day, every day during this wintry blast, we still have chores to tend to outside.  We pile on as many clothes as possible (at times I feel like the kid brother in "A Christmas Story" -- I sure hope I don't fall down because I'm not sure if I'll get back up!).

Having even a few animals requires us to venture out for their comfort and health -- I can only imagine what someone with a large herd does in conditions like this.  Twice daily, we have to dump out the ice in the buckets and fill with fresh water.  We are amassing quite a collection of ice sculptures, don't you think?

And the water trough has turned into a glacier -- even with daily chopping!

And we are trying to keep some of the wind off of Brix in her shelter. She's not quite as cold loving as BB and Tony.  The pallets went up before the end of the year and on Wednesday Chris & Jonny covered them with a tarp -- which unfortunately ripped off in Thursday night's wind.  Next try -- Ray installed a wood panel.  If this blows down, we've got a LOT to be worried about!


But despite the cold conditions, we try to keep a smile on our faces and count our blessings.  That's easy to do when the sun comes out and the wind lays down.  And stopping for a sausage biscuit snack during farm clean-up doesn't hurt either!

The cold creates new scenes of beauty all around us...

These cold days do make it easier to get our year-end wrap-ups done and to begin our crop planning for the new season.  We have some wonderful things in store for you and we'll be sharing them soon!

As we close this edition of the year's first newsletter, we want to share a photo collage with you.  This is from our Top 9 posts in Instagram last year -- obviously carrots, garlic and ginger were a hit!  If you don't follow us on Instagram, please do -- we post several times each week about the goings on here at the farm.

That's it for this week.  Stay warm!

Cheryl & Ray

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Ray talks ginger with Lisa

Check out the terrific feature that Flavor, NC did on Plum Granny Farm!  You can view the episode at  They did a great job showing our garlic, ginger & berry production - plus a few other surprises! We are paired with Chef Jay from Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen who makes some wonderful garlic recipes!  Enjoy!

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