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Posted 4/7/2016 3:13pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Thursday! 

Covering the strawberries

Would someone please let the calendar know that she is confused?  Despite it being April, March winds decided to stay around long past their expiration date and the temperatures seem to think it's February!  We hit a low of 28 on Tuesday night and another cold one is expected Saturday.  Times like these send a strawberry grower into a blithering panic.  Our strawberry plants are LOADED with flowers and berries and are very susceptible to a freeze.  We got things covered up on Tuesday and will be covering again tomorrow just to make sure that we don't lose many berries.  Keep your fingers crossed!!

Lots of planting has been going on this week.  We got kale, broccoli raab, escarole, artichokes and leeks into the fields. Then we transitioned the hoophouse from winter greens to summer produce.  The first tomatoes and basil are now tucked into cozy beds in Raz House.

Planting in Flat Shoals  Raz House after removing lettuce  Chris planting tomatoes in Raz House  Raz House with tomatoes

More Bees, Please!

Ray got another package of 10,000 bees from Tate's Apiaries and we got to install them this afternoon.  Not the best day for installing bees into their new home because of the wind but we didn't want them to stay in their transport box (the "bee-mobile") any longer.  It was a great opportunity for Chris and Andrew to have an up-close view of the process.  We are using the beautiful hive body that Jen Garrison gave Ray when she moved to Mebane.  Take a look at this incredible process:

Ray waxing the hive body with beeswax

Waxing the hive body

 Getting ready to open the box

 Getting ready to open the box

Pulling the queen cage out of the box

Pulling the queen cage out of the box

Putting the bees into the hive

Putting the bees into the hive

That's a bunch of bees!

That's a bunch of bees!  At least they have a snack to get them ready to set up housekeeping.  Ray set up a bowl of honey complete with little wooden "piers" to help them get to the honey without drowning.

Putting the lid on the hive

Tucking them into their new home.  Since there are still bees in the transport box, it is propped up against the entrance to the hive so they can find their way inside.

Isn't this the most amazing thing?  And none of us got stung.

 

Cobblestone Farmers Market Starts This Weekend!

And now for the moment that many of you have been waiting for... Opening Day at the Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem is Saturday (4/9) from 9-noon!   The market is located adjacent to the Single Brothers Garden at the intersection of Salt and West Streets in Old Salem.  For the latest updates on the market, check out Cobblestone's Facebook page.

We are already getting ready for the big day with our first spring garlic harvest of the year!

First spring garlic harvest of 2016

We'll be back in our usual spot (near the intersection of West Street and Old Salem Road).  Our purple tent will be packed with lots of Certified Organic spring goodness including spring garlic, purple and green asparagus (limited amounts), swiss chard, kale, salad mix, red and green lettuce, Pink Beauty & White Icicle radishes, salad turnips, garlic powder and granules, tulips, tomato transplants, and strawberry hanging baskets!  And we will also have our delectable jam!  We hope to see you there on Saturday -- bundle up and come on down to Old Salem!

Just a few reminders of upcoming dates:

Hang on to your hats, bundle up -- and be patient about planting those tender plants outside -- it's still 8 more days until the official frost-free date (we hope!)

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 4/1/2016 11:27am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Happy April Fool's Day!

Spring is really coming on strong!  This morning I had to make a trip to Danbury.  I always enjoy the drive there because it is so pretty to see the "other side of the mountain."   Today it was even more so.  The woods were tinged with that incredible spring green (the one in the Crayola box doesn't compare), and the dogwoods, redbuds, wisteria and wild cherries were decked out in their finest.  The rhododendron leaves were shiny in the mist and the meadow at Moore's Springs had a perfect pop of yellow flowers.  It was almost enough to make me want to ditch my long to-do list and head over to Hanging Rock for a hike.  If you haven't been up to Stokes County lately, please take the opportunity to see her beauty in the spring -- you'll really enjoy it!  Our County may be lacking in some of the economic fuel that some of our neighbors have, but our County does have incredible beauty and magnificent open spaces.  Come check us out!

