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Posted 8/19/2016 6:10am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

We are back in the blender again!  Yep, the Market Pause faded away and we've been getting back to "normal" again.  Just like our back to school days, getting back to market requires lots of lists and preparation.  We're not dusting off our backpacks and composition books, but it's somewhat the same.... Gas in the van? Check!  Cashbox balanced?  Check!  Tablecloths clean?  Check!  Produce ready?  Check!  We got to ease into it at the King Farmers Market on Wednesday but we'll be put to the Cobblestone test on Saturday!  At least we'll be more refreshed than if we hadn't had a break!

Ray and the Bintje

Do you know what today is?  It's National Potato Day!  Wow! Now that's a holiday we can really sink our teeth into (sorry...I couldn't resist!) And given the spud friends that we cultivated this year, it's a day worth celebrating!  Find your spud love at market!

Potatoe love

Okay, if it's not potatoes, then it's about beans!  I am completely fascinated (obsessed?) with how quickly they grow!  We planted Rattlesnake Pole Beans in Raz House last Friday (8/12).  Here's a timelapse series of how they have developed in just one short week:

August 14:

Sprouted bean

August 15:

Bean sprouts

August 16:

Beans day 4

August 17:

Beans day 5

Keep your fingers crossed that they keep on growing and for a great crop of beans in October!

Here's what's happening with the ones in Daddy's Garden -- equally impressive!

Rows of green beans in Daddy's Garden

And We Have A Winner -- Us!

Maybe we're just in the Olympic spirit, but competitions are always fun!  And we have great news from Wednesday's King Farmers Market!  Our Cherry Blossom tomato won first place in both the judges' and the shoppers' balloting!  Yay!  Come check them out (very limited quantity) at Saturday's market!  No gold medal, but we did get a crown for a while!  Here's Cheryl after getting her crown from Market President, Harvey Moser (Moser Manor).

Cheryl and Harvey at the Tomato Tasting

Market Update

We are back at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including boatloads of fingerling (LaRatte and Banana) and standard POTATOES (German Butterball, Bintje and Nicola), CURED GARLIC (Red Toch, Music, Georgian Crystal, Purple Italian, Lahontan and Lorz Italian), French Red Shallots, Leeks, Okra, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Basil, Beets and Daddy's Pickle Kits (oh, so tasty!). We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto -- have you tried it on pizza with fresh tomatoes? 

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

In closing, we want to offer the very best wishes and congratulations to our employee, Chris Overby, and his fiance, Summer Roten, who are getting married tomorrow!  We wish you all the love and happiness in the world! (And sorry we don't have a better picture of the two of you! This is from last summer's Greensboro Grasshoppers game)

Chris & Summer at the Grasshoppers game

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/12/2016 5:15pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

We are in the waning days of our Market Pause.  It's felt really good to be freed from the demands of market prep for a couple of weeks! But we'll be back at it next week so we'd better try to check off those things on the to-do list in a hurry (make pickles, fix porch, vacuum, ...)!

We've been doing lots of organizing, planting, weeding, mowing and planning this week trying to get our fall crops and plans ready.  Here's a quick photo tour of some farm activities:

Our ginger crop is doing well so far -- we got it fertilized and hilled last Friday:

Chris hilling the ginger

The green beans planted last Thursday have already jumped WAY up!  When you see beans grow, you really understand the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story!  Look out Detroit - they may catch you!

Detroit trying to get away from the beans!

And Chris is doing a great job of keeping them weed-free (thanks, Chris!)

Chris hoeing the beans

We are very excited that we may have a new feline member of our family!  We have been wanting to get a kitten friend for Detroit so he can have some company -- he still misses his brother, Ajo, who was killed last year.  We thought we had been seeing a dashing kitten in the corner of our eye but we had a chance to meet him a bit more up-close on Wednesday.   He(?) is quite shy but really seems to like Detroit.  Keep your fingers crossed that he decides to stay -- Detroit seems to be just fine with it!

Detroit and the kitten  Watching the kitten and Detroit

Market Update

Just a reminder that we will NOT be at Cobblestone Farmers Market tomorrow.  If you are planning on going, the market will open at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow due to the Old Salem Community Day to celebrate its 250th anniversary.  There will be street closures so plan accordingly! 

