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Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update for August 9, 2019 -- Chile Time!

Posted 8/11/2019 3:12pm by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  

The Dog Days of Summer officially end Sunday and Gesti seems to be a bit sad about it.  We keep trying to tell her that she and her fellow canines will still be celebrated after Dog Days are gone.  Gesti doesn't look convinced.

The term "Dog Days" is used a lot but do you know what it means?  According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the Dog Days of summer are traditionally the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11.  This coincides with the dawn rising of Sirius, the Dog Star.  And July 3rd is just a couple of weeks after the Summer Solstice --  which means that summer's worst heat will soon set in.

In a farmer's world, this is when we need to start getting fall and winter crops seeded and in the ground.  It's hard to imagine cold and crisp winter days (and the accompanying kale!) when you are filling seed trays in a 110 degree greenhouse!  That takes some serious imagination!  But now is the time to get these things going before it gets too late.  It's definitely a race to beat the clock!

Going Buggy!
For the current crops in the ground (and actually even in the greenhouse!), pests have been a HUGE problem this year!  We have been swarmed by harlequin bugs, cabbage loopers, armyworms, flea beetles, stinkbugs and many more.  We are taking preventive measures to protect plants from the chewing varmits and when that doesn't work, we have to use organic pesticides such as insecticidal soap and Bt.

We've never seen harlequin bugs on radishes before!  Yikes!

Not sure what made this The Year of the Insect but I am guessing that all of the rain over the winter combined with warmer temps contributed to the onslaught.

But we have found some helpers in our fight against pests. This Praying Mantis was spotted on the ginger (where there are army worms).  

This spring, we put out several egg casings in the greenhouse and high tunnels in hopes that we would hatch a boatload of helpers!

And speaking of Things That Eat Plants, the deer are still enjoying sweet potato leaves.  They discovered the ones in the Demo Garden and Ray shooed out 3 last night from our Flat Shoals field. [Insert sad face here]  Time to install the second fence around the field.

Lots of other things going on here at the farm this week.  Trellising snap beans, trellising the Osage blackberries, clearing brush, weeding -- all in a day's work!

Ray's tomato grafting project is going well -- just a couple plants didn't survive.  These will be transplanted into the greenhouse in a couple of weeks.

Cobblestone Farmers Market Update
It's still National Farmers Market Week and we are celebrating by bringing the first of our GREEN CHILE to market tomorrow!  We'll even have the roaster on hand to create that wonderful aroma of roasting chile.  We'll have fresh and roasted green chile (frozen) available.

We'll also have a variety of other Certified Organic veggies including Hot Peppers (Jalapeno, Cayenne, Chinese Five Color), Cured Garlic (Elephant, Inchelium Red, Chesnok),  Elephant Garlic Flowers (Fireworks on a Stick! -- last week!), Pea Shoots, Tomatillos, Ground Cherries, Arugula, freshly cut herbs (Basil, Garlic Chives, Rosemary) and a few cucumbers.  Our popular Potato Bar will be well-stocked with 5 varieties of potatoes and creamers including LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes and the potato that made Belgium famous -- BintjeWe'll also have Ginger Powder as well as our pure Garlic Powder and Granules.

As usual, if you'd like us to hold an item for you, please email no later than 7:00 p.m. Friday night and we'll have it waiting for you. 

This weekend marks the beginning of the Perseid Meteor Showers. Monday and Tuesday offer the best times for viewing this wonderful astronomical event. 

And as we move into fall, it's time to start thinking about State Fairs!  We are BIG state fair fans and have enjoyed a number of them across the country (New Mexico is still our favorite!).  The famous Iowa State Fair started this week and it boasts the world famous Butter Cow (and a few dozen Presidential Candidates).

Cheryl got the thrill of a lifetime by getting the opportunity to go to the Iowa State Fair in 2007!  Mia says she wants to go this year -- she thinks she would make a cute Butter Cow (she doesn't quite understand the concept...).

Get out there and do the things that make you happy!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Plant Your Victory Garden Now!

Interested in planting your Covid-19 Victory Garden?  Plum Granny Farm is happy to help!  We'll be holding our 7th annual Spring Plant Sale the first weekend in May.   Four terrific days to find those perfect plants for your own Victory Garden – Friday, May 1 (10-4), Saturday, May 2 (10-4), Sunday, May 3 (1-4) and Monday, May 4 (10-3). 

On Friday and Saturday, we will reserve the first 2 hours of the plant sale to seniors and those at-risk.  We will also have procedures in place to ensure adequate social distancing such as limiting the number of people in the greenhouse at any time, asking visitors to bring and wear masks and maintaining 6' spacing in checkout lines, etc. Other preventive measures will be in place as well for hand sanitation, etc. 

Hundreds of plants will be available!  For a complete list, please click here.

PlumFresh Registration Is Open NOW!

Sign-ups for our popular PlumFresh Harvest Subscription Program have begun.  This program is our own twist on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  It is flexible and customizable -- and you don't have to pay for the entire season upfront.  Click here for more information!  Ready to sign up now?  Click here!

Our Online Store is Ready to Serve You!

We've been really jammin' so now our online store is fully stocked and waiting for your orders! Click here to go right to the shelves.  You'll find our popular fruit-forward Jams (regular and gift-size jars), Garlic Powder and Granules as well as our new Ginger Powder and Lavender Sachets!  

NEW!  Local customers can order online and arrange to pick up their items at the farm or at the Cobblestone Farmers Market Winter Market.


Do you want the latest news from the farm? How about the opportunity to reserve items for pick-up at market? Join our mailing list for our "Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update"!