News and blog

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Posted 5/29/2015 8:40am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

Wow!  What a week!  It started with a terrific pick-your-own strawberry day on Memorial Day with great weather and a great crowd and quickly moved to trying to make hay -- plus a million other things along the way.

Strawberry PYO field on Memorial Day

Part 1 of our hay making was a success - and we were very lucky that we were able to avoid the rain (despite the fact that we need it desperately).  Beautiful round bales of Certified Organic clover, fescue, orchard grass and lespedeza are heading off to the Riverwood Therapeutic Riding Center to provide excellent nutrition to their special horses.  After the upcoming rain, we'll we'll finish the spring hay season.

Why organic hay?  We are told by our horse customers (and their owners) that they LOVE it!  Plus our customers don't have to worry about persistent herbicides passing through the horse and into their garden. Makes (horse) sense, don't you think?

Raking hay  Ray with hay  Round bales in storage

You never know what might await you..... last Saturday at Cobblestone, we were approached by Heidi Billotto, one of the organizers of the NC Competition Dining event to potentially provide some product for Round 1 of the competition. By Tuesday, we had harvested 40+ pounds of lamb's quarter (aka wild spinach) and were on our way to meet with the two chefs to reveal the "Secret Ingredient" that they had to include in their dishes!  Chef John Bobby of Noble's Grille and Chef Tammy Harper of Belle at the Jones House made some amazing dishes in this Battle Organic Greens and Grains! That evening, we got to taste some incredibly creative food, judge each of the six dishes, and meet some terrific people! What a fun evening -- and an honor to be included!

Battle Greens and Grains  Cheryl & Ray with Competition Dining teams

Market Updates

Once again, lots of great stuff on our tables at the Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday, 9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA (Wednesday, 11-1). Our big news is that we are having a special SALE on our gorgeous head lettuces!  We have 6 varieties -- red and green butter, oakleaf, and sweet crisp!  They are not going to hold in the field for many more weeks, so we want you to have them while they are at their tasty peak.

Chris & Jen with lettuce

There will be lots of sugar snap peas, 2 types of salad mix  -- mixed lettuce and the "Fancy Pants Blend" (lettuce-frissé-wild spinach-edible flower blend), beets (baby & full-size), baby Swiss Chard, White Russian kale bunches, garlic scapes, baby pac choy, lamb's quarters, garlic granules, and a limited number of strawberries (limit 1 quart per customer) -- all Certified Organic!  This will be the last week for our blackberry and black raspberry plants. And we'll also have our full assortment of tasty jams.

Tuesday (6/2) will be the Strawberry Moon -- the full moon of June.  It is referred to as this because this is usually the full moon when strawberries are in their peak -- although ours passed that point a couple of weeks ago :-( This moon is also referred to as the Rose Moon in Europe, while other cultures named it the Hot Moon for the beginning of the summer heat.

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 5/22/2015 7:51am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

Brix says good morning

Brix says it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  And indeed it is!  And the weekend forecast is for more of the same - so we have some special things planned for this Holiday weekend.

Since it is a Holiday weekend, we encourage you to take a short drive up to Stokes County to see one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Did you know that Hanging Rock State Park (just 9 miles north of the farm) was named one of the nation's top 20 "Most Stunning State Parks"?  USA Today bestowed that honor last summer and there's no better time to see it than now!  This spring has been kind to the flora and fauna of the County's woods, creeks and trails.  You've missed the rhododendron but the mountain laurel is putting on quite a show.  We have a few patches of it around the margins of the woods here at the farm.

Mountain laurel in bloom

We really got to see a show of it yesterday when Team Plum Granny headed up the road a bit to Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tours.  Yes, believe it or not, we actually got off the farm for some fun!  It was a combination team-building adventure/farewell to Jen/job well-done outing that was a blast!  Check out a few of the pictures -- it was a blast!  Thanks for the great tour, Lauren and Noah!

