News and blog

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Posted 2/2/2012 6:16pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Spring garlic sprouting from bulbs

We decided to try something different for growing spring garlic - plant bulbs!  Most of our spring garlic comes from us planting smaller cloves.  10,400 this year.  But maybe if we just plant a bulb we'll get a ready made bunch of spring garlic.  So far so good!  Stay tuned to see if they grow big enough.

Posted 12/25/2011 10:50am by Cheryl Ferguson.

From our barn to yours....

Old feed barn with Yam, the black and white cow

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season filled with love, warmth and that special understanding of nature that comes at this time of year.  We greatly appreciate your support in 2011!  Looking forward to seeing you in 2012!  Now it's time for a long winter's nap!

In health & harmony,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/12/2011 12:57pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

 

 12 drummers drumming

Even though Holiday classic, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” said nothing about raspberry jam, it doesn’t mean that Plum Granny Farm jam wouldn’t make a delightful gift for your true love or for anyone else on your gift-giving list (hostesses, neighbors, teachers, stocking stuffers, ...)!  And at $7 per jar, it’s a lot less expensive than any of the gifts mentioned in the song!

To help you with your Holiday gift-giving, we will be at Krankies Coffee in Downtown Winston-Salem (3rd & Patterson) tomorrow (12/13) from 10-1.  We’ll have our four lovingly made and certified delicious raspberry jams for sale – and those flavors again are Old Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle Chile and Raspberry Cranberry.

Hope you’ll stop by tomorrow – we’ll be outside on the patio side of the building.  The weather is supposed to be a sunny 62° (much better than last week!)  And don’t forget, pre-orders are cheerfully accepted – make sure that we’ll have your favorite jam when you arrive!  Please email or call (336-994-2517) to reserve your jars.  We are also happy to ship your jam selections anywhere you’d like (shipping extra).

Jammingly yours,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 12/1/2011 6:45pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Making jam in the kitchen

Plum Granny Farm’s elves are hard at work to make your locally sourced gift giving easier!  Our delicious, full-fruit raspberry jams make wonderful Holiday gifts!  We’ll have our jam and our garlic gift samplers available at Krankies Coffee in Downtown Winston-Salem (3rd and Patterson) on Tuesdays through December 20th from 10-1 (unless the weather is really dreadful).  Stop by, grab a cup o’ joe and pick up a few gifts for friends and family (maybe one for yourself too!).

A big shout-out goes to our great friends and neighbors at YMCA Camp Hanes who are letting us use their kitchen for our jam.  As a thank you, we are donating 10¢ per jar sold to their amazing youth programs which focus on children increasing their own sense of accomplishment and belonging while they learn about the positive character traits of a hero.  Check them out at www.camphanes.org.

Pre-orders are strongly encouraged!  Please email us at farm@plumgrannyfarm.com or call 336-994-2517.  Don’t want you to be disappointed that your favorite flavor is sold out!  Our four flavors are Old-Fashioned Raspberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle Chile and Raspberry-Cranberry.  All delightfully yummy!

Hope to see you Tuesday!

Posted 11/21/2011 8:14am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Raspberry jam in a jar

Good news!  Just in time for the Holidays, our jam is here!  The long-awaited Plum Granny Farm raspberry jam will make its debut at the Cobblestone Farmer’s Market tomorrow, Tuesday, November 22!  The fresh and intensely raspberry flavor of our jam will remind you of a sunny summer day and a just-picked box of our organically grown berries.   Our jam is lovingly made in small batches by hand.  It’s all natural and is very focused on the fruit – of course!