When I got back home, a quick walk around showed our own version of Spring's beauty:

Dogwood tree in bloom  Tulips in Raz 1  Poppa Johnny's Apple Tree scion  Pea flowers on the trellis

Okay, back to work!  A main focus of this week has been ginger!  We were fortunate to have some great volunteers from the Triad Buying Co-op help us get the bags ready on Saturday -- they spent several hours folding bags and filling them with coir mixture.  Thanks so much to John, Amy, Rob & Roxanne!

Amy & Roxanne folding bags

We've started the planting process and are pleased to say that we have planted 168 bags so far!!  That's about half of our ginger crop and we still have the turmeric to go (it is a little slow to wake up in pre-sprout. Team Ginger (minus Ray) shows off some of the progress:

Chris, Andrew & Cheryl with the ginger bags

With the invasion of all of these bags, Detroit was worried that he wasn't going to have a place to nap!  Better move, buddy!

Detroit napping on a pallet

On Wednesday we had a group of farmers from Franklin County come up and learn about growing ginger and turmeric.  We had fun sharing some of what we've learned in our 5 years of growing the crops.  We'll be doing an on-farm workshop on May 1 to help folks learn how to grow turmeric at home.

Markets Start SOON!

Now that the calendar has flipped to April, we are really starting to kick into high gear getting ready for markets!  Cobblestone Farmers Market in Old Salem starts next Saturday (4/9) and the King Farmers Market begins on April 20.  It's looking like we will have asparagus along with salad mix, radishes and other greens for market opening!  Looking forward to seeing all of our market friends again!  We've missed you!

At market, we will also have additional information about our PlumFresh! Harvest Subscription Program.  There are only a few slots left and we'd love you to be part of our inaugural season!  This is a great program if you'd like to get a box of veggies & fruit weekly but want the flexibility to skip a week (or several).  Plus you don't have to pay for everything upfront! And we'll even deliver the box to your door*!  Depending on the weather, we hope to start at the end of April.

*within our delivery area

Wishing you an April Fool's Day filled with happy laughter - no foolin'!  Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 3/25/2016 10:14am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Welcome Spring!  We are so glad that you are officially here -- although we would have preferred that you had left your blustery companion, Wind, behind!  Spring is definitely making herself known around the farm -- take a peek at some of the sightings:

Pansies in the bathtub planter  Robin's egg shell  Radishes ready for restaurants  Violets  Strawberry flowers in March

It is such a privilege to be able to experience the change of the seasons here on the farm.  The flora, fauna and tasks all ebb and flow depending on the time of the year.  Nature is a great teacher if we let her!

Speaking of tasks, one of this week's priorities was to get the artichokes mulched with hay.  We roll out round bales of hay over the plants and aisles to keep them cooler since they are planted in landscape fabric.  Just don't tell Brix and the lambs that we used their hay!

Chris and Andrew rolling out hay

Another task this week was to plant the onions.  Thanks to Chris and Andrew, we've got about 4,000 bulb onions, 500 shallots (from seed) and 2,000 bunching onions in the ground!

Chris, Andrew & Cheryl planting onions  Onion transplants  Chris and Andrew planting  Newly planted onions in the field

At this time of year we get lots of deliveries -- seeds, plants, soil amendments and supplies are coming in all the time.  Many of the large orders are delivered with a tractor-trailer.  Earlier this week, we got a delivery of a pallet of coconut coir -- we use this for planting ginger and turmeric. We are quite accustomed to large loads and full pallets -- but this was exceptional.  The pallet was 8 1/2 feet tall and weighed about 2,700 pounds.  And then it fell...

Pallet of coir on lift gate of truch  After it fell

Luckily no one was hurt (had a close call though!).  Later we joked that we've never seen a truck driver speed away from a delivery like that guy did.

Now that we've broken down the pallet into smaller pallets and bricks of coir, we have most of it stored and some at the greenhouse ready for ginger planting this weekend!  We have a great group of volunteers from the Triad Buying Co-op to help us with this task!

