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Posted 9/13/2013 8:43am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 September 13, 2013 Post:  Spiders, spiders, everywhere!

 

 

Spiderweb on power line
Last week it was butterflies -- this week it is SPIDER WEBS!  I think it must be a banner year for them!  It seems that late summer always brings out the extra-industrious nature of these crafty spiders.  Big ones, little ones and all those in between are spinning furiously to catch all the food they can before winter, I guess!  We've taken to walking to the barn with our hands beside our faces to plow through the webs that seem to hang from air!  Maybe the spiders are trying to help us add a ghostly Halloween touch to the farmhouse -- more than a month early (kinda like retailers!).  Now we won't have to buy any of that fake webbing!  ;-)

Spider webs on boxwoods in front of farmhouse
    
And breaking news -- we just learned that our episode of Flavor NC will be aired on November 14, 16 and 17.  Exciting!!!

Here's a quick roundup of what we’ll have on our table on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Grapes (Muscadine and maybe Scuppernong)
     
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Spanish Roja, Lorz Italian, and Elephant.  We'll have the last of the Persian Star and Nootka Rose too)  

    *  New batch of Garlic braids -- and we are also taking orders for braids for the Holidays!
  • Shallots (French Red and Greeley -- hurry they are going quickly!)

We'll also have a very few Brown Turkey figs -- not certified organic but not sprayed. 

We have replenished our supply of Old Fashioned Raspberry and Blackberry Jams as well as the Raspberry-Baby Ginger -- so if you have been disappointed the past couple of weeks, they are back! 

Next week, we will have our Certified Organic Strawberry Plants available (4-packs and 1 gallon containers).  Now is the time to plant them for delicious strawberries in the spring!  We will only have the plants available for 2 weeks (9/21-9/28).

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.

 
Here's to the cooler weather that is on the way!!

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 9/6/2013 10:57am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Butterflys Galore!! 

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!
Thanks to all of you who sent well-wishes and good vibes for our big organic inspection this week!  It seemed to go well, so hopefully we will be getting confirmation that we are USDA Certified Organic again -- 4th year!!  Woo hoo!! 

I've been thinking of butterflies a lot lately -- they seem to be everywhere!!  It seems that others are thinking about it as well!  Debbie Roos, an amazing Extension Agent in Chatham County (and phenomenal nature photographer as well!) just posted a blog on "Is this the year of the Butterfly?" (http://growingsmallfarms.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/09/the-year-of-the-butterfly/).  Here she interviews a couple of NC butterfly experts that note that this is indeed a boom year for eastern tiger swallowtails but is actually a smaller than normal year for most other species. Interesting article!  Here's a photo of a beautiful visitor hanging out on the muscadine grape leaves:
Butterfly on grape  
Now for the roundup of what we’ll have on our table on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Grapes (Concord, Niagara & possibly Muscadine)
     
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Persian Star, Nootka Rose, Lorz Italian, and Elephant)  
    *  New batch of Garlic braids, too!
  • Shallots (French Red and Greeley)

We'll also have Brown Turkey figs -- not certified organic but not sprayed.  The yummy raspberry jams will be available as will our Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce.  The Blackberry Sauce is back as well -- ready for a big bowl of ice cream! 

Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to enjoying the goodness of organic food!

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 8/30/2013 1:14pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update - August 30, 2013

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!
Can you believe it is the end of August? Where did the year go? It really seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was thinking that it was too early to plant some crops...now it has become too late for some and just right for others! Ah, the cycle of farming!

Our attentions have been focused on slighly more adminstrative tasks this week.  We learned last week that our annual organic inspection had been scheduled for next Wednesday.  This is when our organic certifying agency sends an inspector in to spend about 3-4 hours with us to review all of our records, conduct crop audits, and do a thorough walk-through of the farm.  Even though this is our 4th annual inspection, it is pretty intense and we spend a lot of time getting prepared.  This is on top of the hours that we spend preparing our annual report.  Organic certification is serious business -- but what it means is a very clear standard that all farms who are certified organic must follow.  The rules and regulations are very clear and thorough.  For example, a farm cannot call its products "organic" unless they are actually certified organic (or make under $5,000 on the sale of these products).  As customers, you need to ask to make sure that the products you buy are what you think they are.  You should always ask the farmer!  And keep your fingers crossed for us for the audit!