We WILL be back at the King Farmers Market on Wednesday, August 17th -- just in time for its Tomato Tasting! And speaking of tasty tomatoes, thanks SO much for those of you who came out to the Winston-Salem Journal Tomato Tasting last Friday!  We bumped into several of you while we were there!  Even though our tomatoes weren't the top vote-getters this year, we are so grateful to be part of this community and to have such wonderful friends and customers.  Thank you!

As we move towards the end of the Dog Days of Summer, the song, Summertime, has been swirling in my head a lot.  Enjoy these late summer days and the things they bring.  We'll miss them in February.

The squash is blossoming...

Summer squash plant

The grapes are ripening...

Ripening Concord grapes

The bees are buzzing...

Honeybee on okra flower

And the tomatoes are high...

Red Pearl tomaotes on a trellis

It's summertime.... time to enjoy a glass of iced tea on the porch, don't you think?

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/5/2016 12:37pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

What a strange Friday!  Besides hearing the rain pouring down outside the window, it is so odd to feel...dare I say, relaxed!  Yep, we're in our "Market Pause" so we aren't running around like crazy people trying to get ready for Cobblestone Farmers market tomorrow.  Ahhhh.....

It's not like we are sleeping until noon but we are a bit more on our own time without the pressures of markets directing our activities.

And we're catching up on some things that have been neglected for the past few months.  Like washing the tractor.

Ray washing Jules, the tractor

Here's a quick tour of some of the sightings at the farm this week:

Our Concord grapes are starting to ripen up -- should be good timing for market in a couple of weeks!

Concord grapes starting to ripen

And it's always so great to find bird nests in our plants -- and maybe some of them have an egg...or not!

Bird's nest in grapevine   Fake egg in birds nest

The rain has been making some of the flowers really pop!  The new daylilies finally put up a flower after the initial rain on Tuesday.

Daylily after the rain

And the plum grannies seem to know exactly where to bloom!

Plum granny vine by the Soil & Water Conservation sign

It seems that something has been dining on our corn in the PYO Pumpkin Patch - guess we are going to have to try to trap a raccoon.

Torn up corn in PYO Pumpkin Patch  The evidence

Our friends down the road at Felsbeck Farm have offered to share their tips on corn-munching thieves.  We could learn bunches from them since they grow LOTS more corn than we do!

Tomato Tasting Tonight!

The Winston-Salem Journal is hosting its annual Slice of Summer Tomato Tasting TONIGHT from 7 to 9 p.m. downtown at Sixth and Trade streets.  It's a great chance to try a wide variety of tomatoes from tiny to lunkers and to vote for your favorites.  As usual, we have entered a few varieties.  Last year our Chocolate Drop and Suzanne finished 1st and 2nd in the tasters' voting.  We entered Chocolate Drops, Cherry Blossom (the replacement to Suzanne) and Red Pearl - fingers crossed!  Come on out for a fun evening downtown -- you might even see your farmers wandering around on a date night!

Box of Suzanne tomatoes

Market Updates!

And don't forget -- we will not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market for the next 2 Saturdays (8/6 and 8/13) and we will not be at King Farmers Market on 8/10.

Enjoy the cooler temperatures and rain. 

Talk with you soon,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/29/2016 6:01pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

97.7  103.3  101.3 101.7  102.2  102.4  98.2  Nope, this isn't a listing of the top radio stations in the area.  These are the actual temperature readings on our weather station for the past 7 days.  And yes, it is the ACTUAL temperature, not the heat index (and the thermometer is on the north side of the house!) YIKES!

Even the bees have been forced to seek comfort on their porches with the fans going at full tilt -- good thing they have some shade.

Bearding bees in the Topbar hive  Bees on the front of the Langstroth hive

We've been guzzling copious amounts of water this week and starting even earlier in the day (6 or 6:30 a.m.) to try to beat the heat.  But it has been picking us off one at a time.  Hopefully we will be getting some relief from the blast furnace -- now if we'd only get some rain.  Our last real rain was nearly 3 weeks ago.

Despite the heat, we've still be getting some things done.  The blackberries are done for the year so it is time to get the canes that bore this year's fruit (floricanes) off of the plant.  Today Andrew worked through the Ouachita and got them cleaned up and weeded.  Looking good!