77 bales of coir in greenhouse

Dates to Remember

Here are a few dates to note as the season starts to get into full swing!

PlumFresh!

We have updated our website with a few sample boxes to give you a better idea of the goodness that awaits with our PlumFresh! Harvest Subscription Program.   There are only a few slots left and we'd love you to be part of our inaugural season!  This is a great program if you'd like to get a box of veggies & fruit weekly but want the flexibility to skip a week (or several).  Plus you don't have to pay for everything upfront!  Depending on the weather, we hope to start at the end of April.

 

Whew!  That made me tired!

Detroit snoozing on the potting bench

Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend and until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 3/18/2016 10:31am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Another gorgeous week on the farm!  We hit a high of 88 on Wednesday.  Wow!  Everything seems to be blooming at once -- wild plums, red maples -- and the bees are very happy for all the nectar.

Wild plum tree

Our solitary plum tree (quite ancient) is putting on its spring show as well.

Lonely old plum tree

Here's an interesting astronomical fact -- the Vernal Equinox is the earliest this year than it has been since 1896!  Spring officially begins at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.  Its early arrival is more complicated than space allows but our friends at the Old Farmer's Almanac explain it all for you here.  An extra early Spring...no wonder we feel so far behind already!

A sure sign of spring is working in the asparagus.  We mowed the old foliage earlier in the week and have been trying to tackle the weeds.  While cleaning out the beds, we found some early shoots -- won't be long until we are harvesting every day!

Chris & Andrew weeding the asparagus  A few early spears of asparagus

We are continuing to get fields ready for planting and maintaining the ones that are planted.  Cheryl bush-hogged Ruth's Field and we are clearing clumps of grass from Bee Field.  Onions get planted on Monday and the freshly weeded garlic is looking GREAT!

View from the tractor in Ruth's Field  Onions ready to go in the field  Garlic in South

We had an extra set of hands around here this week -- Ray's sister, Linda was visiting from California.  Of course, we put her to work!  She decided this was her Farm Fantasy Camp experience (and she wants to come back!)

Linda harvesting spring garlic  Linda potting up tomatoes  Linda & Ray feeding the lambs

Spring Open Greenhouse Day

We are just a month away from our Spring Open Greenhouse & Plant Sale on Sunday, April 17 from 1-5.  One of the things that we'll have are our beautiful Strawberry Hanging  Baskets.  Chris has done a terrific job on these -- from harvesting the tips to planting the baskets.  Don't they look great?

Chris and the strawberry basket  Bunches of strawberry baskets

PlumFresh!

We have a few more slots available for our PlumFresh! Harvest Subscription Program and we'd love you to be part of our inaugural season!  This is a great program if you'd like to get a box of veggies & fruit weekly but want the flexibility to skip a week (or several).  Plus you don't have to pay for everything upfront!  For more information, please check our website or email us your questions.  If you are ready to sign up, just mail in the registration form.  We are offering only a limited number of subscriptions this season, so get your registration in today!  The program will likely start at the end of April.

More Lovely Lettuce Available!

We still have some tasty lettuce in our hoophouse.  If you are interested in purchasing some, please contact us -- they are available on-farm by appointment only and are $3 per head.

Red oakleaf lettuce

Enjoy the early Equinox.  And Brix says, "Happy Spring!"

A talking Brix

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 3/11/2016 9:29am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Trying to get back on schedule with our weekly chats -- we hope to push them up to Thursdays in a few weeks.  Fingers crossed!

Wow!  What a beautiful week this has been!  Incredibly warm temps and lots of sun have given us extra energy to tackle all the things that need to be done.  And the bees are definitely into overdrive gathering pollen from the maples and the other early flowers.  Check out all of the pollen on that one bee!

The Well-Bees bringing in the pollen

While we're not hauling pollen into the hive, we are just as busy our winged friends.  We've had a couple of extra hands on the farm this week so it has been great to get a few projects moved off of the "to-do" list!  The Prelude raspberries have finally been pruned and remaining landscape fabric and drip tube is out of the fields.  Hurrah!