Moving on to lighter subjects, it seems that the farm has been designated as a safe haven for all types of creatures.  First it was Mama Meow and her 5 kittens. Now we seem to have been adopted by a chicken!  Her favorite place just happens to be under the bird feeder...no surprise there!  We think she fell off of a Perdue truck and wandered around in the neighborhood for a while before finding "Chicky Heaven"
 Chicken by bird feeder   
  

Here’s a quick preview what we’ll have on our table on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Grapes (Concord & Niagara)
     
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Persian Star, Georgian Crystal (end of crop!), Nootka Rose, Lorz Italian, and Elephant)  
    *  New batch of Garlic braids, too!
  • Shallots (French Red and Greeley)
  • Heirloom Yellow Pippin Apples (they keep on coming!)


    We'll also have Brown Turkey figs -- not certified organic but not sprayed.  The yummy raspberry jams will be available as will our Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce.  The Blackberry Sauce is back as well -- ready for a big bowl of ice cream! 

    Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
     
    Here's to enjoying the goodness of organic food!

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 8/23/2013 9:35am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

As school gets ready to start and the dogwood tree starts to show a hint of color, we are starting to think about Fall.  We are seeding our kale, chard, lettuce and frissé to get ready for fall planting.  The greens field will be more than twice as big as last year, so we'll have even more kale and other good greens than ever!

We are also trying a different approach to our strawberries.  Instead of buying new plants (expensive!), we are starting our own from runners in the field.  There are LOTS of nicely rooted baby plants out there -- all we have to do is lift them out of the soil, trim them from the "mother" and plant them into trays.  Voila! New strawberry plants!  We have more than enough to cover the empty slots in the strawberry field so we will be able to sell the plants in about 4 weeks -- just in time for you to plant strawberries at home!  Here's a glimpse of what it looks like in the greenhouse:

Strawberry plants in greenhouse   The raspberries decided to hang on for another week -- so we can offer one more PYO day for raspberries.  Just like before, if you don't mind doing a little "hunting and gathering," there are berries out there!  The raspberry field will be open tomorrow (SATURDAY, 8/24) from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  We provide containers and the price is $7 per pound.  So bring your best hunting skills and patience and snatch up the last berries of the year.  There are Caroline, Josephine and Heritage berries available.  If you want to make sure you get berries, you'd best come on the earlier side of the morning!  We can probably handle about 6 groups of pickers.      Here’s a quick preview what we’ll have on our table on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Raspberries (very few)  
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Persian Star, Georgian Crystal, Nootka Rose, Lorz Italian, Elephant)   *  New batch of Garlic braids, too!
  • Shallots (French Red and Greeley)
  • Heirloom Yellow Pippin Apples (last of the crop)

We'll also have a bunch of Brown Turkey figs -- not certified organic but not sprayed and grown organically.  The yummy raspberry and blackberry jams will be available as will our Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce.  The Blackberry Sauce is back as well -- ready for a big bowl of ice cream! 
Hope to see you at market or at the farm for the PYO!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.   Here's to enjoying the tastes of Summer and early Fall!

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 8/16/2013 2:45pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Update:  August 16, 2013 

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Everywhere you go, people are always talking about the weather!  What a strange wet, cool summer it has been!  Cheryl just got back from South Dakota and the same is true there -- so we aren't alone!

It appears that our raspberries peaked a week or so ago but we are going to have one more PYO day for raspberries.  If you don't mind doing a little "hunting and gathering," there are berries out there!  The raspberry field will be open tomorrow (SATURDAY, 8/17) from 9 a.m. to noon.  We provide containers and the price is $7 per pound.  So bring your best hunting skills and patience and snatch up the last berries of the year.  There are Caroline, Josephine and Heritage berries available.  If you want to make sure you get berries, you'd best come on the earlier side of the morning!

