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Posted 8/8/2014 4:33pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

On this rainy day, we thought you could use a ray of sunshine...

   Sunflower with bumblebee

We might need some of that sunshine at tomorrow's Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem, but we'll be there with smiles and LOTS of produce!

What's been happening this week on the farm?  We've been trying to make at least one day of the week "Seed and Weed Day"  -- we try for Monday but it doesn't always work out that way.  This week on Tuesday we got some serious planting done -- our fall crop of LaRatte fingerling potatoes (hopefully will be ready for your Thanksgiving feast!), another round of okra and eggplant.  We know we will be pushing it with some of these, but that's what you try to do as a farmer -- push the envelope!

Potato planting in Ruth's Field

The little dots you see up in the field are Emma, Elliot & Chris planting potatoes!

A major task for the the week -- which has kept Ray out of the field for most of it -- has been finalizing our annual Organic Systems Plan (OSP) to submit to our certifier.  Every year we discuss whether we want to continue with our certification.  It's expensive (at least $1,000 out of pocket plus significant additional costs for the seeds and supplies we are required to use). It's time-consuming (the additional tracking and monitoring goes far beyond what you need to do to run a farm).  And the process can be just a pain to complete (the entire report and all the attachments are about 100+ pages).  But every year we have decided that we want to continue with certification.  We believe it provides an important assurance to our customers regarding how we grow our crops.  Unlike other terms like "naturally grown" or "no spray", what we produce is regulated through an extensive certification process which includes our annual (OSP) and on-site inspection. From the seed we plant to our tent at market, we have specific requirements that we must meet to ensure that the food you enjoy from us is grown in a way that nourishes the land (and you!). 

Ray reviewing the OSP before submission

Quick update on last week's Winston-Salem Journal Tomato Tasting -- our "Blush" was tied for 3rd place!  Thanks to the folks that came out in the rain and voted (and supported your local tomato growers!)  And speaking of tomatoes, we are starting to get a real bumper crop!  We are tentatively planning a Pick-Your-Own Tomato Day at the farm next Sunday afternoon (8/17).  Stay tuned for more details!

Market Update:  

Green Beans!  Yes, we'll have snap green beans (Jade), French filet-type beans (Maxibel), and romano type beans (Pension and Dragon Tongue)!  Here are Chris and Elliot harvesting today!

Chris and Elliot harvesting green beans

On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12) -- it's a rain or shine event.  On Wednesday, we'll be at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have those yummy green beans plus lots of Certified Organic Garlic (Music, Red Toch, Chesnok, Purple Italian, Lorz Italian and Metechi), lots of Shishito peppers , lots of okra (green & burgundy), tomato fruit boxes, heirloom slicing tomatoes, Salsa Verde kits (have a taste of the salsa made from the kit), potatoes (LaRatte fingerlings and German Butterball), pesto, jams and MORE! 

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 National Farmers Market Week -- we bet you know how to celebrate!  Until our next edition,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/1/2014 9:04am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Rain! Rain, Rain -- glorious rain!! What a nice way to begin the morning -- a light, gentle rain is falling and I can almost hear a murmur of appreciation from the grass, flowers and veggies.  The ground has been so thirsty during July -- we probably got less than three-quarters of an inch all month -- so this moisture to begin August is appreciated.

 Pond in the rain  Cats looking out the door - do we have to go out?

What's been happening this week on the farm?  We've been continuing work on the greenhouse (got the roll-up side curtain complete -- just in time for the cooler nights), harvesting potatoes, working the tomatoes, installing irrigation, prepping the field where we had garlic for fall potatoes and cover crops, repairing irrigation, seeding fall crops, running irrigation and more!  (See why we are so happy about the rain?!)

There is only one more variety potatoes left in the field -- Papa Cacho, a Peruvian landrace fingerling that is incredibly resistant to blight.  We'll let those grow a bit longer while we enjoy the other potato goodies that we have unearthed. This week we'll be bringing the popular German Butterball standards along with LaRatte fingerlings to market.  The potato field is looking a bit bare, save one little island of Papa Cachos.