Andrew cutting out the floricanes in the Ouachita

 Our fig tree has borne the brunt of two very cold winters (that sounds REALLY good right now!) and had lost most of its canopy.  We finally got a chance to clear it out and support the remaining branches in hopes that we can keep it going -- it has produced a LOT of excellent figs!  While we won't get any this year, we are hopeful for 2017!

Ray working with the fig tree

We had a great Twilight Pick Your Own last Sunday and some of our guests had a special visit from BB!  She is getting much better with her halter and lead -- and she is so good with kids!

BB and her new friend

Although BB likes to go out on these adventures, Brix isn't so sure about it.  She is very protective of her little charge and must give her a good sniffing when she returns.

Brix is checking out BB after her PYO visit

Things continue to grow like crazy (especially the pigweed and grasses) and the PYO Pumpkin Patch continues to fill out -- perhaps the Great Pumpkin will be found here this year! You'll be able to come pick out your own great pumpkin -- mark your calendar for our Fall Festival scheduled for October 23!

PYO Pumpkin Patch

The sunflowers that our young visitors planted at our last big event, the Northern Triad Farm Tour, are really growing and some of the transplanted ones are starting to bloom!

Sunflowers from seed planted at Farm Tour  Transplanted sunflowers from Farm Tour

The Pause That Refreshes...

We are doing it again.  Last year we took a break mid-season -- a "market pause" -- not a vacation but rather a "pause."  This break was invigorating so we are making it a tradition (at least a 2nd Annual!).

So here's the deal:  we are taking a break from markets for the next two weeks.  Our crops say they are not ready for prime time so we will listen to them.  We will not be at Cobblestone Farmers Market for the next 2 Saturdays (8/6 and 8/13) and we will not be at King Farmers Market on 8/3 or 8/10.

Despite the market pause, we will be doing lots of things around the farm to get it (and us) ready for the busy fall season.  There are fields to ready, plants and seeds to plant, berries to tend, equipment to maintain and our annual Organic Systems Plan to submit.  But it will be different.  We will be a bit more on our schedule and not be driven by market preparation and market days.  It will actually be a break!  Expect to see more cheerful, less stressed and rested farmers when you next see us at market on August 17 or 20!

Market Updates!

But before the pause, we will be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem tomorrow (7/30) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including beaucoup LaRatte and Amarosa Fingerling and Standard Potatoes (German Butterball, Nicola, Russet and Bintje), freshly CURED GARLIC (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Georgian Crystal, Lahontan and Lorz Italian). French Red Shallots, Leeks, Okra, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Beets, and Kohlrabi. We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto -- pasta salad with fresh Chocolate Drop tomatoes! Sounds like a homerun!  And you better stock up since we won't be there for TWO weeks!

Stay cool, Friends!  We'll be catching up with you soon!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/22/2016 9:40am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

One potato, two potato, three potato, MORE!  Hooray!  We have finished our potato harvest and we are happy to report it was a great success!  On Monday, the last of the spuds came out of the field and were weighed, boxed and tucked away into the walk-in cooler for safe keeping. 

Chris, Andrew & Ray finalizing the potato weights

Once we tallied up all of the harvest numbers, we were blown away by the total -- more than TWO TONS of potatoes came out of the field!  That's a new record for us!  In case you are interested in precise numbers (we LOVE people like you!), the grand total was 4,462 pounds (2,269 fingerlings and 2,193 standards).  And coming off of 2 years of crop failures, it feels really great to have a good harvest.

Yesterday we took 500 pounds of LaRatte fingerlings to our friends at The Produce Box.  Our little bundles of potato love will be wandering all around the Triangle and the Triad next week!

Brandon unloading boxes of potatoes

Yesterday we hosted another great group of Leaders in Training from YMCA Camp Hanes.  As part of their community service week, they came to help us prep our French Red shallots for market.  The group consisted of twelve high school sophomores from around the state, students from South Korea and their great counselors, Caitlin and Andrew.  Thanks for coming out to the farm and lending your hands!