Getting fields ready for planting is a big priority.  Chris used the Grillo to till up this field -- he went through 2 sets of plow points in the process!  We'll be putting cover crops here this summer to help minimize weed pressure.

Chris and the Grillo in Bee Field

The peas we planted a couple of weeks ago just didn't seem to be emerging, so we checked and found that they just couldn't break through the crust.  Ray used the tine weeder to gently break up the crust and uncover the pea shoots -- there's lots there!  The last picture shows them the next morning - just popping out of the soil!

Ray working on the peas  Unclovering the peas  Peas next day

With the warming days, it was time for the greenhouse to shed the "inner sanctum" and to open up the entire house for the ever increasing number of plants. 

Chris & Ray removing the ceiling on the inner sanctum

We've been potting up tomatoes and planting more seeds!  Don't forget to mark your calendar for our Spring Open Greenhouse & Plant Sale on Sunday, April 17 from 1-5.  We'll have hundreds of Organic transplants ready to go -- everything from tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs and more!

Tomato seedling in Juffy pots

PlumFresh!

We're hearing from LOTS of you about our PlumFresh! Harvest Subscription Program and registrations are coming in!  This is a great program if you'd like to get a box of veggies & fruit weekly but want the flexibility to skip a week (or several).  Plus you don't have to pay for everything upfront!  For more information, please check our website or email us your questions.  If you are ready to sign up, just mail in the registration form.  We are offering only a limited number of subscriptions this season, so get your registration in today!  The program will likely start at the end of April.

Lovely Lettuce Available!

If you have the hankering for some tasty salad, we have an abundance of beautiful red and green lettuces in our hoophouse.  If you are interested in purchasing some, please contact us -- they are available on-farm by appointment only and are $3 per head.

Lettuce in the hoophouse

Enjoy this beautiful Johnny Appleseed Day!  And don't forget to stop and smell the flowers (RIP Ajo - we miss you, buddy!)

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 3/6/2016 11:37am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Sunday!

The business (and busy-ness) of farming really goes into overdrive in March.  As the temperatures warm and the days brighten, farmers kick things up a notch to get ready for the soil preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting days ahead. Let's take a quick (virtual) walk around and see some of the things that are happening:

Mom's daffodils are starting to show their sunny yellow.

Mom's daffodils

The grape vines and the apple trees waiting to be pruned this week.

Apple & grapes waiting to be pruned

We are removing the primocane raspberries (fall-bearing) and are replacing them with a great early summer-bearing variety (Prelude), more black raspberries and a new blackberry (Osage).  Here are the beds getting ready to be prepared for an early April planting.

Raz 1 rows getting ready for planting

The hoophouse (aka Raz House) is full of beautiful plants!  Kale, lettuce, chard, radishes, tat soi (and Detroit!).  The peas are starting to put out tendrils so it is time to get them trellised.

Beautiful colors in Raz House  Snow peas and radishes in Raz House  Tat soi & Detroit in Raz House

Here are some of our potatoes waiting to be planted - still have 150 pounds of additional fingerlings coming!  Should be planting by the Equinox.

Potatoes in the walk-in waiting for planting

Look at this tomato!  We have absolutely no idea what variety it is -- it was growing in a bucket at the garage until December. We rescued it and moved it to the greenhouse.  Later this week it will be our first tomato plant in Raz House!

Tomato plant

The greenhouse is working VERY hard!  There's a forest of onions, an army of artichokes and lots more!  And we are adding more seeding trays every day.  We will be potting up tomatoes this week and finishing the initial seeding of field tomatoes.  Getting ready for our big Open Greenhouse Day on April 17! (Mark your calendar!)

Sea of onion transplants  Artichoke seedlings  Shishito pepper babies  Tomato seedlings ready to be potted up  Strawberries for hanging baskets  Seeding NM chile peppers

Plum Fresh!