Little island of Papa Cacho potatoes

We are enjoying trying a few of the new tomato varieties we planted this year.  Last night we tried "Carbon," a large slicer.  It is a "black" tomato -- very dark reddish-brown (darker than a Cherokee Purple) and it has a wonderful , rich taste.  It was amazing tossed with pasta, garlic and mozzarella cheese.  Mmmm...I do love summer dinners!  Carbon will be one of our entries in tonight's  Winston-Salem Journal Tomato Tasting.  That event is from 7 to 9 p.m., downtown at Sixth and Trade streets.  We'll have 7 other varieties included for your voting pleasure (Red Pearl, Gold Nugget, BHN968, Franchi Red Pear, Mini Orange, Striped Roman and Blush)! Organizers say they have at least 70 varieties for the tasting.

Once again we are starting strawberry plants for your home gardens.  They will be available in mid-September, which the ideal time for planting in NC.  Chandler and Sweet Charlie are the two varieties we'll have.

Strawberry plants growing in the greenhouse

Market Update:   On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, we'll be at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic Garlic (Music, Red Toch, Chesnok, Lorz Italian and Metechi), Shishito peppers (finally will have more than a pint!), okra (green & burgundy), tomato fruit boxes, heirloom slicing tomatoes, tomatillos, swiss chard, Salsa Verde kits (have a taste of the salsa made from the kit), potatoes (LaRatte fingerlings and German Butterball), pesto, jams and MORE! 

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.

Kick off "National Simplify Your Life Week" by resolving to make quick and fresh meals with local ingredients found at the farmers market!

Happy, healthy summertime eating,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/25/2014 2:49pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

The fruits of summer are here! Tomatoes, tomatillos, okra, peppers are all coming out of the field.  Some are still on a slow flow (peppers) while others are really pouring (okra).  As the tomatoes start to arrive, it really starts to feel like summer.  We should be getting our first BLT with our tomatoes of the season this weekend!  Nothing quite says summer better than a BLT, don't you think?  Here's Chris eating his FIRST EVER BLT (with a tomato from Old Town Farm)!  Can you believe it?

Chris and his first BLT

And speaking of tomatoes, don't forget the Winston-Salem Journal Tomato Tasting next Friday evening (August 1) from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, August 1, downtown at Sixth and Trade streets, during the Gallery Hop.  We'll have some of our varieties included in the mix!

More potatoes came out of the field this week. We are not getting the really big harvests that we had hoped for but got a good number of LaRatte fingerlings out yesterday.  They'll be waiting for you at market this week!

LaRatte fingerling potatoes in a curver

Unfortunately we bid a fond farewell to our wonderful Triple Crown blackberries this week.  The last ones will be at market tomorrow.  We will miss their wonderful taste and smell -- the walk-in cooler always smells so amazing when it is chock full of these berries!  Until next year!

Thanks for the great response to our new pesto!  We sold out on Saturday but we made lots more!  Stop by our tent for a taste!

Market Update:   On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (9-12).  On Wednesday, we'll be at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA (11-1).  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic Garlic (Music, Red Toch, Chesnok, Lorz Italian and Metechi), blackberries (Last of the season- sniff!), okra (green & burgundy), tomato fruit boxes, heirloom slicing tomatoes, tomatillos, swiss chard, Salsa Verde kits (have a taste of the salsa made from the kit), potatoes (LaRatte fingerlings and Nicola), pesto, jams and MORE! 

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 National Lasagna Day on the 29th!! (Need tomatoes for that one, huh?)

Happy, healthy summertime eating,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/18/2014 8:57am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

We've been spending a lot of time with Tom this week.  Our friends, Tomato and Tomatillo.  Pruning, trellising, cajoling, tucking, wrangling and thinning our tomatoes & tomatillos has consumed a LOT of time. Cheryl tried to be judicious in selecting how many varieties to plant this year -- always a challenge (those pictures & descriptions are just SO hard to resist in January!!)  And we did narrow the field from what we had a few years ago but we still have 41 varieties and about 1,100 plants...  About half of the planting is "fruits" -- cherry, plum, pear, currant, grape -- that we use to make our "fruit boxes."  It takes a lot of work to stay on top of this many tomatoes!  But the good news is that some are starting to come in!  Tasty sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes await!

Red & Yellow Cherry tomatoes

We keep adding to the Demo Garden so that farm visitors can peek into some of the crops that we grow.  This week we added a new bed.  Our friend Jen gave us a Bagster -- those giant 4x8 green bags that you use to haul off construction debris.