Working on shallots  2nd Session Camp Hanes LIT

Twilight Blackberry Pick-Your-Own on Sunday

Our delicious Triple Crown blackberries are still doing well!  They are loving this heat (as long as we keep irrigating them!)  So we're having another pick-your-own on Sunday (7/24) from 5-7.  Since Sunday is going to be hot, we'll give you the opportunity to pick in the evening when it's a bit cooler -- the blackberry field is really nice at that time of the day.  We provide picking containers but please bring a container to take your treasures home -- plus a cooler!  You can't get any fresher than berries you pick yourself and the great thing about our berries is that they are THORNLESS, Certified Organic AND no-spray!

Happy blackberry picker

Market Updates!

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including boatloads of fingerling and standard potatoes (don't forget the Bintjes!), the first of the CURED GARLIC (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Georgian Crystal, Lahontan and Lorz Italian). French Red Shallots, Leeks, Baby Kale, Okra, Tomato Fruit Boxes, Fennel, Kohlrabi, and a few green beans. We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto -- have you tried it with potatoes?  Nom-nom!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Pint Clamshell Containers, Please?

Do you have any of our pint clamshell containers hanging around your house from berries or tomatoes?  If so, we'd love to get them back!  We typically can't use clamshells from other farms because the labels won't come off but we can recycle them if you want to bring them to us.

Today's special holiday is something that your tired farmers could really get into:  Hammock Day.  It's appropriately celebrated right in the middle of the Dog Days of summer (July 3 though August 11th). The creators of this event say that you are supposed to spend as much time as possible in your hammock on this day -- it is not a day for work. Hmmm... that makes it hard to harvest veggies for market!  Guess it's a good thing that we don't have a hammock so we'll still have great fresh produce on our tables tomorrow!  See you soon!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/15/2016 3:02pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

We had some really special visitors this morning!  Yes, they were a bit flighty but we can overlook that.  They didn't hang around very long -- actually they took off as soon as they could.  And we didn't consider it rude.  Our visitors were two female American Kestrels along with their rehabilitator, Anne Steinert, and her family.  Anne is a customer of ours from the King Farmers Market and she is also a certified wildlife rehabilitator who works with birds, especially falcons.  She volunteers with Wildlife Rehab Inc. of Winston-Salem. 

American Kestrels are the smallest falcon and are considered at-risk due to climate change.  They prefer open fields and are ready to pounce on grasshoppers and mice.  She has had these 2 fledgings, and their 2 siblings, for the past two weeks getting them ready to live on their own (including mouse school).  The birds had been rescued from a nest that had been destroyed in the Raleigh area.  When she felt they were ready, she contacted us to see if they could be released at our farm.  And that's what we did this morning. What an amazing privilege to watch their initial flights of freedom.

Anne with the Kestrel travel box  Anne with one of the kestrel fledglings  Off she goes!

Lots of other things (maybe not as breathtaking as releasing kestrels) have been happening around the farm this week.  We are closing in on the potato harvest -- just a few hundred pounds remain in the field.  And the walk-in cooler is really starting to fill up with potatoes!  There are several stacks of boxes behind the ones you see in the photo!

Boxes of potatoes

 Speaking of potatoes, we've harvested one of our favorite varieties, Binjte.  This potato originates in Belgium and/or the Netherlands (depending on who you believe!) and is known as the potato that made Belgium famous for frites. It is considered the best variety for french fries, and the Belgians should know since their per capita consumption of french fries exceeds even America's!  Come check them out at market this week!

Bintje potatoes

We are starting to see lots of growth in our PYO Pumpkin Patch -- so exciting!  Pumpkins cover a lot of ground FAST!  We finished putting out the rest of the pumpkin plants yesterday and the corn has already started tasseling.  Dreaming of our fall PYO!

Corn and pumpins in the PYO Patch  First flowers on the pumkins

Our Three Sisters Garden, with corn, pole beans and squash, is really taking off as well with these hot summer days.

Three Sisters Garden

And we are starting to get some tomatoes!

Slicer tomato harvest

Ray gave Raz House, our hoophouse, a little extra ventilation this week to keep the tomatoes happy but unfortunately we have to put up fencing on the roll-up sides since the rabbits have discovered our new planting of lettuce.  :-(

Raz House with new windows

Blackberry Pick-Your-Own Update

We had a great time with lots of people at our first blackberry Pick-Your-Own last Sunday!  So much fun that we're doing it again!  Although we don't have as many berries as last week, there are still quite a few to be had.  The farm will be open Sunday (7/17) from 1-3.  We'll provide picking containers but please bring a container to take your treasures home -- plus a cooler!  You can't get any fresher than berries you pick yourself and the great thing about our berries is that they are Certified Organic AND no-spray!

