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Posted 10/24/2014 3:38pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

It's been a plant, harvest and field prep kind of week here on the farm.  All of the potatoes are out of the field -- both the sweet potatoes and the remainder of the fingerlings.  We were pleased with both harvests -- the fingerlings netted around 800 pounds and the sweet potatoes came in at just under 700 pounds.  A respectable harvest!  Unlike "Irish" potatoes, sweet potatoes have to be cured in a warm, humid place in order to develop their sugars so they will taste even better.  It takes about 7-10 days for them to cure.  We put ours in the greenhouse after harvest -- they are now stacked on perforated shelving to make sure air can flow through them.

Ray and Chris harvesting potatoes  Sweet potato in the row  Stacks of sweet potatoes in the greenhouse

Sweet potatoes are still a fairly new crop for us.  Our first year growing them was in 2012 -- very small potatoes and we almost gave up.  We didn't grow them last year but planted a pretty good sized area this year.  We know that sweet potatoes are somewhat of a commodity crop but we are trying to find some extra tasty and sweet ones for you, our special customers. Next week we should have Covington, Ginseng and Sweetie Pie at market.   The main reason we grow sweets is for our "Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Butter."  This year the potatoes are nice and large and will be easier to work with than the little rattail ones from 2012.  This incredibly smooth and tasty treat will be available starting in November -- just in time for the Holidays!!  It's a yummy, not too sweet Sweet Potato Pie in a jar!

We've been busy on the planting front as well.  More kale, chard and onions are now in the ground.  We just planted 804 red and yellow onions today -- these will be ready next spring (nothing like making you wait, huh?)  Our hoop house has been transformed from tomato heaven into a cozy abode for basil, frissé, lettuce -- and yes, we still have tomatoes! The plan is for the frissé to be ready for Holiday sales.

Planting onions in Daddy's Garden

Speaking of Holidays, we are busy making plans for our activities.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 29 for our Holiday Open Greenhouse event!  This is Small Business Saturday and we will be partnering with other vendors to join us at this very fun and very local event!  Stay tuned for more information!

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  This Saturday there will be extra Halloween activity in Old Salem so there's even more to do after market.  Wednesday will be the LAST day of the King Farmers Market season. 

What will you find on our tables?  Yes, there's still garlic!  But -- a word of warning -- we are starting to run out of several varieties so you'd better stock up!   There will be Garlic Powder and Garlic Granules (Spanish Roja & Music), a few bags of Seed Garlic for planting, Culinary garlic -- Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, German Red, Lorz Italian, and Nootka Rose -- and garlic braids.

Those yummy LaRatte Fingerling potatoes will be there in bunches!  Lots of okra (burgundy and green).  Tomatoes are still on the menu and we have a surprising number of beautiful slicers and some fruit boxes and Matt's Wild Cherry.  There will be Aji Dulce (the sweet habanero) and shishito peppers -- all Certified Organic!  Try a taste of our Aji Dulce Sauce -- it is a zesty and bright Puerto Rican saauce that just begs to go with chicken, beans or pork -- and even chips!  We'll have kits with all the makings and a simple recipe.  We also have a new batch of Basil PestoIn the Jam Department, we are all stocked up! 

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Get out and enjoy the beautiful fall colors this weekend!  Supposed to be gorgeous so head on up towards Hanging Rock and wave as you drive by the farm!!

Autum Maple  Pineapple sage plant

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 10/17/2014 10:34am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

What a gorgeous morning!  Beautiful sunshine, pleasantly cool -- the perfect fall day.  Hard to believe we had such turbulence earlier in the week.  Tuesday evening we were securing anything that might blow due to forecasts for tornadoes and high winds -- thank goodness those didn't come but we did get nearly 2 inches of rain.  It's nice to have a sunny, calm day. 

Our week has been a hodgepodge of clearing, planting, fertilizing and harvesting.  The strawberries are now in the ground (fortified by a nice sip of fish emulsion as a toddy to get them through the winter).  Kale, bunching onions and leeks have also been planted -- but there are a lot more greens to come!  And more potatoes!