We are just plum tickled over your response to our Plum Fresh! Harvest Subscription Program!   We've gotten LOTS of interest, and subscription registrations are coming in!  This week we've been working out some of the details and now have a registration form on our website.   This program lets you get a weekly box of farm-fresh organic veggies, fruits and specialty items without the big up-front charges and with the flexibility of getting a box when you want it -- going on vacation for a few weeks, no problem!  Only want early season veggies?  No problem!  Click here for more details!  We will be offering a limited number of subscriptions this season, so get your registration in today!

On Tuesday (3/8), there will be a Total Solar Eclipse! Unfortunately it won't be visible in North America but if you are a real eclipse nerd (like us!), you might be interested in a live video feed of the occurrence provided by The Old Farmer's Almanac.  Totality begins at 7:37 PM EST, when the Moon will completely block out the Sun's light and enshroud the coverage area in darkness.   You can watch the broadcast at their Eclipse page starting at 6:00 p.m.

That's it for this week!  And is it true that March comes in like a lamb?

AB and BB in the pasture

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/28/2016 8:56am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Sunday!

What a week of wild weather!  We were watching our greenhouse and hoophouse like a hawk because of the wind was blasting through here like crazy -- sustained winds of over 20 mph!  Our houses held up to the wind but unfortunately we know of several folks that did have damage to their houses.  And then there was the the rain -- about 1.5".  Thank goodness it was less than the 2.5" predicted!  These blustery, wet days kept us mostly indoors but we've been doing a lot of work on the Capella Community Kitchen project this week.

Before the rain, we were able to get Daddy's Garden prepped for planting.  You may recall that I learned about a way to fix our walk-behind tractor at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference a few weeks ago.  Mr. Fix-It (aka Ray) ordered the parts from the great folks at Earth Tools and has transformed our 7 year-old Grillo into an even better machine!  I have always been challenged with the clutch because I have small hands.  The new clutch is SO easy to operate that even a klutz like me can do it!  Check it out!

Cheryl & the new & improved Grillo

So with the beds tilled, we were able to get sugar snaps, snow peas and fava beans in the ground.  Yay!  Our first outside planting of the year!

Chris & Ray planting peas

With yucky weather, the greenhouse provides a nice place to work.  This week, in addition to lots of seeds going into trays, the onion transplants got a haircut.  By trimming the onions, they become more stout and sturdy and will do better in the field.

Ray trimming the onions

On Friday, we joined about 10 other local farms at the first-ever "Meet Your Farmer CSA Sign-Up Day" where we met lots of terrific folks who are interested in local food.  Thanks so much to Mary Jac Brennan at the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Office and the Forsyth Community Food Consortium for sponsoring this event!

Cheryl at the Meet Your Farmer Day

And speaking of CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), we have decided to offer something similar but definitely NOT the same.  Our Plum Fresh! Harvest Subscription Program lets you get a weekly box of farm-fresh organic veggies, fruits and specialty items without the big up-front charges and with the flexibility of getting a box when you want it.  Click here for more details!  We will be offering a limited number of subscriptions this season, so voice your interest today!

TK found a home!

We are SO excited that TK has found a home! Thanks so much to Linda for reading our newsletter to know about him and to Ralph for opening his heart and his doors for this special kitten! May you enjoy many years of great companionship!  We appreciate all of our readers' help in spreading the word!

TK and Ralph

Wishing you a terrific Leap Day -- enjoy this extra 24 hours -- sounds like it is going to a be a sunny and warm one!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/19/2016 8:31am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

The calendar says that Spring is a month away but as a farmer, it feels so much closer.  One of our favorite parts of the year is ordering seeds and spreading them out once they have arrived.  It is like Christmas morning for a 4-year-old!  We've been busy inventorying our stock of seeds and making new selections while our mail carrier has been busy shuttling them to our porch.  Here's just a bit of the haul that we have so far!

Lots of packs of seeds

We're trialing some new seeds this year and are very excited about them!  A few include fava beans (several people requested these), purple snap beans, and some new tomatoes.  And a couple of favorites are back including Roselle and Pequillo Pimento Peppers!  Honestly, it is like a kid in the candy store!!  And now it's time to get planting!