Market Updates!

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including boatloads of fingerling and standard potatoes (don't forget the Bintjes!), the first of the French Red Shallots, Swiss Chard, some okra, some tomatoes, the last of the fresh garlic, and bags of recipe-ready basil.  We'll also have a new batch of our Garlic Scape Pesto, a few Basil Pesto and the lovely and fragrant Stargazer Lilies!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Today is Cow Appreciation Day (which I just learned!).  And there's no cow that we have ever appreciated more than our beloved Yam.  We miss her so much but hopefully a new cow will be joining Brix and the lambs in the pasture soon.  Our pasture needs a cow.

Yam

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/8/2016 12:08pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

Woo boy!  It's been hot and humid and the daily dousing of rain has become commonplace!  After an unseasonably cool 4th of July, we have definitely kicked into high summer.

And what does summer mean to a farmer?  Harvests!  This is especially true for garlic and potato farmers.  We are happy to report that the last bulb of garlic is out of the ground!  Harvest total was about 20,000 bulbs - plus or minus a few!

On Wednesday, we finished up the harvest of one of our favorite softneck garlics (and braid star), Nootka Rose.  This is always the last garlic to come out of the field and that's when we can let out a sigh of relief.  All the rain we've been having over the past couple of weeks has wreaked havoc with harvesting.  Getting muddy bulbs out is no fun.  Overall the harvest has been good -- some of the largest bulbs that we've ever grown for many varieties. Unfortunately the work doesn't stop once it's out of the ground.  Now comes the all-important step of trimming the roots, grading the bulb for size, cleaning off the outer layer, and hanging it for curing and storage.

Chris and Andrew celebrating the last of the garlic  Sizing garlic bulbs    Hanging garlic on the net in the Yam Barn

Once the garlic was out of the field, it was time to turn our attention to the fingerling potatoes.  More than half of the potatoes we plant are the yummy LaRatte fingerlings that so many of you love (as do we!).  We've had a couple of pretty disappointing years with them but this is not one of them!  Hooray!  We got the first row out of the field on Thursday and got about 300 pounds -- and we have a total of 7 rows!  Okay, math majors, and that would be...yep, about 2,100 pounds of fingerlings!  Over a TON! Break out the olive oil and garlic, boys and girls, 'cause we've got some mighty fine eating ahead!

Harvesting taters  Andrew with about 30 pounds of LaRattes  Tasty LaRattes ready for market

Triple Crown Blackberries are here!

Talk about a reliable crop.  You can almost set your watch by our Triple Crown blackberries -- they start ripening up around the 4th of July and this year is no exception!  They are back and boy, are they delicious!  We'll be having our first blackberry Pick-Your-Own of the season this Sunday (7/10) from 1-3.  We'll provide picking containers but please bring a container to take your treasures home -- plus a cooler!  You can't get any fresher than berries you pick yourself and the great thing about our berries is that they are Certified Organic AND no-spray!  Hope you'll be able to join us!

Market Updates!

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including FRESH GARLIC, POTATOES -- fingerling and standard, Baby Kale, Swiss Chard, ESCAROLE, Salad Mix (plain & Fancy Pants), blackberries, a few black raspberries, and the last of the Garlic Powder.  We'll also have a new batch of our Garlic Scape Pesto and lovely Oriental Lilies!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

A quick note of thanks to the great group of students from YMCA Camp Hanes who volunteered last week as part of the Leaders In Training program at the Camp.  Fourteen students and two great counselors hung out with us and helped us clean and hang garlic.  Thanks so much!

LIT campers from Camp Hanes

Stay cool, drink lots of water and remember that it's just 76 days until Autumn begins! 

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/1/2016 2:11pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Happy July!

We are slowly trying to come back to normal (what does that mean?) after the fantastic farm tour on Sunday.  It was a smashing success -- nearly 500 visitors walked through our "door" and hung out at the farm for a while.  WOW!  We were completely amazed by folks' interest in what we do here and in farming in general.  Our colleagues also had really good visitor traffic as well.  Thanks so much to all of you who supported your local farms by participating in the 2nd Annual Northern Triad Farm Tour!