Zipline #1    Zipline #2   Jen & Noah at Zipline

And if you happen to wander up to Stokes County on Monday, we will be having another pick-your-own strawberry day from 10:00 a.m. until noon!  This past Monday's picking was a lot of fun and the extra day of rest/ripening for the berries is good.  Here's Sandy with one of her buckets of strawberry treasure!

Sandy with strawberries

Another bit of news we'd like to share with you.  Last night, we were honored at the Stokes County Soil & Water Conservation District's Annual Awards Banquet as their 2015 Farm Family of the Year!  We are deeply grateful and touched by this honor -- we will do our best to live up to the accolades!

Ray & Cheryl at Stokes County SWCD awards   PGF and Farm Family signs

Market Updates

Lots of great stuff on our tables at the Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday, 9-noon) and King Farmers Market at the YMCA (Wednesday, 11-1).  There will be  strawberries (Limit 2 quarts per customer), salad mix (2 types -- mixed lettuce and lettuce-frissé-wild spinach-edible flower blend), sugar snap peas, 4 varieties of red and green head lettuces, beets, baby Swiss Chard, baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, artichokes, baby pac choy, onions, lamb's quarters, garlic granules, along with basil, pepper and herb transplants, and blackberry and black raspberry plants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of tasty jams. Lots of choices for your grilling and picnic pleasure!

Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend -- and take a moment to remember why it exists.  One of the most moving moments of my life was on Memorial Day in 2004 when we took my father to the dedication of the World War 2 Memorial in Washington, DC.  Seeing all of those amazing men and women who had given much of their youth in service to this country was awe-inspiring and powerful.  This is a picture from that event -- the little girls were asking all those who served for their autographs, so my father humbly obliges.

Daddy at WW2 Memorial Dedication

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 5/15/2015 9:48am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

Another incredibly beautiful week here at the farm!  So many things are blooming and bursting to life!  Check out all of the wild blackberries -- almost like snow -- and the amazing peonies!

Wild blackberries behind bee hive       Peonies in the front yard

Strawberries!  Strawberries have been on our minds (and hands!) a lot this week!  The berries have been a huge hit at markets and with restaurants -- no surprise since they are so good!  We also got a nice boost about the berries in the media this week.  Thanks to Michael Hastings at the Winston-Salem Journal for featuring us in his great article on strawberries Wednesday. In case you missed it, here's a link.  Cheryl's grandniece is even a big fan -- here she is after eating a huge chocolate-covered one at market last week:

Danielle and Ray

So here's the deal:  Our Mother's Day PYO was a huge success with 105 pounds of berries going home with folks -- we were picked clean!  The field has been trying to recover from the heavy picking and hasn't really produced as much ripe fruit this week.  In addition, the Sweet Charlie variety is in its mid-season slump (it will pick back up again around the end of the month).  So we are going to postpone having another PYO until Monday, May 18 from 4-6 p.m. to give the plants an opportunity to catch up with demand!  We hate turning people away at our fields but we only have 3,000 plants and they can only produce so much!

Boxes of strawberries headed to market

Other farm doings this week have included cultivating and hilling the potatoes, and lots of weeding.  The potatoes are looking really good!  We are trying to reduce the number of huge weeds in the aisles of the lettuce, kale and other veggies so we are experimenting with putting row cover down in the aisle to smother some of the weeds -- we'll let you know how it goes!  Next week we will plant tomatoes, tomatillos, some peppers and okra and basically try to get the greenhouse cleared out. 

Ray hilling the potatoes in Terrace 2   Row cover as weed barrier

Market Updates

We'll have a nice looking table this week!  This will be the first week for the long-awaited garlic scapes!  If you haven't tried these delights, make sure you grab a bunch along with a recipe for our yummy White Bean Dip! Good thing that Chris eats his Wheaties, with all of the scapes we'll be hauling out of the field!