A few photos to share:

Planting strawberries in North   Newly planted kale  Newly planted Kale in Daddy's Garden

   Bunching onions in the Demo Garden 

As many of you know, we have been without a pet cow for 3 years.  Yam, our beloved bovine, was a fixture in the pasture and the official greeter for the Capella Community.  We have been looking for her successor somewhat half-heartedly because we don't really have the time for another bottle baby calf.  But we got a call on Saturday evening from our vet telling us about a calf.  On Sunday, we went up to the Sparks Family Farm just outside Stuart and picked up the tiniest, cutest Angus.  Cheryl decided his name should be "Sparky."  His prognosis wasn't very good -- had been born on Thursday and his mother wasn't really producing milk.  And the weather had been very wet and cold.  But we loaded this limp little guy into a large crate and headed back to the farm.  My cousin had space in his barn and we fixed up a warm, cozy spot.  He eagerly took his first bottle of milk and started showing more energy.  When we checked on him later in the night, he was sleeping peacefully.  The next morning when we went over to feed him, unfortunately he had not made it.  It was very hard to lose him so soon, but Sparky opened up space in our hearts and heads for another calf -- it won't be another 3 years before there is a friendly bovine in the pasture.

Cheryl and Sparky

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  This Saturday is the Harvest Day:  Pigs and Pippins in Old Salem so it may be extra busy.  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1). 

On our tables you'll find lots of garlic!  Garlic Powder and Garlic Granules (Spanish Roja & Music), bags of Seed Garlic for planting, Culinary garlic -- Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, German Red, and Lorz Italian -- and garlic braids.

Those yummy LaRatte Fingerling potatoes will be there in bunches!  Lots of okra (burgundy and green).  The tomatoes are still on the menu but in much smaller quantity!  There will be Aji Dulce (the sweet habanero) and shishito peppers, as well as swiss chard and eggplant (small amounts) -- all Certified Organic!  We also have a new batch of Basil PestoIn the Jam Department, we are all stocked up! 

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Here's wishing you a wonderful Sweetest Day tomorrow.  It's a day for you to recognize a sweet and special someone. It doesn’t matter who that person is, or what their relation is to you. They just have to be "sweet" in order to get a little recognition.

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 10/10/2014 12:02pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Beautiful day on the farm!  Sunny, pleasant breeze -- sounds like a great day to harvest potatoes!  Yes! We are harvesting some of our LaRatte fingerling potatoes today.  They are coming out a bit early because Ray noticed some late blight last week.  In just a week's time, it appears that the blight has spread from a small section to nearly 2/3 of the field.  In the case of late blight, the potatoes aren't infected (nor is there any change in their taste) but the leaves -- which are the sugar factories that enable tuber growth -- die off quickly.  There's really no advantage to leaving them in the ground so we'll get out most of them today (and will have them at market tomorrow!)

LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes

Progress is being made for the 2015 Strawberry Field -- the holes are burned in the fabric, straw has been rolled out in the aisles and some planting has begun.  By close of day on Monday, 2000+ strawberry plants will be in the ground!  Here's Jen, Chris & Elliot rolling out the bale:

Rolling out the straw bale in the strawberries

As autumn settles in, deer are starting to become more curious about what's on the buffet line here at Plum Granny Farm.  The strawberries, beans and sweet potatoes are nicely protected behind an electrified fence but there are several other plantings that don't have that protection.  Last night it appears that the sweet potatoes in the demo garden were on the evening's menu:

Deer damage to sweet potato leaves

 

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables? Garlic in all forms!  Last week we had the first batch of our beautiful garlic braids available -- there will be more this week!  Wouldn't one of these decorative and functional braids look great in your kitchen?  And they make great gifts too -- special orders are available!  There are 10 bulbs of delicious Nootka Rose garlic in each braid.  Nootka Rose is Cheryl's favorite roaster and they are VERY long-lasting.