  Bagster

Yep, like one of those used at a construction site.  Jen used a Bagster for her garden in Winston-Salem and couldn't use it in her new house.  So the Bagster Bed now holds leeks and sweet potatoes here at the farm.  Great repurpose, Jen - thanks!

Jen & Chris with the Bagster Bed

Yesterday marked the beginning of a new product line for the farm's value-added products -- pesto!  Jane Morgan-Smith of Truffles NC at Keep Your Fork Farm has a great certified kitchen and offered it to us.  So Jen & I took a bunch of basil and other ingredients over to make our first batch of pesto -- you'll get a chance to taste (and buy!) it at market this week!  Mangia bene!

Jen pulling leaves off basil plants  Containers of finished pesto

Our yummy Triple Crown blackberries continue to come in STRONG!  We will have another Pick-Your-Own this Saturday (7/19) from 9-1

Berries in hand

Market Update:  Three opportunities to find our goodies at market this week!  On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem and we'll have a tent full of our products here at the farm for Pick-Your-Own.  On Wednesday, we'll be at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA.  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic Garlic (first cured garlic of the season!), blackberries, okra, shishito peppers, tomato fruit boxes, baby beets, salad mix, tomatillos, Salsa Verde kits, potatoes (Red Thumb fingerlings and Nicola), Stargazer Oriental Lilies and MORE!  And don't forget our pesto (very limited quantity)!

And look for our new tent! 

Plum Granny Farm market tent

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 this cooler mid-summer weekend.  Looking forward to some rain next week!

Happy, healthy summertime eating,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/11/2014 9:45am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

A bit of a foggy morning here on the farm.  We have gotten a bit of moisture but things are still pretty crispy.  Thank goodness that we have irrigation to keep our crops going. The cooler temps have been welcome this week (and over the Holiday weekend) as well.

Foggy morning at the upper pond

Today we are starting the potato harvest!  Unfortunately it seems that we got a bit of blight or something on a couple of more susceptible varieties.  We are using the new potato harvester that we got this winter -- we'll see how it works out!  A few photos...

Potato harvester    Red Thumb potato in hand

While many folks were out enjoying a beautiful Independence Day, Ray and Chris pruned the black raspberries.  Let's just say, if bloodletting were still a preferred form of medical treatment, they would both be in great shape!  Ray quipped that a common malady of bramble growers is anemia.  Those are some mighty thorny plants!!  But the rows look so much better now -- and will be healthier going into the fall/winter and for production next year.

Ray and Chris dragging black raspberry trimmings out of the field

We have new residents at the farm -- actually about 30,000+.  Our friend Jen just sold her small farm in Winston-Salem and needed another location for her hive. Our girls are very hospitable so she moved her girls up on Wednesday morning.  Now we have both our top-bar style of hives alongside her Langstroth hive.

Jen's bee haive beside the Wellbees

Our yummy Triple Crown blackberries continue to come in STRONG!  We will have another Pick-Your-Own this Saturday (7/12) from 9-1.  More than 125 pounds of blackberries went home with folks last Saturday and you can be the lucky pickers this weekend!  Our sugar bomb berries have been delighting diners at Meridian, Mary's Gourmet Diner and Green Valley Grill this week -- along with our great market & PYO customers. Just a reminder of what's out there:

PYO box of blackberries

More signs of summer in the fields -- tomatoes, okra, tomatillos, oriental lilies..... Mmmmmm.

        Ripening tomatoes  Tomatillos in a basket   Stargazer lilies

Market Update:  Three opportunities to find our goodies at market this week!  On Saturday, we'll be at Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem and we'll have a tent full of our products here at the farm for Pick-Your-Own.  On Wednesday, we'll be at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes Family YMCA.  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic Fresh Garlic and Garlic Lollipops, Blackberries, sugar snap peas (few), baby beets, baby kale, salad mix, tomatillos, potatoes, okra,  Stargazer Oriental Lilies and MORE!  Our delicious Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce (featured in the June issue of O'Henry Magazine) is perfect for summer cookouts! And don't forget the jams as tasty ice cream toppings! 

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.

Have a super weekend.  Get out and see the Thunder (or Hay) Moon tonight.  It is the first full moon of the summer and is best seen around 1 a.m. in the southern sky.

Talk to you next week.