Chris with the first scapes

There will be asparagus (green & purple--last week), strawberries (Limit 2 quarts per customer),  salad mix (2 types -- mixed lettuce and lettuce-frissé-wild spinach-edible flower blend), beets, baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, sugar snap peas (a few), baby pac choy, Lamb's Quarters Gratin Kit, garlic granules, along with basil, pepper and herb transplants, and blackberry and black raspberry plants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of tasty jams.

Make plans now to celebrate "No Dirty Dishes Day" on Monday.  You'll be able to find a lot of tasty treats to eat out of hand at market or our pick-your-own to get you set for the day!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray 

Posted 5/8/2015 6:40am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

We've really been enjoying the gorgeous weather this past week -- haven't you?  It's nice to have a real spring!

In case you are wondering, we made it through Garlic-a-palooza relatively unscathed!  We actually got through the entire process and had the boxes ready to go before 8:00 p.m. on Monday evening -- a far cry from last year's marathon session that went deep into the night (and wee morning hours).  We owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Chris & Jen -- the A+ team really knocked it out of the park this year!!  Go Team Plum Granny!!

Chris & Ray washing garlic      Boxes of garlic in walk-in

Left:  The power washing duo of Chris & Ray -- these guys can wash 25+ pounds per hour each -- a good thing when you have to wash over 525 pounds!  Right:  If someone was looking for cabbage in these boxes, they'd be in for a garlicky surprise!


It always takes a day or so to recover from the 'Palooza but we have been filling our time in harvest mode -- picking strawberries!  Last week, the season was just beginning but now we are really in the midst of it.  We'll have more berries at markets this week and have scheduled a Mother's Day Pick-Your-Own Strawberry & Open Greenhouse Day for Sunday, May 10 from 1-4.  This is bound to be a popular event so come early!  Our berries are Certified Organic AND no-spray -- and incredibly delicious! 


Big strawberry in hand

The strawberries will be a main attraction but we still have lots of plants, so our Greenhouse will be open as well!  We have a great selection of heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, herbs, berry plants, other veggies and a few ginger plants.  Now is the time to plant these warm weather favorites!  How about an herb garden for your Mom?

If we're not out picking, we're noticing that lots of things are happening in the fields -- here's a preview of coming attractions (from left:  sugar snap peas, Prelude raspberries, artichokes, Ouachita blackberries, garlic scapes)

Sugar snap pea flower  Prelude raspberries  Tavor artichokes  Ouachita blackberries  Elephant garlic scapes


Market Updates

The tables will be full of fresh Spring favorites this week with some items taking a final bow.  There will be asparagus (green & purple--likely the last week), spring garlic (last week), salad mix, baby beets, baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, strawberries, garlic powder and granules, along with basil, tomato, pepper and herb transplants, and blackberry and black raspberry plants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams (don't forget:  Moms LOVE jam!).

Take advantage of "Eat What You Want Day" on May 11 -- chocolate-dipped strawberries perhaps?

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Ajo in strawberries

Cat?  What cat?


Posted 5/1/2015 8:50am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday -- and welcome to May! 

The beginning of May usually has one consistent date for us here at Plum Granny Farm -- Garlic-a-palooza!  For our newer readers, this event is a all-hands-on-deck spring garlic harvest/clean/bundle process that lasts about 5 days.  Why?  We provide upwards of 2,000 bunches of our organic spring garlic to our friends at The Produce Box in Raleigh.  They, in turn use it in some of their wonderful boxes of NC produce that is delivered across the state (including the Triad).  We love working with our friends there -- and even though we are one of the smallest farms they purchase from, we have developed a garlic niche with them.  Here are Chris and Ray harvesting some of the spring garlic -- we use the undercutter bar to cut the roots and then pull the garlic out cleanly. Twelve down, 11,988 left to go....