Garlic braid

We'll also have the first of our varietal Garlic Powder and Garlic Granules (Spanish Roja & Music) and bags of Music Seed Garlic for planting.  Culinary garlic will be on the table as well -- Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, Purple Italian (Last Week!), and Lorz Italian.

The tomatoes are still on the menu but in much smaller quantity!  We'll also have those delicious Striped Romans, heirloom slicers, saladette tomatoes, and pints of Red Pearl grape tomatoes.  Just a few more snap green beans (Rattlesnake Pole)!  There will be Aji Dulce (the sweet habanero) and shishito peppers, and okra (green & burgundy), and those yummy LaRatte fingerling potatoes -- all Certified Organic!  In the Jam Department, we are all stocked up! 

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

And since so many of you like to see our crazy cats -- here's another picture.  I like to call this "Ajo Squared."

Ajo in the garlic leaves

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 10/3/2014 8:52am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

As it dawns on us that there are less than 3 months left to the calendar year, we are rushing to get many things done before the first frost!!  Things are starting to change in the fields as we transition from summer to fall/winter crops.  One of the biggest changes is that most of the tomato plants have been taken down and the t-posts and trellis lines have been removed -- the field looks so much different now!  As part of our field sanitation and insect /disease control, we burn much of the residue from the field.  This helps make sure that bad bugs don't have a cozy home to hang out over the winter.  We move the cuttings to a burn pile away from other fields and structures and light it.  Since the residue on the pile was dry, the pile burned quite quickly.

Ray burning plant residue

Preparations for the 2015 Strawberry Field are coming along nicely.  We hope to finish covering the beds today and rolling out the hay.  Once again we are using landscape fabric -- a nice thing about the fabric is that we can reuse it for several years in different crops.  Here are a couple of shots of the progress:

 Ray shaping beds with the Cub         Beds for strawberries covered in plastic

Lots of other things going on -- we were contacted by TWC News (formerly News 14 Carolina) for an interview on the availability of funding for organic certification.  So yesterday, Cheryl showed the reporter around the farm (in the fog) and did a brief on-camera interview -- hopefully no equipment was broken in that event!

Next Tuesday (10/7), Cheryl & Ray will be doing a workshop on "Growing Great Garlic at Home" at Reynolda Gardens.  It will be from 7-8 p.m. in the Education Wing.  There is a $5 fee unless you are a Friend of the Gardens or are Wake Forest University faculty, staff or student.  Come on out and learn about growing garlic at home!

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables? Old Salem market customers -- this will be the last week for our roaster and Sweet Italian Roasting Peppers.  Just follow your nose to our purple tent!  Samples too!

And tomatoes are still on the menu!  Our feature this week is the Mini Orange tomato. A great salad size tomato!  We'll also have those delicious Striped Romans, heirloom slicers, quart boxes of tasty saladette tomatoes, and pints of Red Pearl and mixed fruit tomatoes.  Just a few more snap green beans (Rattlesnake Pole)!  The first of the Garlic Braids will appear!  As usual, there will be lots of garlic -- Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, Purple Italian, and Lorz Italian -- as well as Aji Dulce (the sweet habanero) and shishito peppers, swiss chard (small amount) and okra (green & burgundy) -- all Certified Organic!  And if you want to try the Garlic Scape Pesto -- this will be the last week (until next year)!  In the Jam Department, we are all stocked up! 

And don't forget our certified organic strawberry plants.  Chandler and Sweet Charlie are available in 4-packs -- this will be the last week.

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

And just because..... here's a picture of our ever-photogenic boys......

Cats on the pump cover

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/26/2014 3:58pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

The Equinox is behind us and we are now steadily moving into Fall.  And what a bracing start it's been!  We have been scrambling to dig out the sweatshirts and jackets as the morning temps have hovered in the mid-50s (and never crawled much beyond 65 several days!).  But I am sure we will have more balmy, sunny days ahead -- those beautiful days of Indian Summer!