Extra special THANK YOUS go out to our amazing volunteers -- Chris, Summer, Jen, Sandy, Orville, Annette, Kirsten, Maggie, Suzanne, and Laura along with Debbie and her great band.  A million thank yous to all of you for helping us pull this event off!

Have a look at some photos from the day:

Learning about garlic at the Tobacco Barn  Cornhole rules  Getting to know BB  Planting sunflowers together  Great Old Time music!  And the tours go on as the band plays  Time to go home

We continued our harvesting of garlic and potatoes after putting away all of the tour stuff -- we've gotten all of the garlic out of the ground except for Nootka Rose and have dug about 900 pounds of potatoes this week!  Whew!  I think we are dreaming of an Independence Day nap!

Market Updates!

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including FRESH GARLIC, POTATOES -- fingerling and standard, Fennel, Radicchio, Baby Kale, Swiss Chard, ESCAROLE, Salad Mix (plain & Fancy Pants), a few black raspberries, carrots (small amount), Garlic Powder, and decorative Allium Flowers.  We'll also have our Garlic Scape Pesto and lovely Oriental Lilies!

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

More pictures next week...trying to learn all of the particulars of a new phone -- like how to save pictures in a smaller format that can fit in the newsletter!

Have a wonderful Holiday Weekend!  Be safe and celebrate the joys of our Nation!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 6/24/2016 8:14am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Company's coming!  Better get the place spiffed up!  That's the way we are feeling here at the farm as we get ready for the 2nd Annual Northern Triad Farm Tour on Sunday, June 26 from 1-5 p.m.  Trying to get our house (aka farm) cleaned up for company is a rather daunting task. But we have used this as an opportunity to get a few lingering projects done...like clearing the roof of the Tobacco Barn shed!  Yay!  Way to go, Chris and Andrew!

Removing the roof of the Tobacco Barn shed

Like anytime we have guests, things are not likely to be perfect but we have planned a lot of great things to do while you're here including:

  • Meet the lambs!
  • Farmer (Emeritus) Jen's Hayride tour
  • Farmer Cheryl's walking tours
  • Live music starting around 2:45
  • Information stations on topbar beekeeping, growing ginger & turmeric
  • Kids' seed-planting area
  • Riverwood Therapeutic Riding Center information tent
  • Market tent where our products will be available for sale
  • Snowcones with Plum Granny Farm berry syrups
  •  and much more!

There are 7 farms on this FREE tour -- we are all very different and focus on a wide variety of products.  The other farms include Borrowed Land Farm, Buffalo Creek Farm & Creamery, Minglewood Farm & Nature Preserve, Sanders Ridge Farm, Sungold Farm and Truffles NC at Keep Your Fork Farm.  We have gotten some great media coverage on the event including Briana Conner's story on WXII on Tuesday and Amy Dixon's article in today's Winston-Salem Journal

The tour is self-guiding -- start with any farm you'd like.  For driving directions and more information on the farms, visit this interactive map

Brix says that you better come visit her!

Brix sez hello!

And Tony says "Bring Food!!!"

Tony eating hay

In addition to the Farm Tour prep, the garlic and potato harvests keep marching on!  We've gotten several more varieties of garlic out (including everyone's favorite, "Music" and the biggest "Chesnok" we have ever grown - see picture below) and over 500 pounds of potatoes!

Fresh Chesnok garlic  Nicola potatoes  Potaoto harvester with Huckleberry Gold

Market Updates!

We'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem (Saturday), here at the Farm (Sunday) and at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (Wednesday) with lots of Certified Organic tastiness including FRESH GARLIC, NEW POTATOES, Baby Beets, Baby Kale, Swiss Chard, ESCAROLE, Salad Mix, ROMAINE LETTUCE, Garlic Powder, decorative Allium Flowers, and Triple Crown Blackberry Plants.  And we just made up a big batch of our famous Garlic Scape Pesto!