Chris & Ray harvesting spring garlic

Before the 'Palooza began, we started planting ginger.  We will be growing the white "Big Kahuna" and the new (to us) yellow "Khing Yai."  We will also grow Galangal and turmeric.  The greenhouse is starting to fill up again --with different stuff!

Chris & Cheryl planting ginger

Forecasted warmer days and nights have us anxious to start getting the tomatoes in the field.  Ray got the beds made and we started covering them with plastic (a new method for us this year).  The plan is for about 850 plants in addition to the  tomatillos.  We have a few new varieties that we are trialing this year -- heirlooms and some new introductions. We are excited about bringing those to market.  Meanwhile, in the hoophouse, the early tomatoes are doing great -- there are flowers on several plants!

Strawberries!  Yes, the beginning of the strawberry season is here!  The first couple of weeks will be a bit sparse but we hope to have a good crop this year.  We'll even have a few on our tables at market this week and will have a pick-your-own event very soon.  Our berries are Certified Organic AND no-spray!  One of the benefits of working here is that you get to sample the crops before they start to come in -- here is Chris getting the first dibs at the berries!
Chris eating his first strawberry of 2015

Thanks so much to so many of you for coming to our Open Greenhouse and Plant Sale last Sunday.  Even though the weather wasn't great, we had a great day talking with folks and helping them find the perfect plants for their garden.  We are likely to have another Greenhouse Day, so stay tuned!


Market Updates

Check out Amy Dixon's great article in today's Winston-Salem Journal about the King Farmers Market.  Thanks for giving a shout out to this hidden gem in the farmers market world!

We'll have lots of fresh Spring favorites on our tables!  There will be asparagus (green & purple), Spring garlic (likely the last week), salad mix, baby beet greens, cilantro (small amount), baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, rapa, strawberries (a few!), garlic powder and granules, and basil, tomato, pepper and herb transplants, blackberry and black raspberry plants, and strawberry hanging baskets -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams (and samples).

All kinds of early May happenings -- Derby Day, Cinco de Mayo (and anniversary day for Cheryl & Ray!), and National Teachers Day (5/6).  And it sounds like sunshine will be in abundance -- get outdoors and plant something!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 4/23/2015 11:11am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Thursday! 

Wow!  As Ray says, "it's like being shot out of a cannon!"  Yep, that pretty much sums up this week (and next, and next...). With the beginning of the market season, our schedules take on a new rhythm and intensity.  We are governed by the absolutes of our market and restaurant delivery days and must work everything else around it.  Gets to be a high wire balancing act at times!  Thank goodness for lists!

Opening days for both markets were terrific!  The crowd-counters at Cobblestone Old Salem Market said that we had nearly 3,500 shoppers and at the King Farmers Market we had well over 150 folks coming through.  Great way to begin the season -- thanks to all of you who came out and supported local farms!

In addition to market prep, we've started our ginger planting process.  When finished, we should have around 300 bags of ginger and turmeric in the greenhouse and under shadecloth outside.  The task this week was to get the coir (coconut husks) fluffed and mixed with fertilizer and to sanitize and fill the grow bags.  We hope to get some of the ginger planted today before we fall into the market/plant sale vortex!  Here's Chris & Ray setting up the bags and the view of the greenhouse with some of the filled bags in place:

 Ray & Chris setting up ginger bags  Ginger bags ready for planting

More field planting is underway - new artichokes are filling in the holes from last year's crop and more kale, chard and radicchio is going into the field. On the fruit front, things are looking promising!  Some of the strawberries are beginning to show some color and the Ouachita blackberries are starting to flower!  Won't be too much longer but keep your fingers crossed on the weather - may have to cover the strawberries again tonight!