It is interesting to notice how things change though during the course of a year if you pay attention.  Earlier in the summer, the morning air was filled with a chorus of bird songs -- an entire symphony of bird music from sparrows, cardinals, finches, mockingbirds and more.  It is much quieter now.  As the birds ready themselves for migration and winter, I suppose they have less time for song.

We've also been busying ourselves with winter prep as we work on raised beds for kale, lettuce, onions and chard.  Here are some photos showing the rolling out of the plastic for the beds, covering the edges of the fabric with the Cub and the final shot -- these nice beds in Daddy's Garden are all ready for planting!

 

Rolling out the plastic cover in Daddy's Garden  Covering the edges of the fabric wiht the Cub    All ready for planting

Today was a special day at the farm.  We were asked by Rabbi Mark Strauss-Cohn of Temple Emanuel to host the congregation's second day of Rosh Hashanah.  This is the Year of Shmita/Release and Sabbatical and they wanted to spend some time on a farm to learn how we care for the earth and the importance of letting the land heal.  We had a wonderful ceremony at the lower pond and we finished the day picking muscadine grapes and planting radishes.  Thank you so much for your visit, Temple Emanuel!  Happy New Year!

 

Temple Emanuel members planting radishes in the demo garden 

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables? Old Salem market customers -- we'll be back with our roaster and Sweet Italian Roasting Peppers and we will roast them for you on-site for FREE!  Just follow your nose to our purple tent!  Samples too!

Yes!  We still have tomatoes!  The 500+ pound harvests are a memory but we will have LOTS of 'em at market!  We'll be bringing back the heirloom Valencia tomato as our feature this week. A beautiful tomato with a great taste!

Valencia tomatoes

We'll also have those delicious Striped Romans, heirloom slicers, quart boxes of tasty saladette tomatoes, and pints of Red Pearl and mixed fruit tomatoes.  We were able to get a few more snap green beans (Rattlesnake Pole)!  As usual, there will be lots of garlic -- Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, Spanish Roja (last week!), and Lorz Italian -- as well as Aji Dulce (the sweet habanero) and shishito peppers, and okra (green & burgundy), -- all Certified Organic!  And better hurry to get your Garlic Scape Pesto -- this will likely be the last week!  In the Jam Department, we are all stocked up! 

And don't forget our certified organic strawberry plants.  Chandler and Sweet Charlie are available in 4-packs -- fall is strawberry planting time!

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Saturday is Johnny Appleseed Day.  The day honors one of America's great legends -- a real person born on September 26, 1774. John Chapman was captivated by the movement west and as traveled, he planted apple trees along the way, and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew.

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/19/2014 10:03am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

 

Ahoy Mateys!  Happy Friday!

Yes, it's National Talk Like a Pirate Day and we jes' couldn't help but getting in on the fun.

Avast!  This morning we are quite confused (pirates can be, you know!).  Weather.com and Accu-Weather both say that it is not raining....but it is pouring.  I've heard of heavy fog, but this is ridiculous! Arrr!

There is a touch of fall in the air and with Equinox on Monday, we are starting to sense the days getting shorter.  The dogwoods are telling us that we don't need to look at a calendar to know the same thing...

Red dogwood tree berries

We took advantage of a cool, moist morning yesterday to spend time in the potatoes to get them thoroughly weeded and cultivated.  Wow, they are looking good!

Ray and Chris working on the potatoes  Freshly cultivated potato field  Baby LaRatte potatoes  Potato flower

This coming week we'll start planting more of our fall crops (onions, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, beets and more) and get the beds shaped and covered for strawberries.  Ray spread leaves this week for the new strawberry field.  Those little plants will be tucked in the ground in soon!

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables? Old Salem market customers can look forward to sampling freshly roasted peppers this week!  Our sweet Italian Roasting Peppers will be available and we will roast them for you on-site for FREE!  The delicious aroma will waft throughout the market -- so just follow your nose to our purple tent!