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 7/3/2014 8:56am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Thursday, Farm Friends!  Welcome to Sultry July!!

As we turned the page of our calendars to July, we celebrated the last day of garlic harvest for 2014!  Yep, it's all out of the field and in various stages of post-harvest.  Some is hanging in the Yam Barn loft, some is curing on the net or in the Tobacco Barn hammocks, and some is still being graded.  And it's been a good harvest. For the plants that didn't get taken out by the cold, they did incredibly well.  We have some of the largest bulbs of the most varieties ever.  A few photos...

  Harvesting garlic  Chris and the garlic  Elliot spreading garlic out on barn floor

We don't have a winner yet for this year's Garlic World Cup.  The officials are still tabulating  results (that would be Cheryl & Ray) but we promise that we'll have them for you next week!!  The Germans made a good showing as did another Italian team -- we'll see!!! We do know there were no penalty cards!

While all of this garlic madness has been going on, the other plants have been doing their thing.  The blackberries have really exploded this week -- our beloved Triple Crowns are now coming in and we will have our 1st Pick-Your-Own of the year this Saturday (7/5) from 9-noon.  It is supposed to be a gorgeous day -- so if you are doing a July 4th staycation, come on up to the farm for some good picking (you can then head on up to Hanging Rock to take a swim!)  Take a peek to see what's out there:

PYO box of blackberries

There's lots of progress with the other plants too -- the okra is starting to produce, the basil is gorgeous and the tomatoes are loaded with greenies.  Starting to sound like summer around here!

Green Kellogg's Breakfast tomato  Beautiful basil    Okra plant and flower    Ray pruning tomatoes in Raz House

Market Update:  How better to mark the July 4th holiday than to celebrate your independence from tasteless, trucked-in food?  We'll be at both Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday) and the King Farmers Market (Wednesday).  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic Fresh Garlic and Garlic Lollipops, Blackberries, sugar snap peas (few), baby beets, pea shoots, baby kale, salad mix, baby swiss chard,  Stargazer Oriental Lilies and MORE!  Our delicious Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce (featured in the June issue of O'Henry Magazine) would make a great grilling sauce for your 4th of July cookouts! And don't forget the jams as tasty ice cream toppings! 

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.

Have a wonderful July 4th weekend -- be careful with those fireworks and make sure your pets are in a secure location! 

Talk to you next week.

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 6/27/2014 3:07pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!  Hope your first full week of Summer has been great!

World Cup Fever has hit Plum Granny Farm!  No, we are not all exuberant soccer fans here (although Emma & Elliot have earned their soccer-playing chops but ask Ray & Chris about baseball!).  But we have our own little World Cup going on -- the World Cup of Garlic!

Garlic is a very international vegetable.  More than 2.5 million acres are dedicated to garlic production each year, according to The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers and Serious Cooks.  It's a virtual United Nations of garlic growing countries: China, South Korea, India, Spain, Turkey and Brazil are among the top 10 producers (along with the US).  Many varieties of garlic have their roots in central Asia including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.  Wow!  So who'd a thunk that this common little bulb had such international intrigue?

Here at Plum Granny Farm, our 24 varieties of garlic hail from all parts of the globe as well -- although most are from Italy or parts of the former Soviet Union.  So far this year in the "competition," we have to say that the hardneck from the Republic of Georgia, "Shvelisi" (aka "Chesnok Red") is one of the outstanding players!  "Music," a popular Italian who came to us via Canada, also finished strong!  The other Italians ("Lorz Italian") and some from the U.S. team ("Nootka Rose" and "Lahontan") are looking hopeful!

Stay tuned and we'll keep you posted on the winner of this high energy & tasty match-up!  The World Cup will be announced next week!  GOALLLLLLLLL GARLICCCCCCCCCC!

 

Chesnok garlic

The beautiful Chesnok Red

A wall of Music bulbs on the net

The ever-charming Music bulbs on the net in the Yam Barn for curing

Wally helping Emma

Doesn't everyone need a cat in the lap while cleaning garlic?  Wally thinks so!

One of the fun things we did for the Triad Farm Tour was to have a planting area for kids to plant their own flower seeds.  Some of them are coming up now -- and what's really cool is that since they marked their seeds with a tag, now they can come back and see what is happening!  Mason, your sunflower is getting big!