There are four flavors to choose from:

  • Old Fashioned Raspberry: A bright and rich jam that focuses on the delicious flavor of Plum Granny Farm’s Heritage and Caroline raspberries.  Perfect for toast, biscuits, yogurt,…or  a spoon!
  • Raspberry-Baby Ginger:  The sweetness of the raspberries is highlighted by the subtle kick of Plum Granny Farm’s baby ginger which makes for an amazing combination.  It’s great as a topper for the usual breads but also try it as a base for barbeque sauces and marinades.  Delish!
  • Raspberry-Chipotle Chile:  Accent your jam with the sultry, smoky flavor of chipotle chile for an amazing taste experience!  The berry sweetness pairs beautifully with the south of the border punch of chile – it’s not hot but you know it is there!  This jam pairs nicely with cheese and is also a great base for sauces and marinades – let your imagination go olé!
  • Raspberry-Cranberry:  Sweetness and tartness in one beautiful package!  The main players are highlighted with oranges and baby ginger for a delightful treat.  Of course it’s great with bread but think about how it will highlight your Holiday turkey or ham – better get two!

Our jams have been inspected and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Our special introductory price for a 9.5 ounce jar is $7.00 (which includes 44 cents NC sales tax).  Shipping is also available.

Stop by our tent tomorrow at market or better yet, call or email to reserve your jar(s) today!  Our phone number is 336-994-2517 and email is farm@plumgrannyfarm.com.

Posted 11/14/2011 10:17am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Sorry to come bringing more sad news again…but we thought that those of you who had visited the farm would want to know.

The past seven days have been a surreal nightmare.  We put down Mocha Saturday night.  She was hit by a car on Monday evening.  It shattered her hip.  Surgery repaired that on Wednesday, but several serious – and ultimately life-ending -- complications set in.  She was young and fit and strong and we were sure she could fight this – but it just wasn’t to be.  We’ve had a really hard time dealing with this loss – we aren’t the kissy-kissy, high-pitched voice, doting dog parents that we have seen over the years.  We don’t treat our dogs like spoiled children.  But this one was incredibly special…

We only had her for 4½ years.  A volunteer at the Los Alamos animal shelter found her running beside the road between Santa Fe and Pojoaque when we lived in New Mexico.  She was young and had been on her own for a long time.  They said she had very recently whelped but certainly had lost the litter because she was so thin and wasn’t lactating.  We got her because they advertised her in the Albuquerque Journal – complete with a photo.  They don’t normally do that, but I guess they knew how special she was.

When we moved back to the farm during Thanksgiving 2009, we weren’t sure how she’d take to this new life.  But she was where she was meant to be -- she absolutely loved being a farm dog.   We took her into the fields with us, whether it was to build a greenhouse or plant or harvest.  Most of the time we tied her under a tree, but many times we’d let her off lead.  She rarely wandered, preferring to be with the family.  And she was always with one of us.

We never knew what kind of dog she was.  After we’d been here awhile, we knew what she was.  We made up a special breed just for her - - Italian Raspberry Hound.  She loved raspberries.  When we were in the field last January, she would go over to canes and pull dried raspberries off and munch away.  She could probably eat a gallon of fresh berries if you gave them to her.  And Thursday, when the vet told us that Mocha had vomited and they found a raspberry in it, we smiled and said, “Yep.”  She had been in the fields with us late Monday.  We had no idea that in less than an hour, the week would take such a horrible turn and that we would be saying goodbye to her in five days.

But we did.  Mocha now is in the field that she loved so much and able to guard those precious raspberries from her post, near an apple tree where she spent many a day.  

This year has been a very tough one.  Losing Yam, crop disappointments and insect infestation…we are most anxious for the page to turn on 2011.  But this life requires resiliency and we must trust that next year will be better.  We frequently say that farming is a lot like being a Cubbies fan – there’s always next year.  And one of the things that helps us get through times like these is the friendship and support that we get from you, the friends of Plum Granny Farm.  We are most grateful for this.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and don’t forget to let those near you – human and animal alike – know how much you care about them. 

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 11/3/2011 10:11am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Our Organic Baby Ginger was a Smashing Success!

These pink beauties were all the rage at farmers markets and with chefs this fall.  The tender and addictive baby ginger gained many fans across the Piedmont Triad and even extended down to the Triangle with orders from The Produce Box in Raleigh! 

The second year of growing ginger was F-A-R more successful than the first!  We harvested over 200 pounds from our greenhouse-grown plants this year.  Look for a gallery of photos to be posted soon of our year of growing organic baby ginger in greenhouse.  You'll be able to virtually visit our ginger forest!