Chile roaster

Even though many of our colleagues have pulled out their tomato plants, we still have LOTS of 'em!  We'll be featuring the beautiful and fruity Blush tomato.  This was the 3rd place tie in the Winston-Salem Journal Tomato Tasting this summer and is a real treat.  Come have a taste of one of our new favorites!

Blush tomatoes

We'll also have those delicious Striped Roman and Valencias, heirloom slicers, quart boxes of tasty saladette tomatoes, and pints of Red Pearl and Suzanne.  This will be the last week for snap green beans (Jade & Rattlesnake Pole) and French filet-type beans (Coban & Tavera).  There will be as usual lots of garlic -- Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, Spanish Roja (last week!), and Lorz Italian -- as well as Aji Dulce (the sweet habanero) and shishito peppers, okra (green & burgundy), and garlic chives (small amount) -- all Certified Organic!  Our delicious Garlic Scape Pesto was a hit last week and it will be back.  In the Jam Department, we are all stocked up!  Aye, aye!

And don't forget our certified organic strawberry plants.  Chandler and Sweet Charlie are available in 4-packs -- fall is strawberry planting time!

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Enjoy the Autumn Equinox at 10:29 p.m. on Monday!

Arrr! That's it, Mateys!  Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/12/2014 1:42pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Oh the weather!  Cool days, warm days, hot days -- we seem to be in that crazy and variable weather cycle.  No impact yet on our plants -- our summer plants are still doing great.  The peppers are really starting to come in like gangbusters! Shishitos, Aji Dulce and sweet Italian roasters are beginning to fill the walk-in.  Speaking of shishitos, 585 pint bags of them went to our friends at The Produce Box this week!  Here we are putting the finishing touches on the order:

 Pcking bags of shishitos

And speaking of peppers, our Old Salem market customers can look forward to sampling freshly roasted peppers NEXT week at market!

It's strawberry planting time!  We picked up our order of 2,000 strawberry plants at Cottle's Strawberry Nursery in Faison on Tuesday and they are resting comfortably in the greenhouse while we get the field ready for them.  We will have our certified organic strawberry plants at market this week that we grew from tips from our own plants.  Chandler and Sweet Charlie are available in 4-packs -- fall is planting time!

Strawberry plant

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables?  Tomatoes will still be there in force!  We'll be featuring the unusual and beautiful (and tasty!!) Striped Roman tomato.  Come have a taste of one of our favorites -- it does double duty as a sauce tomato and it works in sandwiches too

Striped Roman tomatoes

We'll also have heirloom slicers, quart boxes of tasty saladette tomatoes, "fruit" boxes, pints of Red Pearl and Suzanne and the beautiful "Blush" tomato.  Plus we'll have snap green beans (Jade & Rattlesnake Pole) and French filet-type beans (Coban & Tavera), lots of garlic (Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, Spanish Roja, and Lorz Italian), Aji Dulce peppers (the sweet habanero), okra (green & burgundy), and swiss chard (small amount) -- all Certified Organic!  New this week is our delicious Garlic Scape Pesto and we'll have our regular basil pesto as well.  In the Jam Department, we are rebuilding our supply and have the Raspberry-Chipotle Chile Jam and Raspberry-Chipotle Mole Sauce back in stock!

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 9/5/2014 11:39am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Plum Granny Farm -- you either signed up at a market or on our website.  We are glad to have this brief opportunity to share some news of the farm with you!  If you no longer wish to receive these weekly newsletters, please see the "unsubscribe" information at the bottom of this email.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

As we settle into September, the fact that we have only four more months left in the year really hits us hard.  In the rush to get things out of the field, we've got to be getting things in the fields as well.  Ah, the constant pursuit of the illusive dream of balance.