Ripening strawberry    Ouachita blackberry flowers

Don't forget our Open Greenhouse and Plant Sale on Sunday, April 26 from 1-5 p.m.  From the comments we've heard, we are expecting a good turnout!  Lots of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, eggplant, plus 4-packs of chard, kale, lettuce, pac choi and sunflowers!  There will also be blackberry and black raspberry plants, strawberry hanging baskets, ginger and turmeric plant starts!  We'll also have organic soil amendments for sale.  Here is Jen getting labels in a few of the many plants we'll have for sale.    Jen tagging plants in greenhouse

Final Call!  Allium Adventure Club!

Registrations are due by Monday, April 27!  Don't miss this tasty adventure into the Land of Allium.  For more information and a registration form, click here.

Allium Adventure Club logo

What's on Our Table at Market?

Just a reminder of the times of market:  Cobblestone is 9-noon and King is 11-1.  We'll have lots of fresh Spring favorites on our tables!  There will be asparagus (green & purple), Spring garlic, salad mix, cilantro, baby kale, White Russian kale bunches, purple iris bouquets, garlic powder and granules, and tomato and pepper transplants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams (and samples).

Spring garlic at market  

Today is "Take Your Daughter or Son to Work Day."  Our furry four-footed kids work with us everyday so we're not sure what we are supposed to do.  Take them on vacation?

Up-close view of Brix

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 4/16/2015 11:55am 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.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Thursday! 

Rainy, busy week!  The rain has been a godsend though as things were starting to get rather dry.  We've been trying to get as many plants as possible in the field to take advantage of this cooler, wet weather -- things like lettuce, pak choy and broccoli raab enjoy it (even if farmers sometimes don't).

The last of the potatoes got in the ground on Tuesday.  Unfortunately Ray bore the brunt of the rain as he covered them with the Cub.

Ray covering potatoes

The cats aren't too sure about all the rain but they are pretty good at finding a comfy place to curl up.

Cats in the barn

We've been getting lots of plants ready for our upcoming Open Greenhouse and Plant Sale on Sunday, April 26 from 1-5 p.m.  At last count, we have over 1,100 individual transplants plus 4-packs of chard, kale, lettuce, pac choi and sunflowers!  This is in addition to the blackberry and black raspberry plants, strawberry hanging baskets, ginger and turmeric plant starts!  It will be a very full greenhouse and great opportunity to choose from a terrific selection of certified organic plants. We won't be taking as many plants to market this year so this will be your chance for the best selection!

Strawberry baskets  Short Stuff Sunflower plant  Lettuce transplants

The deadline is closing in for your opportunity to join the Allium Adventure Club!  Don't miss this tasty adventure into the Land of Allium.  Registrations must be in by Monday, April 27 as the program begins on May 2.  For more information and a registration form, click here.

Allium Adventure Club logo

Markets Open This Weekend!

The moment that so many of you have been waiting for arrives on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the opening of the Cobblestone Old Salem Farmers Market!  It's sure to be a busy, bustling market (who knows what the weather is - let's prepare for everything!).  This market is in Old Salem at the corner of West and Salt Streets and free parking is available around the market site.  Check out Cobblestone's new website too!

On Wednesday, 4/22 (Earth Day), the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA has its grand opening at 11:00 a.m.  This market is located at 105 Moore Road in the parking lot of the Stokes Family YMCA.  Opening day will feature music, Earth Day giveaways and information, free coffee and lots more!!

We'll be at both markets with all kinds of fresh Spring favorites on our tables!  There will be asparagus, Spring garlic, baby kale, daffodil, iris and tulip bouquets, garlic powder and granules, and tomato and pepper transplants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams.  Here are some of the tulips we'll have:   Tulips for market

Enjoy the beauty of the season!

Dogwood tree flowers

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 4/10/2015 10:43am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

Before we get started with details on the pop-up and other farm doings, we must make an important introduction.  Please meet Brix (nee Bree)!

Cheryl & Brix day 1

Brix is our new donkey (jenny) who came to us from Stacy Martin at Yellow Wolf Farm.  She is a beautiful 7 year-old with a sweet personality and we have been spending the week getting to know each other.  Look for her in the pasture next time you are in the neighborhood!