Garlic Scapes ready to go in pesto

We hope to see you at Old Salem from 9-noon, at the Farm (1-5) and at King from 11-1.  Please note that we may not always have every item at all markets.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Today is "Take Your Dog to Work Day" and Gesti says she's ready to tackle whatever challenge we give her -- like mowing the yard, perhaps?  Did you know that this special day was created by Pet Sitters International -- and that they are headquartered in King?  Whodathunk?!

Gesti on the mower

Hope to see you on Sunday!  Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 6/17/2016 7:22am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Good Golly Miss Molly, we've got Gobs of Garlic!  Sounds like a catchy song, eh? Well, it has been a part of our mental soundtrack this week as we have been moving through the harvest of garlic and shallots.  To date, we have harvested 5,914 bulbs of garlic and about 200 pounds of French Red Shallots (from 1,406 plants)!  This is the time of year when vampires give our farm an extra wide berth!

The crop is looking really good with lots of large, beautiful bulbs.  Check out this handsome Lorz Italian:

Fine looking Lorz Italian

And we haven't been alone in our harvest!  We had a terrific group of volunteers come out to the farm on Tuesday to lend helping hands -- and it was great!  We got the French Red shallots and Red Toch out of the ground - and even got it all stored in the barn!  A HUGE thank you goes out to Jack Stack, Maggie Monteith and Sandy & Orville Woodard for coming out on a hot summer day! You make these tasks FUN!

Harvesting shallots  Trimming roots on garlic  Covering the shallot pallet  Sandy and a bunch of shallots    Red Toch garlic hanging in barnThe happy garlic crew

In addition to the garlic harvest, we were also trying to finish the hay. Check that one off the list, too!  All of it is under shelter, be it square or round bales. 

Raking hay for round bales  Tucking the hay into the Star

And we are happy to report that our hay received a 5-hoof rating from the team of picky judges.

BB & Tony inspect the first bale of hay  Tony digs in for the flavor

We've also been getting more seeds in the ground -- our 2nd succession of beans has been planted and transplants of summer squash, cucumbers, ornamental corn and pumpkins are ready to get in the ground!  We're starting to get color on the tomatoes in Raz House too - won't be long!

Won't be long!

2016 Farm Tour - Just 1 Week Away!

Things are really coming together for the 2nd Annual Northern Triad Farm Tour on Sunday, June 26 from 1-5 p.m. There are 7 farms on the tour -- we are all very different and focus on a wide variety of products.  The other farms on this FREE tour include Borrowed Land Farm, Buffalo Creek Farm & Creamery, Minglewood Farm & Nature Preserve, Sanders Ridge Farm, Sungold Farm and Truffles NC at Keep Your Fork Farm.  Check out this interactive map for details. 

We'll have lots of activities here: hayrides, music, farm stand, snowcones (with syrup from our berries!), guided tours, kids' activities, meet the lambs and MORE!  Mark your calendar and plan to head out to visit us and some of the other farms on the tour - it's gonna be a great day!

Scene from 2015 farm tour

And just a reminder:  we are also looking for a few volunteers to help us with the event as well (greeters, parking helpers, photographer, set-up/take-down) so if you'd like to lend a hand, it would be greatly appreciated!

Farm tour 2015

Market Updates!

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 FRESH GARLIC, Garlic Scapes, NEW POTATOES, Artichokes, Baby Kale, full-sized kale bunches, Swiss Chard, Escarole, Salad Mix, Garlic Powder, decorative Allium Flowers, and Triple Crown Blackberry Plants.  And you'd better hurry to snag one of the few remaining jars of Raspberry-Chipotle Molé!  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.  If you'd like us to save something for you, please send us an email by 10 p.m. prior to market.

Happy Father's Day to all of you great Dads out there!  Enjoy your special day -- kick your shoes off, prop up your feet and sip on a nice cold drink!  It's YOUR day! 

And don't forget that we officially move into Summer on Monday with the Solstice --at 6:34 p.m.  And this is a rare one as it occurs the same day as the Full Moon. This hasn't happened since 1948!

Oh, the summer night

Has a smile of light,

And she sits on a sapphire throne.

                 Barry Cornwall, English poet (1787–1874)

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Pick-Your-Own Update

Empty busket
Our Berry Pick Your Own is over for the 2016 Season.  Stay tuned for a Pumpkin Pick Your Own in the Fall!

 

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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