We had the opportunity yesterday to stop for a moment to hear the rain pour -- the cloudburst reminded me of days in New Mexico!  Ray was over at the Tobacco Barn checking on things in the walk-in when it hit.  Suddenly the cats appeared one by one seeking shelter -- drenched and a bit freaked out [the cats, not Ray ;-)]

A very wet Wally    Three cats crowded under a table

Lots of things coming out the fields -- and thanks to several of you, tomatoes were among them!  Our second Tomato Pick Your Own was a great success with nearly 300 pounds of tomatoes finding new homes in kitchens across the Triad!  Thanks so much for coming out on a warm Labor Day for picking!

Tomato field on Pick Your Own Day

What's been happening this week on the farm?  Cultivating the new potatoes was an early task this week.  Here's a shot of the field before they got cleaned up.

Potato plants in the field before cultivating

And a correction -- I misspoke last week when I said we were out of fingerlings.  I found a box of Red Thumb so look for them at tomorrow's market!

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables?  Tomatoes will still be there in force!  We'll be featuring the tasty Red Pearl grape tomato -- come have a taste of Cheryl's favorite!  We'll also have heirloom slicers,  quart boxes of tasty saladette tomatoes, "fruit" boxes, and the beautiful "Blush" tomato.  Plus we'll have snap green beans (Jade & Rattlesnake Pole) and French filet-type beans (Coban & Tavera), lots of garlic (Elephant, Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, Spanish Roja, and Lorz Italian), Aji Dulce peppers (the sweet habanero), okra (green & burgundy),  potatoes (German Butterball and Red Thumb fingerling), Potato Popcorn (tiny potatoes that are ready for roasting), French Red shallots, swiss chard (small amount) and pineapple tomatillos -- all Certified Organic!  And we'll have our purple and regular basil pestos and yummy jams.  And Old Fashioned Blackberry and Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint are back!!

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

And take a moment to celebrate National Grandparents Day on Sunday.  This special day was established by President Carter in 1978.  Remember those special people who were always so happy to see you!

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/29/2014 10:38am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Labor Day -- wow.  It is hard to comprehend that summer is over.  Feels like the fastest year ever.

This holiday is one where we celebrate laborers.  We should think about how our country runs on the toil and sweat of workers.  It is true that many jobs now are white-collar office jobs -- and those are important.  But we need to remember how critical all of those manual labor jobs are -- they keep the wheels turning (literally and figuratively).  We want to thank our employees that work along side of us to keep the farm weeded, planted, harvested and mowed.  A tip of the hat to Jen, Chris and Elliot!!  Thanks for all you do!

What's been happening this week on the farm?  We are starting seeds for fall crops. Boxes of seeds came in the mail last week (always exciting!)  More kale and lettuce has been seeded and we have trays of plants that are ready to go in the ground.  Here's some kale that is coming up already -- just planted on Tuesday!

Kale seedlings in greenhouse

We are also planting another crop of basil in Raz House today -- here go the plants (and Detroit!) off to the hoop house.  Maybe he is looking for the catnip plants?

 

Detroit and the basil plants  New basil in Raz House

The last round of the summer potatoes was harvested on Tuesday.  This is a new variety that we trialed -- "Papa Cacho," a Peruvian fingerling.  We won't be bringing it to market this year; we just planted a little bit to see what it was like.   A very interesting and large fingerling!

Chris with Papa Cacho fingerling potato

Speaking of fingerlings, we are now sold out until we get our fall crop in.  Keep your fingers crossed -- they are looking pretty good!  Fresh potatoes for your Holiday meals!  Mmmmmmm.....

And don't worry, we are still in major tomato mode around here!  They keep on coming and are looking really nice!  Our first Pick-Your-Own Tomato event was great so we are doing it again!  Come on out to the farm on Monday, September 1 from 9-1.   There are all kinds of tomatoes from cherry, grape, roma-type to big ol' slicers -- in a rainbow of colors!  These yummy certified organic tomatoes are only 75 cents per pound.  We'll also have our other farm products available for sale. The weather is a bit iffy for Monday, so call (336-994-2517) or check our website (www.plumgrannyfarm.com) to make sure it is still happening.