Besides hanging out with the donkey, we've been hanging out with plants.  Getting ready to plant and planting have been the words of the week.  Potatoes, raspberries, bramble transplants and rhubarb have all been on the list this week.  We got about 450 pounds of potatoes in the field and will finish up with a couple hundred more LaRatte fingerlings next week. Today Ray and Chris are replacing the Joan J red raspberries.  The planting that we did 2 years ago was not producing so we are replacing them with fresh plant stock.  Look for them in late summer!

Chris planting potatoes    Ray covering potatoes   Ray setting out flags for planting

   Planting Joan J

Pop Up Market Tomorrow!

We are still a GO with our on-farm Mini-Market on Saturday, April 11 from 10-noon. There will be asparagus (limited quantity - get here early!), baby kale, daffodil bouquets, pick-your-own tulips and daffodils, garlic powder and granules, and tomato transplants -- all Certified Organic!  We'll also have our full assortment of jams.  It's supposed to be a beautiful day -- so take a drive up to Stokes County for some super fresh produce and to welcome the newest Plum Granny Farm family member!

Take a peek at our PYO flower bed in this morning's fog:

PYO tulips and daffodils


Just a few reminders:

  • Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem Opening Day - Saturday, April 18
  • King Farmers Market Opening Day -- Wednesday, April 22
  • Deadline for sign-up for the Allium Adventure Club -- Saturday, April 25
  • Open Greenhouse Plant Sale -- Sunday, April 26

Just 5 more days until the official frost free date and our lilacs are starting to bloom!

First lilac flowers of spring

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 4/3/2015 9:42am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

We made it through last weekend's freezing temperatures with very little damage to the plants.  Thankfully it wasn't as cold as predicted and the plant covers worked well.  A couple of the tomatoes in Raz House got a little nip but they are recovering nicely.  The strawberries look amazing -- a few blossoms were killed but for the most part, they are looking better and stronger!  See for yourself -- lots of strawberries on that plant!

Strawberry plant loaded with blossoms

Working through our list of Spring to-do's always feels good.  One of the first tasks is to get the pump going for irrigation.  It's never a simple task -- more a process of trial and much error.  But finally (after replacing the housing on the engine) the pump cranked and water started flowing to the thirsty strawberries and onions.

Ray flusing the pond pump filter

In addition to water, our young plants need food.  Now is the time to give the garlic and shallots a good shot of their favorite energy drink:  fish emulsion.  Ray got the tank rigged up on the Cub and set forth with his trident to provide a tasty meal. Mmmmm....

Ray fishing the garlic     Ray's garlic fishing pole

Another plant we coddled through the winter was the artichokes.  We had noticed the plants starting to push their way out of the hay.  Yesterday we removed the mounds of hay that had protected them through the cold.  Some loss -- but lots of them were looking strong and healthy! Artichokes, anyone?

Cheryl with artichoke

Even though it is two more weeks until our markets open, we are starting to get a few crops.  Asparagus and kale are beginning to come in!  To celebrate spring, we will have an on-farm Mini-Market on Saturday, April 11 from 10-noon. Stay tuned for more information -- check out our Facebook page for any breaking news.

Early asparagus

Our fencing project is almost done (for now) and we'll have a new member of the Plum Granny Farm family to introduce you to next week!  We are very excited!!!

Ray putting the finishing touches on the fence

A few quick reminders:

  • Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem Opening Day - Saturday, April 18
  • King Farmers Market Opening Day -- Wednesday, April 22
  • Deadline for sign-up for the Allium Adventure Club -- Saturday, April 25
  • Open Greenhouse Plant Sale -- Sunday, April 26

We wish you many blessings for Passover and Easter.  Enjoy the special beauty of this season -- the time of renewal and rebirth.

Violets of spring

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray


Posted 3/27/2015 1:04pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday! 