The seeds that are already in the greenhouse are doing great.  These tomatoes are almost ready to be potted up into larger containers.  Coming to your salad in June!

Tiny tomato seedlings

The turmeric and ginger are all nicely tucked into the toasty-warm (83 degrees) milk house starting their pre-sprout journey.  A big thank-you to Andy & Lisa for helping us get all of the seed pieces placed into trays, covered and shuttled to the milk house on a cold, snowy Sunday afternoon!

Ray filling tray with ginger seed pieces  Some of the ginger ready to be covered and put in the milkhouse

The week hasn't all been about seeding. Thanks to Chris, we are making progress on getting the black raspberries and strawberries ready for spring and summer!  He has been a busy guy with his clippers!

Chris tying the black raspberries  Row of black raspberries after pruning  Chris clearing & weeding the strawberries

We had a great time at our Valentines Holiday Market last weekend!  Even though the bitter cold kept some folks away, our guests were treated to a nice warm greenhouse (we even had to open up the sides because it was too warm!) and great gifts!  Thanks for braving the chill!

Nice & warm in the greenhouse  Shopping with Greenberries Farm

Please help us find TK a home!

TK's view of the world

TK did not find his Valentine this past weekend but we are sure that special someone is right around the corner.  Please share this information (check Facebook too) with your friends, neighbors & co-workers.  TK is a ~9 months old neutered male --a silky-soft tabby that is very affectionate and has a wonderful purr.  He needs a good indoor home. We really have to find a home for him ASAP -- our dog is not tolerant of cats!

Enjoy the warmer weekend -- and enjoy National Love Your Pet Day (2/20).  Brix says a good meal is always a great way to say, "I love you!"

Brix and her dinner

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/12/2016 9:52am by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

Lots of love to share in the Valentine's edition of the newsletter!

Will You Be TK's Valentine??

TK enjoying a chin scratch

Wouldn't you LOVE to have an affectionate cat like this as your Valentines sweetie?  TK still needs a good indoor home.  He is absolutely gorgeous, soft and loves to play.  We think he is about 9 months old and has now been neutered.  Although he's a bit shy around new people, once he warms up to you, TK is a purring machine.  He would be PURRfect for you!

Loving the Greenhouse and Raz House!

This time of year, working in "controlled environments" is a godsend!  That's when we are really grateful to have our greenhouse and Raz House (the hoophouse).  We are able to get lots of planting done - and the stuff will actually grow despite the low temperatures.  This week we got sugar snap peas, snow peas, beets, carrots and radishes planted in Raz House and more seeding done in the greenhouse.  The mushrooms that we got at the Borrowed Land Farm workshop 3 weeks ago are starting to take off (ate the first ones a few nights ago - yum!).  And the artichokes...well, let's just say you better not stand too close! Take a peek:

Raz House greens    Oyster mushroomsDetroit lounging on the potting bench  Artichoke seedling

We LOVE to grow turmeric & ginger!

The fragrant packages from Hawaii arrived this week!  More than 100 pounds of ginger and turmeric seed were delivered and will begin their l-o-n-g journey until harvest next Fall.  We'll be starting the pre-sprout process in our milkhouse this weekend.  A warm, moist environment really encourages those seed pieces to get ready to grow!  Watch this space for future developments!

Ray checking the ginger & turmeric

Love and Paperwhites are in the Air -- Valentines Market is Tomorrow!

Yes, we know the weather will be cold, but our hearts (and hands!) will be warm in the cozy greenhouse tomorrow during our Valentines Holiday Market from 10-2.  We'll have lots of tasty, fragrant, pretty and healthy gifts for your Sweetie (or yourself).  Here's the line-up:

  • Chad's Chai and Tea Company will will have gift sets and bags of their premium loose-leaf teas. They are also offering a special: this month, buy a bag of the Original Black Chai, get a small bag of any tea for free!
  • Greenberries Farm will be bringing a variety of hand-made items including birdhouses, trivets, magnets, and garden totes -- all crafted from used wine corks and boxes, tile, scrap/barn wood, and other odds and ends. She'll also have a limited quantity of dried heirloom tomatoes!
  • Mystic Wolf's Den will be bringing several new soaps -- along with some old favorites -- along with lip balms and salves. Pat has some beautiful new creations that are perfect for Valentines Day!
  • Steve's Pralines Steve Gauthreaux will be bringing his delicious pecan pralines.  He is a Louisiana native who has been making these tasty treats for more than 50 years using his mother's recipe. His pralines are the REAL deal! 