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables?  Tomatoes!  Three new tomato-related items:  a Ratatouille Kit (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, garlic, onions), 10 pound boxes of canning tomatoes (sauce-types), and quart boxes of tasty saladette tomatoes.  We'll be featuring our lovely Valencia tomato -- come have a taste of this orange beauty!  Plus we'll have snap green beans (Rattlesnake Pole), French filet-type beans (Coban & Tavera), and romano type beans (Pension and Dragon Tongue)!  We'll also have lots of garlic (Music, Inchelium Red, Chesnok, Spanish Roja, and Lorz Italian), Shishito peppers, okra (green & burgundy), tomato fruit boxes, heirloom slicing tomatoes, potatoes (Nicola and German Butterball), French Red shallots, and pineapple tomatillos -- all Certified Organic!  We'll have a new pesto this week -- Purple Basil!  And we'll have our regular pesto and yummy jams.  

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

And did you know that today is More Herbs, Less Salt Day?  Enjoy the delicious flavor of some fresh basil or mint today!

Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/22/2014 12:49pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Elliot & Chris and tomatoesRemember the Tomato Tornado I told you about last week?  Well, the weather has changed -- it is now a full-fledged Tsunami!  So many gorgeous and flavorful tomatoes!  We have run out of storage in our milkhouse and have taken to using the only air-conditioned room in the farmhouse as additional storage.  I hope most of you don't have to trip over tomato boxes and crates to get to your desk!

The harvests have been huge.  On Wednesday alone, we harvested about 380 pounds from 3 rows (plus about 250 pounds of culls for the compost).  Our pick-your own was a success too with about 150 pounds finding new homes!  What a profusion of tomato-y riches!

We are not complaining.  The abundance is really nice and it is giving us an opportunity to share with some local food pantries and we are stocking up on tomatoes in the freezer.  Due to last summers rains, we only got a few tomato plants in the high tunnel very late in the season.  It feels really good to have this amazing bounty and blessings this year.  We hope you are enjoying it too!

Toamo sandwich

What's been happening this week on the farm?  As most of our attentions have been on tomatoes, we have not been as engaged with other crops.  Mowing has been a big task as we start the process of prepping land for our fall crops.  We are also planning for a new high tunnel -- this one will be a long narrow one that will serve the purpose of our low hoops that we used  for the last few years.  The strawberries are ordered for planting in mid-September.  Raspberries need some TLC and we hope to have them available in a few weeks

Here are a few random photos from the week:

Spider web in tree   Roselle flower  Tall sunflowers  Blackeyed susans in yard

Market Update:  

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, find us at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables?  Tomatoes!  Three new tomato-related items:  a Tomato-Tomatillo Gazpacho Kit, 10 pound boxes of canning tomatoes (sauce-types), and quart boxes of tasty saladette tomatoes.  Plus we'll have snap green beans (Rattlesnake Pole), French filet-type beans (Coban & Tavera), and romano type beans (Pension and Dragon Tongue)!  We'll also have lots of garlic (Music, Red Toch, Chesnok, Purple Italian, and Lorz Italian), baby artichokes (few), Shishito peppers, okra (green & burgundy), tomato fruit boxes, heirloom slicing tomatoes, potatoes (LaRatte fingerlings and German Butterball), swiss chard, and beets (few) -- all Certified Organic!  And don't forget our pesto and jams.  Whew! 

As a reminder, if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Happy National Tooth Fairy Day!  Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Pick Your Own Update

We are not holding out much hope for raspberries this year.  Despite our best efforts, they have been smothered by weeds and overwhelmed by pests.  We are regrouping on the crop and hope to have a few at market but likely no PYO.  :-(

 

USDA Organic logo

Certfied Organic by QCS since 2010

Watch Us!

Ray talks ginger with Lisa

Check out the terrific feature that Flavor, NC did on Plum Granny Farm!  You can view the episode at http://video.unctv.org/video/2365069548/  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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