The grey sky and wet roads outside the window are contrasted with the green of the garlic field and the red fuzz of the the red oaks in the distance.  Spring has set the plant world into overdrive -- getting everything blooming, leafing and growing. Blackberries are leafing out and the flowering bulbs are growing like gangbusters.  The hives are full of bees hauling in spring pollen and nectar.  And as usual, we will get our early spring freeze to stunt some of the growth.

We are trying to be prepared for the predicted freeze on Saturday night.  The strawberries are covered along with the baby lettuce plants in Daddy's Garden.  And as a precaution, we'll add some row covers to the tomatoes in Raz House.  Farming is done best when it is proactive -- try to anticipate what might happen and prevent any harm.  This works for dealing with the weather, pests, disease -- just about anything.  Of course, we can never prevent everything but by actively managing the farm, we can hopefully reduce the harm.  Not easy for sure.

Speaking of the strawberries, there were a LOT of flowers on the plants when we covered  them on Wednesday.  The general wisdom is that it is 30 days from flower to fruit. Based on that calculation, we should start harvesting strawberries around April 25!  The plan for strawberries this year is to have them at market and as a pick-your-own crop.  Stay tuned for details!  And send warm thoughts to our little plants!

Field blanket on the strawberries

Another blooming thing we are protecting is our little peach tree.  We got scions from our wonderful tree in Albuquerque and had them grafted.  We are babying it and hoping to enjoy some peaches this year.  It will be under a row cover tent with a light, for sure!

Peach tree in bloom

In case you wonder if farmers get much exercise, the answer is, "Yep!"  The week started with an intense aerobic and weight-bearing workout for Chris and Cheryl.  We have been coordinating a group order of supplies from Seven Springs Farm Supply for fellow farmers.  It arrived a bit early and Ray was at his PT appointment.  Unfortunately a lift gate, which would have made it easier to unload the 5 pallets of soil amendments and seeds, was not on the truck.  So we, with the help of the friendly driver, unloaded the entire load one bag at a time.  And then we moved each bag again to sort by farms!  That would be 10,000 pounds x 2 = 10 tons!!  The amazing thing is that we did the initial unload in 30 minutes!  Whew- an extra dose of ibuprofen was on the menu for sure!

Chris with the 7 Spring order

More planting this week.  English shelling peas went in alongside the garlic and the first batch of bunching, green top and bulb onions were transplanted.  We'll be planting the seed shallots next week -- this isthe first time we have tried to grow shallots from seed!  We have planted the seeds in trays just like onions so will be setting out the transplants into the field.  Here's Jen & Chris planting onions in yesterday's fog:

Jen & Chris planting onions in the fog

And while we are on the subject of alliums, don't forget we are now accepting memberships in our bi-weekly Allium Adventure Club!  More information and applications are available on the website!  The Adventure will begin on May 2nd and will run through November 14.  Thanks so much to those of you who have signed up already!

Allium Adventure Club logo

It's just a month away!  Plans (and plants!) are being readied for our Open Greenhouse on Sunday, April 26.  We have will have hundreds of Certified Organic plants available including tomatoes (36 varieties), tomatillos (4 varieties), peppers - hot and sweet (6 varieties), eggplant (3 varieties), herbs (11 varieties) plus baby ginger and turmeric plants and other veggies such as kale, swiss chard and lettuce!  If you are interested in a particular variety, let us know -- we may be growing it for you!!

Tomato transplants in the greenhouse

Until next week,

Cheryl, Ray & Gesti

Gesti on the bench

PlumFresh Memberships are Now Open!

Would you like to get a box of delicious, Organic food every week?  Do you like to cook?  Do you want to ensure that your family is getting the freshest and safest food available?  Check out our PlumFresh Harvest Subscription program!  It offers you incredible flexibility without big upfront charges.  For more information, click here.

Our Online Store is Ready to Serve You!

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!  

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"!

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  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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