For some great recipes and care instructions for baby ginger, click here.

We'll keep you posted on our ginger plans for 2012 -- but look for some great ginger products (raspberry ginger jam and candied ginger) to be available soon!

Tags: Ginger
Posted 9/12/2011 10:07am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Yam peeking around the garage


Yesterday we said goodbye to a good friend.  On a beautiful clear morning, with the sun just coming up and warming her back, we let Yam go in search of new pastures where she could graze pain-free and roam in search of the perfect patch of clover.  Yam, our 14-year old cow, had been getting weaker and was obviously in much discomfort.  It’s always hard but we knew it was time.

We liked to call Yam “Badge 1” at Plum Granny Farm.  She had been an employee here long before we moved back.  She served as official greeter and as our entry into agritourism.  She is an icon around here – because of her, everyone knows where the farm is:  “Oh yeah, I know – it’s the one with that big black cow, right?”  She graces hundreds of photographs taken by tourists and locals alike.  People would stop and talk to her; children would wave and come and visit the pretty cow.  She was called Bessie, Elsie, and more names than we know. 

She was an orphan and so was a “bottle baby” which gave her a special bond with humans.  Sometimes she did seem a bit more like a dog than a cow.  And she put up with a lot – like the Santa hat for Christmas one year.  Her personality was wonderfully unique.

We will miss seeing her peacefully gazing into the distance, chewing her cud. That’s when she was practicing the Zen of Yam. 

So now our pasture is empty and our hearts are sore – we miss our Yam but know that she is here, as a friend told us, just beyond our ability to see her and she is waiting to train the next bottle baby heifer in the ways of Plum Granny Farm.

Posted 8/29/2011 2:02pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

To those who came to pick raspberries Saturday, thank you.  It was a good day for picking and we enjoyed meeting and talking with you.

Unfortunately, we also must send our deepest apologies to those of you who found little white critters in your raspberries when you got home.  They are immature fruit flies.  They’re not harmful, even if eaten, but most folks don’t like little white things in their food.  We have been invaded by fruit flies – those tiny bugs that hang around very ripe fruit and tomatoes.  They can be a real problem in late summer, especially on an organic farm.  We usually can manage them, but this year they got the jump on us.

If you have any concerns at all, please call us or send e-mail.  We will gladly refund your money or give you new, bug-free berries, your choice.

Meanwhile, we will not sell any raspberries and we will not host pick-your-own until we get those little critters back under control.  We will redouble our organic controls like sanitation and traps and bait and perhaps a natural and organic pesticide.  We hope that will only take a couple of weeks but we will spend as long as necessary.

Again, thank you for coming to our farm and for visiting our booth at the farmers markets.  We truly appreciate your support and we know that when you buy our produce you are trusting us to provide your family with healthy and tasty food.  We are honored to do so. 

 

Cheryl and Ray


Posted 8/25/2011 9:36am by Cheryl Ferguson.

 

Box of raspberries

Wouldn't you like to take one of these boxes home?

We are having another pick-your-own raspberries day on SATURDAY (8/27).  Picking hours are 8:00 a.m. until 1 p.m.  The latest forecast says that there's just a small chance of rain (20%) -- even though Hurricane Irene is out there brewing in the Atlantic!  The weather is supposed to be in the mid 80s -- sounds like a good day to me!  But of course if you aren't sure about the weather here, please check the website or call the farm (336-994-2517) and we'll give you the latest information.

In addition to raspberries, we will have garlic, okra, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Here's to happy, healthy, organic eating and enjoying these last great days of August!

Cheryl & Ray

 

Mark Your Calendar! Holiday Market on November 25!

It won't be long until our 4th Annual Small Business Saturday Holiday Market!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 25 from 10-3.  This event, now in its 4th year, has become the destination for many visitors to kick off the Holiday Season.  We'll be teaming up again with our friends from Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton.  There will be lots of vendors at both locations who will offer locally grown and produced items for the perfect gift for Holiday giving.  Feel good about supporting your local small business owners!


 

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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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