   Raspberries on the canes
 
 
Here’s a quick preview what we’ll have on our table on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Raspberries (very few)
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Persian Star, Georgian Crystal, Lorz Italian, Elephant)
  • Shallots (French Red and Greeley)
  • Fingerling Potatoes  (a few)
  • Heirloom Yellow Pippin Apples (last of the crop)

We have a new batch of of the Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce and Raspberry-Extra Baby Ginger Jam as well as Old Fashioned Raspberry and Blackberry jams! 

Hope to see you at market or at the farm for the PYO!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to enjoying these cool strange days of Summer!

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 8/9/2013 9:30am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Another week of berries around the farm!  The raspberries are doing well -- even the Heritage berries are starting to ripen. To help us with this abundance, we have scheduled another pick your own tomorrow (SATURDAY, 8/10) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  We provide containers and the price is $7 per pound for raspberries.  
   Pick your own raspberries at Plum Granny Farm
Picking raspberries in the shadow of Cook's Wall.  Photo courtesy of Randy Fulk.

 
Did you know that this is National Farmers Market week?  The number and quality of markets across the country has been exploding!   According to the USDA, there was a 3.6% increase in farmers markets nationally between 2012 and 2013!  We can definitely see that trend here in the Piedmont!  We love going to market each week and having an opportunity to interact with you, our loyal customers.  We know that we can count on you to tell us if something is wrong with a product or the latest recipe you've tried with one of our items.  You can trust us to bring high quality, certified organic produce that you can feel good serving to your family.  What a wonderful partnership!
I Love My Farmers Market
Speaking of farmers markets, here’s a preview what we’ll have on our table on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Blackberries (a few)
  • Raspberries 
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Persian Star, Georgian Crystal, Lorz Italian, Elephant)
  • Shallots (French Red and Greeley)
  • Baby Kale
  • Heirloom Pippin Apples
    Fingerling Potatoes 

We have a new batch of of the Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce and Raspberry-Extra Baby Ginger Jam as well as Old Fashioned Raspberry and Blackberry jams -- we've been jamming with fresh berries! 

Hope to see you at market or at the farm for the PYO!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Here's to enjoying the last full month of Summer!

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 8/2/2013 7:12am 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!

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!   And Happy August!

Despite the rather unfavorable, damp (shall we say drenched?) conditions last Saturday, we still had several groups of berry pickers with smiles on their faces!  And the berries just keep on rolling!  Let's do it again, shall we (the picking, not the rain) - we'll have another pick your own on SUNDAY (8/4) from 1 to 4 p.m.  We provide containers and the prices are $4 per pound for blackberries and $7 per pound for raspberries.  This will be the last opportunity for blackberries, so pick 'em while you can!

  Ray and Cheryl insepct the Triple Crown Ray and Cheryl checking out the beautiful Triple Crown blackberries.  Photo courtesy of Flavor NC.
 
Markets are in full swing with summer bounty!  Our fellow farmers and producers are bringing some beautiful things to market.  Here’s a preview what we’ll have on our table on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries 
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Persian Star, German Red, Lorz Italian, Elephant)
  • Shallots (French Red and Greeley)
  • Baby Kale
  • Heirloom Pippin Apples

We'll have a new batch of Old Fashioned Raspberry and Blackberry jams as well as our other flavors.  The last (for a while) of the Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce will be available - hurry up before it's gone!! 

Hope to see you at market or at the farm for the PYO!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.
 
Happy Summer Eating!

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 7/26/2013 12:12pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Berries, berries, berries!  Yes, it's that time folks!  Blackberry and raspberry time!  We'll have our first pick your own of the year TOMORROW (7/27) from 9 to noon!  Head on out for some good picking!  The berries are looking gorgeous -- and man, are they tasty (but you know that, right?)  The current weather forecast calls for temperatures in the low to mid-70s and a 30% chance of rain.  Sounds like a winner!! Just as a reminder, the farm is located at the intersection of Hwy 66 and Flat Shoals Road 4.3 miles from the traffic light at Mountainview Road and Hwy 66.  We'll have a few directional signs out as well.  For more complete directions, please check our website.