Mason's sunflower

Market Update:  We'll be at both Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday) and the King Farmers Market (Wednesday).  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic Fresh Garlic, Black Raspberries(!), Blackberries (!!), sugar snap peas, baby beets (more are coming in now!), pea shoots, baby kale, salad mix (limited amount), baby swiss chard,  Lamb's Quarter Gratin Kit (sounds strange - but a super tasty recipe for a powerhouse green!) and MORE!  Our delicious Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce (featured in the June issue of O'Henry Magazine) would make a great grilling sauce for your 4th of July cookouts! And don't forget the jams as tasty ice cream toppings! 

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.

Have a wonderful weekend -- and in honor of Camera Day on Sunday, take a walk and snap a few shots of your favorite summer scenes -- you'll enjoy seeing them come winter! 

Talk to you next week.

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 6/19/2014 7:47pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Thursday, Farm Friends!  It's almost officially Summer!

As we move toward the Summer Solstice, the temperatures are starting to rise and we start gearing up for our summer tasks.  Berry season is beginning (we'll even have black raspberries at market!).  And one of the main early summer harvests is garlic.  This year it is a bit earlier than last -- the drought and hot weather we had in late May really accelerated the maturation.  We have harvested a few trial varieties but the bulk of it will be over the next week.  Last year we were blessed with nearly a 3 week harvest period which really gave us a chance to move through it at a more humane pace -- this year we will be more pressed to finish more quickly.

The reason that we must hurry is that if the garlic stays in the ground too long, it starts to break down and lose some of the outer wrappers.  You should harvest once there are about 5 green leaves -- that that point the bulb is mature enough and there is enough of the outer wrapper to cover the cloves.  Once you start losing more leaves, then you are in trouble.  Home gardeners take note -- check your garlic!

Here are a few photos:

Samples of garlic harvest

A few sample bulbs

Georgia Crystal fresh garlic

Georgia Crystal that will be sold as fresh garlic

In planting news for the week, we got our sweet potatoes, french filet beans and other green beans, and more peppers in.  Expect a good supply of Shishito and Aji Dulce peppers at market later in the summer!

Chirs and Ray planting sweet potatoes  Row of sweet potato plants

And it won't be too long before tomatillos and potatoes will be on the table!  And the artichokes are looking mighty fine!

Cisneros Grande tomatillo with fruit  Field of potato plants  Artichokes in the field

Market Update:  We'll be at both Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday) and the King Farmers Market (Wednesday).  What will you find on our tables?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic garlic scapes (last week!), Black Raspberries(!), sugar snap peas (starting to slow down), baby beets (more are coming in now!), pea shoots, baby kale, salad mix (limited amount) Lamb's Quarter Gratin Kit (sounds strange - but a great recipe for a powerhouse green!), transplants (tomatoes, tomatillos, basil and other herbs), and MORE!  Don't forget that we have new batches of our delicious Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce as well as our yummy Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint Jam. 

We are happy to save an item for you in advance if you'd like.  Just shoot us an email before the market.

Have a wonderful weekend -- what better way to welcome Summer than to go to the Farmers Market?  Talk to you next week.

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 6/13/2014 2:01pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!  It's Friday the 13th!!

Even though it's Friday, I still think we are recuperating from last weekend's Farm Tour!  Wow  -- what a wonderful and busy weekend!  More than 150 people from across the state -- as well as several out of state visitors -- came to the farm for a tour or a hayride or maybe just a walk around the place.  If you were one of those folks, thank you so much for coming out to learn a bit more about where your food comes from!  According to event organizers, the tour was an overall success.  We hope they do it again next year!  Here are a few photos for your enjoyment -- most of these photos were taken by Bill Talich, one of our terrific volunteers.  Bill & his wife, Jeanne are frequent visitors to the farm and he is an excellent photographer.  We also had great help from other volunteers including Kirsten, Matt, Carol, Barbara and Felicity -- thanks so much to all of you!

Hayridee on the Cub  Planting seeds  in the Kids Flower Garden    Ray pointing out Flat Shoals field  The sho must go on

Just a quick update on berries:  our black raspberries are starting to come in and the blackberries (Ouachita) should be ripening in about 2 weeks.  The Triple Crowns should be ready by the end of June/early July.  Want to keep you posted on the berries!! 