What's on our Table?  We'll have gift items and fresh veggies for you and yours.  In the gift department, we'll have lots of Jams (Old Fashioned Raspberry, Old Fashioned Blackberry, Raspberry-Baby Ginger, Raspberry-Chipotle, Raspberry-Cranberry, Yam's Jam Sweet Potato Butter and Raspberry-Chipotle Molé Sauce) - several varieties will be available in gift sizes.  There will be fragrant Paperwhite Narcissus, Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Turmeric, and Garlic Powder & Granules as well!  Hope to see you tomorrow!

Paperwhites

All our best for a wonderful Valentines Day and Presidents' Day weekend!

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

Posted 2/5/2016 1:13pm by Cheryl Ferguson.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!

I sure missed chatting with you all last week!  Yes, I know it's my fault.  Just to set the record straight, we didn't sneak off to the Caribbean last week for fun and sun -- it was something even more special! 

We were honored to be sponsored to attend one of the premier agriculture conferences in the country, the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) Conference in Lexington, KY!  Thanks to the generosity of Houck and K.B. Medford, a dynamic duo from Winston-Salem, Cheryl was able to attend this amazing conference.  Houck Medford is a documentary photographer and film maker, and we met them as part of a documentary series they are doing, "The Organics:  Hands and Heart." Their passion is to "celebrate the uncelebrated."  They personally invest in individuals who they think will make a difference in their lifetime -- we were honored to be considered worthy of their choice and investment! 

The conference was an amazing learning opportunity!  I visited the University of Kentucky Organic Student Farm, attended lots of workshops on everything from soil to tomatoes, met some fantastic farmers, heard Wendell Berry speak for the first time,  learned how to fix our walk-behind tractor (and had serious equipment envy) and got to hang out with some great folks from NC like Mary Jac Brennan from the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Office.  Here are a few photos from the conference:

Putting Stokes County on the map at SSAWG    Cheryl & Mary Jac at SSAWG  Equipment envy  I heart soil!

Back on the farm, it's been a busy week.  The week started with having our truck towed since it wouldn't start (battery terminals not the starter as we thought - good news for the budget!).

Farmy being towed

We keep tweaking the plastic on the greenhouse to make sure that there is adequate inflation between the two layers of plastic for better insulation.

Chris & Ray work on the greenhouse top

Lots of activity in the planting and harvesting arena as well.  All of the turmeric has been harvested and more seeds are in trays.  The onions are starting to pop -- we are well on our way to having an onion forest!

Trays of onion seedlings

A big undertaking this week has to begin the interior demolition of the Star, the building where we are building the Capella Community Kitchen.  We got a dumpster and have nearly filled it with boards, ceiling tiles and the like -- the good news is that we are able to salvage a lot of the materials for other projects!

Exterior demo at the Star

Demo at the Star    Interior demo at the Star

Valentines Market is Next Saturday!

And finally, don't forget that next Saturday (2/13) is our  Valentines Holiday Market from 10-2.  We have four vendor joining us:  Chad's Chai and Tea Company (he was a huge hit on Small Business Saturday!), Greenberries Farm, Mystic Wolf's Den (formerly MW Herbs) and Steve's Pralines.  You'll find lots of treats for your sweetie!

Happy Valentines Day

Enjoy the nice weather -- hopefully no more rain for a while (got 1.2 inches on Wednesday!)  And our crocuses are hinting that Spring is on the way. 

Early crocusGo Panthers!

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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Certfied Organic by QCS since 2010

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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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