Little Boy with berriesMy cousin, Taylor, showing off his "pickins'" from last year!

Here’s a preview what we’ll have at market on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries 
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Persian Star, Lorz Italian, Elephant)
  • Shallots
  • Fingerling Potatoes

We'll also have our luscious fruit-forward raspberry and blackberry jams - the perfect complement to this nice fresh fruit!  We'll also have our Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce - hurry up before it's gone!! 

Another reminder about my Facebook push -- Please help us get to 500 Likes on Facebook before the end of July - we are up to 436!  "Like" us today and let your friends know about us!!  We can do it!!


Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.

Enjoy this end of July glory!

Cheryl & Ray



Posted 7/19/2013 7:20am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!

Wow!  What a week it's been!  We had a terrific time with the crew from Flavor NC!  They are consumate professionals and helped us feel very much at ease as we had several conversations with them about the farm and our products.  They were very interested in the garlic - spent lots of time at the Tobacco Barn cleaning garlic and seeing how it is hung in "hammocks" as well as at the Yam Barn where we hung garlic in the Net.  The ginger and turmeric were also stars -- the crew was fascinated with it and even decided to spend a bit more time on the topic.  The segment should air sometime this fall - possibly October.  We'll keep you posted.  Here is a picture of Ray and Lisa Prince, Flavor NC host, in the greenhouse.

Ray talks ginger with Lisa

The garlic is curing nicely -- a bit more slowly because of all of the rain -- but it is looking great.  We'll have the first of it at market Saturday.  Blackberries are also producing nicely -- should have lots of blackberries at market!  We are watching the berries very closely and when we pick today we will determine if we have enough berries for a Pick-Your-Own Sunday (7/21).  We will make a decision no later than Saturday morning so please check the website (www.plumgrannyfarm.com) or call (336-994-2517) to see if it is on.  

Here’s a preview what we’ll have at market on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries (a few)
  • Garlic (Red Toch, Music, Chesnok, Elephant)
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Shallots
  • Oriental Lilies (Stargazer)

We'll also have our luscious fruit-forward raspberry and blackberry jams along with the popular Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce!  Please stop by for a taste!

Don't forget!  Please help us get to 500 Likes on Facebook before the end of July!  "Like" us today!!


Hope to see you at market!  You can always contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.

Happy Dog Days! (Kitten days too?)

Cheryl & Ray

Lisa and Wallenda

Posted 7/12/2013 6:01pm 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!

 

Happy Friday, Farm Friends!


Just a really quick note this week -- we have been extremely busy trying to get ready for our upcoming shoot with the crew from Flavor NC!  We are looking forward to having Lisa, Theresa and David here on Tuesday and share with them a little bit about the farm.  Their main focus will be garlic but they are also interested in our blackberries, ginger and turmeric and jam.  Lots to prepare for!  We'll let you know how it went in next week's note!  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Flavor NC logo

All of the garlic is now in and the blackberries are kicking into gear!  We'll have more blackberries at market this week!  The Triple Crown are also rocking so we'll likely have a Pick-Your-Own next Sunday (7/21) -- but as usual with the PYO events, things can change so please check first!!


Here’s a preview what we’ll have at market on Saturday (Old Salem) and Wednesday (King):

Certified Organic Produce: 

  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries (a few)
  • Fresh Garlic (Persian Star,Nootka Rose, Elephant)
  • Shallots
  • Elephant Garlic Flowers
  • Shallot Flowers
  • Oriental Lilies (Stargazer and Acapulco)

We'll also have our luscious fruit-forward raspberry and blackberry jams along with the popular Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Grilling and Cooking Sauce!  Please stop by for a taste!

Again, thanks so much for your support!  Remember that we are trying to increase our numbers of “Likes” on Facebook.  Check out our page there and "Like" us -- we are trying to get to 500 Likes before the end of July!


Hope to see you at market!  Don't forget to contact us if you'd like to have an item saved.

Happy Sunny Summertime!
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!

Flavor NC logo

 

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