Market Update:  We'll be at both Cobblestone Farmers Market at Old Salem (Saturday) and the King Farmers Market (Wednesday).  What will you find on our tables tomorrow?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic garlic scapes (and we'll be grilling up scapes for your tasting enjoyment and will have lots of recipes), sugar snap peas (best ever!), baby kale, baby swiss chard, salad mix, baby beets (more are coming in now!), bunching onions (purple and white), Sweet Salad Turnips (a few), pea shoot, Lamb's Quarter Gratin Kit (sounds strange - but a great recipe for a powerhouse green!), transplants (tomatoes, tomatillos, basil and other herbs), and MORE!  We'll have new batches of our delicious Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce (great for Father's Day grilling!) as well as our yummy Baby Ginger-Strawberry-Mint Jam.  And we are heading out to pick black raspberries later this afternoon!

We are happy to save an item for you in advance if you'd like.  Just shoot us an email before the market.

Have a wonderful weekend -- enjoy tonight's Honey Moon (first full moon in June that is amber-colored).  And thanks for the rain dance!  Talk to you next week.

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 6/6/2014 8:59am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!  Welcome June!

You know how it is when you are getting ready for company -- there's a long list of things to do (vacuum, dust, wash windows, etc.)  Imagine expecting company for your whole farm!  Yikes!  So a lot of this week has been spent in trying to get things tidied up around the place for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's 1st Annual Triad Farm Tour.  We finally got the Demo Garden area planted and are working on lots of other cool things for our guests.  Ray & I have mapped out a really nice guided tour that will point out interesting things about the farm and you can get a peek into how we do things here.  We'll have other activities including a hayride, pick-your-own pea patch, and a kids' planting area.  There will be raspberry & blackberry snowcones along with goodies from BeNutty Bakes and Butters.  We'll even have our market tent chock-full of produce, plants and garden supplies.  And the weather is supposed to be great!  The hours are 2-6 on Saturday and Sunday and the cost is $25 in advance, $30 at the door -- the cost covers an entire carload for both days of the tour (this is a fundraiser for CFSA).  We'd love to have you visit us -- and I'll bet the other 16 farms from Stokes, Forsyth, Surry, Yadkin and Guilford Counties would too! 

Carolina FArm Stewardship Association's Traid Farm Tour logo

In other activities this week, we have been trying to take care of some problems before they become disasters.  One was tackling the Colorado Potato Beetles (CPB) on the potatoes.  Last year we were seriously plagued by CPB (and other things) and lost our crop.  This year we have been much more proactive in management by scouting and removing the eggs, larvae and adults by hand.  Despite this intensive effort, on Monday, we realized that we had to resort to more drastic measures -- spraying.  There are several organically approved sprays that we can use so we turned to one that we had in stock -- Entrust, a spray containing spinosad.  The results were amazing -- we went from heavy infestation to lots of dead CPB.  Wow.  We now have hope for a great potato crop (coming in about a month!).  Here's a look at the level of problems we faced -- the shot of the hand is from one plant:

Potato plant with lots of Colorado Potato Beetles  Hand full of CPB

Market Update:  What will you find on our tables this week?  We'll have lots of Certified Organic garlic scapes (and lots of recipes), sugar snap peas (best ever!), baby kale, baby swiss chard, salad mix, baby beets (few), bunching onions (purple and white), broccoli raab (little bit), blackberry & black raspberry plants (LAST week), transplants (tomatoes, tomatillos, basil and other herbs, peppers and eggplant), garlic powder and MORE!  There's a rumor that there may be a few raspberries (shhh!)

We are happy to save an item for you in advance if you'd like.  Just shoot us an email before the market.

Have a wonderful weekend -- get out and enjoy something fun.  And doing a rain dance might not be a bad idea either!  Talk to you next week.

Cheryl & Ray

Wanna Grow Garlic?

Want to know how to grow great garlic in your backyard?  Join Farmers Cheryl & Ray as they share their garlic growing tips based on their 9 years of experience.  This popular, hands-on workshop will give you the essentials of home production, as well as an opportunity to plant garlic in a raised bed.  Great garlic is easy to grow—if you know the basics, such as choosing the right seed; when to plant; and how to harvest and cure your crop!  The cost of the workshop is $32 which includes ½ pound of Certified Organic seed garlic.  Space is limited to the first 15 paid registrants.  Click here for a registration form.

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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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